Perfect for every festive occasion: Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween…
You might be tempted to make a double batch, but DON’T — this recipe makes a LOT. Trust me. I once made a TARDIS using less than a full batch.
Recipe from taste.com.au.
3 + 1/3 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
150 g butter (room temp.)
175 g dark brown sugar
150 g honey*
Royal icing, to decorate (optional)
1 egg white
1.5 to 2 cups icing mixture
Food colouring (optional)
Silver cachous (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180º C.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until it’s pale and fluffy.
- Still mixing, add the honey and egg, and mix until fully combined.
- On a slow speed, very gradually add in the dry ingredients until fully incorporated — you should have a dry, “bitsy” kind of dough.
- Use your hands to finish forming the dough — grab the contents of the stand mixer bowl and squeeze it into a single lump.**
- Break the dough into three lumps and set two aside to rest at room temperature, wrapped in cling wrap.
- Lay out a big sheet of baking paper on your bench top, and dust your rolling pin with a little flour.
- Put the dough on the baking paper, and lay a large sheet of cling wrap on top — your dough is now sandwiched between two non-stick surfaces!
- Roll out the dough until it’s about half a centimetre thick — too thick and you’ll have soft, doughy gingerbread; too thin makes for crispy biscuits that burn easily at the edges.
- Remove the cling wrap and cut out shapes from the flattened dough — use a cookie cutter… or draw a template on another piece of baking paper, lay that on top of the dough, and cut around it.
- Here’s the genius part: Just lift the whole bottom layer of baking paper and plonk it onto a baking tray — no need to try and peel the uncooked shapes off one surface and onto another!
- Bake each batch for 5–8 minutes, depending on how thick your biscuits are. You want them to be golden at the edges and dry all over.
- Remove from the oven and transfer the whole sheet of baking paper, biscuits and all, to a cooling rack — they need to be room temp or cooler before you start decorating, or the icing will go everywhere.
- To decorate, whisk together the egg white and icing mixture (and food colouring, if you’re feeling colourful) until you have a smooth liquid, stick it in a piping bag (or a zippy bag with the corner snipped off) and pipe patterns onto the cooled gingerbread. If you’re really in the festive spirit, press silver cachous into the icing before it sets.
*I recently acquired some tar-dark, sweetly-spicy buckwheat honey, and it works a treat. So go crazy! Forget the clear, liquidy supermarket honey and try something really rare and intense.
**The dough should be quite soft and malleable — not dry and crumbly. If it’s too dry, add a tiny splash of milk and knead it in. Repeat, if necessary, until you’ve got a workable dough.