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Festive Gingerbread men, women and mermaids of course ...

There really is something wonderfully scented and inviting when a home is filled with the smell of spiced biscuits cooking before Christmas. There is no doubt that children love making them. I imagine a couple’s challenge to bake the ultimate gingerbread house might be jokes. And the joy that I as a mother get from teaching my small humans to mix, roll and cut out little shapes and decorate with silver balls is actually quite fun (in between the odd “no” Or “stop that” when they attempt to eat their body weight in cookie dough...! These are great presents for friends and family or to take to nursery or school for an end of term treat.

You can change this recipe up to suit your taste buds with ginger, stem ginger, black treacle, dark brown muscavado sugar and more... but here is the basic recipe.

350g flour

100g butter

175g half light brown sugar and half dark brown muscovado sugar

1 tsp bicarbonate soda

3 tsp ground ginger (you can add one tsp or mixed spice too for more flavour)

25g stem ginger for more warmth if this is for the grownups

4 tablespoons golden syrup warmed or 2 Tbsp golden syrup and 2 tbsp black treacle

1 egg

Rub the butter into the flour

Stir in the sugars, bicarbonate of soda, spices and stem ginger

Add the egg

Add the warmed syrup

Mix with a spoon or turn out onto a surface and dredge with your hands

Put onto a large piece of greaseproof and refrigerate for 2-4 hours. I make the mix the day before I use it and leave it overnight. It lasts well so you can keep in fridge and bake cookies off as and when your small humans need a distraction.

Flour a surface

Roll out to the thickness of a £2 coin. Spin in the four as you roll so the dough doesn’t stick. Cut out. Decorate with silver balls, currants or dried fruit.

Bake for 10-12 minutes depending on how bendy or how crunchy you like yours.

Put on a wire rack to cool. You can ice them to decorate too. I like them as they are. Not necessary to add more sugar to something that tastes great without.


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