And on the fifth day

Gingerbread! Making the whole house smell deliciously festive. I'm not a huge fan - I prefer all of the fruity baking - but the smell of gingerbread baking certainly is right up there on the list of good things.




Since it's not a favourite, I don't have a trusted recipe for gingerbread. What I came up with was favourably rated by the breadwinner. Probably just as well since he knows I only made them because he specifically asked for them.

The recipe makes at least 40 biscuits using a 9 centimetre gingerbread man cutter. If you don't think you can eat or give away that many at once, save half of the dough, tightly wrapped in the fridge safely for a day or two, and get two days of kitchen fragrance from a single effort.

Gingerbread biscuits

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 egg yolks
1 cup treacle
4 cups flour
2 tbspn ground ginger
2 tspn ground cinnamon
1 tspn ground cloves
1 tspn ground nutmeg
2 tspn bicarbonate of soda

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius. Cream the butter and sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, beating well to avoid curdling. Add the treacle and stir well to combine. Sift together flour, spices and bicarb soda. Add to the butter mixture, around one quarter at a time. Mix well to a stiff dough. Form the dough into a disc, cover with cling wrap and place in refrigerator for half an hour. Place dough between two sheets of greaseproof paper and roll out to a thickness of around 5 millimetres. Cut into seasonal or people shapes, and place on a baking paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for around ten minutes until golden. Allow to cool completely on the cookie sheet - moving too soon will break the biscuits. Decorate with royal icing or enjoy them plain with a cup of tea.

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