Gluten Free Gingerbread Recipe

December 22, 2011
Gluten free gingerbread

Gluten free gingerbread

Gluten Free Gingerbread is really hard to make. I’ve tried and tested a lot of different recipes over the years and had some EPIC fails. But this year was MY YEAR! I did it. I made The Best Gluten Free Gingerbread. Can you see how excited I am about this? With all those Capital letters?! I love these sweet little decorated cookies, with their spicy bite. Don’t get me started on the smell as they bake, the whole house fills with Christmas.

Gluten free gingerbread men

Gluten free gingerbread men

This year I actually used an existing recipe and replaced the flour for gluten free flour. Its from Taste, its their Gingerbread Men recipe. I’ll list it below with the gluten free inclusion but I’ll also share some tips I worked out to make this easier to do. The nature of gluten free can sometimes be difficult to deal with. It doesn’t have the elastin properties wheat flour does. But there are ways! It’s totally worth the little bit of extra work because it the best gluten free gingerbread you’ve ever had. Trust me!

Gluten Free Gingerbread

Ingredients

  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 125g butter, at room temperature
  • 100g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) golden syrup or treacle
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 375g (2 1/2 cups) plain Gluten Free flour (I use white wings)
  • 1 tbs ground ginger
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Method

Beat butter and sugar in bowl until creamy. Add the golden syrup and egg yolk. When combined add dry ingredients, Gluten Free flour, ginger, mixed spice, and bicarb soda. When combined it should form a very thick and elastic dough. It doesn’t need much working just scrape it out onto clingwrap (you’ll probably need a metal knife this is a strong sticky dough). Form into a flat disk and put it in the fridge.

The key to working with this dough is COLD. Lots of fridge time. I’ve even put it in the freezer let it defrost a little and worked with it from there. Put it in the fridge until its hard, so probably an hour. Once cold I cut the disk into quarters and work with each quarter leaving the rest in the fridge.

Preheat your oven to 180C. Roll the dough out between two sheet of baking paper until 3-4mm thick and about the size of your baking tray. Peel off the top baking paper only. I then use my cookie cutters to cut out shapes in the dough the distance I’d like them to be on the tray. Then carefully remove all the excess dough revealing the cookies how they’ll be cooked. Lift the baking paper sheet with the cookies (do not lift individual cookies or you’ll end up with elasto-gingerbread-man) onto the tray and place it all in the fridge for another 5-10minutes.

I use this process because the gingerbread is very stretchy and elastic, if you add more flour to dry it out it will just be a crumbly cracked mess, this makes a very delicious cookie that holds together very well and shouldn’t be dry or crumbly.

After cooling. Place the cookies in the oven for 5-10minutes. or until golden and cooked to your liking. I found 5-7 gives a softer gingerbread man, 7-8 worked perfectly in my oven and 10 produced a very crisp and very brown cookie. Just watch your first batch carefully to see how you’d like yours to turn out.

Let them cool for at least 30mins before decorating. You’ll note that I’ve used Cachous and mini MnM’s in some of my decorating. If you live in Australia they are not gluten free, but if you live in the US they are.┬áMy husband and neighbours are about to get lucky! Don’t worry, there are others I decorated purely gluten free for me to eat while I’m present wrapping! You can find lots of fun gluten free decorating shapes and 100’s and 1000’s in the baking isle at Coles. The mini heart ‘buttons’ are gluten free.

Decorate your Gluten Free Gingerbread

Decorate your Gluten Free Gingerbread

Store in an airtight container or they will go soft. They still taste good like this but you’ll end up with some amputees!

Gluten Free Christmas Gingerbread

Gluten Free Christmas Gingerbread

These are so good you can even pack them up and give them to all your friends, even those who dont eat gluten free! They wont be able to tell the difference!

Gluten Free Gingerbread Christmas Gifts

Gluten Free Gingerbread Christmas Gifts

Handmade Fabric Ornamnets

December 21, 2011
Handmade Fabric Ornaments

Handmade Fabric Ornaments

So I wanted to make something meaningful for my girlfriends for Christmas, I thought a little handmade ornament for the tree might be something nice. I got my girls involved and they ‘helped’ make some for their friends too. I think its nice, they can pop it on the tree each year and remember its from us.

