Make your own ginger bread festive garland this year and fill your kitchen with the wonderful aroma of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and of course ginger. Ice them with Royal icing to create an extra touch of the festive season.
- 200g dark brown sugar
- 140g golden syrup
- 200g butter
- Zest of 1 lemon or orange
- 4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp clove
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 500g plain flour
For the Royal icing:
- 250g icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp water
- 1 medium lightly beaten egg white
- 1cm wide natural coloured cotton ribbon
- Natural colour card board
- Combine the brown sugar, golden syrup, butter, citrus zest and spices into a medium saucepan on medium heat. Stir while the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a shimmer. Bring to bubbling point then take the pan off the heat.
- Add the bicarbonate of soda and stir through, this will froth and bubble. Set the mixture aside to sit and cool down for 10 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl sift the flour and add the salt, pour in the sugar mixture and gently stir to combine. Once the sticky mixture comes together into a dough. scrape down the sides of the bowl and give it a quick knead.
- Wrap the dough in a reusable plastic lunch bag or a bees wax wrap. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hr to set and to allow for the flavours of the spices to come out. N.B:The dough can be made beforehand and kept in the fridge for a few days.
- Preheat the oven to 180°, line two large cookie baking trays with baking paper and set aside.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and slice it into quarters, place 3 quarters back in the fridge so you work with one at a time.
- Lay a large piece of baking paper out. Place the dough on top of the paper and place another layer on top of the dough so it’s sandwiched between the paper. This prevents the dough from sticking to the surface and the rolling pin. Roll out the dough to be est 5mm thick. Place in the fridge to cool for 5 minutes.
- Using Australian animal cookie cutters, cut out the cookies. If you're making these on a hot day keep putting the dough back in the fridge to cool down. This will make it much easier to work with and help to keep the cookies from expanding out of shape when cooking.
- Remove the excess dough around the cut out edges, Place in the oven to cook for 6-7 minutes or until they start to brown around the edges.
- Once cooked, remove from the oven. Using a butter knife gently slice two holes 1cm long and 1cm apart from each other. This is to allow room for the ribbon to be threaded through. Place each cookie on a cooling rack.
- Once the Cookies are completely cooled down, cut out pieces of natural coloured cardboard that are in the same shape as the cookie cutter, use the cookie cutter as a template. Because we live in a humid climate, the cookies draw in moisture in the air and can crack easily when hung up, the cardboard helps to strengthen and prevent the cookies from breaking.
- To make the Royal icing, combine all the ingredients into a small mixing bowl; you're looking for a thick style of icing which forms peaks rather than a drizzle style icing. If the icing is too thick, add 1/2 tsp of water at a time to the mixture.
- Add 2-3 tbsp of icing mixture at a time to a piping bag with a small nozzle attached. Cover the remaining icing in the bowl.
- Ice roughly on the back side of the cookies and press the card board cut outs on to the cookie to stick them together. Flip them over and ice around the edge of each cookie. Allow them to sit to completely set for around 2-3 hrs.
- Thread the ribbon through the holes of each cookie leaving a gap between each cookie. Tie the Garland up above a fireplace or in a window.
Serve: x3 garlands
Prep / cook time: 50 minutes