Very bright gingerbread

Things are about to take a turn for the festive round here. So if you’re not that way inclined, I’d look away now. These gingerbread biscuits, from my favourite The Great Big Cookie Book, are perfect for this time of year. They can be cut into any shape you like, iced however you like (the neon green is entirely my own choosing) and taste of Christmas.

Start off by sifting 6oz of plain flour, 1/4 tsp of bicarbonate of soda, a tsp each of ground cinnamon and ground ginger and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Add 2 1/2 oz of butter and rub the two together, until there are no big lumps of butter left.

Now stir in 3oz of caster sugar, two tbsp of golden syrup (I’m a sucker for a special Christmas edition) and an egg yolk and knead till it comes together in a ball. It’s a fairly crumbly mix but if its not holding together at all add the tiniest drop of milk. Then fridge for half an hour (or as long as you have patience for).

Roll out the dough onto a floured surface. I wish I could tell you how thick it should be but my recipe doesn’t and I get something different every time. About as thick as in the photo below will get fairly crisp, biscuity biscuits but any thicker and they’ll go a bit more cakey, which is no bad thing. Of all my biscuit cutters I do not have a gingerbread man (or woman-the patriarchy has no place in my cupboards) so I went for trees and stars.

Bake for fifteen minutes at 180, until the edges are looking darker. Or the whole top is if your oven’s a bit temperamental. Then ice to your heart’s content. The egg white from the yolk could be used to make proper royal icing if you want to ice them a bit more elegantly than the below.

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