This gingerbread dough is a fantastic recipe – it's malleable, making it easy for children to use, and can be shaped into a wide range of decorative cookies and characters.
- Put the sugar, syrup, treacle, spices and orange zest in a pan, add 2 tablespoons of water and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until melted. Mix in the bicarbonate of soda and then add the flour while the mixture is still warm. Remove the dough from the pan, wrap in cling film and chill for at least an hour. It will keep for up to a week.
- Heat the oven to 180°C. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 4–5mm thick. Cut out the shapes, then add extra pieces to create hair by slightly overlapping the pieces and gently pressing them down. Animate them by moving the arms so they look less like robots. Cut out additional accessories – bags, suitcases – and attach these to the figures as well.
- Place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and bake for about 15 minutes, until they are evenly dark brown and firm. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray.
- To decorate, make a parchment piping bag and fill with a walnut-sized portion of royal icing. Pipe the eyes and mouth on the grannies first, followed by the outfits, hair and other details. Simple dots for eyes are fine if they wear spectacles, otherwise make them oval shaped and pipe them quite close together. Give them a big smile for extra character! These sassy grannies will hopefully be the start of lots of gingerbread decorating fun.
- 150g light soft brown sugar 4 tbsp golden syrup
- 2 tbsp black treacle
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- A pinch of ground cloves
- Grated zest of 1 unwaxed orange 175g salted butter, cut into cubes 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 400g plain flour, sifted
- Icing, to decorate
Recipe courtesy of Konditor & Cook: Deservedly Legendary Baking by Gerhard Jenne
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