Saturday, 7 January 2012

Baking Gingerbread

A little while ago I was contacted by online store Find Me A Gift ( to see if I would like to review this Joseph Joseph food preparation set.

Yes please!  I had been looking at the set for a while (to the point where I have once actually popped the box into my shopping trolley before becoming consumed with guilt - I'm supposed to spend our food money on sausages and things) so I was excited to finally give them a try.

Postage was fast - I emailed on the Friday evening with my address and the postie was knocking on the door early the next morning with my parcel in his mitts.  Super speedy.

I love this set.  Aside from the fact that the colours are gorgeous, the stackability* of it appeals to the [currently AWOL] neat freak in me and saves valuable space in my already groaning kitchen cupboards.

Look at those zingy colours! 
mixing bowl, colander, sieve, pouring bowl and measuring cups
The large mixing bowl is a good size and could take a six-egg cake batter quite comfortably.  I made gingerbread and it was easily big enough for a good wodge* of dough.  The bowl also has rubber feet to stop it slipping when you get busy with the hand mixer.

If you've fancied picking up some of these bowls, it's worth having a look at Find Me A Gift.

Link here

So.  Want to make some gingerbread men, too?  Gingerbread biscuits are enjoyed all year round in our house and not just at Christmas.

It's a dead simple recipe and makes perfectly tasty biscuits.  I have used other recipes involving a longer list of ingredients but this is most consistently enjoyed by people of all ages in my experience.  I found the recipe on the internet a few years ago - sorry if it's yours! (If it is, let me know and I'll do a link back to you).

You will need
125g butter
125g soft light brown sugar
200g golden syrup
1 egg yolk
425g plain flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon bicarb of soda

Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.  Beat in the golden syrup and egg yolk.  Sift and stir in the dry ingredients in two batches, press mixture into a ball and knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth.  Cover and put in fridge for about 30 mins.  

Roll out to about 5mm thick (I always roll onto a sheet of greaseproof paper because the dough can be a bit sticky).  Cut into shapes and bake on gas mark 5 (190C) for 8 - 10 minutes.  The longer you bake, the crunchier they will be.  Their colour doesn't change all that much when baked - they are quite pale biscuits.  If they turn brown they are burning!  I bake for the shortest amount of time because we like our gingerbread men to be quite soft. 

Leave on the baking tray to cool for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack.   They will still be quite soft at this point but they will crisp up.   Once completely cooled, decorate however you fancy.  I use strawberry buttons, mini chocolate beans, jelly tots and all kinds of small sweets.  You can also, of course, get creative with the royal icing.  A gingerbread man wearing Y-fronts and a bow tie is super cute.

Keep your eyes peeled because next time I'll be stopping by with a baking-themed giveaway!

Speaking of keeping eyes peeled, I've injured my left eye.  A torn cornea which has developed into an ulcer.  AN ULCER ON MY EYEBALL.  How gross does that sound?!   Quite the most painful and irritating experience.  I am applying eye drops on an hourly basis and even have to set my alarm three times throughout the night to use the drops.  Morale is low.  I'm wearing geeky glasses and a grimace most of the time.  

Sympathy around here is in short supply.  I think the husband's patience started to wane when I woke him up at 4am on Wednesday wailing that I was going blind.  I am a bit of a drama queen but, man, it was scary! :-)

Have a good weekend! 



*I don't think these words are in the dictionary, but they should be.  Probably just an oversight.


  1. How lovely to be asked to do that! The set looks lovely too...I shall be following your link forthwith. So sorry to hear about your sore sounds awful... very painful... and if it is bad enough for you to wake yourself up in the night.. have a hug! :)x

  2. OMGoodness your poor eye...i think you are being very brave :o) hope it gets better soon x
    The bowl set looks fab as do those yummy gingerbread men
    love jooles x

  3. My mum has that set, I have been eying them rather enviously for a while!

    YOUR POOR EYEALL! Really hope it it heals fast. Bet you look groovy in your specs tho! Bx

  4. LOVE the kitchen set, the colours are gorgeous!
    I really fancy a gingerbread man right about now.. don't spose you could send one over!?
    Sorry you have a poorly eye! Sounds incredibly uncomfortable, thinking of you and hope it all gets back to normal soon!

    Ashley xxx

  5. Those bowls look fabby!!

    I too could just eat a gingerbread man, they look so perfect - mine would end up looking like they had all been maimed somehow!!

    S x

  6. Love the colours and the compactness of that set!!
    Hope your eye gets better soon.
    Oh, and now I'm craving gingerbread

  7. Oh no poor you, that sounds painful! Hope your eye gets better soon.

    I love those stackable kind of bowls. My mum got me similar looking ones a few years ago but sadly they're in storage at the moment.

  8. Eeepp your eye sounds rather painful, so a bucket load of sympathy and hugs for you. That mixing set looks fab, so useful with all the bits together like that, not to mention the colors. I made gingerbread men bickies just before Christmas, your receipe is easier,so will use that next time.
    Hope your eye clears up very quickly, not nice to have.
    xx Sandi

  9. Forgot to say ouch, ouch, ouch about your eye!! Sounds hideous!! I hate things to do with eyes.

    Last night we watched Final Destination 5 (I know, I know, but we've always liked a cheesy/bad horror movie) and one of the victims met their demise when a Lasik eye surgery laser thingy went berserk and seared through their eye into their head - I could only watch from behind my hands!!

    I hope you feel better soon and I think you should milk it for all it's worth, get hubby to wait on you!!


    S x

  10. Really cute bowl the colours!

    Hope your eye gets better soon : )

    gemma x

  11. Ooooh, lovey. Your eye sounds so sore. I hope you are getting lots of rest in the day to make up for your broken nights - and eating lots of gingerbread too! :-)


  12. ooh,get well soon,nicki,sounds so painful.Love the look of the bakeware and those gingerbread look just delicious,take care,love

  13. Hey Nikki, sorry to hear about your sore eye, I hope you feel better soon, nothing worse than a scratch or something floating about in your eye that you constantly feel...get well soon.

    As for these gorgeous gingerbread men, I'm gonna attempt these cuties later this week when little lady is home as she loves baking, they look yummy.

    Take care luv Bee x x x

  14. One little request...where did you get your recipe book??? I've so many pieces of paper hanging about with yummy recipes and have been looking for a while for a book I can write them in...if you could let me know that would be great, thanks sweetie x x x

  15. I have a Joseph chopping board (one that folds for easy 'pouring') and have had a hard time from family members for going on about the wonder of it too much!!! (including frequent demos!)
    Anyway - I'm sure morale is low, eye ulcer you say??? uuurgh!
    Hope you are feeling better by now
    fee x

  16. I really like the Joseph brand in fact we bought a few things for Christmas gifts. Love how everything in this one stacks together.

  17. Oh no how awful, you poor love! I do hope you eye is feeling better soon and you can get some decent sleep at least.

    Those bowls look super groovy (+ useful) Thanks for posting the Gingerbread man recipe too... looks fab!


    Louise xx

  18. I love Joseph & Joseph kitchenalia, we have the sieve and chopping boards, I'd love the whole range! Your gingerbread men look tasty too x

  19. I love Joseph & Joseph kitchenalia, we have the sieve and chopping boards, I'd love the whole range! Your gingerbread men look tasty too x

  20. Ouch, that sounds very painful, hope you're on the mend. Very cute gingerbread men and those bowels etc look fab and I really like that they are stackable x