Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Gingerbread

It always makes me smile (with wry cynicism), when the quarterly water/electricity bills arrive. Bright, cheery leaflets slipped in, filled with positive quips and tips. How to be 'energy wise' and 'water smart' and the like. Colourful pictures of dandelions and happy families, crystal clear H2O and children splashing in the sunshine. Ahhh, warm and fuzzy. But then, the actual bill pops out and... that is reality. Yesterday, a bill for the current quarter arrived. Wonderful how the due date of December 23 seems to strategically coincide with Christmas... happens every year. But the Spring issue of 'Energywise' finally offered something useful to me. An enticing recipe for a festive treat I've been eager to try.

I LOVE gingerbread. Gingerbread men/women/children and those splendid houses, all lolly laden and picture perfect. I was pleasantly surprised by how simple it was to achieve a delicious tasting gingerbread AND icing. I used my Christmas cookie/chocolate mould tin for the first time, which turned out lovely chunky shapes. It appears Felix is also a huge fan of the stuff... Angus, not so much. And now I'm itching to take it up a notch and try my hand at a gingerbread house. Adriano Zumbo style. Small steps, Mama. Small steps

Christmas Gingerbread

125g butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup golden syrup
1 egg
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 cup self-raising flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Royal Icing

1 1/2-2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Combine butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan
Heat slowly, stir until butter melts and sugar dissolves
Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl, beat in egg
Gradually mix in sifted flours, ginger and cinnamon
Form into a ball, cover with glad wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour
I used the cookie/chocolate moulds at this point, pressing mixture firmly into each shape
However, dough can also be used by rolling to 3mm thickness, then cutting into desired shapes
Bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees) for 10 minutes or until cooked
Allow to cool on trays

For royal icing, gradually beat icing sugar into egg white
Add lemon juice, beat to a smooth light mixture 
which will stand in fine peaks when drawn up with a spoon
(I like my icing, so I covered the entire backs of my 
Chrissy shapes... quick & easy... icing may also be piped on for a more 'delicate' look!)


  1. This is very timely Julie...we have gingerbread as part of our advent to make this week and I have still not found a recipe that I am happy with.
    We are due our first water bill for our new home and I am kind of dreading it.


  2. Yum. I'm still tosing up whether to make shortbread or gingerbread this year. Last year I made both, but not quite up to both this year.

  3. haha! JULIE! I always dull that little bit more when thoughtless big companies time the big bills around Christmas.

    Have a heart. For god's sake :)

    Nice looking recipe by the way!

  4. Yummy love homemade ginger bread. I was reeling in shock yesterday too when our water bill came in. $500/ quarter thanks to our new desalination plant...I guess someone has to pay now it's so far over budget. Good on you to see the silver lining...have a great day

  5. Thanks for the Recipe J, have been looking for a good Gingerbread Recipe to try! Felix's recommendation is good enough for me!

  6. I am really missing my daughter around this year as for the past few Christmasses she has made the most amazing gingerbread houses..full on with royal icing and lollies dripping off every possible surface. One year a fly got inside the cellophane wrapper and the dogs had gingerbread for dessert for days!

  7. Thanks for sharing this recipe hun - I was googling this morning looking for one to do with my kids this weekend. Happy Girl I am now :) xx

  8. Looks great Julie, Little Bit and I made ginger bread on Monday....bit disappointed it was a humid day and our ginger bread men where alitle deformed!! Little Bit wants to do a House too...no baby steps as you said xx

  9. We've got a kit sitting here and the kids would love to make it, but I took one look at instructions and put it aside. Could just see my house falling apart! Look forward to meeting you on Tuesday!!

  10. I ADORE gingerbread too. So, so much. It is the best. yum yum yum yum yum.

  11. Thank you dearest one this is a great recipe, it's just not Christmas without gingerbread. Have a great day my friend.

    Always Wendy

  12. yes, yes, yes to more foods that should not be crossing my lips this season. these look divine, off to widen myself:) x ashley


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