With this time of year also comes Christmas baking. I've done a bit of Christmas baking for the last couple of years, as presents for people who I can't afford to buy proper presents for, but this year, I'm going all out.
We'll start with gingerbread biscuits, because they're the most traditional, but (hopefully) we'll move on to white christmas, salted caramels, rum balls and my favourite christmas muffins. We'll see how we go! I'm sure I can do them all, but I'm not sure if I'll get them all up before Christmas. Oh well, I'll try my best.
These biscuits are really easy to make, just cream the butter and sugar and add the remaining ingredients. I like to call this One Bowl. The best kind of biscuit. There is a bit of waiting around, though, between kneading the dough, chilling it, rolling it out, cutting out, chilling again and then baking. I added in an extra waiting around because *I like to bake one biscuit tray at a time, for even baking. I'm sure you could bake two at a time and switch the trays half way through, but I always forget and then the top tray is crispy on top but not the bottom, and the bottom tray is crispy on the bottom but not on the top.
The icing is probably the most fun part. It's really easy to make, and you can get your creativity machine running with the designs you pipe on. I was just testing my designs out for when I make them properly, so these ones were just a bit of fun.
These are different to the other ginger-type biscuits that I've posted before, because these are roll and cut biscuits, rather than scoop and flatten biscuits. The icing is the same, though, because it's the best for piping. Either would be good for Christmas presents!
Adapted from "Sweet Food"
140g butter, softened
115g brown sugar
1/4 cup golden syrup or black treacle
280g plain flour
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 scant tsp ground cloves
1 scant tsp fresh ground nutmeg
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy and light.
Beat in syrup and egg.
Fold in dry ingredients until combined.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 10 mins.
Divide dough into two, keep one half in the fridge until ready.
Roll out between two sheets of baking paper until roughly 5mm thick.
Cut into desired shapes and transfer to a lined baking tray. Put the tray into the fridge for 10-15 mins.
Preheat oven to 180C.
Bake biscuits for 10 mins, they'll be dark on the bottom and firm on top (See note above *).
Cool on a wire rack.
For the icing:
1 egg white
1/2 tsp lemon juice
150g icing sugar
Food colouring, optional.
Whisk egg white until foamy.
Mix in the lemon juice and icing sugar and stir until glossy. If mix is too thick, add a bit more lemon juice (Remember that it's easier to thin out the mixture than it is to thicken it up again, so don't add too much liquid at once).
Add food colouring, if using.