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Gingerbread biscuits that are part of so many happy memories

December 19, 2018
gingerbread biscuits on a wooden board
There are some recipes you make again and again. This is one of the staples in our house. I can’t remember the first time or how many sessions of gingerbread-making I’ve done in my kitchen. Some solo, some with my girls as they were growing up, some with hordes of children and even a few sessions just for adults with our early food blogger group called Fooderati Arabia. Just writing this now is making me want to send out an invite, make a vat of mulled wine, and gather together for rolling, cutting and baking until the house is filled with spicy aromas and the sound of happy nattering.
I’ve given these out at Hallowe’en, put them into party bags, wrapped them as gifts and, of course, just stacked the biscuit tin at home for having with a cup of tea. My Father was Polish and there is a huge tradition of gingerbread or pierniczki there, they claim to have invented it (as do many European countries) and there is even a gingerbread museum.  However, I didn’t really grow up with these and a gingerbread man was just an occasional treat from the baker.

I adore the flavour of ginger in savoury or sweet things. From a noodle broth, spicy and fragrant, that feels like it’s fighting every illness known to man, to the sticky syrup from a jar of stem ginger.

These biscuits seem to have just the right amount of ginger flavour to please both children and adults. Icing is not necessary, but, while I’m not the neatest, I find piping patterns both creative and relaxing. As for shapes, the sky’s the limit, just don’t make them too small or they will bake too quickly. I may have a slight cutter-buying obsession (I blame Nigella). If you make them I’d love to see yours (tag mycustardpie on any social or drop me a comment).

More recipes using ginger:

Ginger chocolate biscuits

Pear, ginger and raw honey flapjacks

Sticky ginger cake with Turkish delight icing

Gingerbread biscuits (or cookies)

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Classic ginger biscuits that are easy to roll, cut into shapes and bake. They have a great ginger taste and are fun to make.

Amount depends on which cutters you use. Makes about 12 large gingerbread men.

Ingredients

  • 350 g (12 oz) plain white flour
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) bicarbonate of soda
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) ground ginger
  • 110 g (4 oz) butter
  • 175 g (6 oz) soft light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 60 ml (4 tbsp) golden syrup
  • Currants (optional: for decoration if making gingerbread men)
  • 200 g icing sugar (optional)

Directions

1. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger into a food processor, or a KitchenAid fitted with the paddle attachment, or bowl. Whizz in the machine, or rub in the butter lightly by hand until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.  Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre.
2. If making by hand beat the syrup and egg together in another bowl. For a food processor, just add direct.
3. Pour the syrup mixture into the well and mix to a fairly firm dough by whizzing briefly again in the food processor, KitchenAid or by hand. Give the dough a little extra kneading if required – you want it to be smooth.
4. Divide the dough in half and roll out, one half at a time, on a lightly floured surface to a 4-5 mm (1/4 inch) thickness. Using biscuit cutters, cut out figures or shapes and place them on baking sheets lined with baking paper. Add currants for eyes and buttons if making gingerbread men. Bake at 190 C (375 F) Mark 5 for 12-15 minutes, until golden. Do not overcook – light golden is fine – any browner they taste burnt.
5. Leave on the baking sheets for 1 minute, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool.
6. To make the icing: sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Whisk in cold water, a teaspoon at a time, until you get a piping consistency. Alternatively you could beat an egg white until frothy and whisk in the icing sugar a little at a time. Put into a piping bag and ice the biscuits when they have cooled completely.

Notes: The dough will rest, covered, in the fridge for ages. Warning – children have a tendency to roll dough too thinly. The cooking time depends on the heat of your oven and the thickness of the biscuits. I start checking after 10 minutes. If rolled thinner, they hold their shape better and don’t spread so much but can overcook quickly.

Gingerbread biscuits cooling

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These are great at any time of the year, but if you’re celebrating Christmas hope you have a good one.
25 Comments leave one →
  1. December 19, 2018 4:43 pm

    These look awesome!! Love the photos too!!

    • January 2, 2019 11:35 am

      Thank you so much blogtastic! Hope you get to taste one.

  2. kavitafavelle permalink
    December 20, 2018 1:59 pm

    I love recipes that have a real place in your memories, that are so associated with happy times. Like you, I also adore ginger in both savoury and sweet and I do love gingerbread cookies!

    • January 2, 2019 11:36 am

      You’ve made me think about ginger in savoury food now Kavey – feels like it’s doing you good as well as tasting amazing.

  3. December 20, 2018 2:39 pm

    It isnt holiday without baking gingerbread and your recipe looks spot on perfect.

    • January 2, 2019 11:37 am

      Definitely an annual ritual in our house – and this dough works for Halloween and Easter baking too.

  4. December 20, 2018 3:33 pm

    These are adorable! Christmas isn’t Christmas without gingerbread!

    • January 2, 2019 11:37 am

      I have to agree – hope you had a lovely one.

  5. December 20, 2018 3:46 pm

    I am so in love with all things gingerbread. These are so amazing…and beautiful photos! I love to put ginger in everything too, sweet or savory 🙂

    • January 2, 2019 11:38 am

      One spice (is it a spice?!) I couldn’t live without.

  6. December 20, 2018 3:56 pm

    These are definitely something I’ll be making this time of year and your photos make them look so inviting!

    • January 2, 2019 11:38 am

      Thanks Amy – really appreciate the kind words.

  7. December 20, 2018 4:04 pm

    What an awesome recipe, quick and easy, best of all very tasty. They will definitely decorate my festive table!

    • January 2, 2019 11:38 am

      Please tag me if you make them – would love to see them. Hope you had a wonderful celebration.

  8. December 23, 2018 4:25 am

    Wow. I love your photos. Artsy, rustic, eye catching, and interesting. And these gingerbread cookies sound delicious. What a great blog. Very charming :-). Keep up the great work.

    • January 2, 2019 11:39 am

      What incredibly kind words – you’ve made me blush. Such a boost to the day. Thanks so much.

  9. December 23, 2018 12:33 pm

    Wow! What an amazing recipe. I simply cannot get enough of these cookies. These cookies look soooooo tempting!
    http://www.okcheori.com

  10. December 23, 2018 2:02 pm

    Even I who do not have a sweet tooth find the look of your biscuits most enticing, and joyful, yes!!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !

    • January 2, 2019 11:40 am

      I really don’t have much of a sweet tooth either. These seem to pass the easy to nibble test!

  11. December 30, 2018 6:45 pm

    I’ve read about gingerbread cookies in so many books, but have never had a chance to try them out or make them at home myself. Thank you for this amazing recipe! I’d love to give this a shot if I can find all the ingredients here in Bangalore, India, where I live. 🙂

    • January 2, 2019 11:41 am

      I hope you do – I believe corn syrup can replace golden syrup if that helps.

  12. December 31, 2018 6:48 pm

    I love the taste of ginger in anything! and these cookies sound wonderful, I’d like to try your well-tested recipe. The photos are fab and all the decorated biscuits look lovely.

    • January 2, 2019 11:41 am

      Thanks so much Caro – really appreciate your kind words coming from such an accomplished photographer. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

  13. February 17, 2019 11:39 pm

    So love the images in this post Sally 🙂

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