Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The best gingerbread cookies and Happy holiday!

Happy holiday folks! I'm sorry I have been away from the blog for a while. Life has been super busy as I have been getting more and more cake orders that I had to turned down some of them. I felt so bad but since I am only doing this part time..I have to put my kids first and caking second :)

However I am now thinking seriously to turn this into a full time business...Yes! I'm going to take that risk and jump into caking business! Hopefully this will happen some times next year! (finger-crossed!)

Now let's talk about baking..I made these super cute and super delicious gingerbread biscuits for my friends and family this Christmas. I thought that would be a lovely gift for them :)

This recipe is great for kids and big kids..and they are also perfect for this holiday time. I tried out few gingerbread cookies recipes and I thought this is the best!
Most gingerbread cookies that I tried tasted either too gingery or too sweet..and sometimes they got soggy within few days.
This recipe however stay crisps longer and they taste as what gingerbread cookies should be..perfectly balance of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. Yummo!

They are great for kids to cut into different shapes and decorate with royal icing. You can also use this recipe to make gingerbread houses. Just make sure you don't roll them too thinly or they will become quite fragile after baking.

This recipe makes about 48 cookies if you use big cookie cutter. If you use smaller cookie cutters, you will get around 80 cookies.

Gingerbread cookies
adapted from Bourke Street Bakery book, by Paul Allam & David Mcguinness.

1.125 kg plain flour
1tsp salt
1tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tbs ground ginger
2tsp ground cinnamon
2tsp ground nutmeg
400g unsalted butter
400g soft brown sugar
320g golden syrup or honey
1 egg
4 egg yolks

- Preheat the oven to 170C (325F/Gas 3)
- Sift flour, salt, baking soda, and spices together into a large bowl.
- Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a large bowl and mix with hand-held electric beaters on medium speed until pale and creamy.
- Add the egg and egg yolks in a slow stream and mix until well combined.
- Add the dry ingredients, in three batches, until thoroughly mixed through.
- Divide the dough into four even-sized portion and flatten each portion into a disc. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 min, or for up to 3 days.
- Remove from the refrigerator and allow the dough to soften slightly.
- Roll out each disc between two sheets of baking paper until about 3mm (1/8inch) thick.
- Cut into the desired shapes using cookie cutters or a knife. Re-roll to make use of all the dough.
- Place the cookies on baking trays lined with baking paper and bake, in batches, for 15-20min, or slightly puff and golden. Allow to cool on the tray.

Royal Icing:
250g icing sugar
1 egg white
1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

- Sift icing sugar through a fine sieve.
- Place the egg white in a bowl and add 1 tbs of the icing sugar. Using a wooden spoon, beat to form a smooth paste, then keep adding the sugar, 1 tbs at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Stir in the lemon juice - you should be able to squeeze the mixture through a piping/icing bag. The icing can be divided into smaller batches and a few drop of colouring can be added if required.

The cookies can be eaten when icing hardens, or stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Wishing you a sweet Christmas 2011 and a sweeter New Year 2012!