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gingerbread-stars

The first documented trade of gingerbread biscuits dates to the 17th century, where they were sold in monasteries, pharmacies, and town square farmers’ markets.  In Medieval England gingerbread was thought to have medicinal properties.  One hundred years later, the town of Market Drayton in Shropshire, UK became known for its gingerbread, as is proudly displayed on their town’s welcome sign. The first recorded mention of gingerbread being baked in the town dates to 1793, although it was probably made earlier, as ginger had been stocked in high street businesses since the 1640s. Gingerbread became widely available in the 18th century.

gingerbread-town-sign

Gingerbread houses originated in Germany during the 16th century.  The elaborate cookie-walled houses, decorated with foil in addition to gold leaf, became associated with Christmas tradition

Ingredients

  • 100g soft light brown sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter – cubes at room temperature
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 300g plain flour – sifted
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Preparation

Pre-heat your oven to 180oC.

Line 2 x baking sheets with baking parchment

  1. In the following order, place the sugar, butter, both spices and then the golden syrup into your Thermomix bowl and blend together for 10 seconds / Speed 6.
  2. Cook the blended ingredients for 5 minutes / 50oC / Speed 2.
  3. Add the flour and bicarbonate of soda and mix for 10 seconds / Speed 5.
  4. Knead / 2 minutes then turn the dough out onto your work surface and gently knead into a ball.
  5. Flatten your gingerbread dough into a disc and wrap in cling film and place in your fridge for 30 minutes.
  6. Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking parchment until approximately 5mm thick.  Use a cutter (shape/size) of your choice.  Cut out shapes and place onto your lined baking trays.
  7. Bake for approximately 10 minutes.   Baking time will vary depending on thickness of the dough and size of the cutter used.
  8. Allow your gingerbread stars to cool a little and then transfer to cooling wires.
  9. Decorate as required, but allow to cool completely before hand.

gingerbread-stars-2

TIPS

  • If i’m taking my butter straight out of the fridge, I find that 1 minute at 60% power in the microwave, should bring the butter back to ‘room temperature’.
  • It’s essential that you at the first set of ingredients in the order shown.  If you add the golden syrup first, it can make stage 1 difficult, as the syrup acts like glue on the blades!
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