The last few years I've made something sweet to drop in to Taylor's childcare educators as a thank you at Christmas time. This year Taylor is old enough to do it herself, which has been brilliant to watch. She chose gingerbread, as she had one last week and decided she loves them. So she wanted to share gingerbread with those around us! So we got out our trusty kids cookbook and Taylor got to work.
Here's the recipe we used: [download a PDF of the recipe]
(Adapted from Children's Party Cookbook by Hatty Stead and Annabel Waley-Cohen)
We made one batch and were able to cut out 17 biscuits.
250g plain flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp bi-carb soda
125g butter, softened
170g brown sugar
3 tbsp Sticky Fig Syrup (from The Figgery Kangaroo Island)
1 medium egg (a Tathra Homestead one of course!)
Heat the oven to 190C
In a medium sized bowl put in the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, bi-carb soda and butter. This bit is a tad messy, as you use your hands to mix it all together until you've got a mixture that looks like breadcrumbs.
Add the sugar, syrup and egg to the bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until combined well enough to form a ball of dough. Make a ball in the bowl and cover it with some gladwrap then pop into the fridge to chill. We left it for about 40 minutes.
Time to roll out the dough! On a floured surface roll the dough to about 5mm thick.
Time to cut out your biscuits! Taylor used a Christmas tree cutter and a deer cutter that we got from our fabulous local shop Tiny Nest, along with a star cutter. Pop the biscuits onto a tray lined with baking paper and bake for 8-10 minutes.
[side note] In our oven we needed 10 minutes, after checking them at 8 minutes they weren't quite golden. And interestingly some of the shapes really puffed and others stayed quite flat.
Once done, take the tray out the oven and leave the biscuits to sit for 5 minutes to harden. Then pop them onto a cooling rack for 45 minutes - 1 hour to cool down before decorating.
We used some 'writing icing' for the first time - just from the baking isle in our local supermarket. The little tubes were perfect for little hands and allowed Taylor to make lines, swirls and more. They took a bit of practice but she's excited to use them again for future baking projects!
To go with the biscuits, Taylor has also lovingly painted some pictures for both her and Jack's educators. We hope the enjoy their presents and their well deserved break over Christmas.
Happy Christmas from our family to yours.
originally written for Barossa Herald and published 13 August 2018
Three generations of our family are involved in all aspects of the business: from picking olives to collecting eggs, labelling dukkah to hunting for the finest tomatoes. We love our life on the western side of the Barossa Valley in our own slice of paradise.
‘Tathra’ is an aboriginal word meaning ‘beautiful country’ and was chosen by Kim and Joy as the property’s name in 1991 when our family moved in. The 64-acre property was previously farmed, with cropping and sheep, along with chickens, turkeys, pigs and cows.
For nearly eight years, Kim researched tree crops including stone fruit, pome fruit and carobs, until settling on olive trees as being most suitable. During that time the family worked to reintroduce both plant and animal biodiversity to the property. We have seen some lovely results with the return of local flora and fauna.
Kim's brother, Craig, joined the Tathra Homestead partnership and the family moved forward to plant an olive grove of over 1000 trees and in 2005 we were excited to finally bottle our first vintage of extra virgin olive oil.
Today Tathra Homestead revolves around an olive grove, jars of moreish dukkah, vegetable garden, and our ladies, the free-range chickens.
We are proud to be a part of the Barossa food culture, being members of Barossa Food and have a weekly stall at the Barossa Farmers Market.