19Culinary Studio may sound familiar to you, and that's because The Butterfly Project teamed up with them for a workshop on the benefits of Glucerna last year.
Now, this post might be a little on the late side, but just like shortbread is primarily a Christmas cookie, I could eat the stuff all year long. I would become a ball of butter, but it's unlikely to stop me! Similarly, I adore ginger biscuits (ginger snaps in particular), so gingerbread biscuits shouldn't be limited to the Christmas period. If you have kids, or an overactive inner child like mine, these are particularly fun because they hold up beautifully to decoration!
The moment I stepped into the studio and saw the KitchenAids lined up, my heart soared. At this point, I had yet to acquire a KitchenAid of my own, and I wanted to grab a mixer and run, but I restrained myself. I am happy to report I now have a yellow KA of my own!
This post is going to take you through the steps of baking some really beautifully turned up gingerbread biscuits, be they men or otherwise!
[This is my kind of sightseeing!]
We were first introduced to the basics and then split into 4 groups.
[An introduction on how not to blow up the kitchen]
[Explaining each ingredient]
Of course, there was a picture before we got down and dirty!
We were then given our pre-proportioned ingredients.
[Portioned Out in Advance]
In case you'd like the recipe, here it is!
[19Culinary Studio's Gingerbread Recipe]
First off, before doing anything in the kitchen, wash your hands!
[Step 1: Handwashing]
Then, you'll have to preheat your oven to 180C, and sift out the flour to ensure everything mixes well and to avoid lumps.
[Teamwork in Progress! Janice and Sara worked very well together while I supervised.]
Once the flour is sifted, use a paddle attachment to beat flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and diced (cold butter) until they resemble fine breadcrumbs.
The rationale behind using cold butter is so that there is a slightly crumbly texture to what you're baking, and it isn't too stodgy.
[Resembling "Fine Breadcrumbs"]
[Scrape down the bowl to ensure even mixing]
[Measure Out Your Treacle]
Once it hits this stage, you'll add in your sugar, ground ginger, egg and black treacle until it forms a dough.
[Add Remaining Ingredients]
I can't quite describe the scent that filled the kitchen at this point. It was all warm and cozy the way ginger makes you feel. We were all on tenterhooks to taste test it, so we got to work on the baking-bit.
[Divide Your Dough and Work in Small Batches]
Ensure you're working on a well-floured surface so that it's easier to cut shapes in the sticky dough. Another tip would be to dip your cookie cutter into a little flour so that the shapes separate easily and there's less tugging and tearing.
[Our Cookie Dough...Ready for the Oven]
[You just know I'm going to eat them all!]
If you're anything like me, you'll then spend the following 12-15 minutes staring at the cookies as they bake in the oven.
[Bake for 12-15 minutes until pale golden]
It's advisable for you to prepare your icing beforehand, or while waiting for the cookies to bake if you're on the efficient side. Here, we were given royal icing, and this has the tendency to harden, so be wary.
[Coloured Royal Icing]
Royal Icing is the combination of beaten egg whites with lemon juice, glycerin, icing sugar and food colouring (should you choose to add this). The reason it's suitable is so that it hardens onto the cookie and will maintain its shape.
[Finally! Baked Cookies!]
As a general rule of thumb, once they're browned on the edges, your cookies are done. They will be soft when they first come out of the oven, but leave them on the tray for 5-10 minutes to continue baking in the residual heat before you move them onto a cooling rack.
[Cool Them Completely on a Rack]
Before you begin decorating, especially with frosting or icing, always allow the cookies to cool completely or the icing will melt!
[The cookies hadn't cooled enough and so the hair was a bit disfigured due to melting]
More importantly, enjoy it!
I'm the worst decorator on the planet! A fact of which you will be well-aware if you follow me on Instagram.
[The Extent of My Decorating Skills]
[Our Group Effort]
Everyone had a wonderful time decorating them, and the results were fantastic!
[When our forces combine...]
Everyone was itching to try them because they smelled lovely, and you can see it on their faces in this picture:
[Waiting to Attack!]
The cookies turned out really well. They were perfectly risen and slightly chewy. Gingery, sweet and chewy...perfection!
I urge you to try out this recipe, and I love that The Butterfly Project collaborate with 19Culinary Studio on this! To more baking workshops in the future!