I used the tutorial at belle and burger, I love her thought process behind the original idea. Houses are so protective and there is something christmassy about that isn’t there? I guess a house is often your home and that’s where family is.

I had fun using some of my favorite scraps up and picking ones that I though would suit each specific friend and her decor. Most of my friends have young kids, breaking ornaments seem to go hand-in-hand with young children, so I thought the fabric ornaments would suit my friends with little kids ‘at that age’.

This one is scraps from a quilt I made for my friends little boy.

Fabric House Ornament

Fabric House Ornament

Dont they look fun hanging on the tree

Dont they look fun hanging on the tree

I love sparkle and lights when it comes to Christmas, a fabric ornament tends to go against that instinct. So I made sure there were some shiny buttons to reflect light!

Fabric House with Sparkle

Fabric House with Sparkle

so shiny!

so shiny!

just add a bit of love

just add a bit of love and hand stitching

of course there had to be a yellow one

of course there had to be a yellow one

top with an interesting hanger

topped with a thoughtful hanger

These are the ones my girls made for their friends. They’re too little to actually cut accurately and sew but I gave them the felt backing and let them choose the fabrics and buttons and ribbons they wanted. They then cut out ‘chunks’ of the fabrics and placed the fabrics where they wanted. I then cut down the chunks and stitched them together for them.

for little girls by little girls

for little girls by little girls

I love this so much I might make it a yearly thing! Handmade ornaments!

What little Christmas traditions do you have that you share with your friends?

boys satchel car playmat

December 20, 2011

Yep, you read that right, its not just a jumble of words I made a boys-satchel-car-playmat.

I was going to show you hand-made ornaments but I thought it made more sense to follow up yesterday’s little girl play-bag post with the gift I made for her little brother. I figured the dollhouse hand bag was a bit girly for a boy (although you could totally make it work if you wanted). So I decided a satchel suited a little boy best. Anna from noodlehead once posted about turning some old cargos in to a satchel and I’ve always loved the idea. I think its a great way to give the bag a ‘weathered’ look and I like the details you get with all the ‘pre-stitched’ areas. Plus if you cut right you can use one of the premade pockets to use on your bag!

Satchel made from Cargo Pants

Satchel made from Cargo Pants

So with that in mind I set about figuring out how to make it into a bag that would fold out flat so it could be played on.

Surprise at the back of the bag

Surprise at the back of the bag

Undo the tabs holding the bag closed

Undo the tabs holding the bag closed

fold open the satchel flap

fold open the satchel flap

and a whole viilage, perfect for zooming cars, awaits

and a whole viilage, perfect for zooming cars, awaits

There are a TON of ideas out there of little play mat villages, if you just google car playmat you’ll end up with a stack of inspiration. So none of my ideas are very original but I still love how it all came out. I made little personal touches that suit the little guy this one is for.

Where he lives there is a fair bit of new development, and I know one of his favourite pass-times is to sit and watch all the trucks at the construction sites. Now he can truck dirt around in his bag…

play construction site

the construction site

At the end of the street where he lives there is a park, in the other direction there is a big river, so those fun things had to be included in his little village.

the park and the river

the park and the river

the grocery store and bookstore

the grocery store and bookstore

When I visited him recently we went on some outings to the Superstore and to Chapters so I thought including them would be fun. (I love the little apple tape I found for the grocery store! I would totally shop at a place with apples on its roof!) You can see in this picture for the ‘dotted’ lines in the road I just used button hole stitch on my sewing machine. The rest of the details were hand-stitched so it took a while to do this project but I really had a lot of fun.

So all he needs to do now is pack it full of cars

when folded up the bag can cars for on the go fun

when folded up the bag can hold cars, for on the go fun

and be ready to play, where ever he is!

pocket from the pants makes a great place to store snacks

pocket from the pants makes a great place to store snacks

I sure hope he likes packing up a snack and taking his bag on adventures.

 

Fabric House Village

December 19, 2011
Take-along fabric dollhouses!

Take-along fabric dollhouses!

Before I went to New York I wanted to make something for my girls to play with whilst I was away. I’d been wanting to make them a little portable dollhouse for a while and I came across UK Lass in the US fabric dollhouse tutorial, its a great tutorial. I will warn you however, its pretty time consuming. It looks like a simple sweet gift but it takes a good 3days to complete, I’d say. Or maybe a whole day if you could dedicate that kind of uninterrupted time. I’m a pretty slow crafter. I check and double check and I think things through a lot first so maybe its just me! Who knows!

