I know it is a sweet treat and not healthy but it is Christmas so we are allowed to be a little naughty on the sugar front.
Gingerbread first came to Europe in the 11th Century when the Crusaders brought it back from the Middle East. The spices within helped to keep the gingerbread fresher for longer. By the 17th Century the baking of gingerbread became a profession in it's own right. Germany embraced gingerbread in a big way and by the early 1800s gingerbread houses started to appear. The famous fairytail by the brothers Grimm. Hansel and Gretal greatly helped in the promotion of gingerbread houses. The German words for these are lebkuchenhaus and pfefferkuchenhaus.
Other things are made from gingerbread, like gingerbread men (or gingerbread husbands as they were traditionally called in Scotland) and all sorts of shapes for gingerbread biscuits and ornaments for the tree from rounds to stars, hearts and moons.
LET'S MAKE SOME GINGERBREAD!
- 350g plain flour
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2tsp ground ginger
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 125g butter
- 175g soft brown sugar
- 1 large free range egg
- 4 tbsp golden syrup
- white icing to decorate
Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4 and line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon into a bowl and add the butter rubbing in till it forms breadcrumbs and add the sugar
In a small bowl beat the egg with the golden syrup
Add this to the other ingredients and mix till you form a dough
Wrap in clingfilm and pop in the fridge for 15 minutes
On a floured surface rollthe dough out to approximately 0.5cm thick and cut out shapes
Place these on the prepared trays at least 2cm apart and bake for 12-15 minutes till golden
Remove from oven and allow to cool on the oven trays for 10 minutes before carefully placing on wirw racks to cool completely
Ice as you fancy