This year I'm definitely making the most of the festive season, and what else could be better than homemade gingerbread at Christmas? It may shock you that I've never made gingerbread before in my life, and so I took to finding a recipe for chewy gingerbread, as they're the types of cookies that I prefer - Especially when they're warm! Considering it was my first time, I'm actually very proud and happy with how these turned out, and the gingerbread themselves were the best gingerbread I'd ever eaten (Even my mum agreed!) I can't take credit for this though, as I found the recipe from The Baker Chick HERE. She has seriously made magic with this recipe, it's too good not to share, and so if you want to make these for yourself then check out the recipe below. Of course, I did make some alterations to the recipe, as I didn't exactly have all of the ingredients, yet they still turned out just as delicious.
I N G R E D I E N T S
3 Cups Self-Raising Flour
3/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
1 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tbsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Salt
3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter (I used my trusty Stork)
3/4 Cup Molasses
2 tbsp Milk
M E T H O D
1. With your measured ingredients, combine the flour, sugar, spices and salt in a bowl. Here I used a Kitchen Aid which didn't take long at all, although a food processor or hand electric mixer would work just as well.
2. Add your butter and combine until it forms a breadcrumb-like texture, making sure there's no big clumps of butter left.
3. Then gradually add the milk and molasses, until a dough is formed.
4. Divide the dough in half, working with one half at a time. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/4 inch thickness between two pieces of parchment paper, although here I used tin foil which seemed to worked just as well. You'll want to prepare the dough sandwiched between the parchment paper, placing onto a baking tray and freezing for 15-20 minutes (Or pop in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight)
5. Preheat your oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / Gas Mark 4, preparing your baking trays with parchment paper, tinfoil, or greasing making it easier to remove the gingerbread when baked.
6. Remove one half of the dough from freezing, and using cookie cutters, cut out your desired shapes - Obviously I chose the classic gingerbread man, as well as a gingerbread women, after all #equality. Place the cut out dough onto the prepared trays, and bake for 8-11 mins (I chose 10 mins to meet in the middle-ish)
7. Once out of the oven, cool on a wire rack before icing. Whilst Baking you can then also grab the other half of your dough and cut out some more shapes ready for baking, as you'll want to bake your gingerbread whilst it's still cold. With scraps of dough that are left over, continue to roll this out and place in the freezer - Alternating between each half of the dough. However if you don't fancy baking all of the dough at once, then keeping it in the freezer for another day would be perfect.
8. When decorating your gingerbread, make sure that they are definitely cooled, and prepare a simple icing made of icing sugar and water. I made mine very thick so that it would be easier to pipe onto the gingerbread. Or even easier, you can purchase icing sets which have ready-made icing. As a little addition, I also used some small, red sweets for bow ties and buttons, but feel free to be as creative as you like. Have fun with it!