As soon as I received my copy of Cordially Invited, I was desperate to make all of the recipes! However, I decided that the first one I’d try would be Zoe’s gingerbread recipe. I’ve never tried making gingerbread with treacle before, but now it’s definitely my preferred method.
Usually any biscuits I make turn out dry and very crunchy but this gingerbread was perfect. My uni friends gave them their seal of approval, so they must be good! I will apologise in advance for the icing, though – I’m still a newbie when it comes to icing and decorating, so it really isn’t my strong point. I tried to pick out the prettiest ones for pictures, but I didn’t have a lot to choose from.
The recipe is fairly easy to follow! Although, I did think that I could skip a few steps and it would be okay, but I was so wrong. Of course, it did turn out fine in the end, but I had made things a lot harder for myself.
In the recipe, Zoe tells you to roll out the dough on top of a piece of baking paper, and then cut the shapes. Then all you have to do is remove the excess dough, and your gingerbread biscuits are already on your baking paper and ready to go in the oven! I thought this step was a bit odd, so I decided I could do it the normal way and lift the cut-out dough onto the paper.
That was where I went wrong! Because I had never made gingerbread with treacle before, I didn’t know that the dough is extremely soft and fragile. It’s so easy to tear your cut-outs when you’re trying to lift them up and onto your baking paper. Next time, I will definitely be doing what I’m told, and I advise you all to do the same!
I also think I didn’t whip the icing long enough as, even though I was using the smallest piping nozzle I had, it was still falling out of the piping bag rather than me controlling it. Hence the slightly undefined icing. Like I said, I’m still a beginner when it comes to decorating, but for a first try, I don’t think these were too bad!
- 115 g unsalted butter
- 90 g light muscovado sugar
- 60 ml dark treacle
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 220 g plain flour
- 1-2 tbsp water
- 1 egg white
- 225 g icing sugar
Cream together the butter, sugar, treacle, spices and bicarbonate of soda until smooth and creamy. Then fold in the flour and enough water to make a stiff dough. (I personally didn't use any water!) Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for 30 mins in the fridge to firm up. Preheat your oven to 190 C / 170 C fan / gas 5.
Cut two large pieces of baking paper and divide the dough in half. Using a rolling pin, roll out half the dough between the two pieces of paper, to a thickness of around 7mm. (Essential, otherwise you will find cutting and moving the cookies onto the tray IMPOSSIBLE.)
Zoe's recipe is for a gingerbread house, but I just wanted to make cookies. So here, I cut out my shapes and popped them into the oven for about 12-18 minutes, until slightly darker around the edges. Once baked, let them cool completely before you attempt to ice.
Making the icing by whisking the egg white and the sugar together until thick. Pop into an icing bag with a small nozzle and start decorating! You can ever split your icing sugar up and put food colouring in them to give them a more colourful look. And feel free to decorate with sweeties, as well!
I hope you enjoyed this post, and thank you for reading! Despite by baking faux pas, this recipe turned out really tasty. If you’re making gingerbread this Christmas, I’d recommend you try this recipe with treacle! It really gave it a better taste and consistency than any other gingerbread I’ve baked before.
Have you bought Cordially Invited yet? What’s been your favourite recipe so far? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time,