December 24th • Posted in Recipe
Somewhere in the world it’s almost Christmas at this time (exciting!), so I thought I’d put together a very festive post to wish you all the best for Christmas day! Christmas eve calls for festive baking, let me tell you this: it’s kind of a tradition now over here, the very last pair of days before Christmas I bring out the baking trays and make a huge gingerbread dough to crack on with festive baking. Side by side with sipping hot sweet tea while wrapping up all the gift in cute snowflakes-printed wrapping paper, baking gingerbread cookies brings out the best of the little Christmas fairy which is definitely in me and it’s probably one of my favourite things to do that make me feel the Christmas atmosphere is finally around, especially if said cookies are meant to be given away to friends and family..!
As much as I love buying presents for my loved ones, freshly baked sweet treats are the thing I majorly prefer to give away! If I haven’t convinced you yet to give handmade gifts this Christmas, maybe you’ll be interested in baking some of these delicious chocolate gingerbread cookies to spoil yourself a tiny bit – but if I were you, I’d avoid to be selfish at Christmas and share them with others just so that you can keep all the rest of future baked goodies for yourself in 2015, because you know, you have been good at Christmas! Plus receiving cookies make people smile, and that’s always a huge plus!
Make around 50 cookies | Ingredients :
200g unsalted butter or margarine
360g white flour
200g white sugar
4 egg yolks
4 tsp cocoa powder
3 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 :: Soften the cubed butter in the microwaves for a couple of minutes without melting it down completely. Cubes are meant to be soft but not melted.
2 :: Mix together the flour, baking powder, cocoa and ginger in a big deep bowl until well incorporated, then add the egg yolks and whisk all up using an electric whisk.
3 :: Add the soften butter all at once together with the other ingredients and keep mixing until the butter has incorporated nicely with the rest of the mixture. It can take five minutes or more, but in the end you’ll be left with a very thick dough you might want to shape into a sphere using your hands before covering it up with some plastic wrap.
4 :: Place the dough in the fridge and let it chill for at least 30 minutes before moving on.
5 :: Remove the dough from the fridge, and cut two big squares of parchment paper. Place the dough on one of the foils and cover it up using the other parchment paper foil. Using a rolling pin, smooth the dough over until 0.5cm thick. You might need to cut the dough in half and work on half of it per time as things can get a bit tricky with a huge dough!
6 :: Shape your biscuits with some Christmassy pastry cutters and place them onto a baking tray lined with some parchment paper. Shape the leftover dough into a sphere and repeat the flattening and shaping until you’re left with no dough at all!
7 :: Bake in preheated oven at 170°C for 20 minutes (15 if you like your cookies to be a bit more on the chewy side). Take them out of the oven and leave them chill and cool down on their tray for at least 5 minutes! – You’ll notice you’ll need more than one tray for all the biscuits, but you can still bake two biscuits trays at once in a fan oven, same temperature!
Once they’ve cool down completely take little clear food sachets and fill them up with a handful of cookies, then tie them up with a cute festive ribbon or some red and white twine, and you’re good to go to friends and family and make them happy with some festive delicious treats! They’ll love the fact you thought of mixing things up adding a chocolate-y flavour instead of going for the usual gingerbread recipe, and will be delighted by the huge amount of funny and cute shapes their biscuits have!
I hope you lovely readers are going to have a very merry Christmas, to bake a lot, to feel festive, to enjoy the delicious food and to share smiles with your loved ones… have a beautiful Christmas you lovely ones! x