Sunday, 1 July 2012

Baking with the Kids

I swear, baking with the kids is like some form of punishment to me. The bickering over "it's my turn" "no, it's MY turn" really does my head in. Even though I am right there saying "uh, no, it's his turn", it all seems to turn into a bigger drama than it really needs to be! Is it any wonder I very rarely bake with my kids? I do it with the kids I look after a lot more often - they don't bicker stupidly like my own kids do haha. Much more civil. Plus, I get paid to do it, that compensates any hassles. But baking with my own kids in my own time, well, lets just say it's not something I like to do all too often! Baking is how I relax. It is far from relaxing sharing the fun with the sprogs.

Nevermind, I stupidly suggested we make gingerbread men, and tradition would have it that the kids help from the get go, not just the decorating. Damn, didn't think that through now did I?? Nevermind, we ended up getting through the activity without incident, and now I share with you what I think is the BEST gingerbread man recipe EVER. It has a strong ginger flavour, and I absolutely ADORE that. We are ginger lovers in this house. You could play down the ginger flavouring with less ginger if you prefer.

Note: this recipe makes a huge amount of dough, you could probably get away with halving it, which I think I will do next time! Good doing this many at Christmas time, but just randomly, well, it's a bit excessive! I made up 2 cookie sheets full, then we ate the leftover dough. Haha, yummo.

Gingerbread Men (and stars and whatever other shape you do....)

In a pot, melt together:
125g butter (or dairy free spread works fine)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup golden syrup

3 cups flour
2 Tbsp ginger and mixed spice (whatever combo you like, I tend to do roughly 1tbsp of each)
pinch of salt

Stir together with the melted ingredients

Dissolve together
1tsp baking soda
2Tbsp cold milk

Then add the dissolved ingredients into the dough and mix together. Leave the dough for about 1/4 hour, then roll out and cut into shapes.

Bake at 160*c for 10-15mins. Allow to cool for 10 mins before transferring to a wire rack. Cool fully then decorate as you please :)

Now, for some reason my dough came out too sticky today. It didn't happen last time I am sure. I do not recall having issues with this recipe, but typically today I have. I could blame the kids, but really I was the one who measured everything so I'm not sure what happened. In the end I had to chill it for a while in the fridge and just used LOTS of flour to roll out, and they ended up perfect.

Now the fun part - decorating. This is where I let the kids go wild. We have icing pen tube thingies that are awesome for decorating gingerbread men, however as it is winter (icing isn't as soft) and the tubes are nearly empty, the kids found them a bit too hard this time. So they required a lot of assistance from us. Yes, hubby gets in one the decorating, we each decorate one gingerbread man each haha, then the kids get to go nuts decorating the other shapes with a basic icing made up of icing sugar, water and colouring, smeared on with knives. They get no assistance for that part! The pic above is Mr2 getting in on it, so it's an activity that suits all ages really.

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