Gingerbread gift bag

I love gingerbread. I remember making them with mum when I was little and the smell of them cooking in the oven. It can be tricky to find just the right balance of ‘gingerness’ but I think this recipe is just about perfect.

Turn up the heat

The first step is to melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup.

Mmmm golden goodness

Stir it over the heat until it reaches a smooth consistency.

Cooling off

Once it’s all nicely combined, remove the mixture to a bowl and cool. I’m rather impatient so I usually put my bowl in an ice water bath.

Egg time

Add the egg yolk and stir until combined.

The key ingredient – ginger

Mix in the spices.

Flour

Sift in the flour a little at a time.

Perfect

Gingerbread dough

When the flour is well combined, turn the dough out onto glad wrap.

Dough disc

Shape the dough into a disc and wrap it up then refrigerate for about an hour.

Rolling rolling rolling

Working with about 1/4 of the dough at a time, roll it out to desired thickness. Tip – I use a sheet of baking paper on the bench to save on cleaning up. You can flour the bench instead.

Cookie cutting

Cut out your shapes of choice.

Ready for baking

Bake in a 180C/160C (350F/320F) fan-forced oven for 7-10 minutes depending on how you like them. I like mine a little bit chewy so tend to take them out as soon as they turn golden.

Cool down

When they’re ready, remove from the oven but leave them on the baking trays for about 5 minutes before moving to cooling racks. While they’re cooling, it’s time to make the icing. You can use store-bought writing icing but I like the fresh stuff. Plus it’s a good way to use up the egg white.

Icing

Whip up the egg white until soft peaks form then gradually whisk in 1 cup of icing sugar. Colour as desired.

Ghostly good

Ice biscuits using the back of the spoon or a piping bag with a very small nozzle attached.

Halloween gingerbread

Leave them to rest until the icing sets.

Goodie bags

Package up your biscuits ready for guests!

Gingerbread ingredients

What’s your favourite take-home idea?

Gingerbread Party Bags
 
Gingerbread - taken from Coles magazine last Christmas
Serves: makes 30-35 depending on size of cutters
Ingredients
  • 125g (4oz) butter
  • ½ cup golden syrup
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk (keep the white for the icing)
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp bicarb-soda
  • 2½ cups self-raising flour, sifted
  • Icing - 1 egg white & 1 cup icing sugar
  • Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced.
Instructions
  1. Combine butter, golden syrup and brown sugar in a small pan and melt. Remove to a bowl and cool (I usually put the bowl in an ice bath for a ltitle while because I'm impatient!). Stir in egg yolk and remaining dry ingredients to form a soft dough. Turn out onto plastic wrap and press into a flat disc. Rest in fridge for 1 hour to firm up.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 160C (350F) fan-forced and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  3. Roll dough to 7-8mm on lightly floured surface and cut shapes with a cookie cutter. Place on a baking paper-lined tray and bake for 7-10 minutes until firm. Stand on tray for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool.
  4. For the icing:
  5. Whisk 1 egg white to almost firm peaks. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of icing sugar. Colour as desired and spread on cooled gingerbread with the back of a spoon. Alternatively you can use a piping bag to decorate. Leave the icing to set then package up ready for your guests.