Need festive baking inspiration? Try these Christmas gingerbreads

With the festive season well and truly upon us, it’s likely we’ll be hosting friends and family over the coming weeks.

If you’re looking for impressive Christmassy treats that will go down a storm on the table, we have just the recipe for you.

Chef Paul Ainsworth’s Christmas gingerbreads are perfect for this time of year and are very simple to make.

Plus, you could even get kids involved with the baking process.

These delicious sweet treats can be formed in all kinds of Christmas characters – just get the novelty cutters of your choice – and you can get experimental with coloured icing, too.

The below recipe makes 12-15 gingerbreads – so plenty to go around.

Christmas gingerbreads recipe

Ingredients

For the gingerbreads:

 • 145g unsalted butter at room temperature 

• 150g soft light brown sugar 

• 200g black treacle 

• 1 egg

• ¼ tsp vanilla seeds 

• 440g plain flour 

• 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 

• ½ tsp sea salt 

• 1 tbsp ground ginger 

• 1 tbsp ground cinnamon 

• 1 tsp allspice 

For the royal icing: 

• 80g egg whites

• 450g icing sugar 

• A selection of food colourings

Method 

1. In your food mixer, using the paddle attachment, add the soft butter, treacle and sugar and cream together on a medium speed for 2 minutes.

2. Now add the egg and vanilla until all is combined.

3. Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl and add to the butter mixture in three parts making sure to only incorporate on a slow speed on your machine – and being careful not to over-whip your dough.

4. Remove the dough and wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for 24 hours.

5. Roll the dough evenly using a little flour to a thickness off 5mm then place this rolled dough on top of a baking paper-lined tray and freeze.

6. Remove the frozen rolled dough and cut your desired shapes remove any excess dough and refreeze the cut shapes.

7. Preheat the oven to 160°C on a low fan speed if possible and bake the biscuits for 10 minutes.

8. Leave the gingerbread biscuits to cool on a rack before icing them.

For the icing: 

1. Using a mixer, add the egg whites and sifted icing sugar. Slowly combine and then turn the machine up to full mix until you have a thick paste consistency.

3. Divide the icing into small bowls – dependant on how many colours you want to make.

4. Add your food colouring into each bowl to your desired colour and mix well – then add each coloured icing sugar to a piping bag.

5. Decorate the biscuits, start by doing the smaller details followed by the bulk colours.

6. Once all the gingerbreads are decorated bake them at 50°C for 30 minutes to set the icing.

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