Is “people” too politically correct a term for this classic biscuit?
Well, in the words of the great bard, “A biscuit by any other name would taste as sweet.” I guess that settles it then.
Whatever you want to call them, they are an easy crowd pleaser whose outfits are limited only by your imagination. It is crucial to refrigerate the dough before rolling it out – make sure you have plenty of flour on your bench and rolling pin. This particular batch was soft and chewy, but the dough can be rolled thinner and/or baked longer if you prefer a crispier biscuit.
(Makes approximately 30 – depending on size of cookie cutters)
150 g butter, softened
200 g sugar (preferably caster sugar, but plain white sugar is fine)
110 g (1/3 cup) golden syrup
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon mixed spice
pinch of salt
100 mL milk
500 g plain flour, sifted
200 g dark chocolate
1 cup icing sugar (this makes lots of icing but any less may be hard to work with in a piping bag)
- Preheat oven to 170˚C and line baking trays with greaseproof paper.
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add golden syrup, baking soda, spices and salt, mixing well.
- Add milk and mix until combined.
- Sift flour into the bowl and mix until a smooth dough has formed.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and rest in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Roll out dough on a well-floured bench to about 5 mm thick – slightly thinner if you want your biscuits to be crispier.
- Cut out shapes and transfer to lined baking trays.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until just golden. You can be the judge of how long to leave them in (longer = crispier), but watch the edges carefully because they’ll burn first!
- Leave cookies on the tray for a minute or so to firm up, then transfer them to a cooling rack.
- When they have cooled, melt the chocolate. This is best done using a double boiler/bain-marie. Make sure you stir the chocolate constantly so it melts without burning.
- Now it’s time to decorate! You can either dip the gingerbread in the melted chocolate, or use a knife to spread it – I prefer the latter because it offers a bit more control … Either way, you need to work quickly because the chocolate will start setting.
- While the chocolate is setting, add warm water to the icing sugar a teaspoon at a time, until it is just runny enough to pipe. Then it’s time to give your gingerbread some character!
© thebakingof 2012