Wrinkly Gingerbread Men and Jammy Dodgers

It’s been a long, tiring and sometimes stressful week and it’s Friday and well, sometimes I have to remind myself that I actually like cooking (it can so easily fall into the trap of being something else I have to do), I decided that I was going to spend today in the kitchen baking. Ok, it was sort of something I had to do, as it’s Boy Lacer’s class cake sale today but to be honest, for the last few terms, when it’s been a cake sale I have *whisper* been buying stuff from the corner shop. Right, that confession over and done with, I grabbed my much drooled over copy of Peyton and Byrne and made Gingerbread Men. Now, it turns out that one of the hazards of using a cookery book from a chain of cafes that you love and you can tick off all the baked goodies you recognise and have eaten in the said cafe chain, in the cookery book, when it comes to making them yourself, if they don’t look like how they look in the cafe (or on the page for that matter), you may get a bit cheesed off. Ahem

Yep, my gingerbread men are a different colour and they’re wrinkly. The dough was, it turned out, a bit tricky to handle and you had to sort of force it together by will power almost, so that’s why they’re wrinkly I think, goodness knows how they make them in the cafes. However, maybe the more important thing than appearance is how they taste and they taste *drum roll*, exactly like how they taste in the cafe, so it’s still a result really.

I think I will probably be making these again, I liked how it was quite a child friendly recipe, in that most gingerbread recipes I’ve seen involve doing all sort of things with saucepans, whereas this one didn’t. It also had less syrup in and no treacle, both the lack of the saucepan step and the lower amount of sticky stuff probably goes to explain why this dough was harder to handle than I was used to, but it’s worth it from a child cooking in the kitchen, teeth rotting perspective. If I were to make these again however I probably would leave the dough in the fridge for a while before rolling out, I was surprised that it didn’t say so in the recipe.

Right, well considering the gingerbread men minus two (ahem) were going to school, I decided to make something just for us to, so I made the Jammy Dodgers, also from Peyton and Byrne. I didn’t have quite the right cutters so I was in less of a trying to replicate exactly what it’s like in the cafe territory but I am pleased to report that these did look prettier than my gingerbread men and more importantly, they again tasted exactly like they do in the cafe. I think the key to this recipe is making sure you use a mix of normal flour and semolina because it gives the biscuit a really nice texture. The recipe called for fine semolina flour and I couldn’t find any in the supermarket, so I used polenta instead, that’s the same right? Well it tasted gorgeous anyway!

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