They became protagonists of Christmas movies, they are joyful decorations for Christmas trees, they have conquered our hearts, and adorned millions of jumpers all over the world: we are talking of gingerbread cookies (or gingermen).
THE STORY BEHIND
The story behind these smiling cookies dates to the 14th Century, in England, and comes from an idea of Queen Elizabeth I. To welcome her renowned guests, she asked her cooks to prepare these men-shaped cookies, that represented her diners. Luckily for us, this delicious recipe spread and diffused out of England.
HOW TO PREPARE THEM
Let’s see together how to prepare these delicious cookies just in time for the holidays.
For the dough, you will need: • 2,1 cups (300 gr) of plain flour • 1/2 cup (100 gr) caster sugar • 1/2 cup (100 gr) of brown sugar • 2/5 cup (100 gr) butter • 1/4 cup (100 gr) honey • 1 egg • 2 pinches of salt • 1 tsp baking soda • 1 pinch of baking powder • 2 tsp ground ginger • 2 tsp ground cinnamon • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
For the icing/decoration, you will need: • 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice • 30 gr egg whites • 100 gr icing sugar
1. Let’s begin by mixing the spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger – in a little bowl.
2. Then, combine butter, honey and sugar in a big bowl or in a mixer, and mix well until you get a paste. Add the spices and mix again. At this point, beat the egg with a pinch of salt, and add it to the mixture.
3. Now, add the flour mixed with baking powder. You should obtain a soft but firm dough. Knead it on a work surface, shape it into a rectangle and cover with film. Let it rest in the fridge for four/six hours.
4. Now roll the dough to 3/4 millimeters, and cut it in gingermen shapes with your favourite.
5. Cook the cookies in the oven at 77° F for 10/15 minutes.
6. Once cooled down, decorate as you like with a thick icing made with icing sugar, lemon juice and egg white. Then, wait until the decorations are dried, before enjoying your cookies.
At this point, it is time to prepare your hot beverages with our coffee machines, to get cozy and relaxed at home, alone or with your loved ones, and enjoy the moment in the company of delicious and freshly baked gingermen.
Photos by Gaia Menchicchi / Recipe by Diletta Maria Secco