This is a very late Christmas greeting from me to you. I hope you enjoyed a heartfelt day surrounded by those you love, nourishing food to warm and fill the belly and much laughter to nurture the soul. It's so easy to get stressed over Christmas with all the preparations. I admit I am a perfectionist at heart and without fail place enormous pressure on myself to make this one day turn out just right. I'm starting to understand that less than perfect is fine too. Children are so easy to please and it's the simple things that get them excited. I'll try and remember to retrieve this post in November 2013!
I've been making these all month. The smell of these baking are intoxicating, the warming spices of Christmas. I can't seem to bake them quick enough as they are devoured within 1-2 days. The girls love using the cookie cutters to shape them into fanciful shapes and sizes. They are a perfect treat to accompany a glass of glogg or mulled wine. Plus a fabulous Christmas ornament to adorn your tree, just be sure to roll out thin gingerbread and try to make the hole for the string close to the middle of the biscuit. I made them too thick and the hole close to the top which meant by day 3 they started to drop off our tree except for the one that my youngest daughter decided to nibble on.
It was a first Christmas for little Max and a birthday celebration for my husband. Indeed it is unfortunate to be born on Christmas day as how do you compete with Christmas. I surprised him with a barely edible chocolate almond cake, a note to myself never experiment on the big day! I will get that one right in the weeks to come so stay tuned. I look forward to seeing you all in the new year.
85g coconut butter (use a mild, neutral tasting version)
100ml maple syrup, grade B
85g coconut sugar
35ml almond milk, unsweetened
240g whole spelt flour plus extra for rolling
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/4 tsp ground cloves
3/4 tsp baking powder
Heat the coconut butter in a saucepan over a low heat, then add the maple syrup, coconut sugar and almond milk, stir to combine and heat for 2 minutes for a uniform dark brown colour.
Sieve the flour, spices and baking powder into a bowl. Add the milk mixture and stir to combine. Form into a disc shape and wrap in plastic wrap before placing in the fridge for 1.5 hours.
Cut out a large piece of baking parchment to fit your baking sheet. Remove the dough from the fridge and leave for a few minutes for the coconut butter to warm up. Remove plastic and working quickly roll out the dough on the baking parchment with a rolling pin lightly dusted with flour. For crisp gingerbread roll the dough thin and for a chewy version roll to a diameter of 0.5cm. Place the flat dough on your baking sheet and return to the fridge for about 25 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (350 degrees fahrenheit).
Remove from fridge and leave for a few minutes before cutting into shapes using cookie cutters, again working quickly. Left over dough can be squashed into a disc and re-rolled for more shapes. Bake on baking sheets lined with parchment paper for about 20-25 minutes depending on the thickness of your dough. The gingerbread is cooked when they are golden in colour. Once removed from the oven cool on the trays for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack.
Adapted from the Gingerbread recipe by Adriano Zumbo as featured in the December 2009 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine.