Monday, 28 March 2011

Gingerbread Men

Recipe Number Fifteen:  Page 259.


I have been looking forward to making these gingery little men. I wish my little boy was old enough to help me cut them out and decorate them, but I doubt his hand eye coordination is quite there yet!!

First of all, the dry ingredients are added to a bowl. This includes the ground ginger. I used ground ginger from one of those little glass jars. The problem I had was that, when I tried to shake the contents on to the teaspoon, it went everywhere. I definitely ended up with more than was required! I spent ages working the butter into the dry mixture. The butter on this occasion was meant to be hard and I had cold hands! After I eventually got it to look like a bowl of floury breadcrumbs, I could add the sugar and egg. The golden syrup is always a bit of a nightmare to measure. I like using the squeezy bottles; it makes it a little easier. As I had to use a tablespoon to measure the syrup, I poured boiling water over the spoon just before using it and the golden syrup just fell off.

It was then time to get my hands in and have a good old knead. It took a while until everything combined and then the dough was so easy to work with. I barely needed to put any flour on the worktop to roll it out as I didn't find it sticky at all. I am conscious that I tend to roll things too thin, so I tried to be more careful, I didn't want skinny little gingerbread men! I could feel my inner child resurface as I reached for the cutter - the exciting bit! I noticed that each time I cut out a little man I let out a little “ahhhhhh”! They were just so sweet. They were quite small and the currants were a little big for eyes; they took up almost all of the face. I pulled the currants in half for the eyes and used whole ones for the body. Neil had spied that I also have a large cutter, so I made him two giant men!

In the oven the gingerbread men swelled up, but didn't spread much, so they can go reasonably close together on the tray. My first batch could have done with a few more minutes in the oven, or perhaps I should have rolled the dough a little thinner after all!! They are a little chewy, but personally that is how I prefer them. The second batch I left in the oven for a few minutes longer and they are slightly darker and a hard biscuit. As for the flavour, Neil, couldn't really taste any ginger. I could, but only a subtle hint. This is surprising as I had mistakenly added more! They taste good though, and I had so much fun making them. I did feel a bit guilty eating them, poor little things!

Seems to cruel to eat them!

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