Christmassy Gingerbread Biscuits

Making gingerbread objects may be more work than plopping a tray of brownies in the oven, but it is fun to do if you have any small children or friends to amuse. These work particularly well at Christmas-time if you turn a gingerbread man cutter upside down and decorate accordingly – it’s Rudolph!


Of course, you shouldn’t limit yourself to mere reindeer; cut out whichever shape you want (note the Christmas ghost – I’d completely forgotten how you were meant to decorate gingerbread men. Nancy put me right – her’s is the headless dude with the jaunty purple button.)

2012-12-13 14.54.32

The biscuits

150g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

50g brown sugar – either light brown soft or light muscovado

115g butter, diced

pinch salt

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

0.5 tsp mixed spice

1 egg yolk (keep the white for the icing)

  1. Place the flour,  baking powder, sugar, butter, salt, and spices in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until crumblike
  2. Add the egg yolk and pulse a few more times, then take out the blade and stir until it becomes a ball.
  3. Wrap the ball in clingfilm and chill for an hour
  4. Preheat the oven to 180oC and grease two baking sheets
  5. Knead the dough and then roll out to about 3mm thick on a floured surface. Cut out with whatever cutter you want
  6. Bake for 9-11 minutes until lightly coloured.
  7. Leave on trays for a couple of minutes then move to wire racks to cook completely before icing

The Royal-ish Icing this sets hard and glossy, and has the bonus of using up your spare egg white

1 egg white

1 tsp lemon juice

150g icing sugar (possibly slight more or less required) (just over a cup)

Food dye – gels give the best colour. Or for the brown, we used cocoa powder to colour it

  1. With an electric whisk, beat the white and the lemon until frothy.
  2. Add the icing sugar, little at a time to avoid it flying everywhere, and beat some more. If too stiff, add a little water; if not stiff enough, add some more icing sugar
  3. Distribute into smaller bowls and dye as desired – if you’re concentrating on one colour first, cover the remaining icing with clingfilm and place in fridge. Use within the hour.

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