- Makes: 16
- Cooking Time: 15 mins
- Course: Dessert
- Cuisine: Irish
- Gingerbread dough:
- 150g dark muscovado sugar
- 150g golden syrup
- 200g butter, diced
- ½ orange, zest and juice
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 350g plain flour
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Royal icing:
- 150g icing sugar, sieved
- 1 egg white
- ½ tsp lemon juice
1 Place the muscovado sugar, golden syrup, butter, orange zest and juice into a medium size saucepan. Heat gradually at first until all the sugar is dissolved, then increase the heat and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring well. Remove from the heat and stir in the spices.
2 Sieve together the flour and bicarbonate of soda then add these sieved ingredients into the saucepan and use a wooden spoon to mix to a dough consistency. When the dough has cooled slightly wrap it in clingfilm and refrigerate for 45 minutes before rolling out.
3 On a lightly floured surface roll the dough out to a 5mm thickness, before stamping out shapes with cookie cutters. Alternatively, use a sharp knife to cut out shapes.
4 Place the dough cut outs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving space between them. Refrigerate for 10 minutes before baking.
5 Preheat an oven to 180 Celsius, fan, or equivalent. Bake for 12-15 minutes (smaller shapes may only need 10 minutes) or until the edges are beginning to darken in colour. Remove from the oven and leave them to sit for one minute (at this point you could stick a skewer in the top of each biscuit so they can be threaded with ribbon or string and hung from the Christmas tree). Next, carefully lift them up with a palette knife and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
6 To make the icing: Place the sieved icing sugar into a large mixing bowl with the egg white and lemon juice. Start mixing on the lowest speed until combined, then increase the mixing speed, whisking for about four minutes until the icing has a firm satin-like consistency (add in a drop or two of lemon juice if it looks very dry or too stiff for piping).
7 To decorate the gingerbread shapes with thin lines of icing, place three quarters of the icing in a piping bag fitted with a pen tip sized nozzle. Use any remaining icing to fill between lines.
8 Allow iced biscuits to set for at least 30 minutes.
For a paper piping bag, take a small rectangle of parchment paper and fold it diagonally to create a thin tipped funnel – use a scissors to snip an opening to your required size.