Master Chief wanted to make Gingerbread Men. This seemed like a really good plan until I realised a vital flaw - I don't have any person shaped cutters. I rummaged around in the baking drawer, discarding square and round cutters and managed to unearth an elephant shaped cutter. With some trepidation I suggested we could make gingerbread elephants.... to my delight this suggestion was met with approval from the world's harshest judges - my children.
So gingerbread elephants it was. Master Chief helped me weigh and measure the ingredients while Miss Chief had an almighty tantrum because I wouldn't let her put her hand in the toaster (yes, we're going through that stage!)
We used a recipe that I found in an old book of my Mother's, unusually I didn't have to make any substitutions as I had all the ingredients.
350g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
175g light soft brown sugar
4 tbsp golden syrup
Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon together into a bowl.
Add the butter and mix until it looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.
Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together (don't worry, it will work even though it seems that the golden syrup will never leave the sides of the bowl when you first put it in).
Add this to the flour mixture and mix it until the whole thing clumps together and looks like a proper dough.
Tip the dough out, knead it briefly until it's smooth.
Wrap the dough in clingfim
and leave to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Roll the dough out to a half centimetre thickness on a lightly (or thickly if you're Master Chief!) floured surface.
Using cutters, cut out the gingerbread elephant shapes and place on the baking tray, leaving a gap between them.
I would recommend leaving a bit more of a gap than I have here as my elephants got very friendly with each other in the oven!
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown.
Leave on the tray for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.
They were delicious, and the first ones didn't even get decorated before they were devoured.
Maybe I'll buy some people shaped cutters too, but our elephants looked really cute.
I've had a good few days, been making some decisions about life (the universe & everything). I don't want to miss out on my babies while they're so small, I want to be there for them, I want to be at the school gates when Master Chief finishes school. I've been running around trying to sort out breakfast club and after school club for him and what I want to do is be there to pick him up myself. I've got a lot of thinking to do but I had my first session with a counsellor today and it's helped to clarify some things in my mind.
I'll keep you posted.