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What can I possibly say about these little fellas… aren’t they fun? I just love the ingenious ideas that go around the internet, and chuckle to myself when the older generation look at my baking and say ‘Aren’t you clever?!’ knowing that if there were more people around the Cotswolds who have heard of Pinterest, my cover would be blown.

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Still, there are also plenty of Pinterest fails that go around the internet (and in my own kitchen for that matter!) and these little gingerbread & marshmallow melted snowman biscuits turned out rather perfectly, if I may say so! It was a store-cupboard job, although as I’ve said before I do have strange things in my baking cupboard, so I’ll give you a few tips on my choice of recipes/ingredients.

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For the gingerbread recipe:

  • Mix together 175g flour, 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp of mixed spice, 1 tsp ground ginger, 2 tsp caster sugar.
  • Melt (I used the microwave) 50g butter and 3 tbsp golden syrup (it helps to heat or dip the tablespoon in hot water first) together. Pour over the dry ingredients you just mixed together.
  • Combine with a wooden spoon and / or your hands until you have a dough – I added a little more flour so that it was rollable. Then chill the dough (wrapped in cling film) for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  • Heat over to 180 degrees C. Roll out your dough to 5mm thickness, cut out circles (I got 12 out of mine – don’t let them get too thin) and place on a tray lined with non-stick baking paper.
  • Bake for 8-12 minutes – take your gingerbread out while it’s still a bit soft as it’ll firm up in the baking tray. Once firm enough, transfer to a wire cooling rack.

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I didn’t make marshmallows especially for this, but had some left over from my hot chocolate ones. Here is the marshmallow recipe I used however, which has worked for me on more than one occasion (adapted from here):

  • Mix 50g icing sugar and 50g cornflour. Line a 20x30cm tin with baking paper, and dust with some of this mix.
  • Dissolve 9 sheets of gelatine in 150ml hot water in a heatproof jug.
  • Put 450g granulated sugar, 1 tbsp liquid glucose and 200ml water in a heavy bottomed pan – cook on a low heat until the sugar dissolves. You don’t want to stir the sugar-water as that will affect its consistency, but I tip the pan from side to side a little to encourage the sugar to dissolve. Once sugar has dissolved (almost) entirely, up the heat and boil until 125 degrees C.*
  • While the sugar is boiling, whisk the egg whites until stiff.
  • Then it’s showtime… once the syrup is hot enough, add it to the gelatine water (be careful, it may bubble up a bit!). Continue whisking the egg whites while gradually pouring this syrup over them in a steady stream, adding in a few drops of flavouring if you want to (e.g. vanilla or peppermint extract), and whisking for 10 minutes until the mixture is quite stiff.
  • Pour into your tin and leave somewhere cool & dry for 2 hours or until set. Once completely set, you can turn the lot out onto a clean counter covered with the icing sugar/cornflour mix and chop up into your desired shapes – rolling them in the powder as you go. YUM!

* If you’re feeling a little maverick like I sometimes do and don’t have a thermometer, you can test that it’s ready by dropping some of the mix into a glass of cold water – if a little ball forms as it drops, then it’s ready.

meltedsnowman4To assemble you just need a little round marshmallow, some royal icing (that is, an egg white mixed with sifted icing sugar & a drop of lemon juice – royal icing is great because is sets!), and some decorations.

Happy Christmas!

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