Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Chocolate Gingerdead Men

I love Halloween - I wish the UK did Halloween as big as the US do it. I found this cookie cutter/stamp a few weeks ago, and couldn’t resist, I had to buy it to make Halloween gingerbread!
I must admit, I wasn’t that impressed with the product as a cutter or a stamp… the cutter didn’t leave nice crisp edges, and the stamp, that supposedly leaves little wells to fill with icing, served more as just guidelines for icing the skeletons freehand. You’d be better off using a metal gingerbread man cutter and then just icing the skeletons on yourself. That said, I do still think that they look pretty cool, if a little misshapen, and I made little gravestones for them too!

250g unsalted butter
100g light muscovado sugar
100g demerara sugar
4 tbsp golden syrup
540g plain flour
60g cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 tsp ground ginger

250g royal icing sugar to decorate

Preheat your oven to 180°C and grease/line your baking trays.

In a small saucepan, over a low heat, melt the butter, sugars and golden syrup. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes.

In a large bowl, mix the plain flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and ginger. Add the cooled melted butter to the flour mix and stir until it forms stiff dough.

Use your hands to shape the dough into a ball, scraping down the sides of the bowl, and knead for a couple of minutes. If it’s still sticky, add a little more flour, a tablespoon at a time, and continue to knead until it’s ‘rollable’. And if it’s too dry, add a splash of milk while you’re kneading the dough.

Lightly dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour, and roll the dough out to 5mm thick.
Use your cookie cutters to cut out your shapes, re-rolling the off cuts, until all the dough is used up.

Space the shapes out well on your baking trays and if you’re using a cookie stamp, press this into the gingerbread when they’re on the trays.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 8-10 minutes, until just firm. Leave to cool slightly on the trays before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the cookies have cooled, make up your icing.

Add 40ml of luke warm water to the royal icing sugar, and use an electric whisk to beat the icing until it forms soft peaks. You can add colouring at this stage if you want to.
Transfer the icing into a piping bag and go to town with your decorating!

Once you’ve decorated all your gingerbread, leave it over night for the icing to set, then tuck in!

1 comment: