An easy recipe for gingerbread that requires no chilling and can be used to make Christmas cookies or to create a gingerbread house.
Prep Time 15minutes
Cook Time 12minutes
Total Time 27minutes
Servings 20-40 cookies depending on size
Author Lucy Parissi
For the gingerbread
85g| 3oz soft light brown sugar
200g| 7oz treacle /blackstrap molassesor half treacle, half golden syrup
1 1/2tspground ginger
1 1/2tspground cinnamon
pinchground white pepper
2tspbicarbonate of soda
115g| 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
440g| 15.5oz | 3 1/2 cups plain flourplus more for dusting and rolling
For the Royal Icing
3egg whites90g | 3.1oz
500g| 4 cups icingpowdered sugar, shifted (more, or less as needed)
1/2tspcream of tartar
Preheat the oven to 170C (340F) and line 3 heavy trays with baking paper (you may need to bake the cookies in batches).
Put the sugar, treacle and all the spices in a medium saucepan and heat gently, stirring constantly, until it reaches boiling point. Take care it doesn’t burn.
Take off the heat and stir in the bicarbonate of soda – the mix will start to foam up.
Add the butter and stir until completely melted. Mix in the beaten egg and transfer to a large bowl.
Gradually add all the flour, stirring it in, until the dough is fairly firm.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured worktop and gently knead into a ball. If the dough is too soft, sprinkle with a little flour. It should be the consistency of Play-Doh, pliable but not sticky. Slice in half (or thirds) keeping the dough you aren’t using covered with cling fillm.
Roll the dough out to about 6mm ( about 1/4 inch) and cut out shapes with floured cookie cutters. Transfer the cookies to the prepared trays and bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through, until the cookies start getting coloured at the edges. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely until firm. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Make the icing. Put the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of your stand mixer. Start whisking on low speed until frothy.
Increase the speed and once the egg whites form soft peaks, start adding the icing sugar one tablespoon at a time. Continue to whisk until it forms firm peaks. The longer you whisk the stiffer the icing will become. Keep the royal icing covered otherwise it will quickly dry out. If the icing is too thin you can add more icing sugar. If too thick, thin it with a little lemon juice or water. You will want the icing to be quite thick if you are making a gingerbread house.
Put the royal icing in a piping bag and snip a very small hole at the tip. Use the bag to pipe lines on the cookies – holding the bag a small distance away from the cookies while you are piping. If you wish to fill (flood) the cookies, thin half of the icing with a little water and use it to fill an outlined cookie – pushing the icing to the edges using a toothpick. Leave to dry completely at room temperature.