December 12, 2017

We wanted to bake something super Christmassy over the weekend and there aren't many things more Christmassy than gingerbread! 
Not only is it delicious and really easy to make, its very fun to decorate. We sat down with the tree twinkling next to us and a glass of wine in hand, watching Christmas films and piped our gingerbread snowflakes. We definitely recommend as a cosy Christmas activity with friends or family!

If you want, you can use this recipe and just make a whole load of gingerbread biscuits, but we wanted to make this very pretty gingerbread wreath. You can hang this in your house to make a lovely edible decoration or you could even put a candle in the middle and use it as a centre piece for your Christmas table! - failing either of those, you can just eat it!

You will need some Christmassy shaped cookie cutters; we found both these sets in Debenhams - and on sale, how pretty are those copper stars?!

For the gingerbread...
150g unsalted butter, softened
150g dark muscovado sugar
2 eggs
3 tbsp golden syrup
400g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger

For the royal icing...
8oz icing sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 egg white

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC Fan/Gas Mark 6, and line several baking trays with greaseproof paper.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and golden syrup, and then add in the flour, baking powder and spices and mix well to bring the dough together.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to around 3-4mm thick. For the base of the wreath you will need to cut out a ring shape around 20cm wide. Then, use the rest of the dough to cut out lots of stars and christmas shapes of your choice. Arrange the shapes onto the greaseproof lined baking tray, and pop into the oven for around 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Transfer onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely while you make the icing. If you want to hang your wreath make a small hole in the ring while the gingerbread is still warm, you can put some ribbon through this later.

We wanted to use royal icing rather than just water icing, as this way it will harden completely and make sure the biscuits really stick to the base and will not fall off if you choose to hang this up. 
To make the royal icing, start by whisking the egg white until frothy but not firm, and then add in the lemon juice. Then, one spoonful at a time, sieve and fold in the icing sugar. Once all the icing sugar has been added, give it a quick beat to make sure there are no bubbles and then transfer to a piping bag. 

Cut a very small hole into the piping bag and carefully start piping snowflake patterns onto your gingerbread shapes. You can go as intricate or simple as you like with this depending on how steady your hand is! We went for some simple dotted ones as well, to add a little variety to our wreath. We found that the trick to piping neat patterns is definitely to be patient and take your time with it (also straight lines are much easier to pipe than curved ones!) We also added some glitter and some little edible pearls to add a little sparkle to our wreath.

Once the icing on your shapes has dried a little, pick some of your favourites and start to arrange them roughly where you want them on the gingerbread ring. To stick them down you can cut a slightly bigger hole in the piping bag and just start sticking them on! Once you're happy with the wreath leave the icing to dry and you're done!

We are so happy with how this turned out, the glittery snowflakes just make this wreath so pretty and festive! It's a good job we had plenty of gingerbread left over because this is definitely too pretty to eat just yet. 
Now we're going to sit down and dunk some of these delicious biscuits in a cup of tea while we decide where to hang it...

Thanks so much for reading this post, we hope you enjoyed it! 
Please let us know if you decide to give this recipe a go, we would love to see how you decorate your gingerbread!

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Lots of love and Merry Christmas, Antonia and Imogen x

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