Saturday, June 23, 2012

Chocolate Ginger Bread


Now that my little son is a bit bigger, there are increasing chances to enjoy time creating in the kitchen with him. A couple of weeks ago I bought him a bakery set, with 20 items items a kid could use in the kitchen. My intention, of course, was to divert him to his own utensils every time he gets mine out of the cupboard.

Today, however, I really felt he could put the rolling pin and cookie cutters to work. So I whipped up a batch of ginger bread, but making it more chocolate than ginger. Surprisingly my little boy didn't want to roll the dough. He did want to do all the cutting out of the shapes, but again was happy to let me transfer each cookie to the baking tray.

After lunch I started piping royal icing onto the cookies and let my son go wild with sprinkles. Of course one bowl was inevitably knocked flying, to the tune of little sugar balls bouncing all over the floor. But who cares!? My little boy had buckets of fun. With every cookies decorated, he decided it was his job to lick all the decorations off. But not before we got a photo of the finished product!

Ingredients
125g butter
1/4 cup treacle
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 tsp ground ginger
3 tsp cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp bicarb soda

1. Beat the butter, treacle and brown sugar in the large bowl of your Kitchenaid until it is pale and creamy.
2. Add the eggs, one at a time, combining thoroughly after each addition. The mix will look wrong at this point. Don't worry - it will come together.
3. Add the ginger, cocoa, plain flour and bicarb soda and mix on first gear until the dough comes together - about 30 seconds. Do not over mix or the dough will be tough!
4. Gather the dough up into a ball, knead a little, then wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
5. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree celcius.
6. Take the dough out of the fridge and cut it into quarters. Roll each piece out until it is 3mm thick and cut shapes using your favourite cookie cutters. Last year we used this dough to make pick-up truck cookies for my son's birthday, so really it can work with any shape.
7. Arrange on a cookie tray lined with baking paper and bake for 6 minutes. These cookies burn easily so watch out!
8. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Royal Icing
1/2 an egg white
2/3 cup pure icing sugar
1 tsp lemon juice

1. Combine all the ingredients and mix until you get a thick paste. Add more icing sugar if necessary.
2. Pipe or spread onto cookies and decorate immediately with sprinkles or silver cachous.

Makes loads of cookies, depending on the size of your cutter. We got 20 little cookies and a further 20 gingerbread men out of this batch.

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