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Recipe: Gingerbread

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I finished baking the gingerbread last night. I haven’t counted them and given that they are of such varying size I don’t think a number is really helpful.

Like I said the recipe is super easy to make. You just need to plan ahead since it does need to rest overnight. It’s also not suitable to make large cookies from or gingerbread houses. I have another recipe for those.

My Grandma has made this gingerbread recipe since I was a little girl. She got it from her mother (Inez) so it is tried and tested.

I can still remember the smell in Grandma’s kitchen when she made gingerbread. Traditionally they are only made for Christmas so it was quite a treat when it was finally time to make them. Plus it meant that Santa was coming soon. I remember the scent of ginger and cinnamon filling her kitchen and wafting through the rest of the house. I remember the feeling when you eat the very first gingerbread if the year, fresh from the oven. How you almost, but not quite burned your tongue and how it was totally worth it. I remember how I waited until Grandma turned her back or went to the doorstep to let the baking trays cool, then I’d quickly steal another one, and another and yet another. And of course she knew exactly what was going on.

Grandma Inez’s Swedish Gingerbread

200 g golden syrup (not quite a cup)
200 g butter
200 g caster sugar (almost a cup)
2 egg yolks
1 tbs ground ginger
2 tbs ground cinnamon
(1 tsp ground cloves – optional)
1 tbs baking soda
600 g wheat flour (Leave enough so you can roll out the cookies)

Heat syrup, butter and sugar in a pan, but do not let it boil. Leave to cool slightly before mixing in the egg yolks, spices, baking soda and flour.

Pour it into a bowl or soup plate and let the dough set in the fridge over night.

When you’re ready to start making the cookies, preheat the oven to 200C (400F). Roll out the dough as thinly as you can. It should only be a few millimetres thick. Mark off cookies with cookie cutters in different shapes. Traditionally you use hearts, stars, pine trees, men and women, but today a wide range of shapes are available. We have a dolphin and I found a bat that I will buy for this year. I got this set at IKEA and they made really cute bears.

Place the cookies directly on the baking tray or use a baking paper. Try to bake a few cookies first, if they spread you should add more flour. Bake them for 7-9 minutes. Watch them closely so they don’t turn too dark.

The gingerbread is quite soft when it comes out of the oven so let them cool on the tray before you move them to a cooling rack, or they will mould to whatever you place them on.

Let the cookie sheets cool before new cookies are placed on them, that way they’ll come out smooth. If you don’t they form bubbles which doesn’t look very nice.

I don’t ice this gingerbread. I save that for gingerbread houses and the larger figures.

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3 thoughts on “Recipe: Gingerbread

  1. Hello, the ignorant American here…do you know if the golden syrup you referred to is the same thing as what we call “molasses”? Is “caster sugar” just regular white granulated sugar?

    1. I think you could substitute it for molasses but wikipedia tells me it has a slightly bitter taste so I guess the taste will not be the same. I think honey might be a better substitute though. I’ve never tried it with honey though so I can’t promise anything.

      And yes caster sugar is just regular granulated sugar. Heat the butter and sugar mixture until the sugar is dissolved but don’t let it boil.

      1. I did a bit of Googling and discovered that I can use corn syrup instead of golden syrup and it will be similar. We’re making these tonight, yay!

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