I spend all year hanging out for Christmas to arrive. I love it so much that I spend all year thinking about it and whether it is too early to start baking or writing Christmas cards. Admittedly, I get sick of writing Christmas cards pretty quickly so maybe if I wrote them throughout the year, it would be better. I would just need to make up what we were going to be up to in December…Anyway, back to Christmas.
This is the second year in a row that I can’t eat Christmas cake (due to the alcohol as I was pregnant and now breast-feeding) so I have been filling the gap with gingerbread. I love breastfeeding but I can’t pretend that I am not looking forward to having the freedom to eat and drink whatever I want one day! The recipe that I have been using with great success is from Donna Hay Magazine, issue 90. I am a big Donna Hay fan. I find all of her recipes so attractive in terms of time and flavours. They are generally easy to follow and simple.
I used this recipe to make edible Christmas tree wreaths for our most recent Felton Harvest function (Christmas in the Stables), last weekend. It took a lot of dough but it was worth it. They looked great on the tables! It’s a bit hard to see but if you look closely, you can see it in the middle of the table.This photo was taken by my very talented husband, Ryan Francis Photography.
- 125g unsalted butter, cubed and softened
- 90g brown sugar
- 2/3 cup (230g) golden syrup
- 2.5 cups (375g) plain flour
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- Beat the butter and the sugar together in an electric mixer on high until pale and creamy. This might take up to 12 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides before adding the syrup. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and the ginger. Beat until a dough forms.
- Split the dough in half and shape both halves into a flattened disc. Wrap both in cling film and leave in the fridge for half an hour.
- Pre-heat the oven to 140°C (120°C fan-forced).
- Take one disc from the fridge and roll out to your desired thickness between two sheets of baking paper. Place the dough back into the fridge to firm up whilst you roll out the second disc.
- Cut out whichever shapes you would like and place onto a tray lined with baking paper. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.
If you can’t be bothered to bake the dough or you have left over dough, it is super delicious to eat raw. It is also good to make Christmas themed ice-cream by chopping the dough into small pieces before stirring through vanilla ice-cream after it has finished churning and before it goes into the freezer.