A couple of years ago, fed up with the rampant consumerism of Christmas, I decided to boycott the expensive gift shopping and started baking my Christmas gifts instead and myself, bank account and recipients are much happier for it.
Depending on who it was for and their dietary needs, ie Gluten free, Lactose free, Vegan etc, I bake either cookies or brownies. Brownie recipes are easier to adjust for people with special food needs. My chief taster/’man of the house’ devours whichever ones I make but then, gingerbread is his favourite.
This will make a huge quantity of cookies so if you want to make a smaller batch just halve the mixture. The dough will keep in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer tightly wrapped in clingfilm for around 3 months.
- 250g Butter
- 1/4 cup golden syrup
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 2 eggs beaten
- 5 cups SR Flour
- 1/4 Teaspoon salt
- 50g ground ginger (I know this seems like a lot but trust me it’s not)
- 2 Blocks dark chocolate (I use Whittikers Dark Ghana but that is a personal preference it can be a bit pricey so I stock up big when it goes on sale)
- 1/4 tsp orange essence
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
In an extra large mixing bowl sift Flour salt & ginger put aside
In a small saucepan over a low heat Melt the butter and golden syrup, remove from heat & add brown sugar stir thoroughly, then stir in beaten egg.
Add to the flour mixture & mix well with a wooden spoon till it forms a dough them keeping it still in the bowl knead the dough for a few min, it will still be a bit sticky but don’t worry, that is how it’s supposed to be separate the dough into two disks wrap in clingfilm and pop in the fridge for at least an hour two is best though to rest you can also make the dough the night before which I quite often do.
Preheat the oven to 150 deg C Fan forced
Using a Silicone Pastry mat, (see above – if you don’t have one Victoria’s Basement has them for $15.95 and you can buy them online) and a heavy wooden rolling-pin roll out smallish balls of the dough.
If you have refrigerated it overnight or longer you will have to work the dough a little till it softens and rolls out. I usually roll then fold a few times before I finally roll out the dough to about 3/4 of a cm thick and cut out the cookies, you don’t have to flour the pastry mat so this is much cleaner for your kitchen counter.
I used a star-shaped cookie cutter as I thought it was a nice Christmassy shape but whatever shape you want to use is fine.
Place the cookies on a cookie tray lined with baking paper & bake for about 8-10 min till light golden brown
Cool on a rack – but don’t throw out the baking paper yet you will still be using it!
In a double boiler, I do this by putting a metal bowl on the top of a saucepan of simmering water break up chocolate & add sugar, coconut oil & orange essence & stir until just melted.
Dip the cooled cookies halfway let the extra run off then place on the paper lined cookie trays & into the fridge for about 10min or until chocolate hardens then you can store then on an airtight container in the fridge if it’s hot weather if not they will be fine out.
I put them into the Woolies jars ($2.00) with a ribbon wrapped around the neck and give as gifts which are devoured with joy!