Spooky season wouldn’t be complete without some classic spiderweb cookies! The soft and spicy gingerbread, is just delicious with the sweet royal icing spiderweb decoration!
I love a gingerbread cookie, and they work so well for every festive season! Easter? Have a gingerbread bunny! Halloween? Have a gingerbread spider! Christmas? Have a gingerbread reindeer! And best of all, they taste so so delicious. This is the only gingerbread recipe I use, as its perfect every time. It’s a little soft in the middle, crisp on the outside and packed full of spicy flavour. They last so well too, making them the perfect treat to get you through the holiday season!
Key Ingredients You’ll Need
- Ground Ginger – You can’t really make gingerbread without the spice! And luckily for us it’s really easy to come by. Ground ginger gives the most wonderful flavour to the cookies, so cannot be left out!
- Golden Syrup – This is what makes the gingerbread cookies so moist, and helps them to last so well. If you can’t get hold of golden syrup, you can use corn syrup in its place.
- Royal icing – This is how we get our spooky spiderweb decoration on top! Royal icing sets hard, so you can stack these cookies in your cookie jar. It also tastes deliciously sweet, and goes perfectly with the spiced cookies.
How to make spiderweb cookies
These cookies are super simple to make, quick and lots of fun! So the perfect bake to make of an afternoon in front of the telly, or as an activity with little ones! You don’t need much fancy equipment either, so what are you waiting for?!
Making the gingerbread cookies
Making the cookies starts a little like you would make a pastry – with your dry ingredients in a bowl and cold cubed butter added. You rub the butter in with your hands until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then you can stir in the sugar – sugar is never really classed as a dry ingredients in recipes, even though it is of course dry!
Then the egg and golden syrup can be added, and whilst stirring the mixture will come together to form a dough. It might look like it won’t come together initially, but stick with it and it’ll get there! I like to then knead the mixture a little to get it more uniform – you can do this on a lightly floured work surface or even just in the bowl! But then it needs to rest in the fridge for a good 15 minutes.
After that, the dough should be rolled out onto a floured work surface. Don’t scrimp on the flour here, as it will still be a fairly moist dough and you don’t want it to stick. Then you can stamp out your cookies using a cookie cutter, and bake them straight away. This isn’t a dough you need to chill again.
Making the royal icing
The decoration for these spiderweb cookies is made with royal icing. Royal icing sets hard, which is why it’s used so widely to decorate cookies. With the icing you can create incredibly intricate designs, but these cookies are relatively simple, so don’t worry!
The icing needs to be at flood consistency, which means that if you dropped a spoonful of icing back into the bowl, it would dissolve into the mixture in about 15 seconds. This will create the perfect consistency where you can quickly ice the cookies without the icing dripping off the sides, or being too thick to spread. To create the icing, you simply combine water with the royal icing. Or alternatively, if you can’t get a hold of royal icing, mixing egg whites into icing sugar will achieve the same effect.
For these cookies you will need the majority of the icing to remain white, but a small portion will need to be coloured black to create the spiderweb! I find gel food colourings to give the best look, that actually looks black and not grey!
Decorating the cookies
Once your gingerbread cookies are completely cool, you can begin decorating. You want to prepare by placing both the white and black icings into their own piping bags, and cut off the end to make a small hole. Using the white icing, draw a circle around the edge of the cookies. This creates a ‘flood barrier’ for your icing, so it won’t drip down the sides. You can then pipe white icing into the middle, and using either a toothpick or a scribe, gently coax the icing to the flood barrier and ensure its smooth and even. Then straight away you want to pipe three concentric circles with the black icing, and using a cocktail stick or scribe, drag through the icing from the middle of the circles out, to create the spiderweb.
You want to pipe the black icing on straight away, so it will sink in and look as if the white icing and black are one layer. Rather than some cookies, where piped icing is on top of the flood icing as an extra layer. If you don’t pipe it straight away, you won’t be able to drag the black icing through the white, to create the spiderweb effect.
Once you’ve got the hang of it, you can mix it up a little and pipe some semi-circles from one side of a cookie to create just the edge of a spiderweb. And then, just set them all aside to dry!
Tips & Tricks
Yes! The royal icing takes a few hours to set fully, so they are the perfect cookie to make in advance. You can of course eat the cookies when they’re not fully set (and they’ll be delicious!), but for storing in cookie jars you need to wait till they’re set.
Yes! So long as they are wrapped air-tight, the cookies will freeze well.
Absolutely yes! You could go for a neon theme, or maybe a ‘gorey’ red! Thats the beauty of a more simple bake like these, you can be adventurous and creative!
I’m so happy with how these cookies turned out; they’re quick, easy and so cute! Perfect for a Halloween party and so so delicious! The spiced gingerbread cookie is soft on the inside, crisp on the outside and the royal icing is perfectly sweet. Get baking!
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Spiderweb Gingerbread Cookies
- 350 g plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 125 g unsalted butter chilled and cubed
- 175 g soft light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 4 tbsp golden syrup
- 350 g royal icing
- 50 ml water
- black food colouring
- For the gingerbread: Place the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger and ground cinnamon into a large bowl. Then rub in the cold cubed butter, until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, stir in the sugar.
- In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together until combined. Then pour into the dry mixture, and stir until combined and a rough dough forms. Tip out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead for a few minutes. Then wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas Mark 4 and line two large baking trays with baking paper. On a floured work surface, roll the dough out to roughly a 0.5cm thickness, and stamp out circles with a 7cm cookie cutter. Then place on the baking trays, leaving a little gap between each.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Leave them on the baking trays for 10 minutes, and then remove and place them onto cooling racks to cool completely.
- For the icing: Place the royal icing and water into a large bowl, and whisk together until combined and a smooth icing. Remove 50g, place in a smaller bowl and stir in a blob of black food colouring, stirring until combined. Then place both in piping bags, and cut off the ends to create a small hole in each.
- Using the white icing, draw a circle around the edge of the cookie (to create a flood barrier). Then fill in, by piping white icing into the middle, and using either a toothpick or a scribe, gently coax the icing to the flood barrier and ensure its smooth and even. Then straight away, pipe three concentric circles with the black icing, and using a cocktail stick or scribe, drag through the icing from the middle of the circles out, to create the spiderweb. Set aside to set, and repeat on the remaining cookies.