Prep time:(plus 30 mins chilling time)
Skill level: Easy peasy
Gingerbread stars are a lovely grown-up twist on the classic gingerbread recipe and look perfect hung by ribbons on your Christmas tree as a tasty edible festive treat. Taking under half an hour to make these warming, spiced gingerbread star biscuits are ideal for a holiday project - giving you quick and tasty results without you having to put in too much effort (because Christmas is busy enough after all!). Giving these bakes a professional-looking icing is easy thanks to the last couple of steps of the recipe, which makes finishing them off a doddle. Despite you probably wanting to keep these for yourself, thanks to the amazing smell that they'll fill your house with, they also make gorgeous and thoughtful gifts for friends. Simply pop into bags or boxes and finish off with a little ribbon.
- 150g butter, softened
- 115g caster sugar
- 3 tblsp honey
- 1 egg
- 340 g plain flour
- 1/2 tspbaking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- Silver cachous (to decorate)
- 185g icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp softened butter
- 2–21/2 tblsp boiling water
- 1 egg white
- 185g icing sugar
- 1/2–1 tsplemon juice
- 7 cm star-shaped cookie cutter
- Piping bag with small 2 mm plain nozzle (or use a small plastic bag and snip off a small corner)
Silver cachous are small, silver balls used to decorate cakes - and you can eat them!
- To start making your gingerbread stars cream the butter, sugar and honey in a large bowl using electric beaters until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well. Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and ginger. Stir until the mixture comes together to form a ball. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4). Line two baking trays with baking paper.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 2mm thick. Cut the dough into star shapes with the cookie cutter, re-rolling any dough scraps and cutting out more stars. Place on the prepared trays, leaving room for a little spreading, and bake for 6 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool on the trays for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the glacé icing, combine the icing sugar, butter and boiling water in a small heatproof bowl and mix to a smooth paste. Place the bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water and stir until warm and the consistency of whipping cream. Do not overheat. Dip the top of each star into the icing and allow the excess to drip off. Leave on a wire rack to set.
- To make the royal icing, lightly whisk the egg white in a small bowl until just foamy. Gradually whisk in enough icing sugar and lemon juice to form a smooth icing that holds its shape. Spoon the icing into the piping bag and pipe decorations onto the gingerbread stars. Decorate with silver cachous if desired. Allow to set.