24 December 2013

Gingerbread Cookies with Rum

In 6th grade, there was a programme in a bigger school to help French speaking kids (like me) learn English. It was called the "immersion year" where for a whole year, half of it was dedicated to learn English and the other half was the normal programme but crammed into half a year. Quite intensive, but I made the cut!

To make us learn English, not only did I had to watch the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Full House (watching tv as homework! score!) but they made us do lots of oral presentations, or show-and-tell they called them.

In one of those show-and-tell, I talked about those cookies I baked.

Should've known then I was destined for a life of baking and cooking!

These cookies are from an old recipe book that is falling apart. They were called swedish christmas cookies.

I have tweaked the recipe a little and a lot over the years. And I think the best ingredient is the rum. It gives a beautiful aroma and tastes yummy too. You could substitute with rum extract if you wanted to feel more safe if those cookies are made for little ones too.

To make them you'll need:

1 cup of butter
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup golden syrup
2/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon dark rum
pinch of salt
4 1/2 cups of plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon powder ginger
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon

It is best to start this recipe the night before you want to make them as they are best if they spent a night in the fridge. But 2 to 3 hours will do just fine (I am one impatient cookie, you see).

Cream the butter and the brow sugar together. Add the syrup, honey and rum. Mix for about 5 minutes with an electric whisk on medium speed.

Sift the flour and add to the mix along with all the spices. Your dough should be quite loose, not too stiff. Cover with cling film and refrigerate.

When you are ready to bake, take the dough out of the fridge and roll out as thin as you like your cookies to be (hint: the thinner you roll them our, the more cookies you'll get!) and cut out with Christmas shaped cutter.

Pop on a baking tray covered with baking paper, and bake in a preheated oven to 350 F / 180 C. Bake for about 8 minutes, but if your cookies are really thin, 5 minutes could be enough too. Keep an eye on them to be sure.

You can sprinkle them with sugar before popping them in the oven if you want to keep the decorating simple. Or wait till they have cooled down completly and decorate with pretty icing, I choose white but red and green would be fitting too!

I happen to think this little ginger man is a festive obligation, don't you agree?