I found this recipe in the back of a 1974 children’s book called The Witch in the Cherry Tree by Margaret Mahy. I’ll obviously give anything a go.
I do love a children’s book with a recipe, though. Baking the treat together enhances the story and it’s fun to stumble across a recipe and think, ‘why not?’ The banana bread recipe in the back of Gladys Goes Out To Lunch by Derek Anderson has long been a fave.
For this gingerbread, I had all the ingredients in the pantry and managed to convince the girls that cutting the gingerbread into ‘witches’ using the template supplied in the book would just slow us down. “Let’s make cute smiley faces instead!”
These cute smiley-face biscuits are therefore the simplest ‘why not’ afternoon tea going!
Makes about 20 smileys
You will need
100 gm butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups sifted plain flour
1 tsp bicarb of soda
3 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup treacle
You’ll also need
Hand mixer or bowl mixer
Round biscuit cutter
Wire rack for cooling your biscuits.
Preheat fan-force oven to 170°C. Line the baking sheet(s) with baking paper.
Use your mixer to cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
Mix in the dry ingredients using your wooden spoon.
Add the treacle slowly until a dough comes together. The dough should be firm, but still soft.
Bring the dough together with your hands and then turn out onto a floured board or bench to knead firmly.
Use your biscuit cutter to cut as many circles as you can, re-roll the remaining dough and cut some more until all the dough is left (eat the remaining mini-dough, it’s gooooood).
Make eyes with the tip of your chopsticks and use the edge of the biscuit cutter to make a mouth.
Pop into the oven for 10-12 minutes. Longer will give you harder biscuits. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
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