Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Bookish Bakes

Gingerbread is one of my favourite things to eat at Christmas time, and so I decided to combine it with my favourite pastime in order to make these books themed biscuits! I’ll warn you in advance though- the end result is a little ‘informal’ as Mary Berry would put it, but they taste good all the same. I followed this this recipe if you wanted to take a look at the original!

Here are the ingredients you will need:
350g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
125g butter
175g light soft brown sugar
1 egg
4 tbsp golden syrup
For the icing:
2 egg whites
Icing sugar

First of all, sieve the flour, baking powder, ginger, and cinnamon together into a large mixing bowl.

Using either your hands or a food processor mix in the butter until you have something that looks like breadcrumbs. Then, stir in the sugar.

Whisk the eggs and golden syrup together before adding to the breadcrumbs mixture. Stir in until it forms a dough.

Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and knead lightly until it’s smooth. Wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge to chill for about 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4

Now, you need to decide what shapes you want your biscuits to be! I decided on a book theme. Of course you can use cookie cutters, but I don’t have any in the shape of books so I went onto google and searched for a simple book outline that I could cut around. I also drew a couple of rectangles that could be decorated to look like book covers and spines. If you’re using google to find your own shape, it’s helpful to search something like ‘book clip art’ as the images are often much simpler so will be easier and quicker to cut around.
When the dough is chilled, roll it out to around 1.5cm and use your cutters or templates to cut out the shapes. If you’re using templates, use a sharp knife to cut around them so you get a nice sharp edge.

Put your cut out biscuits onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for about 12-15 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack When you take them out of the oven they will still be a little bit soft but should harden up as they cool.

When the biscuits bake they can spread out a little. If you want a clean shape after baking, Cut around them using the template and a sharp knife to remove any excess biscuit. It’s best to do this as soon as you take them out of the oven as they’re likely to break if you try to cut them once they’ve cooled down.

Wait until the biscuits are completely cooled to start decorating them! I used royal icing, which is basically egg white and icing sugar whisked together. I used the whites from two eggs, and enough icing sugar for a fairly stiff mixture to be formed. I think the icing I made was a little bit too runny as it went a bit blobby!

So, there you have it; my slightly informal bookish gingerbread biscuits! I think they would make a perfect last minute gift (although maybe with better icing!), and they taste really good too!

E x


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