Gingerbread Biscuits

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes about

    35

    biscuits, depending on the shapes

Appears in

Apples for Jam

Apples for Jam

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2010

  • About

My mother’s friend, Iria, gave me this recipe. It smells of Christmas and is typical in Finland, she says. You can make gingerbread men or any shapes you like (and there are many cutters available — trees, bells, hearts, birds, cows, flowers). I think these are lovely to dust with icing sugar, wrap up and put in a beautiful wrapped box for a gift. They are not too spicy — but very Christmassy. If you make holes in the biscuits with a skewer when they have just come out of the oven, you can thread them with ribbon or string and hang them on your tree as decorations.

Ingredients

  • 50 ml( fl oz) maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 100 ml( fl oz) pouring (single) cream
  • 100 g( oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 100 g( oz) butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 250 g(9 oz/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Method

Put the maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring to dissolve all the spices. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a bit, then stir in the cream with a wooden spoon. Mix well, making sure that nothing is left stuck on the bottom.

Beat the sugar and butter together for a minute or two, until the sugar dissolves. Add the egg. Mix in the flour and baking powder alternately with the maple syrup cream. Mix well with a wooden spoon until the mixture is thick and smooth. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours or even overnight.

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/Gas 5) and line two baking trays with baking paper.

Take lumps of the dough and roll out on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin to about 5 mm(¼ inch) thick. Add extra flour as you roll if you find the dough too soft to handle. (You can also make the biscuits very thin if you prefer, and they will then need less time in the oven.) Cut out shapes with your cookie cutters. Put about half the shapes on the baking trays, leaving just a little space between them for spreading. Bake one tray at a time for 12–15 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden with a deeper gold around the edges.

Lift them onto wire racks to cool and use the same trays to bake the rest of the biscuits. (If you are making holes to hang them from your Christmas tree, do that now and then hang them when they harden.) These will keep in a biscuit tin or plastic bag for up to 2 weeks.