There’s nothing that gets me in the festive mood quite like a bit of baking, and making gingerbread to decorate the Christmas tree is a favourite tradition of mine. This is a delicious simple recipe that you can do with the kids (who will love icing the finished biscuits too) and I’ve got another fabulous recipe coming soon that makes use of the gingerbread for a more grown-up treat, so keep an eye out for that.
Unlike a ginger biscuit, proper gingerbread keeps even out of the biscuit tin, so these beauties should last well on the tree for at least a week – if you can hold off eating them for that long…
Gingerbread Tree DecorationsPrint Recipe
- 90g soft brown sugar
- 40g golden syrup
- 50g butter
- 175g flour
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 egg
- To decorate:
- 100g icing sugar
- Gel food colouring
- Sugar pearls and hearts
- You’ll also need:
- A piping bag
- Cookie cutters
- Ribbon for hanging
1. Start by measuring out the soft brown sugar, golden syrup and butter into a small pan, and warming gently on the hob until melted and combined. Weigh out the flour, bicarb and spices in a mixing bowl, add the melted butter mixture and the egg, and mix well to create a soft dough. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and put in the fridge for half an hour to firm up.
2. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan). Work the refridgerated dough with your hands a little to make it pliable, then sprinkle a clean work surface with flour and roll out the dough to about 5mm thick.
3. Use your cookie cutters to cut out the biscuits. Lay them on baking trays lined with baking parchment, and use a cocktail stick or another suitable implement to make a hole in each one so you can hang it up once baked. Pop the biscuits in the oven for 12 minutes.
4. Once baked, transfer the biscuits carefully to a cooling rack. Check the holes that you’ve made for the ribbon – if any of them have closed up again, you can gently correct this while the biscuits are still warm.
5. When the biscuits have cooled completely, you can decorate them. Start by making the icing – add a couple of drops of water to the icing sugar and mix well. You want a really stiff paste to make it suitable for piping. If you want to pipe different colours, this is where you need to divide up the icing and add gel food colouring to it (by the way, I really recommend gel colouring rather than the old-fashioned watery kind, as the gel doesn’t change the texture of whatever you’re adding it to).
6. Fill the piping bag with icing and decorate each biscuit, using little blobs of icing to secure sugar pearls or hearts as needed. Alternatively, you can give the kids the icing and decorations and let them go a little bit more freestyle… once finished, leave the icing to set for ten minutes or so before threading the ribbon through the holes.