As part of my Christmas baking plans I thought I would make some gingerbread tree decorations.
I love gingerbread; it is one of my favourite biscuits. The only problem with that is I find it hard to only eat one at a time. I usually discover I have eaten three in a row without realising it!
I have tried various gingerbread recipes over the years but this is by far my favourite.
*I have never worked out the best way to measure this out. However, what I do is place the treacle pot on my scales (digital will be easiest to do this with). I then ‘tare’ the amount so it shows as zero. I slowly spoon out the treacle bit by bit until the amount shows ‘-125g’. I don’t know if this is right but it seemed logical to me and it seems to work.
This makes a really dark gingerbread, which I personally prefer but I know lots of people prefer a lighter gingerbread. In this instance I would simply replace the treacle with golden syrup. The amounts required are roughly the same.
To decorate I have used Royal Icing. You could also use Candy Melts if you preferred and they would work just as well.
For these decorations I used the royal icing in stiff and flood consistency. I don’t line the shapes before flooding. I simply use a scribing tool to bring the icing slightly closer to the edge if I need in small circular movements. This also removes any air bubbles that you do not want! To combine the water I use a spray to ensure I don’t add too much at once. For the stiff consistency I was looking for a toothpaste type mixture. For the flood consistency much more water is required. This is also referred to as 20 second consistency because when all the water is mixed in if you draw a line through the mixture (and into it) with a knife or skewer this line should disappear without a trace at 20 seconds. Not before or after.
If you add too much water then the best and only way to effectively thicken the icing again is to add more of the stiff royal icing. Simply adding icing sugar will make it grainy.
Once the biscuits are iced I leave them out over night to set or for at least four hours.
For the colours I used:
Red: Squires Kitchen in ‘Poppy’
Green: Sugarflair in ‘Holly’
I also tinted some white icing with Squires Kitchen Teddy Brown, which I then painted with edible gold lustre.
To make the lustre into a paintable liquid add some alcohol to the dust. The reason you use alcohol is alcohol evaporates really quickly so it doesn’t dissolve the icing like water would. I like to use vodka because it is flavour and colourless so it doesn’t alter anything.
I added some silver ball dragees to the snowflakes and so silver lustre dust to make them a little sparkly.
Oh and because I totally forgot to say I made the holes for the ribbon in the snowflakes and baubles using a straw from one of the girls sippy cups when I cut out the dough! I think any large straw would work. The holes did close up a little during baking which I expected but they were still large enough for a thin ribbon to fit through.
The final product: Ta Dah! (Ok, I know I’ve already put picture above but just pretend this is a grand reveal for me… Please.)