June 20, 2011

low-fat low-cal gingerbread men

These cute and kitch biscuits taste spicy and sweet; without any of the fat. I am planning to make these little babies for my girlfriends for Christmas... and some for myself too!

Sift the following ingredients:
3 cups of wholemeal self-raising flour
1 ½ tsps of baking powder
¾ tsp of baking soda
1 tbsp of ground ginger
2 tbsps of cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves

Beat the following ingredients using an electric mixer:
1 tbsp of reduced-fat margarine (room temperature)
1 large egg (room temperature)
¾ cup of brown sugar
5 tbsps of apple puree
½ cup of golden syrup
2 tsp of vanilla essence
The zest of half a lemon

Beat the wet mixture until creamy. Gradually add the dry sifted ingredients into the creamed mixture until both mixtures come together to form a soft dough. Divide the dough into two pieces*, lightly dust with flour and wrap with clingfilm. Leave at room temperature for two hours. If it is a hot day, pop the dough in the fridge.

Line two trays with baking paper. After the dough has been left to rest, combine the two pieces and knead for about one minute to combine. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out quite thinly, depending on how thick you like your gingerbread, and cut into desired shapes. I like to use my collection of cut outs in shapes of lips, butterflies, shoes and the traditional gingerbread man. Place these straight onto the oven trays.

Bake in a moderate oven at 180 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, until browned. When baked, leave to set on the tray for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Decorate how you please. I like to use royal icing and mini chocolate chips.

These biscuits will keep for one week in a sealed container. For gifts, place in a sellophane bag tied with ribbon or in a recycled biscuit tin.

*You can freeze half the dough for up to 3 months and defrost before making biscuits. Left-over dough also makes the perfect ingredient to make cookie dough ice cream.

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