Gingerbread Biscuits – Holiday Fun!

You know how you set your kids up at the table and they do play-dough for an hour and that gives you the freedom to clean the kitchen/pay the bills/sit down and play with your kids stress free?
You know how it’s good to have some biscuits in a tin in case you get those spur of the moment holiday guests for morning tea?
Well get two jobs done at once like I did on the weekend!! It was seriously one of the best ideas ever!! I set my kids up with a pile of gingerbread biscuit dough, a lined tray, Christmas cookie cutters and a rolling pin and left them to it!
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:

100g butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup treacle
2 eggs
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!)
Pour the flour mix onto the butter mix (or vice versa I guess) and mix with a wooden spoon/beater until well combined.
Put the dough on a floured bench top and knead (or in my case, change to the dough beater and just leave the mixer on until it is smooth). At this point you are meant to shape the dough into a flat circle and cover it with cling wrap and let it rest for an hour. I didn’t worry about that (especially with impatient kids waiting to do gingerbread play-dough), so I just started handing out portions to the kids and then put the mixer on again  with the left over if it looked a little dry.

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!

Have fun! and let me know if you give this a try… or what other holiday or Christmas activities you like to do with your kids!
Merry Christmas!

Filed under: Celebrations, Parenting, Recipes Tagged: Children's Activities, Christmas, Cooking, Family, Holidays, Summer