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<HTML>This is my great-grandmother's gingerbread recipe. Simple, reliable and delicious!
12 oz plain flour
2 rounded tsps ground ginger
3 oz lard or white solid vegetable oil
3 oz demerara or dark muscovado sugar
6 oz golden syrup
6 oz black treacle
1 1/2 tsps bicarbonate of soda dissolved in...
13 fl oz boiling water (15 fl oz if you use wholemeal flour as I do)
Preheat oven to Gas Mark 2/300 F/150 C. Line a square 8" tin with double thickness greaseproof paper. Sift flour, salt and ginger together into a bowl. Add sugar. Weigh 1/2 lb of the mixture on scales, make a well to take the syrup and treacle, then slide it all back into the bowl (this avoids spending ages scraping all that gooey stuff off the scale pan). Pour boiling water on bicarb in a measuring jug and stir. While it is still fizzing, pour it into the bowl and mix thoroughly with the other ingredients. Pour the runny mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 hours. Test with a skewer to ensure that it is cooked. Leave in the tin until cold. Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days before eating, to allow it to develop a sticky top. Enjoy!</HTML>
<I>Deliciously soft but sturdy cookies that take on the green color from the pistachio pudding. These store great and work fantastically for shipping and cookie exchanges. Difficulty: Very Easy</i>
1 cup (8 oz) butter, softened
1 cup (8 oz) white sugar
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups (18 oz) all-purpose flour
1 (3 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix
1 teaspoon (5ml) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) salt
3 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
1 teaspoon (5ml) shortening
1 In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, dry pudding mix, baking powder, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Cover dough, and refrigerate for at least one hour for easier handling.
2 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Shape teaspoonfuls of dough into finger shapes, about 1 1/2 inches long. Place cookies on prepared cookie sheets.
3 Bake for 9 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until set and very lightly browned on bottoms. Cool completely on a wire rack.
4 In small saucepan over low heat, melt together chocolate and shortening, stirring constantly until smooth and well blended. Drizzle a small amount of chocolate over each cookie. Allow the chocolate to set before storing.
<I>To make them festive for Christmas, you can use white chocolate and then add some red food coloring to it before you drizzle it. And to make Witch Fingers for Halloween, you can use sliced almonds as fingernails. Attach them to one end with a little chocolate. Then you can pipe on chocolate or black gel frosting to create the joint wrinkles. Looks really cool!</i></HTML>
<HTML><B>Eggnog Thumbprint "Biscuits"</B>
<I>Tasty shortbread style cookies with a rum/sugar glaze that tastes suspiciously like eggnog but doesn't contain any! These get better with age and are quite addictive. (If you don't want to use real rum, you can substitute 1/4 teaspoon of rum extract and 1 tablespoon of milk in the glaze) These are a BIG favorite and are becoming a tradition around here!</I>
3/4 cup (6 oz) butter, softened
1/2 cup (4 oz) white sugar
1/4 cup (2 oz) packed brown sugar -light or dark
1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) vanilla extract
2 cups (16 oz) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon (1.25ml) salt (good pinch)
1/4 cup (2oz) butter
1 cup (8oz) confectioners' sugar (the super-fine powedery kind)
1 tablespoon (15ml) rum
1 pinch ground nutmeg or to taste (Fresh is best!)
1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2 In a medium bowl, cream together 3/4 cup butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour and salt; stir into the creamed mixture by hand to form a soft dough. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, and place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Make an indention in the center of each cookie using your finger or thumb.
3 Bake for 12 minutes in preheated oven. Don't let them brown hardly at all. (Shortbread color) Cool completely.
4 In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, and rum. Spoon rounded teaspoonfuls of filling onto cookies. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Let stand until set before storing in an airtight container.</HTML>
<HTML>Can I just say that cocktail shakers are the world's best kitchen device. However they don't work terribly well when the ingredients are piss poor. Unfortunately i have a family who loook at price rather than qulity in spirits ("you're only going to mix them with something else anyway") so everything I've mixed so far tastes absolutely @!#$.
Nevermind - there's still alcohol in them...</HTML>
<HTML>Whoops... sorry, folks! Due to my inattentive typing, the instruction in the gingerbread recipe to rub the fat into the flour/salt/ginger mixture before adding the syrup and treacle got boojummed. I hope nobody's started making the recipe yet and is wondering what to do with the fat... :-(</HTML>