It’s not Christmas without the smell of freshly baked, spicy, gingerbread biscuits, right? Whether you’re making them as a gift to give away, to decorate your fruit cake, or using them as decorations themselves, this recipe will come in handy – and after testing so many, I can promise that this is by far the most delicious! Too good even for Father Christmas!

The secret ingredient? Christmas fruit mince. It adds a fruity punch that takes these cookies up a notch. Also, don’t skimp on the Muscovado sugar – it’s worth every cent – as it infuses a dark dusky flavour that makes you want to each an entire batch. Best to make double anyway, having a batch of frozen dough in the freezer means you can whip it out and bake cookies with the kids if you need to keep them busy, or bake up a batch for a friend. But there are a few other ways you may not have thought about using your dough for:

Cut out house shapes and stick them around the edge of your fruit cake for an easy and impressive way to decorate a cake

Cut out star or snowflake shapes and hang them up with pretty ribbon as tree or window decorations (added bonus: they make the house smell like Christmas and spices)

Or use different sized star and Christmas tree cookie cutters, make and bake the biscuits then pile them to create a gingerbread forest on the top of a frosted cake. *drops the mic*

Spiced Gingerbread Cookies

Makes 24

 

100g cake flour

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

½ tsp baking powder

a pinch of salt

50g Natura Dark Muscovado Sugar

1 tbsp whole milk

75g butter

2 tbsp candied peel, finely chopped or Christmas fruit mince

 

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Mix together the dry ingredients then add the wet ingredients and combine to form a dough (you can do this in a stand mixer using the dough or paddle attachment).  Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/2 cm thick. Cut out shapes using a sharp knife or cookie cutter then place on a baking tray.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before icing.

 

Royal Icing

Enough for 24 cookies

 

1 egg white, beaten

2 cups Natura Demerara Icing Sugar, sifted

squeeze of lemon juice

 

To make the royal icing, whisk the egg white gently then add the icing sugar until a stiff paste forms. Add the lemon juice and stir before placing in a piping bag. Pipe the frosting onto the biscuits in patterns and allow to dry thoroughly. Then use spread the remaining royal icing around the outside of the cake and stick the houses in place. Dust with extra icing sugar to serve.

TIP

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