The festive countdown has officially begun and although Christmas is still a few weeks away, there are still a number of sweet treats you can prepare in the run up, that won’t turn sour or stale before the big day. Better still, these long lasting treats can be made in advance and posted to friends and family as thoughtful, homemade gifts.
Gingerbread can last up to 3 weeks and with its warm, slightly spiced taste it makes for a great festive snack. It can also easily be cut into shapes and decorated with writing icing and any assortment of cake decorations to create Christmas themed biscuits for all the family to enjoy.
350g/12oz plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
175g/6oz light soft brown sugar
1 free-range egg
4 tbsp golden syrup
Begin by sifting together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon and pour into the bowl of a food processor. Following this, soften the butter and blend until the mix looks like breadcrumbs. Once it has reached this consistency, stir in the sugar.
Continue by lightly beating the egg and syrup together and add to the food processor. Pulse in short bursts until the mixture forms small clumps. Tip the dough out and knead until smooth. Tightly wrap the finished dough in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for 15minutes.
Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together, add to the food processor and pulse until the mixture clumps together. Tip the dough out, knead briefly until smooth, wrap in clingfim and leave to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Whilst the dough is cooling, pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
After the 15mintues has passed, remove the roll the dough out to a 0.5cm thickness on a lightly floured surface and cut into your desired shapes.
Place on a baking tray, being careful to leave gaps between each, and bake for 12minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a baking tray for 10 minutes to cool.
Finish by decorating with icing, sprinkles and sugar balls.