22 October, 2015
Gingerbread X’mas biscuits
Gingerbread, what could be more Christmassy? I love when the whole house smells of gingerbread. It really is the smell of celebration. Even though it’s more of a kid’s thing, I still adore cutting different shapes and decorating them with bright colours. If I’m mainly going for the looks, I’d use ready to roll fondant. But I love when my cookies can actually be eaten without that sugar coating. So I use royal icing and without flooding the entire cookie, I’d pipe dainty patterns over them.
This is by far my favourite shortbread biscuit. It is flavourful and has got that zing due to all those spices. The dough is very forgiving, can be made ahead and stored in fridge until needed. It‘s not sticky so it’s easy to roll out and cut even complex shapes.
This recipe contains a lot of spices. I have tasted and adjusted this to my liking. If you want more cinnamon flavour to come through, do not hesitate to double the quantity. I’m more of a fan of ginger and cloves.
Just like with any other shortbread, a thicker cookie will give a softer texture and a thinner one, a crispier. Wait till the cookies are completely cooled, to decorate. Thin out the royal icing so you can freely manipulate the flow to create the pattern. Once decorated, leave cookies to dry out for at least 4 hours. I use a fan to speed up the process. Once the royal icing is hardened, it is very durable.
These cookies keeps well so you can make them ahead. Tie them in plastic bags and store in a cool dry place and they can last for up to 6 weeks.
- 400g flour
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 80g butter
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tbsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 tbsp. ground ginger
- Royal icing to decorate
- In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar on low speed until just combined.
- Add the egg and mix on low speed until incorporated.
- Next, pour in the molasses and mix just until combined, followed by vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.
- Add to the wet ingredients in two batches and either mix on low speed or fold using a spatula.
- When the dough is dry enough, take it out on to a floured surface and knead lightly to form a ball.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and leave to rest for 4-8 hours, or refrigerate if using later.
- Once ready, roll out the dough on a floured surface.
- Cut out desired shapes.
- Bake for about 12 minutes in an oven preheated to 170 °C.
- Cool completely on a wire rack before decorating with royal icing.
- Iced cookies take about 4 hours to completely dry out. Use a fan to speed up.
- Store in a sealed container up to 2 months.