I think my most favourite part of this festive season is the baking. One of the best things to bake, that will most definitely get you in the Christmas spirit (and make your house smell amazing), is gingerbread. I recently made a batch and I forgot how much I love to bake and decorate biscuits. I got fully immersed, to the point where I didn’t realise hours went by. This is only because I was doing really intricate decoration and I’m a perfectionist. The average person will do this in way less time. Especially when each batch only takes 10 minutes in the oven!
These biscuits are perfect to make with kids. You can make the dough ahead of time. Just allow 10 minutes after taking it out of the fridge for it to de-chill and simply roll it out onto a floured surface. You’ll want to roll it out to about 4 mm thickness. If you wish for your biscuits to be crunchier and have a snap, roll them slightly thinner. Similarly, if you wish for them to be more chewy, roll them slightly thicker.
When it comes to decorating, I always favour a simple plain white royal icing. Royal icing is harder than water icing so your design is more likely to last longer. I prefer not to colour it as I think the white looks so elegant against the dark brown gingerbread. If you’re decorating with children, I recommend lots of different colours and perhaps using a simple water icing. I get a lot of enjoyment from piping so I spent a lot of time preparing my designs and getting them perfect.
Below you will find the gingerbread biscuit recipe I use and also the royal icing recipe.
- 400g Plain Flour
- 3/4 tsp Bicarbonate Soda
- 2 tsp Ground Ginger
- 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Ground Mixed Spice
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 180g Butter (soft)
- 125g Dark Brown Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 125g Black Treacle
- Sift flour, bicarbonate soda and spices together into a large bowl.
- Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.
- Add the egg and treacle. Mix until combined.
- Slowly add the flour mixture gradually as you mix until it is all combined and forms a loose dough.
- Divide the dough into 3 and wrap individually in cling film.
- Chill overnight – 2 days.
- When you’re ready to bake the biscuits, preheat the oven to 170°C (fan).
- Remove the dough from the fridge and allow to de-chill for 10 minutes.
- Roll out dough onto a floured surface 4 mm thick.
- Cut biscuit shapes out and place on a lined baking tray.
- Bake for 8-12 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the tray then transfer onto a cooling wrack.
Royal Icing Recipe
- 325g Icing Sugar
- 2 Egg Whites
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice
- Sift icing sugar into a large bowl.
- Whisk egg whites in a stand mixer or hand held mixer with lemon juice until frothy.
- Slowly add icing sugar until all combined.
- Whisk until it forms soft peaks.
- Pour into a prepared icing bag if you wish to pipe your designs. Otherwise, you can store in an air-tight container in the fridge for a week.
Then, start having fun! You can get the family involved or use it as some therapeutic me time (like I did). You can add sprinkles, edible glitter or sweets. Go wherever the Christmas spirit takes you! I would love to see your creations so please share them!
I am the owner and creator of all images in this post.