Anyway in the end each little girl had one of these to play with and take around with them while I was away.

inside the fabric dollhouse

inside the fabric dollhouses

a little handle to carry around little girl goodies

a little handle to carry around little girl goodies

blue buttons to make sure nothing falls out!

blue buttons to make sure nothing falls out!

red daisies for cheer and holding things in!

red daisies for cheer and holding things in!

They LOVE them. if you have a little girl in your life its totally worth the time. Its a very inexpensive project. I didn’t use the recommended stiffening I just used these

craft activity for empty cereal boxes

empty cereal boxes

I think they’re easier to use and they hold up well once you’ve wrapped and stuck them with wadding and masking tape. If you sew your sections so they’re very snug it helps the structure too and they’re easy to slide in because they bend a little. (Although I’m pretty sure if it got sat on it’d break.)

I also painted little wooden peg dolls in replica of each of them, which they also loved. Except I used water based paint and didn’t seal it. The second they got handled with little sticky fingers they got all smudged. oops.

handpainted wooden peg dolls

Sisters for the dollhouse

handpainted wooden peg dolls

Sisters for the dollhouse

I made another one for one of our little friends for Christmas.

portable fabric dollhouse

dollhouse number 3 - a christmas gift!

alphabet canvas ribbon for handles

with sweet alphabet cloth ribbon for handles

jewel buttons

jewel buttons - that my girls chose

peak inside the purple dollhouse

peak inside the purple dollhouse

fabric dollhouse village

the fabric dollhouse village

It looked like a fabric dollhouse village at our house, before the purple one got wrapped up and put in the mail. They really are a cute and fun idea! You could probably squeeze one in before Christmas if you need one last hand made gift!

What last minute gifts are you making/finishing up? I’ve got some fun ornaments I’m going to share tomorrow…if I get them finished!

Back from New York!

December 18, 2011

New York from the Empire State - by Sherri

So I’m back. Finally.

I went on a fabulous trip to New York and I finally feel like I’ve got time to blog again.

I had the most amazing time away. I got to go away with my bestie Sherri and a couple of her friends from Canada. We had an amazing time and one of the other girls I was privledged to hang out with was Rosa. She’s a far more prolific blogger than me so you’ll probably find much more interesting New York stories on her blog flutter flutter if you’re interested at all! Actually check out this post of where we stayed! Yes, it was as small as it looks but it was perfectly appointed and it couldnt have been in a better location!

Not only was it amazing to see my gorgeous friend again, I had an AMAZING time in NY what a fantastic city. Here are a couple of highlights of my favourite things we did, places we went. I start with our trip to Purl because I guess its like going to the Sewing Mecca in New York right? Its walls of colour matched lusciousness and inspiring projects! Seems appropriate to start here:

Purl Soho - Store Front

Purl Soho - Store Front

Purl Soho - Liberty Luciousness

Purl Soho - Liberty Luciousness

Purl Soho - Yarn Wall

Purl Soho - Yarn Wall

Inspiring Purl Projects

Purl Soho - like coming home

Purl Soho - like coming home

Then of course the other place I went that I have to share is Babycakes, I went just to try their gluten free goodness. Isn’t it the cutest store?

Baby Cakes - Soho

Baby Cakes - Soho

Baby Cakes

Babycakes Vanilla Cupcake

Babycakes Vanilla Cupcake

As a bakery they bake more than gluten free, they also bake vegan, egg and dairy and sugar free too. As Sherri said to me ‘what do they make it out of, air?’ Which is a good call. To be totally honest, I wasn’t that huge a fan. I often say if I have to be gluten free, give me everything else. (which is essentially all the fat and sugar I can find!) However, if you have a lot of allergies or food issues I think what they do is AMAZING. While I wasn’t that huge a fan I did LOVE and still dream about their Mounds Bar. Which for us ozzies is is like a Bounty, oh how I’ve missed Bountys. I would kill for a Babycakes mounds bar right now.

New York Rain

New York Rain

The Corner Store (on our corner!)

The Corner Store (on our corner!)

