Gingerbread cookies perfect for giftingNovember 30, 2015
If you’re looking for an end of year gift to spread joy to friends and family, these delicious gingerbread cookies will fit the bill.
This batch makes around 10 – 12 cookies, but the dough once kneaded can be frozen for up to several weeks. If you’re planning on giving these babies away, you can make up double or triple the mixture and freeze in batches, cooking what you need.
These biscuits are so delicious we’ve done away with sickly sweet icing or any overt decoration – their flavour speaks for itself! Since the ginger root travelled from China via the Silk Road, Europeans have been enamoured with it. It was used in the Middle Ages to disguise the flavour of preserved meats, and was used as a digestive aid. It was even believed to be a preventative for the plague!
In many European languages, gingerbread is actually known as “Pepper” bread. This is sort of the perfect name for gingerbread – it’s almost always made with the dry, powdered variety of ginger rather than fresh root, so the flavour we’re looking for here is spicy and peppery, more so than gingery in the way we expect from the fresh stuff in an Asian dish or a fresh juice.
With any biscuit, a few elements control how the final product will turn out. A higher sugar and fat content will make a biscuit chewier, and when cooked for longer, crispier. Likewise, a thinner biscuit will crisp up more quickly, while a fatter cookie with stay softer in the centre. Customise this recipe as you like to get your favourite holiday appropriate version!
Gingerbread cookies perfect for gifting
- 75 grams sifted self raising flour
- 40 grams soft brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon dried ginger
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 vanilla bean pod, seeds only
- 1 tablespoon full fat milk
- 1 pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 160°C.
- Line a baking tray with greaseproof baking paper.
- Put all the ingredients in a bowl and knead until you have a smooth, firm dough. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
- Make small balls (the size of a marble) and place these, generously spaced, on the baking sheet. Alternatively, roll out the dough to your desired thickness and cut out shapes using a cookie cutter.
- Put the biscuits on the middle tray of the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden and cooked to your liking. Let them cool fully on a wire rack before serving.
We’ve given fairly precise measurements here, but bear in mind things like the moisture level in the air, the brand of ingredients you use and even your own measuring utensils may vary slightly – feel free to add a pinch more flour or milk if you have a mixture which is too fry and not easily coming together, or a little too wet and sticky.
Will you be giving these cookies a go? If so, what’s your favourite way to wrap a Chrissy present? Let us know in the comments.