This simple gingerbread recipe can be cut out into any shape you wish using biscuit cutters. We’ve used Christmas tree shapes here but stars, hearts and gingerbread men can all be made using this basic dough. The fun bit comes with the decorating. A simple dusting of icing sugar and edible glitter is very effective or you can pipe designs in white or coloured icing and sprinkle with a selection of cake decoration sprinkles or sweets. If you want to hang them on your tree make a small hole near the top of each biscuit, using a skewer, before baking. Remake the hole as soon as the biscuits come out of the oven while they’re still soft. When decorated thread a ribbon through the hole and hang them on your Christmas tree.
- 350g plain flour, plus extra to dust
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2tsp ground ginger
- 100g butter
- 175g soft light brown sugar
- 3tbsp golden syrup
- 1 medium egg
- 1 tube writing icing, to decorate
Line 2 large baking sheets with non-stick baking paper. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl with the bicarbonate of soda and ginger. Rub in the butter using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs then stir in the sugar.
Warm the syrup in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or warm gently in the microwave for 15 seconds). Add the egg, whisk together and pour onto the flour mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms clumps then mix with your hands to form a smooth dough.
Lightly dust the work surface with flour and roll out the dough to about the thickness of two £1 coins. Cut out shapes using biscuit cutters and place on the lined baking sheets. Re-roll the trimmings and cut out more shapes until the mixture is all used. Chill in the fridge for 30 mins (this helps to stop the shapes spreading in the oven).
Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5. Bake the gingerbread for 10-15 mins depending on the size. Cool slightly then transfer to a wire rack to cool and harden.
To decorate, pipe an outline around the edge of the gingerbread and then pipe ‘snow’ dots in the middle. Allow the icing to set for 20 mins before storing in an airtight container.
For freshly baked biscuits freeze the unbaked shapes then cook straight from frozen as you need them, adding an extra 5 mins to the cooking time.