Happy New Year!

Firstly, Happy New Year y’all! (yeah, I’m watching Friday Night Lights again)

It’s almost a month since I last posted… I took a little break from doing anything constructive over Christmas and New Year to just rest and relax. It was great :). I took a break from crafting also and only recently started my 2013 card-making. The break served me well and now I have million ideas for new cards in my head. But before I present today’s card I want to show you a picture of my gingerbread, as promised in November:

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I baked it one week before Christmas. I spread blackcurrant jam between the layers, iced the top with the simplest icing (icing sugar + lemon juice), wrapped it in kitchen foil and kept it in cool place. It was delicious! In fact, still is, as we still havesome left and it’s as good as on the day of baking.

Now to the card. I am afraid it is another card made from leftovers :). I just added some washi tape for a change. The frame is from Maya Road and sentiment is from Hero Arts’ Find Joy set. I just love these enamel dots from My Mind’s Eye, aren’t they gorgeous? They are my favourite thing at the moment. Oh, and I couldn’t resist and add some glitter, after all it’s carnival time, isn’t it?

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I’ll be back soon with more cards. Just waiting for weekend to photograph them in daylight. See y’all!

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Traditional Polish gingerbread

Today’s note is a little bit different cause I wanted to share a recipe for my favourite Christmas gingerbread. This recipe requires the dough to mature before baking but the result is worth the wait: this gingerbread is delicious and smells divine. Every year I prepare a dough in first days of November and I made this years dough last Sunday.

The recipe claims that the longer the dough matures, the tastier the gingerbread will be. I don’t know how much true it is as I never baked this cake straightaway after making the dough so I have no comparison. I read somewhere though that long long time ago mothers in Poland used to make this dough when they had a baby girl. They kept the dough in pantry until their daughter was about to get married and then they baked the gingerbread for the wedding. Again, I’m not sure if there is any truth in it but now it’s my own personal tradition to make the dough couple of weeks before Christmas. At least it saves me a bit of work in December 🙂

The recipe comes from this Polish cooking forum and goes as follows:

500g honey

2 cups of sugar

250g butter

1000g flour

3 eggs

3 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda

1/2 cup of milk

2-3 sachets of shop-bought gingerbread spice mix or 5-6 tablespoons of homemade gingerbread spice mix

1/2 teaspoon of salt

Put butter, honey and sugar in large saucepan, melt together then set aside and let it cool. To cooled mix add flour, eggs, salt, spice and soda dissolved in milk. Mix well until combined, move to container and store in cool place. I keep it in the fridge in large plastic container with lid.

Baking:

Divide the dough into 3-4 parts, roll and bake each part separately in form laid with baking paper in temperature about 180 degrees C for about 10-15 minutes (depending on the oven and thickness of the cake). When all parts are baked layer them together spreading some jam (my favorite is blackcurrant) between layers. Wrap in cloth or kitchen foil, put something heavy on top (cutting board + big saucepan with water works best for me) and leave it for couple of days to mature. Cover with icing or melted chocolate.

I always double the ingredients as my friends ask for this gingerbread around Christmas and I end up giving away a lot. And even if I have some left it still tastes great after Christmas it just needs to be kept in airtight container or wrapped in cloth, kitchen foil or greaseproof paper to prevent drying up.

This dough is heavy and sticky and requires some strength to put together. I used to mix every batch separately in my bread maker but this year my husband bought me a proper mixer and it mixed double volume of ingredients at once no problem! And my kitchen didn’t end up as messy as in previous years …

 From double amount of dough I make 9 separate layers so in the end I have 3 cakes with 3 layers. I will show photos of finished gingerbread in couple of weeks.

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