3 June

You can’t catch me…

This is a gold star gingerbread recipe: it tastes great, it’s easy enough for small children to make and, if you use non-dairy margarine in place of the butter, it’s suitable for vegans.[1]

It’s also very versatile:

  • It’s perfect for classic gingerbread people (with currants for eyes and buttons).
  • It’s the recipe I use when I make gingerbread houses. (Roll it thin and bake it hard.)
  • It works well with other festive shapes. (I like to do reindeer with currant eyes and a single blob of red icing for their noses which appeals to little kids even though it doesn’t have a kilo of sugar on it.)[2]

Gingerbread People

03 jun 2016.jpg
GIngerbread people… or reindeer… or anything, really.


SERVES : 2 dozen gingerbread people or 6 dozen small biscuits
START : 45 minutes before

150g butter                                          2½ cups flour                          2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup (200g) brown sugar                 2 tsp baking powder

100g golden syrup                              4 tsp ground ginger

GARNISH: currants[3]


Set oven to 180˚C. Grease several baking trays.

Heat butter, sugar and golden syrup together until the ingredients have melted and the mixture is runny, but not too hot.

Sift flour, baking powder, ginger and cinnamon together. Pour the hot syrup in, mix into a dough and knead lightly.

Roll out to 3mm thickness and cut out gingerbread people. Decorate with currants and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

We went to Wendy’s house last night for Ben’s birthday and Emma and Chris are both looking ghastly: Mia has colic. I looked it up on the Better Health Channel and was surprised to find that the medical knowledge around colic hasn’t changed since my own children were tiny: if a little baby starts crying every evening, doctors still say, “Maybe it’s caused by a digestion problem, maybe it’s an allergy, who knows?” and there isn’t a cure so you just hold the baby until one of you falls asleep, and the baby is fine and happy in the morning but you’re a wreck. (Perhaps it’s infant revenge for tardy nappy changes.)

[1] And for people with dairy and egg allergies, but not for the gluten intolerant or anyone on a diet designed to exclude delicious things. (The raw food diet springs to mind.)

[2] When my daughter Hannah moved into her own place, she made red-nosed cows because she didn’t have a reindeer cutter. “There should be a biscuit cutter library,” she said. “Who needs a reindeer cutter year round?” I said that she should set one up herself and make her fortune but she said she’d never heard of anyone who got rich by starting a library.

[3] The currants stick better if they’re wet so put them in a bowl with a little water just before you use them.

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