Monday, December 1, 2014

The Full Gingerbread Week: Part 1

Hi Guys! I´m finally here! 
It was a long long break of almost a week. This matter of blogging is all a whole new full time activity, so I needed time to reorganize my entire daily life around baking, photographing, editing, and writing. And came up with the definite schedule of posting only a few times per week; I was really exhausted during the first month and, less is more, a well-known saying reads.

 And guess what? Christmas is almost here!

It´s Gingerbread Week!

 This week I carried on two personal big baking projects:
One- Making gingerbread dough from scratch for the first time in my entire life, and Two-making a gingerbread house all by myself.

I searched a few good recipes through some magazines, and I asked my mom in-law for the recipe, but, suddenly I ran into one amazing recipe of a finnish magazine: 

Orange-Cinnamon Gingerbread Dough. I liked it precisely because it goes out of traditional gingerbread recipes, and, I must tell you, it smells wonderful!  My house is all orange-cookie-cinnamon scent.    

I wanted to have enough dough for making gingerbread cookies, and not a house, but THREE gingerbread  houses to form an entire Little Christmas Town, so I made about 3 kg of dough for all my purposes ( I doubled the amounts in the recipe)

Orange-Cinnamon  Gingerbread  (about 1.5 kg of dough)

150 ml  Golden syrup

220 gr sugar
200 gr butter
50 ml fresh orange juice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 Tbsp orange zest
1/4 tsp salt
2 medium eggs
700 gr all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
3 tsp vanilla sugar

Mix  flour, baking soda and vanilla sugar in a separate dish. Put syrup, sugar, butter, orange juice and zest, cinnamon and salt all together in a saucepan and melt it to medium heat, stirring all the time until the mix starts to boil.  Remove the pan from the heat and let the mix cool down completely.  Pour it in a clean bowl and add eggs, and previously mixed dry ingredients. Mix everything with your hand until you form a dough that you can knead and doesn't stick much to your hands. Wrap it in cling plastic and let it rest in the fridge
from 4 hours to overnight. 

Turn your oven at 200 C or  392 F before starting to cut cookies. Roll the dough on a floured surface and have fun! cut any shape of cookies you want!  Make sure to bake from 7-10 minutes depending on the size of the cookie. I bake them at 6 minutes only; my oven is too hot and, as you can see, some of my cookies are more "tanned" than others: that´s the 7-minute batch. Make sure you try baking a first amount of only 3-4 cookies to test the baking time in your oven, you don´t want to ruin your entire batch at once.

All shapes and sizes go: trees, people, everything. This is fun to do with children. I don´t have any yet, but next weekend I´m heading to East Finland for enjoying a good gingerbread baking session with my hubs´s mom and sister, and sure children will bring the fun touch.  

I personally want to use my cookies to decorate our very first Christmas three, which we are buying very soon. If you want to hang your cookies too, poke them a little hole with a toothpick when they are still hot.

Don´t miss Next Wednesday: I 'll sow you How to decorate your gingerbread cookies with Royal Icing made from scratch, how to make lots of very inexpensive piping bags with parchment paper, and the end of the story: How the Gingerbread Little Christmas Town turned up. 

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