Stained Glass Gingerbread

 

I’ve always thought that ‘stained glass’ window biscuits with their jewelled sugary centres are the most beautiful cookie around, and without doubt perfect for Christmas. Traditionally made to adorn Christmas trees, where the fairy lights can glitter through the colourful centres, they’re also delightful as an extra special Christmas treat to eat. I don’t think they’d work nearly as well at other times of year and so this recipe is another that has been on the back burner ever since I didn’t get to write it up last Christmas!

No cookie can be more festive than gingerbread, it’s certainly what Father Christmas expects when he comes to our house, so that’s what I’ve chosen to surround the bejewelled centres. It may look tricky, but the stained glass effect is simply made from popping a boiled sweet into the hole in this biscuit before baking which melts to fill the gap and then hardens once the cookies are cooling. Do be very careful to either bake them directly onto a greased baking sheet or use non-stick paper. With one batch I made the mistake of using regular baking paper and the results weren’t pretty or easy to prise off at the end!

I’ve made a batch of jewel filled Christmas trees and also these super cute reindeers. Maybe you’ve seen this hack on Pinterest too? The idea is to use a gingerbread man cookie cutter, then turn it upside down to provide a shape that can be piped to look like a reindeer. The most perfect cute Christmas cookie.

Stained Glass Gingerbread Cookies

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, can be soya-free, sesame free, vegetarian and vegan)

Makes 12-15 small cookies, 6-8 large

50g/ 1/4 cup dairy-free margarine

20g/ 2 tbsps cream cheese (I used Tofutti)

75g/ 1/2 cup soft brown sugar

2 tbsps golden syrup

20ml/ 1.5 tbsps dairy-free milk

170g/ 1 1/2 cups plain flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp ground ginger

1 boiled sweet for each cookie

icing sugar

chocolate chips for the eyes

  1. Cream together the dairy-free margarine, dairy-free cream cheese, sugar, syrup and dairy-free milk
  2. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger
  3. Knead into a soft dough
  4. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/2 cm thickness. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Stamp out a hole from each cookie.
  5. Place on a greased or lined (with non-stick baking paper) baking sheet and place a boiled sweet into each hole.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes at 190 degrees centigrade/Gas Mark 5 (10 minutes for soft, 12 for crisp)
  7. Cool on the sheet a little before transferring to a wire rack
  8. To make the reindeers, turn the gingerbread men on their heads and pipe on antlers and ears with icing, add chocolate chips for eyes.

Gingerbread Welsh Cakes

I’m very fond of Welsh Cakes, I think they’re under-appreciated and overlooked in the world of teatime treats, unless you’re in Wales that is! They’re basically a little griddle cake or drop scone, usually subtly spiced and filled with dried fruit. Here is a rather tasty Autumnal version from me, bringing the warming spices of gingerbread to Welsh cakes.

The inspiration came from D who just went on a crazy mission to the rugged Snowdonia coastline in Wales to take part in a madcap 10km swim up a cold river estuary. It certainly is one of the last ways I would want to spend my weekend, but he loves swimming, particularly in beautiful surroundings, and couldn’t pass up this challenging opportunity. It was a massive achievement which involved over ten hours of driving, little sleep and 2 hours 40 minutes of swimming all in a 24 hour period.

So as a little ‘well done’, with a nod to the Autumnal weather and Wales, I created these little gingerbread Welsh Cakes. The perfect sweet pick me up after a challenging day.

Again, like my last two sweet ’emergency ready’ recipes, Welsh cakes are ideal to make at the last minute. They’re made in a flash and work perfectly in any teatime setting. Serve warm, spread with dairy-free margarine for some truly happy guests.

