Hang these spiced and iced golden biscuits on your tree or from ribbon garlands for the perfect edible ornaments.
Decorating gingerbread has been a festive tradition since the time of Elizabeth I. She apparently made them to represent visiting dignitaries to court. These gingerbread Christmas tree decorations are quick and easy to make and decorating them is so fun, so it's a great tradition to continue. We've used stars here because they look so pretty hanging from the tree. If you prefer, mix things up with gingerbread men and women, Christmas trees or any other festive shapes you fancy. If you're decorating with children, consider using icing pens instead of piping the icing on for the decoration. It's easier and less messy. You can find them in supermarkets or baking shops.
- 600g plain flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1tbsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 200g unsalted butter, softened
- 200g soft light brown sugar
- 150g golden syrup
- 1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk (save the white for later)
- 250g icing sugar
- 50g dark or white chocolate
You will need:
- Star biscuit cutters, varying sizes if preferred
- Baking trays lined with parchment paper
- Piping bag and icing nozzle
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas 6. Sift the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and spices into a large bowl.
- Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan then allow to cool slightly. Combine with the flour. Beat in the egg until all combined. Chill in the fridge for 30 mins.
- Remove from the fridge and allow to soften slightly. Roll out to the thickness of a £1 coin and cut out your stars. Re-roll cookie dough remains together to use all of the dough.
- Place on lined baking trays. If using to hang on your tree, use a skewer to make a hole. Bake in batches for 10-15 minutes until golden. As soon as you remove them from the oven, check the holes and remake any that have closed up in baking, while the gingerbread is still hot. Leave to cool slightly on the trays before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To decorate: Using a stand or hand mixer on a slow setting, make the royal icing by placing the egg white in a bowl and gradually adding the icing sugar to build up a paste. Add a couple of tsps water if it’s too thick. Spoon into an icing bag with a fine nozzle and draw on your snowflake designs onto half the biscuits. Melt the chocolate and spoon into a piping back, decorate the rest of your snowflakes. Thread with string to hang on your tree.
Top tips for making gingerbread Christmas tree decorations
Whatever shapes you use, try to only roll out your dough once, or at most twice. The more you work and rework gingerbread dough, the tougher it becomes. Arrange your cutters to squeeze as many cuts as you can from each rolling.
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