Brilliant Biccies!

In loving memory of a dear friend, taken all too very soon. Here’s to all the good, happy memories Pam, the incredible biccie lady. You are sorely missed xxx

Pamela Giles 29th May 1972 to 23rd August 2014.



Ooo I’m so thrilled to be writing this post! It’s almost too much excitement, I’m having to restrain myself from just posting a pile of “ooo’s” and happy faces with the following photos! You see, last week, one of my friends had her very own cook book published!!!

gingerbreads
Pam is a lovely lass I came to know a fair few years back now via the old Nigella.com forum. There she went by the avatar and screen name of “Eric The Cat”. Nowadays I have her details saved as “Pam the biccie lady”! :D. She has done something extraordinary and turned a hobby into a small home business then even produced the book we see above. It’s just so wonderful I can barely put it into words! It’s a fabulous, well illustrated, well written and very well laid out how to make and decorate your own cookies at home. Something I’ve shied away from (until now) as its out of my comfort zone to do so much fine detail, labour intensive work to produce a baked good. But that didn’t stop me from picking up these adorable gingerbread men cookie cutters and pop them away until I felt able to rise to the challenge. Today was that day people!

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Whilst not only being a delightfully comprehensive beginners guide to cookie making, something I didn’t expect was just how personal Pam’s book is. She mentions a number of our mutual foodie friends as sources of inspiration, help with not only creating the book but also one friend in particular is credited with a recipe. And that would be the lovely Riikka – a committed Finnish foodie friend (of the healthy fraternity – and very inspiring she is too!) who gave Pam her original gingerbread recipe. Lucian Piparkakut or Saint Lucy’s Gingerbread. And given that I had the cutters, Riikka had sent me the optional extra dried mandarin powder or pomerans last Christmas and finally, my copy of Brilliant Biscuits had arrived I no longer had an excuse to not cookie it up! Feel the fear and live it anyway people! 😀

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I’m so delighted Pam’s instructions were so clear. They answered the questions I wanted answered – whether to flour and roll out or use cling film, whether to chill or not chill the dough and when to chill it. Perfecto! For a cookie novice like moi!

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Look how sharp those edges are! That’s two periods of fridge chilling that is ;). Even after baking they did not spread one ickle bit. A great tip from Pam is to transfer the just baked cookies onto a rack to cool by picking up the baking paper or in my case bake-o-glide reusable parchment. No more broken biccies!

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Now comes the fun bit! Mixing up your royal icing colours then piping whatever design you can dream of. Perhaps I should point out that Pam’s book doesn’t have the design for these cookies in in particular (but there is a chapter on gingerbread brides and grooms aw!). That is deliberate, as is the fact I won’t be including the recipe on my blog – I want you all to go out and buy a copy of Brilliant Biccies cos it’s amazing! One last omission is whilst I already have a big selection of food colours and glitters, I didn’t actually make my own icing – I used the “just add water stuff”. You do as makes you feel comfortable!

 

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The most important thing about the decorating phase of this baking project is getting your icing consistency right. We are directed to have our line icing hold a ribbon only 5-6 seconds in Brilliant Biscuits. Like so. It makes a massive difference to not have icing as stuff as cement nor as runny as water – it makes an apparently insurmountable task a far more achievable task. I’ve never managed it before so have only attempted decorated biccies twice before. And they were not good!

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So yes, there is work to be done on my skills, tis true but this was immensely satisfying to do. For some reason the boy biccies were easier to decorate than the girl biccies for me but I’m sure my spatial awareness can only improve the more bics I bake! 😀

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For those Disney Pixar fans amongst you, my inspiration for the gingerbread boys was the Gingerbread Man from Shrek! If your heart doesn’t melt when he gets doused in hot milk, then I’m not sure we can be friends 😉

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Ooo this project really brought out my not-so-inner child I can tell you! It was just so much fun I couldn’t help but give each biccie a personality of its own!

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So there we have it – a selection of gingerbread. I did make a bunch of mini ones too but didn’t decorate them, instead leaving them plain and popping in a biccie tin to be dunked into future warming cups of tea as winter approaches. Did you know these bics can last pot 3 months? Lol, ok, maybe these little guys won’t but it won’t be because of a defective recipe I can tell you – they are utterly delicious! Think ginger snap, ginger thin biscuits. Absolutely delicious ones.

