Updated: Jun 25
So, I was asked a lot by my peers on how I celebrate Christmas and the answer to that is often 'Not at all'! Christmas was never really a tradition in my family: there were no exchanging of gifts nor family reunion. All the gatherings and food often happen on Chinese New Year's Day for me, which is pretty much the same with Christmas in the Western Culture.
My first ever experience with real Christmas was actually with my husband (then 'boyfriend') when we met. The first time celebrating Christmas with him was at his home with his small family. My mother in law, in-fact is the best festive season decorator of all time. The whole month towards Christmas, the whole house will be dimmed with lights from all the Christmas ornaments and decorations. There will be model train running and Christmas Carol singing in every room you walk into. It was, magical. It was also the moment that I started appreciating Christmas and decided it is one of my favourite time of the year.
Since then, it has become a tradition that I bake something for Christmas every year even though my family are too far away from where I am to enjoy them. At least Greg gets to eat most of them. 😆🎄
GINGERBREAD COOKIE RECIPE
150 g Unsalted Butter - room temperature but not melting in your hands
150 g Light Brown Sugar
160 g Molasses/Golden Syrup
50 g Egg (1 medium egg)
5 g Vanilla bean paste ( 1 tsp)
450 g Plain Flour
1 tsp Bi-carbonate Soda
1/2 tsp Fine Salt
1 tbsp Ground Ginger
1 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
White chocolate -tempered (if using coverture)
Hundreds and thousands sprinkles
1. Place the butter into a stand mixer bowl and beat with a paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy.
2. Add in the brown sugar followed by the molasses and continue to beat the mixture over medium speed until well combined and looks creamy.
3. Add in the room temperature egg and mix until smooth then add in the rest of the sifted dry ingredients. Mix over low speed until the ingredients come together to a soft dough.
4. Divide the dough to 3 to 4 portions and wrap them individually into cling film, pressing them dough to flatten for easy rolling later. Place in the fridge to chill overnight.
5. The next day, pre heat the oven to 175C. Like some baking trays with parchment paper or silicone mat.
6. Remove the gingerbread dough from the fridge. Dust the work bench with some flour then transfer the dough over.
With the help of a rolling pin, roll the dough to approximately 5mm thick, dusting the base and top of the dough with flour whenever necessary to prevent sticking.
7. With your desired cookie cutter, dip the cutter in some flour then cut them to individual shapes. Transfer the shaped cookies on to the lined baking tray then bake in the oven for approximately 8 -10 minutes. Depending on the size of your cookies, baking time can vary.
Note: I baked the small Christmas trees for 8 minutes and the larger trees for 12 minutes. The longer you bake the cookies, the crispier they will be. For a softer texture cookies, bake for a shorter time.
8. Remove the cookies from the oven, it should have set and you would be able to lift the cookie and move it around the tray but still feels soft.
Transfer the cookies onto the wire rack to fully cool before decorating.