If in doubt, bake.
And if in doubt what to bake, bake biscuits.
Once again, it had been dark for hours before I realised I was yet to complete my daily act of additional kindness, so what better to do than whip up a few batches of festive gingerbread cookies for family and friends? Before a Gingerbread Man could say “YOU CAN’T CATCH ME I’M THE—”, I had turned to my trusty Taffy Thomas recipe and set to work melting, stirring, kneading and rolling.
The Gingerbread Man
Taffy Thomas is a local storyteller based in Grasmere, directly opposite Sarah Nelson’s Gingerbread Shop. I have been using his recipe for as long as I can remember (to varying degrees of success!) as it is printed in a story book I have accompanying his version of The Gingerbread Man. In fact, I even vaguely recall icing statistics equations onto these biscuits in an attempt to literally digest my A level maths revision… hmm!
Anyway, here is the beautifully illustrated and simple recipe:
Rather than rewrite the recipe, I would just like to add a few tips:
- Sieve the self-raising flour before adding it to the mixture if you want to avoid lumpy biscuits!
- Make sure you have plenty of plain flour to cover your surface before rolling so that the biscuits don’t stick.
- Instead of oiling the baking tray I prefer to line it with grease-proof baking paper.
- The baking time depends entirely on the thickness of your biscuits, so be vigilant! Mine only took 9 minutes (which I may or may not have discovered after burning the first batch!).
- With small cookie cutters and thinly rolled mixture I managed to make OVER 90 biscuits, so you may well want to halve the quantities and use bigger templates!
When I have time, I like to wait for the biscuits to cool then make royal icing to lightly decorate them. Wrapped nicely in cellophane, these biscuits make a great Christmas gift!