Monday, 16 December 2013

Christmas Craft Much?

I'm gonna come right out and say it-I'm just not into doing arts and crafts with the kids. Does it make me a bad person because I actually wince when I get requests to 'take down the painting box' ? That the thought of making pasta necklaces brings me out in a cold sweat, and I've never made play dough in my life?
And yet, unbelievably, I've still managed to give birth to a child who swooned when he got his own Sellotape dispenser for his birthday, and regards every piece of recycling as an key piece in his latest crafting project.  A frequent exchange between us usually goes something like this....

Rory(in bewilderment  'Mammy how did this beautiful ornament (ketchup bottles and egg boxes taped together) that I made for you, end up in the outside bin?'
Me in 'puzzled dismay' 'Oh no! Surely not? Daddy must have put it in by mistake!' (Yep, I just threw him under the bus-karma's gonna get me) ' Let's put it back up again....for now.'

And no, I'll never forget the time a few years back, when another child, who shall not be named, secretly decided to make a little 'person' out of the rubbish in the upstairs bathroom bin. It was then proudly unveiled during Sunday lunch with the In Laws and on closer inspection included not only a toilet roll holder for the body, and used tissues for hair, but discarded tampon applicators for legs and arms... I'm shuddering even now at the memory.

Anyway, I've  completely digressed because this was supposed to be a post about teachers' Christmas gifts!
So drumroll please...and feast your eyes upon my gorgeous festive jars of gingerbread mix. Yes indeed, behold a real life Christmas miracle because despite my complete lack of flair for all things crafty, I've actually managed to produce a gift I'd like to get myself...which is surely the point after all?
So thankfully, this year there'll be no last minute rushing round M&S for the 'three for two' toiletry offers, because as you can see I'm all over it like a rash.

 I'd love to say that I thought up the whole idea myself but tempting though that is, it would be a downright lie. And anyway, I'd probably be outed by all those swotty crafting blogs, so I'll just come clean and tell you that I got the idea from my blogging mate Sarah's other blog. (She's actually got three...I'd hate her if I didn't love her!)

I bought the jars from Ikea for £1 each (bargain!) and picked up the ribbon and labels and cookie cutters here and there.
So, what’s in the mix?  You will need 375g plain flour, 1 tsp bicarb of soda, 2 tsp ground ginger and 90g light, soft brown sugar.  Just combine until evenly mixed and pop it in the jar! Then on the label I wrote the recipe and instructions.

1 quantity of gingerbread mix
125g chopped, unsalted butter
230g golden syrup
80g sifted icing sugar

To make:
Preheat oven to 180ºC.
Put gingerbread mix, butter and syrup into a food processor and pulse until it forms a smooth dough.  
Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 mins. Roll out the dough between two pieces of baking parchment until 0.5cm thick.  Cut into shapes and place on lined baking sheet.
Bake for 8-10 mins until golden.  Allow to cool.
Mix 80g icing sugar with 2tsp hot water and mix until smooth.  Decorate the biscuits as you wish.  Enjoy!

 Tah dah! You're welcome. Just call me Kirstie Allsopp.
 Laters lovelies, Emx