The Sunday Post: Gingerbread People

I've been craving gingerbread biscuits for ages, I always make them around Christmas time but this year has definitely been the best. I used this recipe from Waitrose as it looked the least complicated of all, but I did have to tweak it a bit to get the right mix, and the end result was crisp on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside golden brown traditionally gingery gingerbread people/christmas trees/snowmen..

You will need:

- 125g unsalted butter
- 100g dark muscovado sugar
- 4 tbsp golden syrup
- 325g plain flour (sifted)
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 3.5 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon

1. Start off by mixing together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon in a bowl, making sure they're all well combined.

2. Gently melt the butter, sugar and syrup over a low heat in a saucepan, regularly stirring to ensure the mixture doesn't stick to the pan, until the ingredients resemble a smooth sauce- it looks a bit like barbecue sauce but bear with me on this one.. Once they're combined, take the saucepan off the heat and leave it to cool slightly, but continue stirring (I let it cool for a couple of minutes, you still want it to be warm).

3. Pour the sugar/syrup/butter sauce into the dry ingredients and mix together with a spoon, although you will probably need to get your hands in there to really get it all together. The dough should be smooth and quite stiff- wrap it in clingfilm and pop it in the fridge for about 30 minutes to stiffen up further.

4. Flour the surface and turn out the dough, and then begin rolling. I found it easier to chop the dough into two and roll one half out at a time, as half of the dough will provide enough biscuits for one tray, and it's just a bit easier that way. At this stage, my dough was stiff but cracked around the edges, as long as you keep rolling, pushing the edges together, and rolling again, you'll be left with a nice flat dough- you want to roll it to about 3mm.

5. Using some cookie cutters, or if you don't have any then you could use the rim of a glass to make rounds, carefully cut out your shapes and place them onto a greased baking tray. Bake at 170 C on the middle shelf for about 13 minutes.

6. When the biscuits come out of the oven, they will probably still look slightly doughy- but resist putting them back in for any longer as they will harden up as they cool down. Pop them on a cooling rack and once they've cooled, feel free to eat them all up!

This recipe made about 22 medium sized biscuits (there are definitely not twenty two on the plate in the photo, that was taken the next day and I had already munched my way through loads- they're that tasty!). These would be perfect treats to eat on Christmas Eve whilst watching some festive movies, or equally perfect given as a gift to a loved one. You could also hang these on the tree as decorations if you wanted to, although I'm not sure mine would make it all the way to the tree without getting gobbled up!

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