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Gingerbread Biscuits

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Gingerbread Biscuits

Ingredients

* 150g butter

* 3 level tablespoons golden syrup

* 3/4 cup caster sugar

* 2 cups plain flour and 1 cup self-raising flour

* 1 level teaspoon bicarbonate soda

* 1 level teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and ground ginger

* 1/2 level teaspoon ground cloves

* pinch finely ground cardamom (optional)

* 1 egg and 1 egg yolk (save the left-over egg white for Royal Icing - recipe below)

* 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Method

Put butter, golden syrup and sugar into a saucepan, beat to dissolve, then cool to lukewarm. Sift plain flour, SR flour, soda and spices intoa mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle. Add egg, egg yolk, vanilla and warm syrup mixture. Mix thoroughly.

Take about 1/3 of the mixture at a time and knead lightly using a little flour (not too much flour) then roll out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut out with Christmas cutters - hearts, stars, angels, sheep).Place on greased baking trays lined with baking paper and bake in a moderate oven (180 to 190 degrees Celsius) for 8 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully, as they burn quickly after this time, and if overcooked the flavour will be spoilt. Remove from trays and cool.

Store in an airtight container. Serve them perfectly plain or decorate with Royal Icing. These biscuits keep for weeks and weeks in an airtight container. They're delicious with coffee or icecream and especially popular with young children. The recipe makes about 30 gingerbread people or 50 to 60 small hearts or stars.

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