On Friday I was out shopping for Christmas presents. My goal is to have them all together by the end of November this year because I don't want to feel rushed and generally hate shopping in a crowed city. This way I can lean back in December and concentrate on baking and decorating and maybe invent some nice things to wrap my gifts in a special way. I found some great stuff already and while I was looking around this week I saw these cute cookie-cutters at Strauss (one of my favourite shops!). They have a cut-out to hang them on a cup. I was delighted! Isn't this a perfect idea! Of course I bought them immediately and on the way home thought about the best recipe to test them. I finally decided to make half-christmassy cookies that can also pass as fall tea treats. They are very tasteful because of the spices and molasses used in the dough and are perfect for these dark and rainy tea-afternoons awaiting us in November before the Christmas markets start.
I purposely didn't decorate the cookies. This way they don't look too much like Christmas and I also really like this dark, smokey taste they have and I guess that the sugar would take that away from them. They are plain and that's what makes them great! Ever since they came out of the oven I can't stop nibbling and today I took a batch to work with me and they were gone in an instant. The best thing is the smell, though! They made my whole space smell like the holidays!
500 g Flour
165 g Sugar
165 g Butter
275 g Sugar Beet Syrup
1 Package of Gingerbread Spice Mix
1 big Tablespoon of Baking Powder
Now the good part: You just mix all the ingredients in a bowl and form a big lump of dough. ( I made three little lumps today because it was just too much for my hands.)
When the dough is too dry, just add butter and molasses until the texture is right. It has to be smooth and even and should not crumble at all! This can take a while! Yep, the only thing that is indeed a bit difficult about this recipe is that the dough needs so long to get smooth.
Once it is, roll it out (4 mm - not too thin!!) and cut out the cookies in whichever shape you prefer.
Bake them in the preheated oven on 160 °C for 7-10 minutes!
Once the cookies have been in the oven for more then 5 minutes you have to start watching them closely! The tricky thing is that they get much, much harder once they cool out... That's why it seems like they need to stay in the oven much longer when they are really already done! I had mine in not more then 7 minutes today (at the longest!) but I guess it depends on the oven you use. Mine isn't very good and tends to get very hot even though the temperature is set on low. Anyway, the corners should not get dark! Not one little bit! When you take them out they seem to be very soft, but believe me, that will change!
They taste really wonderful and are best served along a steaming cup of tea or cocoa!