Gingerbread is one of those cookies that I’m always ‘meh’ about when I think of it. Each year I inevitably end up making some to turn into a gingerbread house (or this year, a Christmas tree made of stacked gingerbread stars!). Every time I end up snacking on the dough scraps and nibbling bits of baked rejected gingerbread. And every time I’m like ‘hmm this is actually pretty delicious’.
This year I deviated a bit from the regular gingerbread recipe, adding cardamom into the dough too. Adding cardamom into spiced bakes is something I’ve become accustomed to after eating many Swedish cardamom buns this year. If you’re a cardamom hater though, there’s no harm in leaving it out. Dipping the gingerbread in a lemon glaze, a trick I learnt a few years ago from Carey is something I also LOVE to do. That acidic coating on the spicy gingerbread is an amazing pairing and takes the cookies from ‘yeah it’s quite nice’ to ‘OMG GIMME MORE’. My favourite thing though is how it crackles once dry making making them look all frosty!
As Williams Sonoma is finally coming to the UK selling some food products in Harrods, much to my excitement, they sent me some kitchen goodies including their snowflake cutters which I used here. Gingerbread keeps its shape really well upon baking so those patterned cookie cutters/stamps do work properly. It’s also way way easier to use a textured stamp than pipe on icing to decorate the cookies (something I despise doing) and looks just as pretty.
- 75 g (1/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 100 g (1/2 cup) dark brown sugar
- 75 g (1/4 cup) golden syrup or honey
- 1 small egg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 heaped tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 250 g (2 cups) plain white flour (all purpose flour)
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 200 g icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- lemon juice
- Cream together the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the egg. Add the salt, ginger, cinnamon and cardamom to the bowl and mix in well. Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and mix together until a soft dough forms.
- Chill the dough for at least 2 hours until firm.
- 10 minutes before removing the dough from the fridge, preheat the oven to 180oC (350oF)
- Divide the chilled dough in half. Roll out one half on a large piece of baking paper, sprinkling with flour underneath and on top as needed, using a lightly floured rolling pin. Roll until the dough is about 4mm (1/8 inch) thick. Stamp out shapes using cookie cutters - mine were 5cm (2 inches) diameter - dipping them into flour if needed to prevent them sticking.
- Transfer the cut shapes to a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 8 minutes (for 5cm/2" diameter cookies). Once baked transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Repeat the rolling and cutting with the rest of the dough, re-rolling scraps as needed.
- Place the icing sugar into a medium bowl. Add lemon juice 1 tsp at a time until you get a thin glaze. Dip the top of each baked cookie into the glaze and place glazed side-up onto a wire rack so the excess can drip off. Leave for at least 1 hour so the glaze can set. Once set, store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- ground ginger tends to lose it's flavour quite quickly, in my experience. So if you want v gingery cookies, pick up a fresh bottle of the stuff if yours is 12+ months old