Val Stones’ festive gingerbread

Val Stones’ festive gingerbread

From Page 100 of Val Stones – The Cake Whisperer!

When my children were little I made these delightful buttery gingerbread biscuits, spending hours decorating them while I sang along to carols. When the children came home from school they would help me to finish the biscuits, decorating them with love and personalising them for family members including their grandparents.

Makes 30-40 small biscuits and around 20 if you use large biscuit-cutters.
Preparation 20 minutes, cooking 15-20 minutes, plus decorating time.

1 medium egg
25g molasses (black treacle)
200g caster sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
250g butter
5g baking powder 350g plain flour

For the royal icing
1 quantity of royal icing (see page 15)
1 teaspoon of lemon juice (this flavours the icing and makes it hard)


1 Set the oven to 160°C fan, 180-190°C, 350-375°F, gas 4-5.

2 Line and grease a baking tray.

3 Place eggs, treacle, sugar and spices in a bowl and beat well.

4 Melt the butter in a small pan on the hob, or in the microwave on medium for two minutes (or until melted). Let it cool, then stir into the egg mixture.

5 Sift the flour and baking powder and stir into the mixture, binding with a spoon or by hand to make a dough.

6 Wrap the dough in clingfilm or foil and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes; this firms it up and allows the glutens to do their thing.

7 Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface, until it is about 7mm thick (about the thickness of a one pound, dollar or Euro coin).

8 Use a biscuit cutter to cut the shapes you want, then put the biscuits on the baking tray.

9 Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes before checking; they may take up to 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the biscuit. They are done when just firm to touch.

10 Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes on the tray before lifting them onto a cooling rack.

The biscuits can be decorated as soon as they are cool.

To decorate
11 Use royal icing (see page 15), and place half the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a plain small-hole nozzle. Pipe onto the biscuits as you choose. Use up the rest of the icing as you need it.