Merry Christmas Eve everyone! I haven't posted in a long time, it's my final year of university so I've been busy with coursework and also improving the online presence of my university newspaper; check out our new website if you're interested. Lots of health and food articles on there as well! Also started a twitter for the Health and Food sections of Spark* - @SparkHealthFood. Do follow!
Here's a lovely Christmas baking recipe to finish off that festive feeling before the big day tomorrow!
Classic Gingerbread Men
Makes 10-15, depending on size of cookie cutter.
1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
2 tbsp golden syrup
75g brown sugar, sieved
1 tbsp water
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
finely grated rind of 1/2 orange
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
95g butter, cut into pieces
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
225g plain flour
In a large saucepan, heat the blackstrap molasses, golden syrup, sugar, water, cinnamon, ginger, orange rind and vanilla essence and stir continually until it reaches boiling point. Remove from the heat, add in the butter and the bicarbonate of soda, and stir well. Sift in the flour and stir until the dough is smooth and easy to work with – add a little extra flour if necessary. Cover the pan and leave to stand until it is firm and cool to the touch (approx. half an hour). Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Lightly flour a work surface and rolling pin, and roll the dough out to 3mm thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out your chosen shape, and arrange on several non-stick baking sheets. Place one baking sheet at a time in the very centre of the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes, until they feel firm when pressed lightly. Leave to cool completely on wire racks before icing and decorating.
How are you celebrating this Christmas? Are you baking anything festive?