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So, if like me your inner child goes super sonic “oooooo” over a fantastical design, primary colours and lots of edible glitter then this is the book for you!  Do yourself a favour and treat yourself to a copy. Or maybe even buy an extra one or two as Christmas presents ;). I can’t recommend the incredible Pam’s book highly enough and even though I’m biased as she’s my foodie friend, I hope she knows how extraordinarily talented she is and what a phenomenal achievement publishing her own baking book is. Congratulations Pam – it’s an absolute triumph.

Get your own copy –> here! 😀

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By | 2017-07-18T20:31:16+00:00 September 23rd, 2012|Categories: Cookies, Foodie Fun, Home Baking|Tags: , , , , , , |16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. The Spicy Saffron 23/09/2012 at 19:41 - Reply

    These look delectable!! It must be a great moment to bake straight out your friend’s book:) You have done a wonderful job, Jo. I am loving the different expressions on gingerbread men!!

    • Jo Blogs 23/09/2012 at 21:34 - Reply

      Thank you Spicy! I love anything cute and these lil guys certainly made me smile 😀

  2. emmathebakewelltart 23/09/2012 at 19:53 - Reply

    Aww how darn cute are these little dudes and dudettes! Adorable! I have my copy of the book ordered and am waiting eagerly… I cant wait to make some with my minis.
    You’ve done Pam proud with this great blog post hun x x

    • Jo Blogs 23/09/2012 at 21:36 - Reply

      It will be worth the wait Em – it’s a great book. These lil dudes came out far better than I suspected before I started!

  3. Pamela 23/09/2012 at 20:03 - Reply

    I’m so flattered and thrilled to read this. Your gingerbread folk are GREAT and just what I want people to get out if this book – inspiration enough to give it a go, cause it ain’t that hard! Jodie you have put a lot of time and love into this blog post and its photos ….. Trust me, I know how time on consuming it all is. So thank you thank you thank you!

    • Jo Blogs 23/09/2012 at 21:40 - Reply

      It’s me who is thankful to you Pam for being so generous with all your knowledge and sharing your skills with us all in your brilliant book. It was a joy to spend a lazy Sunday pottering around making these cutsie poo lil critters and a great excuse to blog & practise my photography skills. So thank you Pam! Next, will be chocolate brontosaurs called Dino! 😀

  4. Camilla 23/09/2012 at 21:02 - Reply

    Love these little ginger bread people and their little individual personalities, like you I’ve never done any fancy icing. Time to feel the fear as your say!!

    • Jo Blogs 23/09/2012 at 21:44 - Reply

      Grab some food colours, ready mix total icing and some sandwich bags Camilla. Try to think of it as a whole picture – I thought each individual element of my lil ginger critters was a tad rough around the edges but the overall effect is so pleasing! Can’t wait to share them out in work tomorrow 😀

  5. Pamela 23/09/2012 at 23:35 - Reply

    You are so so welcome! I have just read through all this again, the whole thing makes me smile. Hope your workmates enjoy their treats, lucky them. Now bring on the dinos!!

  6. frugalfeeding 24/09/2012 at 10:18 - Reply

    Oh wow, that’s really cool – congrats to pam. Those biscuits look very fun, Jo :D. Well made! I hope that one day I get a recipe book published 😀

    • Jo Blogs 24/09/2012 at 19:24 - Reply

      Cheers Frugal and bring it on! Get that book published so I can go gaga over your book too! :D. Pam will testament I’m a very good PR girl lol 😉

  7. bettybobkin 24/09/2012 at 16:25 - Reply

    It’s a gorgeous book isn’t it, and lovely to feel we were “part of it”. I’m looking forward to an excuse to try some of the simpler techniques: Christmas if not before…

    • Jo Blogs 24/09/2012 at 19:25 - Reply

      Yes, it’s just so wonderful that do many of us are mentioned or eluded to it one way or another Liz. Even my hub’s muddy piggy snook in there lol! Christmas will be the perfect time to start biccie-ing it up! 😀

  8. Seonaid 03/10/2012 at 10:16 - Reply

    These are so pretty. Think I might try these first before having a go at a gingerbread house for Christmas!

  9. eat, little bird 08/10/2012 at 08:00 - Reply

    I’m waiting for my copy to arrive in the post and I can’t wait!!! I know in advance that I will be terrible on the decorating front but hopefully Pam will have some tips for the not-so-talented folk like me 🙂 But I’m glad to read that there are great biscuit recipes in there, as well as clear instructions in the recipes.

    Btw I love your gingerbread men!! My only hesitation with such cute cookies is to destroy them and eat them!

  10. Amy 16/10/2012 at 23:02 - Reply

    The cutest gingerbread people I have ever seen!

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