I have, for many years now, made the majority of the presents we have given friends and family. It is not only (usually) cheaper than buying something in a shop, but it is a lot more personal. Oh, how very “on trend” of me…
This year, we will be sending our children’s cousins (age range 11 – 3 years old) a jar each of this homemade gingerbread mix, along with a cookie cutter and instructions. I got this particular recipe from the December 2012 Waitrose Magazine, but there are thousands out there, so just use your favourite.
The basic idea is that you provide the dry ingredients (in a jar) and they have to add the wet ingredients and do the actual cutting out and baking. This is usually a sure-fire winner with kids, regardless of age or gender. Who doesn’t like to make cookies???
Into a clean jar (any will do, as long as it can hold up to 500ml and is airtight) measure the following ingredients:
- 90g light brown sugar
- 375g plain flour
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and pour into the jar. Seal the jar tightly, cover the lid with a cupcake case and attach a cookie cutter and instructions using string, twine, ribbon…however you want!
The instructions should read as follows:
Add to the gingerbread mix:
- 125g unsalted butter, chopped into small pieces
- 230g golden syrup
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix together using a handmixer until a smooth dough forms. Divide the dough into two balls and wrap each ball in clingfilm. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
2. Roll out each ball of dough until about 1/2 cm thick (do this between two sheets of baking parchment if the dough is soft) and cut out the cookie shapes.
3. Place the cookies on a parchment-lined baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool.
The mix can be stored up to 1 month in a cool, dark place.