Iced gingerbread biscuits are such a staple at Christmas.Their simplistic yet versatile nature makes them a favourite among children and adults alike. Whether you’re making gingerbread houses, tree decorations or just a teatime treat like mine, the signature spiced smell just spells Christmas to me!
I’ve never actually dared to make a gingerbread house, its always seemed like an awful lot of work and stress to me! But this gingerbread recipe is my absolute favourite, and perfect to turn into cute festive treats with the icing being the cherry on top!
When baking my iced gingerbread biscuits, the first thing you should know is that they’re very forgiving. The dough can be re-rolled if you get in a pickle and it doesn’t make the biscuit chewy and tough. And shall we say ‘rustic’ icing just makes them look more personal and homemade in my opinion. Just what Christmas should be about! I’ve always been more of a ‘maker’ than a ‘buyer’; there’s just something so special about spending time making something you know someone will love! Or in this case, enjoy eating! At Christmas I definitely become a feeder…guilty!
The biscuits are lightly spiced and have a good snap when you bite into them. They do get a little softer as the days go on, but i’ve found they keep well for up to a week. And in some ways I sort of prefer them when they get a little softer! But with that in mind they can easily be made as a present, so long as they’re wrapped up air-tight…and you don’t eat them all first!
I realised only as I’d started to bake these that I didn’t actually have any Christmassy cutters – something that I need to rectify! So I used a circle cutter for my ‘snowflakes’, and cut a star out of baking paper and used that as a makeshift template. Both worked really well (in my opinion), and actually I think the circular ‘snowflakes’ have a certain charm.
The icing I wanted to keep quite simple, I think with iced gingerbread the simpler the better looks wise and taste! They have a whimsical, oldy-woldy sense about them don’t you think? Making the icing took me back to being a little girl and adding the icing to the chocolate fairy cakes my mum had made. I always wanted to be involved when mum was baking…to lick the spoon obviously 😉
Let me know if you make these, for yourself or as a gift! I’ll be back with another festive recipe soon!
Iced Gingerbread Biscuits
- 350 g plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarb
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 125 g unsalted butter chilled, cubed
- 175 g light soft brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 4 tbsp golden syrup
- 250 g icing sugar
- For the biscuits: Place the flour, bicarb, ginger, cinnamon and unsalted butter into the bowl of a food processor. Blend until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs, then pulse in the sugar until combined. Or if you don't have a food processor, rub the butter into the dry ingredients using your hands until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then whisk in the sugar until combined.
- In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together and then pour into the food processor. Pulse until the mixture clumps together. Or, using a wooden spoon mix the wet ingredients in with the breadcrumb mixture until it clumps together.
- Tip out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until combined and smooth. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and pop it in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas Mark 4 and line two baking trays with baking paper. Roll the dough out to 0.5cm thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut out circles and stars (or any other festive shape you like) and place on the baking trays leaving a little gap between them.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden-brown. Leave them on the baking tray for 10 minutes and then place them on cooling racks to cool completely.
- For the icing: Mix the icing sugar with two/three tablespoons of water until you have a thick icing. You want it to be thick enough so that it doesn't run off the biscuits when you decorate. Pour the icing into a piping bag, and snip off the end so you are left with a small hole to pipe from.
- Decorate your biscuits as you wish, and leave to set at room temperature.