Last weekend could otherwise be known as ‘the hunt for Christmas’. On Sunday Alex and I searched high and low for a real Christmas tree. Having grown up in different hemispheres we have pretty different views on real vs fake Christmas trees, but eventually real won out (woop!). However the only ones we could find were either 10 foot tall or 1 foot tall, and at ridiculous prices, so we gave up. Next we traipsed from shop to shop trying to find a gingerbread man cutter… by now it was 30 degrees in the sun and it couldn’t feel less like Christmas.
However we found one, these gorgeous gingerbread men came to the rescue (and a Love Actually movie session)! I’ve made this recipe for the last three years running and so I thought it was time I shared it with you. It’s from the BBC Good Food site and it tastes just like gingerbread is supposed to taste – sweet, gingery, crunchy on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside. I had to keep putting the dough in the freezer in between rolling as it kept melting in heat! This recipe makes about 20 – 25 gingerbread men depending on how big/thick they are. We doubled the recipe and ended up with a ridiculous amount – we both took 15 each to our offices and we still have a huge pile of them at home!
– 225g rice flour (plus extra for dusting the work top)
– 125g gram flour (chick pea flour)
– 1 tsp xanthan gum (this holds it together without the gluten)
– 2 tsp ground ginger
– 1 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
– 100g butter
– 175g dark soft brown sugar
– 4 tbsp golden syrup
– 1 egg
– icing sugar, water, decorations
1. In a food processor combine the flours, xanthan gum, spices and bicarbonate of soda. Whizz the ingredients to mix them thoroughly. Add the butter and process again till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and process again.
2. Add the golden syrup and egg and process until the mixture starts to come together. Tip out onto a (rice) floured surface and form the dough into a smooth ball. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
3. Take out the fridge and roll to the thickness of a £1 coin. Use a gingerbread man cutter (or any cutter you like) and cut out as many shapes as you can, re-rolling the left overs to use it all up.
4. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Line a baking sheet with non stick baking parchment (reusable is best) and bake the cookies for approx 12 minutes until nicely browned but not burnt. Leave to cool on the tray for 5 mins then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. While the biscuits are cooling, mix some icing sugar with enough water to make a fairly stiff icing, adding food colouring if you wish. Use a pastry bag to make the faces, then dot some icing to stick decorations onto. We used Smarties for some (which aren’t gluten free) and then chocolate raisins for GF ones. SO yummy!
How is your Christmas lead-up going? I’ve been a bit of a slack blogger lately as things have been busy and I haven’t made much time for blogging. There is so much to look forward to this week, I’m so excited. After waiting a year to see the family, they are finally arriving on Sunday!! There’s a BBQ after my last day of work on Friday followed by a pool party on Saturday and then a 6am airport pick-up! It’s a funny kind of December but a good one. x