How d’you fancy making a gingerbread garland to deck the halls this Christmas? This gorgeous edible decoration not only looks good but will fill your home with the festive scent of gingerbread. And it tastes great, too!
Following the success of the iced cookies I made for our Halloween party, I thought I’d have a go at making a gingerbread garland.
Discovering Aquafaba — egg free royal icing — is literally one of the best things I’ve come across un recent times.
Having a child with an egg allergy is pretty restrictive when it comes to certain foods. Royal icing is top of the ‘banned substances’ list for Bertie, as it’s made with raw egg white.
Finding a decent alternative that works — and he’s able to eat — is a real game changer.
I made gingerbread sugar skull cookies with Aquafaba icing — you can make them with standard royal icing if you prefer. This time round, though, instead of skull-shaped cutters, you’ll need star ones. Plus, some baker’s twine. And little sweets to decorate your gingerbread cookies (although that’s not totally necessary).
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The Best Gingerbread Cookies
This gingerbread recipe is a real winner! It makes the most delicious gingerbread cookies and can be decorated however you like.
It makes the best gingerbread cookies — easy peasy and tastes amazing. It’s up to you how you decorate it. But this gingerbread garland uses simple star shapes cookies, so great for even little children to help with.
A Simple Recipe for Perfect Gingerbread
- 200g plain flour
- ½ teaspoon of baking powder
- ½ teaspoon of mixed spice
- ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- 50g dark muscovado sugar
- 100g salted butter softened and diced
- 50g black treacle
- Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into a mixing bowl.
- Add the sugar and mix well.
- Add the butter and — using just the tips of your fingers — rub the ingredients together until they resemble breadcrumbs.
- When all the butter is mixed in, make a well in the centre and add the treacle.
- Bring the mixture together to form a soft dough.
- Knead lightly until it has an even colour with not too many streaks of treacle (I do this bit in my mixer to avoid handling it).
Lightly form into a ball, then divide into two and squash it into two even-sized flattish discs.
- Place one disc of dough on a sheet of grease-proof paper.
- Begin by gently squashing the dough down with the rolling pin or your hands, cover with a second sheet of parchment then use the rolling pin to roll properly.
- If the top sheet crinkles, just peel it off, smooth it down gently and start rolling again.
- Gently roll the dough until it’s around 5mm thick all over.
- Transfer the sheet of rolled dough, still sandwiched between its parchment, to a baking tray and place in the fridge to chill for at least 20-30 minutes before cutting.
- Repeat the process with the rest of the dough.
- Cut out the biscuits, with the cutter of your choice. Place each gingerbread biscuit on to a parchment-covered baking tray and making sure that they are not too close together, as the dough will spread a little on baking.
- Cook for 5-16 minutes, depending on your oven.
- Leave to cool.
Keep a close eye on the first couple of batches you cook until you get used to how your oven cooks the gingerbread.Mine used to cook in just 10 minutes (in the top of the top oven of our AGA). But since we had it refurbished, my gingerbread cookies bake in just 5 minutes!
Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 137Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 18mgSodium 74mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 1gSugar 4gProtein 2g
Calculations was calculated by Nutritionix and is approximate
Creating Your Gingerbread Cookies
When you’ve cooled your dough and are ready to cut out the star shapes for your gingerbread garland, don’t forget to make a little hole in each one. You can do this with a skewer — or in the same way that I do with my salt dough ornaments, you can use a drinking straw.
Once you have a hole in each cookie, pop them into the oven to bake.
Once the gingerbread cookies are cooked and fully cooled, you can ice them.
I’d lost all my little icing nozzles — in the abyss that is our kitchen — so I had to make do with a freezer bag with a tiny hole in one corner.
To be honest, although they’re probably a little less refined than the skull biscuits I made, I thought it didn’t make too bad a job. It was certainly easier to clean up at the end of the day, as it just went in the bin after I’d finished.
I covered some of the biscuits with sprinkles, some with gold chocolate balls or edible glitter, and plain iced the others.
Assembling the Gingerbread Garland
Once the toppings have dried, thread bakers twine through the holes to form little loops.
The iced cookies work pretty well, hung singly, as gingerbread Christmas decorations. Perfect to hang on the Christmas tree, but they also look lovely strung together as a garland, as I’ve done here.
I use tiny little pegs to attach them to another length of string, then hang it across the fireplace.
It has crossed my mind that when the log burner is lit, the biscuits could soften a little with the heat but, to be honest, they never last that long!
These little cookies are too moreish to keep.
Make a couple of batches to box up and give to friends and family for an easy Christmas gift — if you can manage to give them away!
Originally published 1 December 2016.
Caro Davies is a former art-director turned writer and content-creator, and editor behind UK lifestyle blog The Listed Home. She writes about home-related topics, from interiors and DIY to food and craft. The Listed Home has been featured in various publications, including Ideal Home, Grazia, and Homes & Antiques magazines.