Just call me Nigella, or Mary Berry, seen as it’s baking, because my gingerbread trees are golden! (not literally – I could only find light muscovado sugar in the cupboard.)
And they were so easy to make (even one-handed!)
A great craft for all ages. They’d be particularly good to make as a gift for family members (a good bit of paper and a string ribbon would do wonders.) and for bigger kids like me who just like baking (and eating.)
A very simple, easy to follow recipe, that makes the most beautiful little star trees.
(Adult supervision may be necessary on some steps, especially the icing where there is potential to get slightly carried away. My kitchen ended up covered in a beautiful dusting of snow.)
So… without further ado, the recipe:
125g butter (I used a dairy free alternative)
100g dark muscovado sugar
4 tbsp golden syrup
325g plain flour (plus extra for rolling)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp ground ginger
1tsp ground cinnamon
Icing sugar (I spilt most of mine on the worktop)
You will need a set of three different sized cutters, plus a small circular cutter (or a knife and artistic flare.)
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees, gas mark 3. Although my recipe told me to line two large baking trays with parchment, I’d say you might need a couple more or to do two trays at a time.
In a saucepan, melt together the butter, sugar and golden syrup on a low heat, stirring occasionally. Once melted, remove from the heat.
In a bowl, sieve the flour, bicarb and spices and give a little stir. Then pour in the melted mixture a bit at a time, stirring until a firm dough is formed. (I accidentally translated 325g into 9oz instead of 13 so this took a lot longer than it should have for me. For those using oz, it’s 25g to 1oz.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and have a roll. Careful not to get below about 5mm. I did and those ones caught the heat on the edges.
Stamp out 5 of each star size, and 10 of the little circles (these are to help the tree be a little bit taller.)
Place them on the baking sheets (make sure to leave lots of gaps between them so they don’t get stuck together.)
Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown. If you use light muscovado sugar, not dark, be careful not to overcook them. The biscuits will be a lighter colour, so won’t necessarily be golden.
Once cooked, transfer to a wire cooling rack. Meanwhile, mix together some icing (I did 1 cup of icing sugar to 1 tsp of water and added more water if it was required.)
To assemble each tree, use the icing to stick one of the little round biscuits to the centre of the five largest stars.
Continue to build the layers. (I used one of each size but you could double it up to have a larger tree.)
Save the smallest stars for the top. Decorate this with icing/piping/silver balls/anything that takes your fancy, and then stick it on top!
Brush the tips of the stars with icing sugar (or if you’re me – the more the merrier!)
Leave them to dry before having a munch!