Making gingerbread biscuits for the Christmas Tree is an institution in our house in December, and has been since my children were old enough to hold a biscuit cutter. These biscuits are super easy to make and fill the house with the wonderful aroma of christmas spices.
The aesthetic success of our biscuits has evolved over time from toddler-splodged offerings to the well thought out, pretty designs my children created this weekend. My children are always so proud to hang their designs on the tree and show anyone who comes into our house which ones are theirs.
Regardless of whether the end result is one you’d rather not have photographic evidence of, or Pinterest-ready, this is all about getting everyone involved and making memories as well as biscuits! Investing in some decent Christmas themed biscuit cutters helps here, as the nicer the biscuit shape, the less you need to worry about your piping skills when you’re decorating.
The quantities in this recipe makes a nice big batch, which is good as they’re so tasty, half of them don’t make it to the tree. The original recipe suggests adding a couple of teaspoons of black pepper to deter little mouths from nibbling, but I’m not that cruel…
Gingerbread Christmas Tree Decorations
For the biscuits:
- 300g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 100g butter, softened
- 100g dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 4 tbsp honey or golden syrup
For the decoration:
- 300g royal icing
- Edible glitter/stars/silver balls
You’ll also need:
- Biscuit cutters, Christmas themed (stars and heart shapes also work well)
- String or thin ribbon to hang
- A small icing nozzle, to cut small holes for the string
1. Preheat oven to 170°C fan/gas mark 3 and line 2 large baking sheets with greaseproof paper
2. In a mixing large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth
3. In a smaller bowl, beat the eggs and honey/golden syrup until loosely combined
4. Add the egg mixture to the butter and sugar and stir through
5. Sieve together the flour, baking powder and spices and add these to the wet ingredients
6. Bring everything together to form a dough. Add a little more flour if sticky; the mixture will need to be firm for rolling and cutting
7. Divide the dough into 2 and roll out to roughly the thickness of a pound coin, dusting with a little extra flour to prevent sticking
8. Cut shapes from the dough using the biscuit cutters, and transfer to the baking sheet. These biscuits don’t really spread while baking so no need to space out
9. Using the icing nozzle, cut out holes in the shapes to allow for threading string later
10. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until cooked through and no longer dough-like
11. Cool on a wire rack until completely cold.
12. Next, make up the royal icing using slightly more water than recommended so that the icing is smooth enough to spread easily
13. Decorate the biscuits by spreading or piping the icing on top, and finish with a bit of sparkle
14. Once the icing has set, thread through your string or ribbon and have fun hanging them on your Christmas tree
If you are going to eat rather than decorate with these, the biscuits are at their best a day or two after baking. The gingerbread flavour deepens and the texture becomes beautifully soft and chewy.
Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Edible Christmas Tree Decorations