Does the thought of braving Oxford Street to buy a last-minute gift give you newfound appreciation for Scrooge? Gingerbread fellows go down a treat, and you don’t even have to leave your kitchen.
75 g soft dark brown sugar
50 g golden syrup
25 g black treacle or molasses
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
Pinch ground nutmeg
Rind from ½ orange
95 g unsalted butter
225 g plain flour, sifted, plus more for rolling
½ tsp. bicarbonate of soda
1 packet icing
1. In a heavy-based saucepan over high heat, cook sugar, syrup, treacle, spices and rind until sugar dissolves (about 3-5 minutes).
2. Remove pan from heat and stir in butter until completely melted. Stir in flour and bicarbonate of soda until soft dough forms. Wrap dough in Clingfilm and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 180°C or gas mark 4. Line one or two baking trays with baking paper. Roll dough out onto a large, flat, lightly floured surface until about 2 mm thick.
4. Carefully cut out shapes with biscuit cutter then place on tray, leaving a little space between each one. (Poke a small hole in the tops if you plan to hang them as decorations.)
5. Bake for 8-10 minutes. The centres should be stiff but not hard, and the edges must not be too dark.
6. Allow biscuits to cool fully before icing. Use a different colour icing for mouth and eyes and leave to set.
7. Wrap them individually as gifts, hang with a small ribbon or store in an airtight tin to keep fresh for 3-4 days.
Find more sweet treats in The Primrose Bakery Book, available online at amazon.co.uk, £9.
Photo: Courtesy of Square Peg