Do you have a Christmas speciality?   A recipe you’ve perfected over years; your go-to Christmas present for neighbours and teachers?  My Christmas speciality is Gingerbread.

We make gingerbread every year.  We always make biscuits – usually stars and people.  I particularly like stacking up different sized stars to make little fir trees, dripping icing snow over them and decorating their branches with silver balls.  They look best if the stars are separated with little biscuit discs for a trunk. 

When my daughter was younger we made a series of gingerbread houses, both big and small.  I’ve learnt that its far easier to decorate the house before assembly and, though it can be difficult to work, the best assembly medium is caramel.   

I like my gingerbread soft and chewy, whereas my husband prefers it to be hard and snappy.  You can produce either result with the recipe below, simply by baking it longer or shorter. 

An earlier version of this recipe came from a Christmas book, but I’ve improved it to suit our tastes.  Treacle gives it richness and lots of ground ginger is a must.     

45 g Treacle

75 g Soft brown sugar

1½  tsp Ground ginger

½ tsp Ground cinnamon

1 tbsp water

Mix together, bring to the boil slowly, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.

Stir in 90g butter, ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda, 225 g flour.

Mix to form a dough.  Rest 30 minutes.  It can make an oily dough that delaminates and tears easily while rolling.  The best treatment is pressing gently but firmly back together.   Roll out, cut biscuits and bake at 180oC for 10-15 minutes. 

Happy Christmas!

Text and Images (C) Claire @theslowfix A slow food devotee, Claire is constantly searching for new ways to enable us all to live sustainably.

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