I have always loved the way an image, if captured correctly, can be emotive and intimate. It’s power to wordlessly convey a moment and lead the viewer to imagine a whole world inside the frame. But for the last little while, I have been wondering what it would be like, what it could look like, to share an experience with the viewer. A few weeks ago, I got the chance to find out. The video above is the result of a collaboration with the wonderfully talented Dylan Leavitt of Studio Dylan -without whom, none of this would have been possible! I could not be more delighted to share the making of our holiday gingerbread with you in this very first video for Cottage Farm. I would love to hear what you think in the comments below.
And for those of you left feeling inspired to make these scrummy holiday biscuits – the recipe for these beautiful gingerbread is below.
Wishing you and your’s the very happiest of holidays .
A few notes on the recipe- It is very much a gingerbread versus gingersnap meaning it has a soft cake like texture with wonderfully crisp edges. It also has quite a good bite of spice, so if you prefer a little less spicy you can use half the recommended measurements for each. I roll the dough out between two sheets of wax paper with no additional flour – it means I can roll them out more times than if working on a floured surface. Of course, you can roll them out on a floured surface if so desired, just take care not to add too much additional flour to your dough or the resulting biscuits will be dry and crumbly.
These biscuits hold their shape nicely for decorating and any good royal icing recipe will do. I particularly like this one from Alton Brown. To it, I add a scant 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 150g (2/3 cup) of melted butter
- 150g (3/4 cup) dark brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 3/4 (175ml)cup molasses
- 600g (4 cups) all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons ground ginger
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1 Tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons cold water
Melt the butter and let stand a few minutes. In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients – flour, powdered ginger, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper and baking soda. In another large bowl, beat together the egg, sugar and pinch of salt until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Gradually add in the melted butter (being careful that its cool enough so a not to curdle the egg) stirring well until all is incorporated. Next, stir in the molasses until just incorporated. Slowly begin to add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, in a bit at at time until all is incorporated. About halfway through add the apple cider vinegar and first tablespoon of cold water, stir to combine. Add the remaining dry mix, and second tablespoon of water if needed. This will make a fairly stiff dough.
Divide the dough in half, shape into two discs. Wrap each disc in wax paper and a clean kitchen linen and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. When ready, preheat the oven to 350F. Roll out the dough to about 1/8″ thick and cut into desired shapes. Place cookies on a baking sheet and bake 8 – 9 minutes or until edges are just set and centers are soft. Let stand a few minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to wire racks to cool. Let the biscuits cool completely before icing with decorations of your choice.