Gingerbread Welsh Cakes

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes 8-12

1 cup of plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

a pinch of salt

1/4 cup dairy-free margarine

1/4 cup soft brown sugar

3/4 tsp ground ginger

1 tbsp golden syrup

1 tsp black treacle

1 tbsp dairy-free milk

caster sugar, to sprinkle

  1. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and spice into a bowl.
  2. Rub in the margarine until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.
  3. Add the dairy-free milk, syrup and treacle and mix to form a slightly sticky dough.
  4. Roll out on a floured board and cut out shaped with a cookie cutter – circles are the traditional shape but any would be fine.
  5. Heat a dry non-stick frying pan (or any frying pan wiped with a smear of spread)
  6. When hot add the cakes and dry fry/griddle for 2-3 minutes on either side until golden.
  7. Sprinkle with caster sugar and serve.
  8. To reheat warm in an oven or microwave

Gingerbread Spiced Swirl Buns

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Gingerbread cinnamon swirl buns

I reckon it’s about time to get a little bit festive and Christmassy round here – I’ve got so many ideas which have been simmering away since last Christmas and I just didn’t get time to action, and despite all my best intentions to be prepared, there’s just something that prevents me from Christmas cooking before the start of December!

These delightfully gingerbread scented swirl buns give a nod to the forthcoming festive season without seeming too full on Christmassy. In fact you could happily eat them at any time of year. I think spiced swirl buns are such a successful and rewarding bake – they take time but are essentially very simple, look delightfully irresistible and make the house smell heavenly! You can’t get better than that!

gingerbread spiced swirl buns, dairy-free, egg-free

Gingerbread Cinnamon Swirl Buns

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

vegan gingerbread spiced swirl buns

makes about 24

250ml dairy-free milk, I used Oatly

3 tbsp dairy-free margarine, such as Pure

1tbsp black treacle

450g plain flour

2 tsp dried yeast

60g sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp salt

For the filling:

1/2 cup soft brown sugar

3 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

2 tbsp dairy-free margarine

christmas swirl buns, vegan

For the glaze:

2 tbsp soft brown sugar

2 tbsp water

2 tbsp pearl sugar/sugar crystals

And/or:

1/4 cup icing sugar

Sprinkle cinnamon

Water to make into a runny paste

  1. Melt the spread and milk together – you want it to be warm and melted but not hot, stir in the treacle.
  2. In a bowl mx together the flour, yeast, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and salt
  3. Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk mix
  4. Bring together to a soft dough and knead until its smooth and bounces back when poked
  5. Cover and let double in size
  6. Knock back and roll out to a large rectangle
  7. Smear on the dairy-free margarine. Sprinkle over the sugar and cinnamon and ginger, then roll up tightly into a long sausage
  8. Cut into even slices – I managed to get 24 small slices from mine
  9. Place on lined baking sheets and leave to rise again for another half an hour.
  10. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 4/375 degrees F. Bake for 17-20 minutes until risen, golden and cooked through
  11. Melt the brown sugar with the water and brush over the top and sprinkle with the pearl sugar (if using). Remove from the pans and peel off the paper. Drizzle with the cinnamon water icing.

dairy-free christmas spiced cinnamon swirls

Gingerbread Biscuits

dairy-free, egg-free gingerbread

 

It wouldn’t be Christmas time without some gingerbread featuring on the menu. So many different countries have a traditional gingerbread themed recipe that features in the festive season. And it makes total sense, it’s such a warm and cosy biscuit but one that can be turned into a pretty decorated delight.

These scrumptious spiced cookies are just the thing to snack on after ice skating or Christmas shopping. In my opinion they’re the culinary equivalent of the Christmas jumper – cosy, comforting, fun but also silly ( depending on shape chosen) if you want them to be!

egg-free gingerbread

This isn’t the kind of gingerbread to make houses from, rather it’s the kind of gingerbread that can be made soft and moorish or crisp and worthy of fancy decoration. We like it on the softer side, decorated with pearl sugar crystals pressed into the dough before baking, or with fondant icing attached after baking. It’s so moorish that it never lasts long in our house! I particularly like making the tiny cookies and serving bowlful a with mugs of steaming hot chocolate – the ultimate luxury after getting cold outside! I have to say that Father Christmas is also rather fond of them too, it makes a nice change from all those mince pies and goes wonderfully well with any of his drinks of choice!

