This is a lovely activity which brings Christmas into our home on the 1st December every year. The smell of the gingerbread is divine, and the children love decorating, eating and hanging their trees.
350g plain flour
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp Mixed Spice
175g light brown sugar
1 large egg
4 tbsp Golden Syrup
Blend all the ingredients in a mixer.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead a few times to ensure you have a smooth dough then refrigerate for at least an hour.
When ready, heat the oven to 170C (fan) and line your baking trays with grease-proof paper.
Roll out your dough to 5mm thickness and cut out the tree shapes.
Lay the shapes on the baking trays, reasonably well-spaced, although the dough doesn’t usually spread too much.
Take a drinking straw and poke a hole into the top of the trees if you will be hanging them up.
Bake for 8 minutes if you like pale soft gingerbread and 10-12 if you like it crisper (these also keep longer.)
Once removed from the oven immediately reopen any closed hanging holes with another straw. Have two by your side as the heat from the tray may crumple the ends.
Once done, leave to cool completely.
Decorate with very green icing* and a cornucopia of sprinkles and icing pens.
Once dried, thread ribbon or string through the holes and hang on the tree- in our case, a seasonal ‘tree’ made from spray-painted branches in a vase, which sits on the interest table. We hang different things on it depending on the time of year. We don’t out our actual tree up until later in the month, so this serves as a perfect interim measure.
*I used glace icing, but this does mean the biscuits soften a fair bit. If you have the time, use Royal Icing as it sets very quickly and the biscuits stay crisper.