Monday, December 17, 2012

Countdown to Christmas

Mostly all Europe is hidden under the snow. Cold weather, frost on trees, fick layers of snow, huge snowdrifts and snowstorms... that is all about real white Christmas and the atmosphere rolling around! Only a week to go until Christmas! Yeeeah! 

At this time all decorations (or mostly all) are set up. Christmas trees are about to find their actual places at home. Christmas gifts wrapped and waiting the Big Day! Menu is nearly ready in your minds or on the sheet of paper.... It is so beautiful and sentimental! 

Want to share a Christmas joy with you and a few pictures with Chritsmas decorations and recipes... Maybe you will get a wee inspiration as we had during last weekend when were baking gingermen, Christmas trees, stars....thinking about small tasty gifts... Home was smelling absolutely perfect all weekend - very Christmassy!

Photography: Ieva Zumiene
This year we have very extraordinary Christmas tree! Haven't had it ever before like now. Instead of usal green Christmas tree, having a few old tree branches covered in moss. I like this idea! First time but very exciting, feeling differently but good! :) Oh, of course this will be not the only tree.

Cannot think Christmas without gingerbreads. Can you? Gingerbreads are very seasonal and nearly in all homes you would smell them at this moment.

Was eager to make a lot of gingermen and also more different shaped biscuits from the same dough as gingermen. But the main remained gingermen as you can see :)
The recipe which I followed is just here. 

Ingredients you should find:

100 g brown sugar (muscovado is the best because of its dark color, if cannot get this, try to find at least demerara which is lighter in color)
100 g castor (white) sugar
100 g golden syrup (if cannot get this use honey)
75 ml water
150 g butter
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of ground ginger
1 tablespoon of ground cardamom
0.5 teaspoon of ground black pepper 
1 teaspoon of baking powder
500 g flour

How to do:

Get sugar, golden syrup (or honey) and water into pan. Heat slowly once sugar dissolved. Add butter, heat slowly but do not boil! Place it away from heat once butter melted and leave to cool down for a while. Add all spices to liquid listed above. 
Mix flour and baking powder together, add liquid. Knead until the dough is solid and smooth. Don't be afraid, the dough will be soft. Wrap into cling film and put into frigde to firm and cool for a few hours or better overnight!
Once the doug is out from fridge, you should knead it again until it is tender. Heat the oven up to 180 C degrees. Sprinkle flour on your working surface and roll dough using your rolling-pin. Choose the cookie cutter you like the most and cut into desired shapes. Transfer them onto baking paper sheets and put straight into oven. Bake until golden brown, crisp but not darkened, about 8-12 min.depending on your oven. Leave to cool down on the tray.

Bon appetit! 

Photography: Mindaugas Zumas                         

And this is how I ended up with gingermen bakings! 
Piles of them now waiting to be decorated and wrapping into cellophane with beautiful Christmas ornaments on it. Beautiful and tasty stocking stuffer. No doubt - everyone would like this! :)

Photography: Mindaugas Zumas

Have you done yours? Do you do them every year? 
Counting down the days! Not many left, for sure... but there are lots of small and big jobs to be done by the day of birth of Jesus.
Photography: Mindaugas Zumas

Love the way of gift-giving!
Wishing you warm and nice evening!

1 comment:

  1. Seem to be delicious! :) Oh right, they ARE delicious. :D And those napkins match the gingermen perfectly. :)