I have no shame in claiming this to be the best recipe for gingerbread. Because it is! I have been making it every advent for quite a few years, and it has always been a success. I promise! This is also quite a nice thing to do with older toddlers and children because you will have so much dough that you won’t need to be precious about it.
Since I posted a photo on Instagram (this is turning out to be almost identical to my previous blog post…) lots of people asked if I would share the recipe. And since Christmas is all about sharing, I will do just that.
A couple of notes before you start
You make the dough a day ahead cause it needs to chill and set. This will make the dough feel really hard when you take it out of the fridge. Don’t worry, it should be! It will soften once you start working it. It’s probably also worth mentioning that this will make over a kilo of dough, so make sure you have lots of time when you start cutting out the shapes and baking. You will end up with a lot of cookies!
300g unsalted butter
2dl double cream
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground pepper (yep, pepper)
4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
900g plain flour
Melt the butter, sirup and sugar over a low heat in a large saucepan. Once it has melted take it off the heat and allow it to cool a little bit before you stir in the double cream.
Sift in all the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon. You might want to add the dry ingredients bit by bit, it will eventually get quite hard to stir. You might even want to call on an extra pair of hands for the last bit of stirring… Once combined you can transfer the dough (at this stage it will almost resemble a slightly odd looking fudge) into a bowl that has been thoroughly lined with lots of clingfilm (this will make it easier to remove the dough once it has set). Or just leave it in the saucepan and cover it with clingfilm. Whatever floats your boat. Leave the dough to chill and set in the fridge overnight.
Roll out the dough thinly (don’t attempt to roll out the entire dough in one go, take chunks of the mother dough instead) and cut out your shapes. If the dough is too thick when you cut out your shapes it won’t get that lovely snap! Bake in the middle of the oven at 170 degrees celsius (fan oven) for approximately 9 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack immediately. They will feel soft once they come out of the oven, but they harden pretty quickly!