Sunday, 7 December 2008

Christmas Gingerbread Cookies

My flat mates decided to throw an early Christmas party and I thought it would be a good idea to have some festive cookies to nibble on and to decorate the Christmas tree and gingerbread seemed the perfect choice. I made gingerbread cookies last year too, but I found the recipe a bit temperamental and wanted to try something different. I remembered the recipe for my favourite vanilla cut out cookies and decided to try and adapt it to the festive season.

I added spices, black pepper and treacle and used light brown sugar instead of caster to give a more golden colour and depth of flavour. The dough came together very easily and after a short rest in the fridge it was a doddle to roll out. The cookies kept their shape well during baking and turned out crisp yet still tender. They filled the flat with their festive aroma and had a lovely lingering taste of spice. I ended up with over 50 cookies and spent a happy hour decorating them before the guests arrived. They were a big hit and even the ones from the Christmas tree got munched, apparently they “fell” into peoples mouths. I’ll be making another batch before the festivities are over.

Christmas Gingerbread Cookies
Ingredients
185g butter
200g soft brown sugar
350g plain flour
1 egg
2 tsp ground ginger
1½ tsp mixed spice
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp black treacle

Method
Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Beat in the egg followed by the black treacle.
Add the spices and sift over the flour. Using a spatula, work the flour into the batter until a dough is formed. Use your hands towards the end to bring the mix into a dough.
Kneed it gently until smooth. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and flatten slightly into a disc. Place in the fridge for 30minutes to firm up.
After 30 minutes, preheat your oven to 180C and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
Cut the dough in half and working with one piece at a time, roll it out on a floured surface until 4mm thick. Cut out a variety of shapes using festive cutters and place on the baking trays. They don’t spread so you have fit them quite close together.
Bake in the oven for 8-9 minutes until golden and crisp.
Allow to cool for 2 minutes before transferring the cookies, still on the greaseproof paper, to a wire rack to cool.
Repeat with the remaining dough.
Once cooled, decorate with royal icing and sprinkles if desired.
Makes 45-55 cookies depending on size.

Note: If you want to hang some of the cookies on the Christmas tree, cut out a small hole at the top of each cookie using the tip of a small piping nozzle before baking. Tread through a piece of ribbon when cool.

This is also my entry to Food Blogga’s Christmas Cookie event. Click here the ongoing cookie roundup.

19 comments:

Carolyn said...

these look fab Katie - I love the way you have decorated the snowflakes - very pretty

Happy cook said...

Wow those cookies look really festive and i love the decorations too.

Snooky doodle said...

Wow how many nice cookies.

Beth said...

This is a great excuse to go and buy those Christmas Cookie cutters I saw in Lakeland!!!

cammu said...

Love your cookies, they are pretty nice.
Every year, i make cookie cutters for Chrismas.
:)

flower said...

They look so so good

Lorraine E said...

How cute! I love the way that you've decorated them with the patterns, especially the baubles! :)

The Sugar Fairy said...

These look really nice. I like the way you decorated them.

The Caked Crusader said...

Nothing tastes of christmas like gingerbread! Lovely looking biccies

Anne said...

Great looking cookies, I love gingerbread :)

Deborah said...

These are beautiful!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I think one would have "fallen" into my mouth too. ;)

They are so sweet,Katie. Thank you for submitting them!

Cheers!

Eva said...

Can't agree more with all the comments, your cookies look lovely! Gosh, it doesn't look like I'm going to start my holiday baking anytime soon..:-(

CookieDiva said...

Your cookies look delicious For those of you Gingerman/woman cookie lovers check out this website where you can make your own "Gingerhead" personalized cookie and even add your own icing and jewels. The site turns your personalized cookie into a free holiday e-card with music! www.gingerhead.com

Haley said...

You have so many wonderful recipes on your blog, I can't wait to try some out! These gingerbread cookies make adorable ornaments! What a great idea.

I would love to write about them on our blog! If you are interested send me an email at haley@keyingredient.com

Thanks!
Haley, KI Blogger

Elle said...

Simple but beautiful..and obviously very tasty, too. Love the photo woth the round ornament and the cookie tree on the real tree.

KJ said...

Your cookies look really professional. You did a great job!

Gigi said...

The cookies were delicious Katie! What a great idea to decorate a Christmas tree with.

Ashencircle said...

Wow, how did you get the icing so perfect? These look amazing. I want one (or many)!