 

 

Gingerbread Biscuits

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free sesame-free, can be soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)

iced vegan gingerbread

Makes 12-15 large or loads of tiny!

50g dairy-free margarine

20g soya cream cheese (I used Tofutti)

75g soft brown sugar

2 tbsps golden syrup

20ml dairy-free milk

170g plain flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1-1.5 tsps ground ginger

icing sugar

roll out icing or pearl sugar

  1. Cream together the dairy-free spread, soya cream cheese, sugar, syrup and soya milk.
  2. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger. Knead into a soft dough.
  3. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/2 cm thickness. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. if using pearl sugar, press into the dough before baking
  4. Bake on a greased baking sheet for 12 minutes at 190 degrees centigrade (5 minutes for tiny shapes)
  5. Cool on the sheet a little before transferring to a wire rack
  6. Roll out the icing and cut out with the same cookie cutter. Spread a little icing sugar/water mix in each cookie to attach the icing.

 

 

Gingerbread Pancakes

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It’s coming up to Shrove Tuesday, and therefore time for the obligatory pancake recipe. I remember being so happy when I discovered dairy and egg-free pancakes for the first time when Big S was at nursery and I wanted her to be able to join in the pancake celebrations with everyone else. They’ve since gone on to become our weekend breakfast of choice.

Gingerbread pancakes are a little different, a bit warm and spicy for when you feel you want something different. This variation is perfect for winter, with the warmth of ginger and cinnamon adding a bit of heat to the day. Personally I think this version makes a better pudding than breakfast (there I go again making more puddings!!) and works beautifully with a drizzle of maple syrup.

Gingerbread Pancakes (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

IMG_7441

Serves 2

  • 1/2 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp flavourless oil, I used sunflower
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free milk, I used oat milk.

– sift the flour, spices, salt and baking powder into a bowl.
– stir in the sugar
– whisk in the oil and milk to form a smooth, fairly thin batter. Set aside to start bubbling
– heat a frying pan and swipe with a little oil
– cook the pancakes on both sides until starting to colour
– keep warm until ready to serve
– serve with maple syrup

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Gingerbread Ghosts

I can’t say this is a new recipe – I blogged about it when I first started writing and had forgotten what a fantastic recipe it is until linking a twitter buddy to it the other day. All I can say is that this gingerbread recipe ROCKS – it provides all you could want from a gingerbread cookie – the option of soft and chewy or browned and crispy and is the perfect vehicle for icing and decorations. Below I’ve rewritten the recipe giving alternative cup measurements and added a photo from this year’s spooky batch.

Just for Halloween I’ve used ghostly cutouts covered with white roll out icing and highlighted with iced features. I somehow don’t think they’ll scare the trick or treaters much, these are just too cute!

Gingerbread Cookies (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan) N.B. contains soya

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Makes 12-15

  • 50g/ 1/4 cup dairy-free spread
  • 20g/ 2 tbsps soya cream cheese (I used Tofutti)
  • 75g/ 1/2 cup soft brown sugar
  • 2 tbsps golden syrup
  • 20ml/ 1.5 tbsps soya milk
  • 170g/ 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • icing sugar
  • roll out icing (I used Dr Oetker)

– Cream together the dairy-free spread, soya cream cheese, sugar, syrup and soya milk

– Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger

– Knead into a soft dough

– On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/2 cm thickness. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters.

– Bake on a greased baking sheet for 12 minutes at 190 degrees centigrade/Gas Mark 5 (10 minutes for soft, 12 for crisp)

– Cool on the sheet a little before transferring to a wire rack

– Roll out the icing and cut out with the same cookie cutter. Spread a little icing sugar/water mix in each cookie to attach the icing.

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