Did you get the reference?
For those of you who know your films "A Man For All Seasons" is a 1966 film depicting the final years of Sir Thomas Moore, the 16th-century Lord Chancellor of England who refused to sign a letter asking The Pope to annul Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine of Aragon, and to accept him as the Head of The Church of England.
That's enough of that, it has absolutely nothing to do with this blogpost!
Now for the baking bit.
Gingerbread biscuits are a favourite of many a child, and grown up child, as it's usually one of the first treats we are given from a local bakery. I know that the smell of Gingerbread is reminiscent of Christmas, but I think they should be enjoyed anytime. I want to take them from the every day to something special.
This time of year (it's currently October) lends itself ideally to producing the now popular Gingerbread Zombie Skeleton.
Gingerbread is made from plain flour, light brown sugar, butter, ground ginger and an egg. It's spicy and chewy and yummy.
Hints and Tips.
My gingerbread are a little lighter in colour than some but that's mainly because I don't add any other spices such as cinnamon or cloves. If you like the taste of those in your gingerbread, then by all means add a teaspoon.
It's best to make in a free standing mixer because the dough is a bit stiff and a mixer will make the dough in no time at all.
The dough must be chilled before rolling it out. Don't even attempt baking the dough if you haven't chilled it for at least an hour, preferably overnight. A well chilled dough will keep it's shape during baking.
The final baking time depends on how thick you rolled the dough and whether you like it on the softer side, or with a crunch. 1 minute either way can make all the difference to a biscuit.
If you would like some extra help then I have a How to Bake group over on Facebook that you can join and gain access to a number of videos including one for Gingerbread.
Decorating The Gingerbread
Go as minimal or blingy as you like at this stage.
You will need some Royal Icing for this.
If you haven't made royal icing or decorated biscuits before then I would go for the decorating icing kits that are readily available in supermarkets. There are some reasonable quality ones, although colours are limited. They will already be at the correct consistency for your needs.
If you have decorated biscuits before but don't want to make your own royal icing there are 2 options:
Royal Icing Sugar. All you do is add water according to the instructions on the packet and whip up using a mixer or electric whisk. It can be quite stiff so you are better off using a free standing mixer.
Ready Made Royal Icing. This is sold in all of the supermarkets and can be found in the baking aisle. It's very stiff but you can add water bit by bit, until you get the correct consistency. It is only sold in white so you will need to colour it yourself using gel colours, of which there are hundreds!
How to decorate biscuits is a whole other tutorial and soon you will be able to sign up to get your free copy.
You Will Need:
Coloured icing in tubes in White, Red & Black.
A pack of ready made eyes.
A bag of Piping Bags if the tubes don't already have a nozzle on the end.
For safety purposes please make sure that children under 3 are fully supervised due to choking hazards from the eyes and sprinkles.
Squeeze some of each coloured icing into individual piping bags.
Place your undecorated gingerbread biscuits onto a clean, wipeable surface.
Cut the end of each piping bag, about 3 mm from the tip.
Pipe your design.
Here are a few suggestions for things you can pipe, depending on your skill level.
You aren't constrained by these suggestions, go with whatever suits your occasion or mood at the time. Kids prefer to go freestyle most of the time so let them play around.
If you do make some, show me your bakes and comment below.