Last year I gave a few people boxes of homemade brownies for Christmas. They went over pretty well so this year I thought I’d give homemade gingerbread instead of the usual Christmas cards. No big deal, just a bit of baking and then I’d have the perfect present for all my lovely family and friends. Of course in the end this was a bigger project than Christmas shopping! But it was worth it in the end… I think!
It was a bit like that old story actually – the first gingerbread recipe turned out too hard, more like gingersnaps than gingerbread (though still very nice dunked in a hot drink).
I also tried some Christmas-spiced oatmeal raisin cookies which were lovely but a bit soft and squishy and I didn’t think they’d stay fresh long enough to be presents. That said, we have been eating about ten of them a day, from breakfast onwards (it’s ok they’re made with oats!) so this is still a pretty decent recipe. They also prompted me to find out a bit more about how to avoid cookies spreading too much, useful knowledge for next time!
In the end though this recipe for ginger cookies was just right – subtly spiced, soft inside but firm outside. They look about as good as the biscotti you buy in the shops! Christmas sorted. And it only took about 6 hours of baking and a few hundred cookies to get there…
I had to adapt the original recipe slightly since I couldn’t find molasses in the shops and I converted to metric. I’d also add the last cup of flour gradually and see how much you need, my dough was quite sticky so I upped the flour from the original recipe.
Soft ginger cookies
Adapted from Allrecipes.com
- 600g (5 cups) flour
- 4 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1/2 tsp salt (I used salted butter so skipped this)
- 335g (1.5 cups) butter, softened
- 200g (1 cup) molasses sugar (or another dark brown sugar would probably work fine too)
- 200g (1 cup) white caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp water
- 6 tbsp golden/corn syrup
- 100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar (for coating the cookies)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, mixed spice, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and golden syrup. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the wet mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container or wrap and give to friends and family. You’ll definitely need to ‘test’ some yourself too. Yum!
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