|Miss L cutting quite orderly into the dough while
Master J is randomly taking a bite out of each biscuit before it makes it to the tray
Here’s the traditional recipe I used from my “How Grandma Made It” cookbook:
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup treacle
4 cups plain flour
1 cup self-raising flour
1 tbs ground ginger
1 tbs ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Slowly heat the butter, sugar and treacle in a saucepan and stir until the sugar melts and it looks kind of glossy. Let the mix cool for a bit and then combine it with the eggs and stir (make sure the butter mix is cool enough that it doesn’t cook the egg).
Put all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and use your whisk to stir them together (this is really the equivalent of sifting in recipes where you are just trying to eliminate clumps in the flours/spices – yep! Thanks Martha Stewart for that handy hint!)
So then get your kids to roll out the dough on a REALLY lightly floured surface, punch your shapes and then bake in a 180oC oven for 5mins. Let cool on the tray for 5 mins and then shift onto a separate cooling area (make sure you put them top side down to cool the underside at this stage – I don’t know why, but it makes for a nicer biscuit).
And there you have it! One very cool holiday morning activity for the kids, and a tin full of slightly mangled looking gingerbread men/stars/Christmas trees/cookies/ornaments. Oh yes! This dough makes a massive amount so when the kids have gotten bored, I just gather what they haven’t used and the stuff left over in the bowl, put the mixer on again for a few minutes and then make a flat ball, cover in cling wrap and freeze for another day!