"This is a journey of my life since I was all of 12 yrs when I started my hand in cooking to now with displays of my learning and creations of recipes from around the world. My inspiration and role model has always been my Mum who has always created dishes from around the world and excellently well. I do not believe I would ever match to her culinary skills. I remember the times she could cook and bake almost 4-5 dishes in one go without ever letting one go under cooked or burnt! I was born and raised in Dubai, UAE and recently moved to India for family reasons. Kitchenette just means that over the decades, my kitchen has changed from that of my mum's to my uncle and aunt's, to my home in UAE and now in India. Pala't'te, describes both global cuisines ('Palatte'-diverse flavours) and pleasing diverse 'Palates'."

Monday, 23 December 2013

Gingerbread men biscuits

"Run, run as fast as you can! You can't catch me! I'm the Gingerbread man"! 




This was from one of the tales we (My sister Liz and I) listened to growing up. Back in the days my sister was gifted a tape of various fairy tales and one such one was 'The Gingerbread Man'. Following to that Liz received a birthday gift from our uncle Thampipapa for her birthday 'We can cook'. I am guessing that because she wasn't as keen on baking and cooking as I was, I ended up inheriting the book or simply nabbed it from my darling sis Liz :D Well I am assuming as she tells me she can't recollect how I ended up with it. When I turned 12, I began to show a keen interest in cooking and baking and was pretty much burning down my mum's kitchen with my tries. One thing I diligently did then was not to follow a recipe to the 'T'. If ever I did so, I would follow the recipe once and then did my own shenanigans during mom's afternoon naps :D.


The book that Thampipapa gifted Liz had the recipe for Gingerbread men and I have always wanted to try it since I heard the tale of the Gingerbread man. I must admit I was always intimidated by the shape of the Gingerbread men but I have to say it was actually fun. Also, most of the heads of the gingerbread men in the first batch were rolled out by Izzy :) I have made several cookies and biscuits since I was 12. Last Christmas, I had made some shortbread cookies for Izzy's school. This year owing to health reasons I had to keep it simple! So this year it had to be the Gingerbread men biscuits. These biscuits go very well with tea.



Trust me when I say this is the most simplest biscuit you can make (with the exception of the golden syrup. If you make the golden syrup in advance, you would be able to make these biscuits at ease and could even involve the kid(s) in the process of making these biscuits. Unless ofcourse you get to buy the golden syrup where you are at! Golden syrup can actually be used to so many recipes).


The men could take the shape and form of anything you like, they could be standing still, dancing in a circle or even sitting. Take it as far as your creative sense can take you.

I would also like to include a review of a product used to make the Gingerbread men's eyes, mouth and buttons. SmartEats promotes Delicious, Unique and Healthy eating and had sent me a box of their preciously handcrafted ingredients and healthy snacks for a review. One of the items in this lovely box of healthy goodies is the Black Grape Fruit, which is a specially dehydrated fruit with all the micro-nutrients intact and is said to be 'Great for having around the year' as black grapes is not available throughout the year. I used these wonderful black grapes to make not only the eyes but mouth and buttons of the Gingerbread men. Review from a toddler: When the gingerbread man was sent in her snack box the next day at school both her friend Abhiram and her picked out the grape fruit and snacked on it first. She said, 'Mama it so very nice!How did you make it'. So thumbs up SmartEats, it doesn't get any better than that -straight from the honest mouth of a toddler. Please accept my apologies for the slow movement in writing the reviews for your products, I will be bringing the same as soon as I can!


On with the recipe...

To make these deliciously simple biscuits,

You need:

  • 100 gms plain flour (maida)
  • 1/2 level tsp soda bicarbonate
  • 25 gms brown sugar
  • 50 gms of butter/margarine
  • 75 gms (about 2.5 tbsp) Golden syrup
  • 1 level tsp of ground (or finely grated) ginger
  • Currants / Black Grape fruit for decoration (eyes, mouth and buttons of the gingerbread men)
  • 50 gms plain flour for shaping 


The Make:
Adapted from source: We Can Cook (Lynne Peebles)

Cooking Time: 30 minutes (3 batches) | Preparation Time: 10 minutes | Makes more than 12 gingerbread men (depends really on the size you make for the gingerbread men)

1. Preheat the oven at 190°C.
2. Cream the butter and sugar well and add the golden syrup and grated ginger. Mix well.
3. Next sift in the flour with the soda bicarbonate and mix well.
4. Turn the dough onto a well-floured board and work the dough well on the board. The resultant dough would still be slightly sticky which would also work well. If you are using cutters, then suggest using the whole quantity of dusting flour in parts.
5. Next divide the dough into equal sized pieces. Work each piece to roll out a small round for the head, a longer sausage shaped body and legs. A shorter shaped sausage for the arms.
6. Assemble the pieces on a buttered baking tray and flatten the dough, bending the arms and legs as you wish. Keep altering the legs and hands in various bends and twists to give appearance of moving or dramatic gingerbread men. :)


7. Add the currants or in my case the black grape fruit for the eyes, buttons and the mouth. The black grape fruit was really helpful as such to make a nice U-shaped mouth which may not be possible with the smaller currants unless u slice them open and make a smaller mouth.
8. Turn the gingerbread men tray to the oven and bake for a good 10-12 minutes until the men turn golden brown and the edges are nice and firm. Remember that the center will remain soft until cooled.

You can make different shapes of men and with a tad bit of imagination even make animals or house, nature like trees and flowers etc. You can even turn in a board of different shaped gingerbread men and animals with nature. Children would particularly find this fanciful.

Hope you enjoy making these Gingerbread men biscuits as much as I did. If you do try them out do send me pictures of the same on gginazkitchenette@gmail.com or post the same on our facebook page.Even if you don't get the pictures, do leave a comment below on how they turned out...Happy Baking and wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I hope to bring you another interesting recipe and simple recipe of a friend of mine tomorrow. Stay tuned!







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