Obsession - Anthropologie - soho

Obsession - Anthropologie

inside Anthropologie Soho

inside Anthro, clever lighting

The Highline - a raised garden

The Highline - a masterpiece of design and ingenuity

the highline used to be an disused railway

the highline used to be an disused railway

Ground Zero - new growth/rebuilding reflection

Ground Zero - inspiring new growth and rebuilding reflection combo

best NY jazz club

best NY jazz club - Bar 55

NY Jazz, I could have listened all night

NY Jazz, I could have listened all night

cute place we dined at

Subway - Union Square

Subway Riding

Friedmas - BEST GLUTEN FREE DINER - awesome BLT

Friedmas - BEST GLUTEN FREE DINER - awesome BLT

New Yorkness

New Yorkness

Le Labo - Amazing place where they blend your fragrance for you.

Le Labo - Amazing place where they blend your fragrance for you.

Le Labo - truth.

Le Labo - truth.

Times Square Sunset

Times Square Sunset

and this is just the half of it! It was a trip of a life time. I had a blast.

Now there is only a week till Christmas but as I kind of count down I’m going to attempt to share all my Christmas crafting with daily count down posts!

as usual all photos are copyright to me! Just ask if you want to use them.

The Little Red Fleece Jacket

September 14, 2011

The Little Red Fleece Jacket

The other day spotlight had fleece on sale. So I bought a meter in Red. Why? I dont know.

except that red looks great on her

I do know that at the end of every season my oldest seems to have a growth spurt, too late in the season to waste money buying her new clothes but too early for the changing weather. So I thought I’d use my red fleece to make her a jacket that didn’t come up short on the sleeves, I wouldn’t normally choose to make a jacket out of fleece but she needed something warm and cheap. However, now that I’ve done it I totally love it!

retro fabric for the lining

I drafted up a pattern using a jumper (that still fits) as a guide for size, I was surprised it worked really well! It actually only used 1/2 a meter of fleece and the hood lining and other details are made from some vintage fabric mum gave me from her stash she had when I was little. So it was a really cheap project. Plus, I’m super happy with how cute it is on her!

The jacket in action

Generally I think jackets need lining but it seemed odd to line the fleece seeing it was so soft inside, so instead I sort of ‘wrapped’ the seams in a lining fabric. I love the way it worked out. Everywhere you’d see the edge of the fabric I wrapped it in some home made binding. I think I’ll do this more often!

wrapped raw edges

even inside the sleeves got the treatment

using another of my 'home made tags'

It seems to be good at keeping her warm while we’re out playing in the cool spring air!

red jackets are great for running in the park

Now what should I do with the other half a meter?

A casual shirt for me!

August 31, 2011

My New Shirt

I decided I needed a few more shirts in my wardrobe, and I couldn’t wait until I got to NY. But seeing I’m saving for NY I cant afford to go out and buy any. So I decided to use this great soft grey fabric I had in my stash, its a bit like a voile but a tiny bit heavier. I’ve been wanting to use it for a while! I made up my own pattern based on a shirt in my wardrobe that I liked the fit of then I added some details on shirts I’d seen around and been coveting.

I knew I wanted a placket, but I didn’t know it was called that or how to make one, however with a bit of googling I came across this very very helpful tutorial from Rachel Writes (who doesn’t appear to write on this blog anymore but I’m glad she left it up!) on how to do it! Yippee, gotta love the net.

Shirt with a Placard and Red Pin Tuck Details

I love pin-tucks and cant help but include it on everything. I even found a fancy stitch (the only fancy stitch) on my machine and thought I’d add it to the pin-tuck line-up. Its probably meant for something else but I like it!

sleeve with a button pull up

I gathered the sleeve at the top but it wasn’t tying into the rest of the shirt, adding the button pull up somehow brought it all together and let me add even more red stylin!

Business shirt hem

I wanted to be able to wear the shirt comfortably with my skinny jeans so I designed it to hang long and loose. Seeing the hem line would always be showing I thought I’d make it a mimic the base of my husbands business shirts. I’ve always loved the way they curve up at the sides. I actually found this really hard to sew but with a bit of unpicking I got there in the end! Ta Da. I haven’t sewn anything for myself since christmas, I think I should do it more often, its really satisfying!

