Friday, December 14, 2012

Ginger Shortbread People

I was up at 5am this morning to walk/run with a very patient friend who doesn't seem to mind that I can't run more than a couple of kms at a time at the moment and is happy to walk the rest with me, even if we are STILL getting swooped by magpies in December! Everyone else in the house was awake when I got home and once the breakfast thing was over I'd been up for so long it felt like it must be midday. It was 7:30. What do you do when you've done everything by 7:30am? Bake (while waiting for another friend to bring much needed coffee).

I have a basic shortbread recipe that you can add to, to spice it up a bit. I got this from a Super Food Ideas magazine a few Christmases ago. I used it to make Ginger Shortbread People.

Basic Shortbread
250g butter, softened
2/3 cup caster sugar (I use raw)
2 tsp vanilla extract (I use home made)
2 cups plain flour, sifted
1/2 cup rice flour, sifted

Additions to make it Ginger Shortbread
3 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp golden syrup
1/4 cup rice flour
  1. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  2. If making ginger shortbread, add ginger and golden syrup, beat to combine.
  3. Add flours and combine (including the extra 1/4 cup rice flour if making ginger shortbread).
  4. Roll dough out between 2 sheets of baking paper until about 3mm thick. Refrigerate for 30 mins.
  5. Preheat oven to 160C (140C fan forced). Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  6. Cut out "people" shapes and and place on trays, being careful not to "snap" the dough as it is quite firm when cold. If decorating with M&Ms etc, do this now, otherwise shapes can be iced once cooked and cooled.
  7. Bake for 8-10 mins or until just golden. Cool on trays for 5-10 mins then transfer to a wire rack.

Aside from the refrigeration time, these were really quite quick to knock up, and they have the added bonus of being egg-free for those with allergies. I halved the dough and put half in the freezer for another day, and still made about 15 small gingerbread people (of which I've eaten far too many today). The 4 little people that were here this morning all gave them the thumbs up, and it even kept my friend's little boy still and happy long enough for me to cut his hair! 

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