Piece of life
I was cooking with the kids, quite an adventure! I love it, but let’s be honest, it’s not easy. You must have a lot of patience before going on such an adventure. Well, it’s especially my 2-year-old boy who makes it difficult; cookie sheets fallen on the floor, shredded dough, flour thrown everywhere, etc., but he’s having so much fun. I won’t show you the kids in action, I know that with the pandemic, it has become popular to make videos with the children in the kitchen, but for us, this part will stay behind the camera.
About the gingerbread cookies
When you think of Christmas, you inevitably think of gingerbread. Whether in cake or cookies, I love them all. In France, we tend to make them with honey; in Canada, with molasses; this recipe is British inspiration because I use golden syrup; it gives a caramelized touch that I particularly appreciate.
What is golden syrup ?
Golden syrup is a thick, amber-colored syrup. Its appearance is very close to honey. It is obtained from the sub-product of sugar cane refining, or sugar beet, and inverted sugar syrup. It is a product invented in England and has existed since the 1880s.
1/ I buy the golden syrup at Gourmet Laurier in Outremont. Any English grocery store should have some too. Otherwise, you can replace golden syrup with honey. The taste will not be precisely the same, but it will be perfect too.
2/ Flour your worktop well; the dough will be sticky. Also, flour the top of your dough to make it easier to work with and cut it. If your dough is too difficult to work with, do not hesitate to put it in for a few minutes in the fridge to become firmer.
3/ To decorate, I make royal icing without eggs, with a few drops of colouring. You could make icing with egg white if you prefer. You could also replace a little bit of the water with lemon juice.
4/ I use pressure bottles to make the decorations. It’s precise and easy to use. It’s cheap, and you can find them easily (I think I even saw some at Dollarama). You can find the set of 2 bottles from Wilton on amazon for a few dollars.
- 325 g flour
- 100 g butter at room temperature
- 100 g sugar
- 1 tbsp gingerbread spices
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 egg
- 3 tbsp golden syrup or honey
- 1 pinch of salt
For icing (optional)
- 125 g confectioner's sugar
- 3 tbsp warm water
- a few drops of coloring of your choice
- In a bowl mix the flour, baking soda, spices and salt.
- In another bowl, pour the sugar and the butter. Whip with the mixer (or a whisk) to obtain a smooth cream.
- Add the egg and golden syrup. Whip.
- Add the dry ingredients and continue to whip until you get an homogeneous dough. Separate the dough in 2, and form 2 balls.
- On floured parchment paper, spread the first ball of dough to a height of 0.3 to 0.4 cm. Flour as needed. Cut out shapes with the cookie cutters. Transfer them to a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or silicone mat.
- Collect the offcuts and repeat until all the dough is used. If necessary, place your dough in the refrigerator for 15 minutes if it becomes too difficult to work.
- Proceed in the same way with the other half of the dough.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Bake for about 12 minutes, until the cookies have a light golden color. If you have a convection oven you can bake several baking sheets at the same time, otherwise bake them one by one.
- Transfer the cookies on a rack and let cool completely. You can eat them as is, or decorate them.
For icing (optional)
- In a bowl pour the confectioners' sugar with the water. Mix until you obtain a liquid paste. Separate into several bowls and add a few drops of coloring.
- Transfer in squeezing bottles, it will be easier to decorate. Otherwise you could use small sandwich bags with a small incision at a corner, but it will be more difficult to use especially for the kids.