More Boy Gifts

August 24, 2011

Present Gift Bag

Yes, I’m at it again, making Boy Gifts. This one is for a slightly older boy. Our little friend turned 4 on the weekend and we celebrated his birthday, along with the change of season, with a pair of PJ’s. I like giving kids who’s birthdays fall when the seasons change a pair of PJ’s. As a Mum its always the thing I never seem to have on hand. The first, warmer or cooler night and I can’t figure out what to put my kids in because all the stuff from last season no longer fits. Make it out of a fun print and hopefully the little one in your life will love them as much as their parents.

Cars PJ's with cute embelishment on the back

Most 4year olds love the movie Cars (well mine does) so I picked some Cars themed fabric, using a pair of my eldests PJ bottoms, I drafted out the pattern for the pants. I then bought a complimentary target t-shirt and cut out some of the images from the fabric and used a machine applique stitch to attach them to the shirt.

how great is machine applique? - I'll be doing this again!

To top off the present I picked up a cute little colouring in pack, that I wish I bought more of, I think it would be great for colouring in on long car rides.

Cars Boy Gift - all ready to go!

Baby Golf Pants

July 23, 2011

Golf Pants - Baby Gift

So another friend of mine had a baby boy. Pretty sure I haven’t made a baby-girl gift for about a year now! Statistically this does not bode well for me having a boy one day. Everyone else is hogging the boy statistics! hehehe. Does it work like that? Dont get me wrong I’m very happy for them, plus it means I get to make a variety of cute little boy outfits! This time I went with golf pants. I think they’re my new favourite boy thing. Aren’t they the cutest?

Flat fronted - for style, with an elastic back - for comfort

I used Dana’s tutorial and I went with a flat fronted style. I tried to get a bit of a vintage vibe going with the fabric. Paired with a little complimentary onesie and of course a little matching gift sack. Cute! I had high hopes of making a little matching cap but western power in their wisdom decided to switch my power off this morning – as I was finishing off the gift!! Acutally that’s how the hand embroidery on applique letter came about.

Hand Embroidered Applique - courtesy of Western Power

I had plans to button hole stitch around the letter but without power I had to hand embroider. Which I actually love, happy accident…. or something like that.

DIY Clothing Label

My very own lables!

You might notice on the side there’s a little tag. I got my inspiration from See Kate Sew and DIY’d some of my very own labels to put on the things I make. I like the finished look it creates! Plus it will have the added bonus of helping Dad find the back of hand made leggings and things!

Baby Golf Pants!

My First Quilt

July 17, 2011
Weaving Fan Quilt Pattern Based on Sarahs Cottage Kids Loft

My First Quilt

Yes, this is my first real quilt. I did it! Its taken me ages and I’ve been quietly working away on it for months. I first showed a little hint of it around mothers day where I used my sample square to make a mothers day gift.

Here it is, those same fabrics and patterns in a full blown quilt.

Quilt Pattern Based on Kids Loft Quilt

Weaving Fan Pattern

As you can see from the first photo I wanted it to be a throw for the chair in her room. But I ended up making it big enough to fit over a king single bed! ooops! I guess that’s what happens when you make up the pattern for your first quilt.

I chose colours to to go with the aqua and apricot colour theme I’ve got going in her room. Then ‘fussy cut’ (fancy quilt term I learnt) little birds to appear here and there, tying in with the other sort of theme I have in her room! She loves searching the quilt for all the different birds.

Fussy Cut Birds in Weaving Fan Pattern

Sweet Birds for Playing I Spy!

I also then hand quilted with embroidery thread the centers of the fans, for a bit of texture.

Hand Stitched Quilting

Hand quilting for texture

I bound it all in matching blue and backed it in a Japanese Lawn (that my friend told me last night is currently on sale at Spotlight).

Blue binding, Quilt backed in Japanese Lawn

Blue binding and Japanese Lawn backing.

I quilted it with two straight lines either side of the seam, I like straight line quilting I think it enhances all that work you did piecing the whole thing together!

Phew, what a big project. Hopefully I’ll have time to share where I got my inspiration from and why I decided to make a quilt later this week! I’m so happy with the way it turned out and I had fun every step of the way. Quilting is so fun! Now that I’ve got that out of my system (for a while) I think I’ll be able to get a few other crafty projects done around here.