Sunday, December 30, 2012

Gingerbread Business near Christmas Part 1

My brothers and I would always bake gingerbread cookies with my mother around or during Christmas. My mother would actually not make the dough herself but buy it in blocks from the grocery store. There would be a few blocks to roll out and work into manageable pieces that we then would get manic on with our cookie cutters.

Pilvi and I decided we would honor some of our Finnish traditions and make gingerbread cookies!

It was actually a very hasty made decision. I took it upon myself to look up a recipe. I printed the first recipe which seemed yummy enough. We got all the ingredients from the store and headed back to Pilvi's place.

I can honestly say that I did not know that gingerbread cookies consist of about 90% sugar. Slightly scary, but I'm afraid it doesn't make them tasty any less delicious.

I had asked Pilvi before we had a recipe to our disposal: "But how does the dough get the distinctive brown colour?" I can tell you: By adding a whole can of treacle into the mixture! The recipe noted that a large amount of sugar should be used but we went with brown sugar. 

We were going to buy some treacle while we were in the shop but I had a faint notion of seeing a jar of treacle in some dark, forgotten corner of my cupboards.  I made a stop at my place before returning to Pilvi's place and indeed I was clutching a jar adorned with the word "treacle". We did discover that it had expired about 18 months ago but after a quick sniff/taste/look of the product as well as a google to make sure it wouldn't make us ill, we decided it would be safe to use it.

We had a bit of a hard time grinding up the cardamom into a powder, but once both Pilvi, Daniel and I had taken turns in giving it a go, we did manage to break it down into something finer than the big pods we started out with. We blended in all of the ingredients into the paste and started mixing it. The mixture changed colour a few times during the process. It looked and smelled the way it was supposed to so you can imagine that we were feeling very proud of our efforts.

The dough had to set for at least 10 hours so we found a place for the mixture in the fridge and felt incredibly productive. I had jogged over from my place (and also jogged to my chiropractor earlier in the evening) so I was not very fancily clad but was wearing sweats.

Master Bakers: Pilvi and I.

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