Have you ever turned up at an occasion to find someone wearing exactly the same outfit as you? Maybe you’re already feeling a little anxious as you enter the room. You scan the party for people you know and instead of spotting your pose, your eyes land on someone and for a split second you think they look familiar then it dawns on you, they are not what is familiar, what they’re wearing is. So familiar that it was the last thing you saw when you checked yourself before leaving the house.
You know everyone at the party will now be playing the game of ‘who wore it best?’ and you cringe at the thought of being compared to someone else.
But what is actually worse than turning up wearing the same thing as someone, is turning up to a bring-a-plate event with the same food. Now I don’t mean bringing the same packet of tasty cheese cc’s I mean making the same thing.
Why is it worse? Well while who-wore-it-better happens in hushed whispers and subtle glances, there is no hiding people’s thoughts on who made the better plate. The proof is in the pudding, or in this case, the gingerbread.
Yes, this happened to me on Sunday at our annual Mother’s Group Christmas party. Shannon (who I have Bub Grub Hub with) and I obviously spend too much time together because we both turned up with refined-sugar-free, spelt gingerbread biscuits.
Unfortunately mine lost out to the white-icinged beauties she whipped up. I used rapadura sugar for my icing which made it brown. I thought maybe it would trick people into thinking that it was chocolate and make them the more popular biscuit but alas nope. The white won out. When all Shannon’s had been eaten, more people gravitated to my plate and the resounding thought was that they were delicious so what they lack in appearance they make up for in taste.
They taste just like a good old classic gingerbread man, but I made them using wholefood ingredients to up the nutrition. Instead of regular white flour, I used wholemeal spelt and instead of brown sugar, I use a combo of maple sugar, honey and rapadura sugar (which you can get at health-food shops). They’re not what I’d call ‘healthy’ but all the ingredients are real food with all the nutrients in tact (as far as I know!).
You might need to add a little extra flour if your dough is too sticky. Now I will point out that my biscuits were a little on the soft side so if you like them nice and crispy, cook them a bit longer. Also don’t leave them out in the crazy Queensland humidity.
- 125g (1 stick) butter
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ cup rapadura sugar
- 1 free-range egg yolk (keep the white for the icing)
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp bicarb-soda
- 3 cups cups wholemeal spelt flour
- 5 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg white
- 1 cup rapadura sugar
- Combine butter, maple syrup, honey and rapadura sugar in a small pan and heat, stirring, over low heat, until melted.
- Remove to a bowl and cool (you can put the bowl in an ice bath for a little while if you’re feeling impatient).
- Stir in the egg yolk and remaining dry ingredients to form a soft dough.
- Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour to firm up.
- Preheat the oven to 160C (350F) fan-forced and line two baking trays with baking paper.
- Take one portion of dough out of the fridge and on a lightly-floured surface, roll it out to 7-8mm.
- Use floured cookie cutters to cut the dough.
- Place on the trays leaving 2cm between each one and bake for 7-10 minutes or until firm.
- Leave them to rest on the trays for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the biscuits are cooling, make the icing - place the rapadura sugar in a food processor or blender and process until it is fine like icing sugar.
- Whisk the egg white to almost firm peaks.
- Slowly whisk in the sugar.
- Ice the biscuits however you like and then leave for a few hours to dry.