For a truly festive feeling the aroma of gingerbread is a must in my house.
I love the smell of gingerbread cooking so much that I begin baking gingerbread in October.
I have fond memories of baking Yorkshire Parkin with Nan Freda. I used to ask Nan to open the oven door mid-bake, so the middle of the parkin sank and created a stodgy centre which to this day is my favourite part of the cake. The smell of ginger triggers so many happy memories.
Our scrumptious squares of Yorkshire Parkin are baked to enjoy on Bonfire night. Once Bonfire night is over I am baking gingerbread blondies ready for the Festive Box and then of course every free minute with the boys we are baking gingerbread men, cookies and of course our Christmas tradition of baking a gingerbread house on Christmas eve – I look forward to this every year!
There is something about the warmth ginger brings to a dessert that makes it so comforting and satisfying to eat. The gingerbread blondies are part of the Festive brownie box and can be ordered online in time for the last Christmas delivery which will be made on the 22nd December, so orders must be in by midnight Sunday 20th December. The festive box consists of a Gingerbread blondie, the Christmas classic of a Terry's chocolate Orange, another 2 festive classics in the shape of Ferrero Rocher brownie, and Toblerone brownie, all hold their own in the line up of Christmas favourites.
Here is my favourite recipe to bake with my boys and its without a doubt their favourite Christmas bake, The Gingerbread Cookie, because it’s not Christmas if you don’t have gingerbread cookies!!
90g softened butter
80g soft dark brown sugar (muscovado)
100g honey or golden syrup
170g plain flour
¼ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
1tsp vanilla extract
Makes about 24 gingerbread cookies
In a small bowl melt the butter and syrup (or honey ). Set aside and allow to cool.
In another small bowl combine the dry ingredients - plain flour, dark brown sugar, baking powder, salt, ginger and cinnamon.
Mix the dry ingredients with the butter and syrup, add the vanilla extract and mix to create a dough. The dough will be sticky – this is ok as it will firm up once chilled in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 180degrees and line a baking tray (or 2) with baking parchment.
Once the dough has cooled, dust your worktop with flour and roll out the dough to about 8mm thick.
Using your cookie cutters make roughly 25 cookies of your choice and put them on the lined baking tray/trays.
Bake for 8 -10 minutes.
Allow to cool and decorate! My favourite is to top with cinnamon sugar. The boys love to ice their cookies and then top with festive sprinkles.
I refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours so it is much easier for the boys to work with. If you are in a rush put the dough in the freezer and leave for 45 minutes.
Line your baking tray with baking parchment to avoid the cookies sticking.
The dough can grow when baked so leave room between each cookie to allow for this.
I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year