These adorable gingerbread biscuits are perfectly soft on the inside with a slight crunch on the outside. They’re packed full of those amazing Christmas-time spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg, meaning they’re bursting with flavour! And, to top it all off you can make them extra sweet by adding some easy Royal icing decorations. No festive season is complete without some gingerbread biscuits! Living in Germany, it’s hard to avoid these lovely Lebkuchen as they’re a popular treat around these parts.
The dough is simple and quick to make, with readily available ingredients. I use Golden Syrup, a British syrup made out of sugar, similar to corn syrup, rather than molasses which is a sort of black treacle. It’s not as dark as molasses which mean the gingerbread comes out paler, but they taste just as good! After chilling for at least 30 minutes, the dough can be cut out and the biscuits can be placed straight into the oven to bake, for only 8-10 minutes! Let them cool, top the with Royal icing and they’re ready to pop in your mouth! Simple! Oh, and did I mention that this is a guaranteed no-spread biscuit, so no need to worry about them coming out of the oven flat and misshapen. Follow the recipe exactly and they’re bound to turn out perfect!
What special equipment do I need for these biscuits?
- Cookie cutters – 10cm gingerbread man/woman/people, Christmas tree, 5-pointed stars, 6-pointed stars in different sizes, candy cane etc. etc. It’s entirely up to you!
- Stand mixer with the dough handle and whisk attached (optional)
- Baking paper
- Piping bag and extra small round piping nozzle (0.5mm)
What ingredients do I need?
- Butter – Unsalted cold butter is preferable
- Brown sugar – Light or dark brown sugar add the sweetness to the biscuits
- Eggs – Medium free range eggs at room temperature or cold can be used. Eggs are needed to add structure to the biscuits
- Gluten free flour* – A gluten free flour blend such as Doves Farm Plain Flour with added Xanthan gum or Schär- Mix C is perfect for this recipe, otherwise a standard flour blend will work fine. The most important factor is that the flour blend does not contain baking powder. This will make the biscuits rise and spread too much and they may come out of the oven in a misshapen melted mess!
- Mixed ground spices – Here you can use each of the spices singly or a mixed ground spice mix or gingerbread mix. Just make sure that the gingerbread is spiced enough to have enough flavor when coming out of the oven!
- Golden Syrup – Golden Syrup is a British product, a sweet syrup made out a sugar, similar to corn syrup. If you can’t find Golden Syrup where you are, try using another sweet treacle or molasses’s an alternative. Standard black treacle also works a treat
- Baking soda – If you manage to get your hands on some gluten-free baking soda, then 1/4 teaspoon can be added to this recipe, however, it also works fine without. Baking soda acts as a leavened agent, giving you biscuits the rise that they need during the baking process
- Xanthan gum – Xanthan gum is essential for most gluten-free recipes and there are no exceptions here. As a substitute for gluten, it helps to hold your bakes together and adds that elasticity missing from gluten-free bakes
- Salt – Salt is needed in order to offset the sugar. If using salted butter, you can leave this out.
- Royal Icing – Homemade or a mix. If you’re less confident with making Royal icing, as it can be somewhat finicky, buy a Royal icing mix that’s easy to whip up with a splash of water. Royal icing is the best type of icing to use for decorating biscuits and cookies as you can create intricate patterns which don’t spread and harden like concrete
Tips and Tricks
- Rolling out the dough between two sheets of baking paper will make it easier to cut the biscuits after chilling and prevent having to use a floured surface to avoid the dough sticking which will many the dough drier.
- Roll out the dough to a thickness of around 5mm and chill for at least 30 minutes before cutting out the cookies to bake. Bake the cookies immediately, rolling out and chilling any excess cut-offs in the meantime.
- If you don’t have a Christmas cookie cutters, create the outline of your desired shape on paper, cut out and use as an outline for your cookies that you can cut around with a sharp knife. It works just as good!
These festive biscuits are bursting with flavor and are perfect for the Christmas season. Soft on the inside with a slight crunch and topped with a sweet Royal icing, they’re easy to make and guaranteed to impress!
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 8-10 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: Depends on the shapes, approx. 30
Author: Sarah | Baked by Sarah, Gluten Free
For the gingerbread:
- 350g gluten free plain flour *(See Note)
- 130g brown sugar
- 125g unsalted butter, cold
- 2 medium eggs, cold
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 tablespoons (60g) Golden Syrup or black treacle (molasses)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
For the Royal icing :
- 300g Royal icing
- 50ml water
- Preheat the oven to 160°C Fan and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Combine the flour, Xanthan Gum, salt and spices in a bowl and whisk until combined.
- Add the cubed cold butter and rub in with fingers until a crumby texture forms.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and golden syrup before adding to the mixture.
- Using a stand mixer with the dough handle attached or a wooden spoon, bring the mixture together until a smooth shiny dough forms. if the dough is sticky, don’t be tempted to add more flour as this will only dry out the dough more.
- Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour. This helps the dough to set, making it easier to roll out in the next stage, so don’t skip this part.
- Once chilled place the dough between two sheets of non-stick baking paper.
- Roll the dough out to a 5mm thickness.
- Cut out the biscuits using various cookie cutters and place on the baking tray at 1 inch intervals to allow for a slight spread. Gather the cut-offs into a new dough ball, and chill again in the fridge ready for the next batch of biscuits. Keep chilling the dough if it becomes too warm and sticky to use.
- Bake on the middle shelf for 8-10 minutes. The cookies will still be pale in colour but starting to turn golden around the edges. For extra crunchy gingerbread, leave the biscuits in for around 12 minutes.
- Allow the cookies to cool completely on a cooling wrack whilst preparing the Royal icing.
- Create a batch of white Royal icing according to the brand’s instructions which can be used to decorate the biscuits.
- Using a piping bag with an extra small round hole piping nozzle fitted, decorate the biscuits with festive designs.
- Set aside to set completely. They Royal icing will need a few hours to harden.
Tried this recipe? Let me know what you think!