As promised, I made gingerbread tree biscuits yesterday with my daughter. I wanted to share the recipe here for the spell book:
340g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1½ tsp grated nutmeg
1½ tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tsp ground ginger
225g unsalted butter, softened
340g soft brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
75g crystallised ginger, finely chopped (or 50g stem ginger)
Candy Melts & sprinkles, or icing sugar
Firstly, apologies to my American friends, but I worked in UK metric
We used a recipe we found on the Guardian website which tastes great and isn’t hard to make. A little messy perhaps, but then I found I’m not a tidy baker.
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and spices together into a mixing bowl. Beat together the butter and sugar in another bowl, and then add the egg, beating it in gradually.
Stir the mixture into the flour to make the dough, and mix in the crystallised ginger. Roll out the dough to about a quarter of an inch and refrigerate for half an hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Cut out the biscuits and put on a greased baking tray. Bake for about 10 minutes, and allow to cool before decorating.
This recipe yields about 2 pounds of dough, and we made 20 biscuits.
I tried a second batch, cutting the biscuits after they were baked as the first bake trees lost a bit of shape. The gingerbread took about 20 minutes this way and they came out soft and chewy in the middle. The biscuits were more defined but they have to be cut while fresh from the oven, so I wouldn’t let children try this themselves.
We decorated our trees with green candy melts and sprinkles (Can you work out which tree Kura decorated and which one was mine?), but you could just sift over icing sugar or leave plain.
As we decorated the trees we recited a little spell-song:
“Sprinkle sprinkle little tree
Now you are a treat for me
Spice and ginger, I may say
Will keep the winter’s cold at bay”
So there you go. I found the candy coated biscuits were a bit too sweet for my tastes but I really like them plain, and they’re great with a cup of tea.