Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
I spent much of my university years working in retail (I did also attend classes… just thought I should point that out!), and Christmas was the most loved and hated time of a shop assistants year.
Christmas meant lots of work; which meant more money. It was the time of the year when we could afford to eat more than just 2-minute noodles and didn’t have to drink the nastiest Vodka ever to leave the Bundy grocery store. That was the love part. More work = more money = better booze.
Christmas meant lots of work; which meant lots of customers, many suffering from too much Christmas stress, long hours on your feet and way too many fake smiles. This was often the hate part. More work = more chance of encountering a nutty customer = pulling your hair out as you hold your breath trying to swallow the words you really want to say (as opposed to the “of course the customer’s always right”).
Luckily the bonuses of extra work helped to deal with the issues of the extra work!
So next time you are at the shops and in a rush to get something, just remember that the retail assistants are people too. They’ve probably encountered more rude people that day than you have in your whole year. So why not give them a smile, compliment their cheesy Christmas T-shirt that they’ve been forced to wear and wish them festive greetings. God knows they need it; the Boxing Day sales start soon and they are a NIGHTMARE!
How lovely does this Gingerbread man wreath look?! (Sorry no clever segue… it’s too hot and I’m too buggered to think about it)
It’s actually quite simple to do and looks impressive. If you are game you can also use Chocolate gingerbread dough and have alternating men.
Gingerbread Man WreathMakes approximately 34 5cm gingerbread men; enough for 2 medium size wreathsServings: 18
- 1/2 cup Dates
- 1/4 cup Boiling Water
- 1 3/4 cups Almond Meal
- 3/4 cup Arrowroot
- 4 Tablespoons Coconut flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Bicarb Soda
- 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 2 teaspoons ground Ginger
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon Cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup Golden Syrup
- 1/4 Coconut Oil slightly softened.
- Place dates into a small bowl and cover with boiling water.
- Allow to sit for at least 20 minutes.
- Place all the dry ingredients into a bowl and gently whisk to combine.
- Place dates in a blender and purée.
- Add the golden syrup, egg and coconut oil and blend until smooth and combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and process until combined.
- Separate the dough into 2 segments. Form each into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour. At this point the dough can be left in the fridge for up to 3 days, or frozen (if freezing double wrap each disc and thaw to room temperature before using).
- Preheat the oven to 175C/350F.
- Trace a circle using a plate onto a piece of baking paper.
- Turn baking paper over, place in large tray and grease paper (make sure you can see the circle outline).
- Remove 1 disc at a time. The dough needs to stay firm to cut out the shapes. As the dough softens during the cutting return it to the freezer for 5-10 minutes. The dough will not hold its cut shape if the dough becomes too soft.
- Roll the dough disc between 2 pieces of greased baking paper to 6mm (approx. 1/4 Inch) thickness. Cut out gingerbread men shapes and place them on the tray, lining the arms of the men up with the traced circle and overlapping the hands and feet.
- Continue cutting, returning the dough to the freezer when it becomes too soft, until the circle is complete.
- Use a small brush to apply a small amount of water to the arm and feet joins of the circle.
- Place the tray with the wreath in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the freezer and bake for 17-19 minutes.
- If baking normal Gingerbread men the cooking time should remain the same.
- Allow the wreath to cool on the tray.
NotesAdapted from Martha Stewart