Best-ever gingerbread bears

Gingerbread bearsI love this recipe for gingerbread which is based on one from Cranks Cakes and Biscuits – a really good source of healthy recipes that you’ll only find second hand now, unfortunately. There’s no denying that this recipe makes a lovely sweet treat, but because blackstrap molasses is a good source of manganese, copper, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and selenium, there’s nutritional value here too.

These are fun to make with your kids – we like to just use currants for decoration to keep the sugar to non-crazy levels – the Cranks recipe recommends pine nuts – which I would use if I thought my lads would eat them!

Ingredients

225g wholemeal flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 tsp ground ginger
50g butter
120g dark brown, unrefined sugar
50g black strap molasses
50g honey
a few drops of milk if necessary
currants or pine nuts to decorate

This recipe makes around 12 bears around 10cm high.

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 160C, Gas Mark 3 or 325F. Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.
  • Put the flour, bicarb and ground ginger in a bowl and mix well.
  • Put the butter, sugar, molasses & honey into a pan and heat very gently until just melted.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until you have a firm dough. If the dough wont hold together then add a very few drops of milk to help it along a bit.
  • Roll out the dough to about a 6mm thickness (1/4″) and use a cutter of your choice to cut out your biscuits. Be careful not to roll the dough out too thinly – this will make the biscuits prone to burning and being a bit too crunchy!
  • Put the biscuits on your prepared baking trays and then decorate with currants as required.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes (check after 10). The biscuits need to be a rich dark golden brown – if they are too brown, they tend to be a bit tough on the teeth.
  • Leave to cool on the baking tray for a couple of minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  • Store in an airtight container.
Enjoy!

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