Sara Picken-Brown, ‘THE FIGURE GENIE’ is a U.K based Nutrition & Fitness expert. A former classically trained professional ballerina her career has twisted and turned from dance to a professional Figure Athlete career spanning a decade. Her online nutrition programs, 1-on-1 bespoke Coaching and Rejuvenation Retreats have helped thousands of women love their bodies and live inspired healthy lives.

Traditional Christmas Spiced Cookies

I have a confession…2018 marks the first time in, goodness, nearly 15 years that I have got into a kitchen and BAKED! I have fond memories of baking with my Nana and many fond memories of baking with my Mum. Who didn’t love licking the bowl of all the gooey, sugary wonderment as a child? I certainly did.

So the year has marked a return to some old fashioned, home made goodness (good for the soul, not so much good for the waistline).

This post comes with a caveat!

The following are to be consumed responsibly, among good company, ideally with mulled wine or a hot chocolate. With an understanding that hard work in the gym and through the year allows for wiggle room on the glorious occasions  that the following goodies are on offer.

This recipe follows old fashioned baking principles, butter, sugar and loads of it. But its only Christmas once a year and (I for one) am prepping for a 1/2 marathon in Jan/Feb, so you earn your rewards..right?

Bake many and Enjoy

Ginger Christmas Cookies


Makes: 15 Makes 15 – 25 depending on size of cutters

350g plain flour

100g butter

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

5 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda

175g light brown soft sugar

4 tablespoons golden syrup

1 medium egg


Prep:30min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:45min 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
  2. Put the flour, butter, ginger, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda in a mixing bowl. Mix it all together with fingertips until crumbly. Add the sugar, syrup and egg and mix until it forms a firm pastry mix.
  3. Using the rolling pin, roll out the pastry to about 5mm thick. Make sure the surface and the rolling pin are well dusted with flour. Use cookie cutters of desired shape (I have stars and hearts) cutters to cut out shapes.
  4. Place the cut out pastry on a greased or non-stick baking tray.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until golden, about 15 minutes. Check after 10 minutes. Gingerbread may be ready after 12 minutes in a fan assisted oven.
  6. Allow to cool on a rack, once cold sprinkle with a  dusting of fine icing sugar (mix cinnamon and the icing sugar to make especially festive)


WATCH THE PROCESS Spiced Christmas Cookies
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