Sunday, 27 December 2009
Christmas bake off
Little Man took this picture - it's better than anything I could do!
Well, it's all over and I'm missing it already. For the first time ever we had most of it by ourselves. Usually, my parents come to stay for at least a week and after a while things get a bit fraught. But in the summer, we took a selfish stand and said we wanted it on our own. This didn't go down very well, but they were good enough not to say anything, and stayed with my brother instead, hee, hee, hee!
Anyway, we had Husband's parents for lunch on Christmas day, and my parents came for afternoon tea on boxing day(yesterday). We are all feeling festive, happy and relaxed, it's been the best Christmas ever!
With the lack of house guests, the children and I got down to some serious Christmas preparation. We got busy gingerbread decorations for the tree (they never did make it to the tree!). We used the recipe we use every year, and I honestly can't remember where I got it from, but it's good, so here it is:
Ginger Bread Tree Decorations
12oz plain white four
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
2tbsp ground ginger
1tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2tsp ground cloves
6oz light brown soft sugar
4tbsp golden syrup
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celcius.
Sift the spices, bicarbonate of soda and flour into a bowl.
Rub the butter into the flour mixture, until it forms fine breadcrumbs.
Warm the syrup (I put it in the microwave for 20 seconds).
Beat the egg into the warm syrup (wait for the syrup to cool slightly, so it doesn't cook the egg!)
Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients, and mix with hands or a wooden spoon.
Roll the dough out into a 1/4 inch thick layer (if you roll it too thinly the biscuits will be very crunchy. I like my gingerbread soft and chewy, so I roll it out a bit more thickly).
Then use a selection of cutters to make Christmassy shapes. Line some baking sheets with greaseproof paper, ready for the cut out gingerbread.
Pierce each shape with a large hole and pop them in the oven for about 10 minutes. Let them cool on a rack and then get busy with the icing. This year I opened my baking cuboard and got all the cake decorations that I've collected over the year, and the kids had a ball! Here are the results, Christmas bling:
We also decorated the Christmas cake I made three weeks ago. I love bloggy before and after shots, so here's mine: