A Gingerbread Cookie Wreath makes the perfect edible Christmas gift! Easy to make, fun to decorate and delicious – a festive project for the whole family. There's enough dough for at least two cookie wreaths.
100g| 3 ½ oz golden syrupsub with agave nectar or light corn syrup
115g| 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1 ½tspground cinnamon
2tspbaking sodabicarbonate of soda
440g| 3 ½ cups plain flour, more if needed plus more for dusting and rolling
80ml| ⅓ cup egg whites
250g| 2 cups icing sugaror as much as needed
½tspcream of tartar
Preheat the oven to 170C (340F) and line 2 heavy trays with baking paper (you will need to bake in batches).
Put the sugar, treacle, golden syrup, butter, spices and salt in a large bowl. Microwave in 30 second bursts until the butter starts to melt.
Stir until butter melted completely and you have a smooth thick liquid.
Stir in the baking soda and then the egg.
Gradually add all the flour, stirring it in with a wooden spoon.
Use your hands to mix the last of the flour into the dough, adding as much as required to create a pliable, non sticky, dough. Briefly knead the dough on a lightly floured worktop and gather to form a ball.
You can now use the dough straight away or chill it and use later. Cut the dough into thirds, keeping any unused dough covered so that it doesn't dry out.
Roll out the dough. Line your worktop with a piece of greaseproof paper, dust with a little flour and roll out to a thickness of ¼ inch .
Use a plate or cake tin to trace out a 20cm (8in) circle. Use a smaller plate or cutter to cut out the centre. This ring will form the base of your cookie wreath.
Cut out cookies using your favourite cutters - you want a variety of sizes but you can stick to one theme in terms of shape. Carefully lift the cookies and arrange on your prepared cookie sheet, spaced slightly apart. Reroll any leftover dough to cut out more shapes.
Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes until the cookies just start to colour a little at the edges. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before decorating.
Put the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of your stand mixer (or you can use a hand mixer). Start whisking on low speed until frothy.
Increase the speed. Start adding the icing sugar one tablespoon at a time once you have soft peaks. Add as much icing sugar as needed to create a stiff peaks. The icing needs to be really thick to assemble the cookie wreath but thinner for decorating the cookies. Add a few drops of water until it drops slowly off a spoon for decorating purposes.TOP TIP: always keepthe royal icing covered otherwise it will quickly dry out.
Put the royal icing in a piping bag and snip a very small hole at the tip (or use a silicone bottle as I have done). 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 before using to create the wreath.
Aseemble the cookie wreath
Arrange the cookies around the base in a pleasing configuration and have a silicone bottle or piping bag of thick royal icing at the ready.
Use the icing to stick the cookies to the ring, overlapping them as needed. You can move the cookies around white the icing is still wet but it will be diamond hard when it dries!
Add a festive ribbon and package as a gift or use as a table centrepiece.
Gingerbread Cookies Tips and FAQs- What is a substitute for golden syrup? Lyle’s Golden Syrup is a very common baking ingredient in the UK however it may be hard to source elsewhere. You can make this recipe using 100% molasses (your cookies will look quite dark) or substitute the golden syrup with light corn syrup or agave nectar. - Do I have to chill the dough? This gingerbread dough can be used straight away without chilling first but you can chill the dough if you like, it will make cutting out the cookies a bit easier.- How long does gingerbread dough last in the fridge? Flatten the dough to form a disk and wrap (or put in a silicone bag) then store in the fridge for up to three days.- How do you store gingerbread cookies?Store gingerbread cookies in an airtight tin, separated by greaseproof paper. Make sure that any decorations/icing have dried completely first!- How long do gingerbread cookies last?Your cookies will happily last for 2-3 weeks if stored properly. - Can you freeze gingerbread cookies?Gingerbread freezes well. Space the (undecorated) cookies out on a tray and freeze until solid then pack in a container, separated by greaseproof paper.