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Gingerbread Biscuits

Gingerbread is a real Christmas biscuit, the smell of it wafting through the house is magical! Any item of food that can be decorated without constraint is a winner in my child’s eyes so we decided to bake some Christmas treats that Zoe could get creative with.

Decorated Gingerbread Treats

Gingerbread biscuits gleefully decorated by my 4 year old

Ingredients:

  • 75g soft light brown sugar
  • 75g butter softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons of golden syrup
  • 250g of plain cream flour
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

You will also need some shape cutters

To Prepare:

Cream the butter with an electric hand mixer until soft and then gradually add the sugar and cream until light and well mixed together. Add the bicarbonate of soda, golden syrup, and the egg and continue to mix .

Sift the flour, ginger, and cinnamon into the bowl and mix well using a spoon or a K mixer if using an electric kitchen machine.
Knead the mixture into a ball, then wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.

To Bake:

Preheat the oven to 180°

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until quite thin, not too thin though, it’s nice to have a little weight on them. Using the cutters that you have, (we used gingerbread man and Christmas shapes) cut out the shapes that you wish to have. Place the shapes on a baking sheet covered baking tray and put in the oven for about 15 minutes turning the tray halfway through.

Once the Gingerbread shapes are baked, place them on a wire rack to cool.

Gingerbread Biscuits

Gingerbread Biscuits

To Decorate:

I found some glitter icing gel in the supermarket today so decided to give them a try but my opinion is simple white icing tastes much better. We also used some smarties and coloured balls but you could decorate with  whatever you have in your pantry or my preference, don’t decorate at all, which may not go down too well if you have a budding artist helping you.

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Irish Brown Soda Bread

I make this bread regularly, it is a great accompaniment to a creamy vegetable soup and I highly recommend this soup recipe  from Nessa’s Family Kitchen. I also love to toast it and top it with melted cheddar cheese.

Funny Story:

Whilst making this bread one day, Zoe was helping me pour the dry ingredients into the bowl (she was 2 at the time) and as I turned to get the buttermilk an irresistible urge seemed to come over her and she blew into the bowl!! Well needless to say a little flour bomb exploded in her face, she looked up at me in shock and I howled laughing, the poor girl was covered in flour!

Irish Brown Soda Bread

Irish Brown Soda Bread

Ingredients:

  • 250g extra coarse wholemeal flour
  • 250g plain white flour plus a little extra for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon bread soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 400ml buttermilk

To Bake:

Preheat the oven to 200°

Add the wholemeal flour, plain flour, salt and bread soda into a large mixing bowl, give it a little stir with a spoon, then make a well in the centre of the ingredients and pour the buttermilk into it.

Now that all the ingredients are in the bowl, it’s time to mix, I use a an electric kitchen machine with a dough hook for this but you can also hand knead it, just use a lot of flour on your hands and the surface as it’s a very wet sticky mixture.

Get a baking tray, cover it with a baking sheet and sprinkle some plain white flour on top.

Place kneaded mixture onto the middle of the tray, sprinkle with flour and shape to a round. Last thing you need to do before putting in the oven is engrave a cross on the top of the bread with a knife.

Place in the preheated oven for approx 35 minutes, you will know it is finished by tapping the bottom of the loaf, if you hear a hollow sound it’s done.