• Sumo

It wouldn’t be Christmas without gingerbread in our house, gingerbread biscuits to decorate and if I remember to put a hole in the top they may end up on the Christmas tree although it’s difficult to get them to last that long.  Christmas stacking gingerbread trees, mini gingerbread chalets and of course, a gingerbread house, or three depending if each of the children still want to make one.

This is the basic gingerbread recipe, you can make it in a food processor or mixer or by hand, this quantity will make a good few biscuits, if you want to make a house you’ll need around 1.5 mixes.  If you make a house reduce the bicarbonate of soda to 1/4 tsp as this will give you a hard gingerbread which you’ll need to support the structure and use royal icing to stick it together leaving it over night to set.

350g plain flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g cold butter
175g light brown muscovado sugar
1 medium egg
4 tbsp golden syrup

Royal icing made up to the instructions on the packet
piping bags
no.2 nozzle
Food colouring
silver balls and other edible decorations and glitter

Thin (2 mm wide) ribbon to hang the biscuits on the Christmas Tree

  1. Preheat the oven to 190oC/Gas Mark 5. (AGA Roasting Oven – shelf on oven floor).
  2. Sieve the flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl
  3. Cut the butter into small pieces and rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until it is like fine breadcrumbs, or whizz it in a food processor.  Stir in the sugar.
  4. Mix the egg and syrup together, beat well with a fork.  Pour the mixture into the mixing bowl and mix well until it forms a dough.
  5. ‘Knead’ the dough on a clean, lightly floured work surface and grease a baking tray.
  6. When the dough is smooth, sprinkle a little more flour onto the surface, split the dough into two balls and roll out one ball of the dough until it is the thickness of a pencil, approximately 5 mm.
  7. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and carefully place each biscuit onto the greased baking tray using the spatula. If you want to hang the gingerbread on the Christmas Tree put a hole in the top of each biscuit using a skewer.  Repeat with the second ball of dough.
  8. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until they are golden brown (AGA 6-8 minutes). When they are ready remove them from the oven and re-pierce the hole in the top immediately then let them cool on the tray for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack
  9. Once cold decorate with the royal icing and sprinkles.

If you’re not too keen on ginger then omit the ginger and use 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp mixed spice and a pinch of ground cloves.