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Ginger Bears

I am still feeling more autumnal than wintery this week, which got me thinking about warm spices and comforting bakes. This immediately conjured up thoughts of ginger and cinnamon spices, because not only are they, for me, the taste of autumn - they also give the most gorgeous fragrance when baked.

I chose to use a bear biscuit cutter, but go for any shape or size you fancy. Maybe I was drawn to the bear shape thinking about all the bears tucked up in their dens for winter hibernation.

Sometimes when I can’t find the exact cutter shape I want then I make a card template and lay it over the dough to cut around; this is a little fiddly to do but sometimes it’s the only way!

Ginger Bear recipe

125g unsalted butter

100g light brown muscovado sugar

4 tbsp golden syrup

325g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Icing for decoration

icing sugar, sifted

juice of a clementine or juice of half a lemon

  • Preheat your oven to 170ºC and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

  • In a small pan put the butter, sugar and golden syrup together and heat until all melted, stirring frequently.

  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger and ground cinnamon.

  • Pour the melted butter mixture into the flour mixture and stir until a soft dough comes together.

  • Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and briefly knead until you have a smooth ball of dough.

  • Transfer the dough onto a large sheet of baking parchment and roll to 5mm thickness. Cut out the biscuit shapes with your chosen cutter.

  • You will need something to lift them with as they will be very soft. Using a pallet knife or fish slice, transfer the cut out shapes onto your prepared baking sheet. Leave a 2cm space between your shapes as they will spread slightly when baking.

  • Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Once they are ready, transfer them to a wire rack to cool and harden.

  • Whilst the biscuits are cooling you can make the icing to decorate them with. I have left out the measurements for this, as it depends on how much decoration you want to add and how big your biscuits are. I used 300g of sifted icing sugar and then squeezed in the juice of one clementine (you can use lemon juice or even just water if you want no flavour). You are aiming for the consistency of runny honey, if you have added too much liquid and it is too runny then add more icing sugar. If it is to thick then add a small amount of juice until you achieve the correct texture.

  • Transfer the icing to a small piping bag and start decorating. Let your imagination run wild, you can add sprinkles or gold leaf - what ever you fancy.

This is a fun recipe to do with children, especially the decorating. You could easily turn them into Christmas tree decorations by making a small hole in the dough once they are ready to go in the oven, then once decorated you can thread though ribbon to tie them up.

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