A good gingerbread man is well worth the time it takes to fiddle about with fancy icing and its Nordic vibes. I love everything and anything Christmas, and occasionally, just occasionally I get to play around with festive-type props early on in the year, depending on what jobs I'm working on. These gingerbread cookies were created for an editorial piece I was commissioned to create for the December issue of a magazine, but it wasn't the first, nor was it the last time I spent hours playing around with royal icing and these deliciously winter-spiced biscuits.
150g Light Brown soft sugar
2 tbsp Black Treacle
2 tbsp cold water
2 tsp ground Cinnamon
2 tsp ground Ginger
1tsp Mixed Spice
1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
450g Plain Flour
In a heavy based sauce pan place the sugar, treacles, water and butter. Gently heat until all of the ingredients have melted together.
In a large glass bowl sift together all of the dried ingredients and pour in the sugar, butter and treacle mixture. Bring together with your hands until all of the ingredients have combined.
Leave the dough to cool in a covered bowl for 20-30 minutes.
Pre heat your oven to 180ºc
On a floured surface roll out half of the dough to around 5mm thick and cut out your favourite gingerbread shapes. Using a spatula carefully place on a lightly floured baking sheet and using a cutter place a 5mm hole in each of the biscuits if you're making these for hanging on your Christmas tree.
Place into the centre of the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until the gingerbread feels firm to touch when lightly pressed. Repeat this process until you've used up all of the dough.
Once cooked, place to one side to cool.
1kg Icing Sugar
5 medium egg whites
2tsp lemon juice
Beat the egg whites and lemon juice until soft peaks form.
Add Icing sugar to the mixer. Cover with a dampened tea towel and mix for 1 minute. Remove towel and beat together for a further 5-7 minutes until the icing has stiffened.
To decorate the gingerbread biscuits, place some of the royal icing into a piping bag and create your favourite
Recipe for The Lincolnshire Chef & Featured in Lincolnshire Pride Magazine, December 2015