Hmmph. It seems my scheduled posting didn’t happen, so my Easter post did not post itself whilst I was away. Ah well, lets just say I hope everyone had a lovely Easter and I enjoyed seeing everyone else’s Easter bakes. Moving on..
So often we end up baking or even eating things which don’t give us that thrill or make you smile when you pick it up from the plate. You may cook for your family, making their favourite dishes, and not for you. Or work at a restaurant producing so many of the same dish the fun eventually fades from it, or you are cooking multi-component but soul less desserts from the same menu day in, day out. Baking, for me, should ALWAYS be about relaxing and having fun in the kitchen making all our favourite treats. Sure, sometimes a big experiment with fancy new techniques and billions of dishes and ingredients make you feel extremely proud and satisfied at the end, but not always. Sometimes we want something a bit simpler, something just to make us happy or evoke happy memories in your mind! So next time you are in the kitchen why not make a bunch of cookies that smile back at you from the baking sheet…
Or hold hands together….
Or even reach out and wave at you..
Some gorgeous gingerbread women for instance!(Yes, its a feminine bunch: I couldn’t find my man cutter). Ok, so gingerbread is mainly thought of as a Christmas flavour but I was flicking through a cookbook trying to find something quick to bake and these just jumped out at me :) Soft gingery biscuit and the chewy raisins and sultanas make for a blissful munch !
A few years ago, it was a Saturday morning and my parents were trying to persuade me to get the weekend papers for them and I was steadfastly refusing! The shop is only at the top of the road so I’m not too sure why but thats 11year olds for you :) In the end I got them to agree to a compromise: I would go as long as I got an extra 50p for a breakfast treat from the bakery. Deal! And so began my love for the gingerbread women.
The recipe I used comes from the sole cookbook my Daddy is proud to call his own: The Good Housekeeping Cookery Book. He probably cooked all his meals from it before he met my Mummy! Its actually very good and I have never cooked from it before these. So, if your kitchen baking needs a smile: here’s the recipe!
Gingerbread Men (/Women) from the Good Housekeeping Cookery Book.
Ingredients: 350g (12oz) plain flour
5ml (1 level tsp) bicarbonate of soda
10ml (2 level tsp) ground ginger
100g (4oz) butter
175g (6oz) soft light brown sugar
60ml (4level tbsp) golden syrup
1 egg, beaten
currants, to decorate
1. Grease three baking sheets. Preheat the oven to 190’C (375’F).
2. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger into a bowl. Rub the butter into this until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.
3. Beat the syrup into the egg and stir into the bowl. Mix to form a dough and knead until smooth.
4. Divide into two and roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 0.5cm (1/4inch) thick. Using a gingerbread man cutter cut out figures and place them gingerly (HA!) on the baking sheet. Decorate with currants.
5. Bake in the oven for 6-12 minutes until golden. Cool slightly then place on a wire rack.