Chocolate Pepper Gingerbread
It’s December!! I’m so excited for this Christmas, my sister is coming home to Ireland from the states with her husband and her beautiful baby Robin, who I haven’t met and squeezed yet. So our Christmas is going from generally small to full on big with kids and extended family, It’s going to be so fun and I’m just bursting with excitement. Now all that’s left to do is, everything?!! I better get moving.
Now I know this sounds like a risky combination but stay with me, I love gingerbread, I also love loads of spice, chocolate is usually good and when paired with Orange I’m there. This has ALL of those things…..plus pepper.
This gingerbread is spicy and dark, chewy but sturdy and has a beautiful dark tone from the cocoa. These biscuits or cookies if you’re that way inclined are a basic gingerbread mix, cool, shape and bake. You don’t need to decorate them but I did, the bare minimum that is. They are really great if you just want to make the dough and freeze it for when you need it, which is what I’ve been doing. I’ve adapted these biscuits from the lovely blog by http://modernwifestyle.com/, go check it out if you havent seen her blog already.
100g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
100g (1 stick) butter
175g (1/2 cup) golden syrup
1/2 orange, zest only
375g (3.5 cups) plain flour
60g (1/2) cup cocoa
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
In a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat together the sugar and butter until pale and fluffy, add in the golden syrup, egg and orange zest until everything is incorporated.
In a seperate bowl, sieve in all dry ingredients and stir. Add the dry into the wet ingredients and mix until you have a dough. Flatten and split into 2 discs, (I find it easier to roll out when chilled in small amounts) wrap in cling-film and refrigerate for at least an hour. I left mine over night which I think helped increase the flavour of spices.
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to about 2mm and cut into any shapes you want. I used a mixture of festive and normal shapes. Bake in the oven for about 8/10mins. These biscuits are quite hard to see if they are cooked or bunt because of their dark colour so don’t exceed 12mins. You will probably need to bake these in batches unless you have a much bigger oven then I do. I chill the dough in between batches as to keep them from losing their shape.
Let them cool on a wire rack and either decorate with icing or put into a sealable container, they should stay fresh for a week or so.