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
200g soft brown sugar
350g plain flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1½ tsp mixed spice
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp black treacle
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.
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