I have tried at least 6 different gingerbread recipes so far this month and haven’t been impressed with any of them for various different reasons (sorry Mary Berry!) So I gave in and devised this recipe which I hope you all love as much as I do! These stained glass window gingerbread are simple to make, the dough is easy to work with and VERY forgiving if things go a little awry, as they tend to do with kids baking, or sleep deprived mothers for that matter!
How forgiving you may ask? well put it this way, on Friday night I made two batches to make gingerbread men (minus windows) for our PTA’s breakfast with Santa. I got a little distracted with Lee coming in from work and managed to forget to put sugar in the first batch right until the end, but after plenty of kneading in what felt like sandpaper it all turned out lovely and smooth and the gingerbread men turned out great. The second batch I forgot to put the butter in!!!! (I blame the tiredness for that one!) I thought this one was a bin job but again I added it in right at the end and again after lots of extra kneading the gingerbread men all turned out perfectly! So yes, VERY forgiving!
Stained Glass Window Gingerbread
before you begin preheat your oven to gas mark 4/180C/350F
- 1 large bowl
- 1 medium bowl
- cookie cutters – you will need large and small ones (to make the window)
- a balloon whisk
- measuring spoons
- a rolling pin
- baking tray
- baking parchment or non stick liner
- 700g/12oz plain flour
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 200g/7oz butter (cubed)
- 350g/12oz soft dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 8 tbsp/200g golden syrup
- A bag of hard boiled sweets
Using the end of your rolling pin bash the sweets while they are still in their wrapper until the break into small pieces
In the large bowl add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and stir together.
Add the butter and rub together until it looks like fine breadcrumbs then stir in the sugar, create a well in the centre.
In the other bowl add the eggs and the golden syrup then use the balloon whisk (or a fork) to beat together thoroughly. Pour this into large bowl.
Using your hand (you can use a mixing spoon if you’d prefer) bring the mixture together until a smooth dough is formed then knead lightly.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it is around 1/4 inch/5mm thick. You may prefer to use only half the dough at a time.
Cut out your gingerbread using your bigger cutters and place onto the baking tray.
Use the small cutters to create the hole.
Fill the hole with the broken sweets:
Leave them on the baking tray until the window has hardened then gently move to a cooling rack.
If you want a crunchier gingerbread you can use light brown soft sugar instead.
Your tastes may be different to mine, you can alter the amounts of spices, or even leave one out, without affecting the consistency of the dough.
If you are just using round cutters use one that is a little bit bigger than your sweet for the window and you don’t need to break it up at all.
These biscuits can be hung on the tree, all you need as a drinking straw or a toothpick to create a hole before you put them in the oven.
You can use the shapes removed from the window part to make tiny gingerbread biscuits but remember these will only tke 5-10 minutes to cook.
You REALLY need the non-stick liner/baking parchment to line your baking tray for this one!
I hope you give this recipe a go. If you do, come back and let me know how it went!