Thursday, September 2, 2010

Gingerbread People - Bake Sale Donation (1 of 3)

        I know I should be going backwards in my backlog but I just had to share this due to popular feedback from my previous blog post. I'll eventually post up the recipes for all 3 items which I baked for the bake sale.

        I doubled this recipe from the taste website for my gingerbread, you can go with the original if you're not after an army oif gingerbread.
• 250g butter, softened
• 1 cup (200g) brown sugar
• 1 cup (250ml) golden syrup
• 2 egg yolks
• 5 cups (750g) plain flour
• 2 tbs ground ginger
• 2 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 tsp ground cloves
        Cream together the softened butter, brown sugar and golden syrup. Because I doubled the recipe in my head and didn't write down the quantities required for a double batch, I almost stuffed up by forgetting to use the correct amount of sugar and syrup. Once it's all combined and smooth, beat in the egg yolks. I did all this by hand mind you, if you have a mixer I'd just throw it all into that.

        Once all combined, sift all the dry ingredients together and then mix into the wet ingredients. After a few stirs I found that I had to get in with my hands as the dry and wet ingredients were not combining properly. A mixer and dough hook would probably come in handy right now (*hint hint kitchen aid*). It's fun to get your hands dirty though but it is really hard work.

This is what you should end up with, I divide it into 4 portions.

        Do you like my cute cutters? I picked these up from a homewares store at Macquarie Centre on one of my lunch breaks. I also did have gingerbread people in mind when I bought them but just havn't had the chance to make them. What a fitting occasion this was. I only used the larger sized ones though.

        Roll the dough to about 5mm thick and then cut out your shapes. A few observations I made with this recipe. The dough was very sticky and soft which I found hard to work with, I put the dough into the fridge for a little bit before rolling it out. I found that the dough then became a little hard so had to wait for it to at least come back almost to room temperature again before it was workable. I was constantly dusting the work bench and rolling pin with flour but found that it didn't really help. Rolling the dough in between two layers of baking paper is what got me through but it was still quite hard work.

        The dough is very soft so the best way to seperate the shapes is to pull off all the excess dough around them before attempting to lift them off the the baking paper. It was like doing surgery as they were so fragile.

Gingerbread people lined up on the trays ready to go into the oven.

        I baked my little babies in the oven at 180 degrees celcius for about 10-12 as per original recipe.

        Upon tasting I found that my gingerbread were slightly harder than I had imagined. They were more of a very crisp biscuit rather than a gingerbread, a bit of a hybrid really. They tasted amazing though and the house was smelling absolutely fantastic that night. My brother, who's room is at the opposite end of the house, was drawn to the kitchen asking me what I was cooking because it smelt so good.
        Some of my observations with this recipe:
1. My cookies could have been slightly thicker but it was tricky to get the thickness right when rolling out the dough, which was so soft and sticky.
2. My oven temperature may have been a little higher than it should have been.
3. I could have cooked them for a little less time. 

        I was quite happy with what I had achieved as I had never made gingerbread before. I might adjust them next time according to my observations or try another recipe. I wanted to decorate these babies but by the end of my baking marathon I really didn't have the energy or patience to do such fiddly work so ended up leaving them plain. I also packaged them in pairs, much cuter that way, and called them my 'gingerbread people'.


Sara @ Belly Rumbles said...

What a marathon biscuit bake off!! Well done Angie, and I think the pairs were very cute indeed.

OohLookBel said...

Thanks for the recipe! And your boy and girl cutters are so cute you don't need icing. PS: I hear you on the kitchenaid - I have such weak arms, too!

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

I find that those recipes make an army full of gingerbread! Very cute boy and girl cutters! :D

Helen (Grab Your Fork) said...

I love making gingerbread but mainly for the fun part - the icing, although I agree, it is tiring. I usually bake one day and ice the next, and only one project per week. You did a spectacular job - and your packaging looks so professional!

Maria @ ScandiFoodie said...

Reminds me of Christmas! And well done for doing all this for charity!

Forager @ The Gourmet Forager said...

So cute! So cute! I want some! I love muching into gingerbread men - something that sends me straight back to my childhood days.

Sweet Artichoke said...

These little guys look yummy!! And that's wonderful that they were eaten for a cause ;-)

Von said...

They look so perfect!! I've never made gingerbread men (or people..haha) before....although I doubt that when I do, they'll come out quite as goodlooking as yours =)

Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said...

Hi Sara: It definately was a great maraton though! Never baked so many things all in one week. Thanks =)

Hi Bel: I keep telling myself I am building up those muscles but any mixer will just make baking that little much easier

Hi Lorraine: Thank you! =)

Hi Helen: Well I baked them with the intention of decorating the next day but the next day I was making macarons, by the end of that I was in no mood to be icing anything. Hehe yeah, amazing what a few cello bags and labels can do =)

Hi Maria: Thanks! Yes, I am already hassled at work to make a gingerbread house! I promised them one for Christmas =)

Hi Forager: Thank you =) Yes I agree gingerbread is definately something I associate with childhood.

Hi Sweet Artichoke: Thanks! Hehe anything baked/eaten for a cause is good =)

Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said...

Hi Von: Thanks! Practice will make perfect ;)