Gingerbread advent calendar stars
• 125g unsalted butter, chopped and softened • ½ cup (90g) brown sugar
• 2/3 cup (230g) golden syrup
• 2½ cups (375g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
• 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of (baking) soda, sifted
• 2 teaspoons ground ginger
• 1½ cups (240g) icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted
• 1 eggwhite Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 10−12 minutes or until pale and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the syrup, flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger and beat until a smooth dough forms. Flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 140°C (275°F). Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of non-stick baking paper to 5mm thick. Refrigerate until firm. Using star-shaped cutters, cut out 8 x 5.5cm stars, 8 x 6.5cm stars, 4 x 7.5cm stars and 5 x 9.5cm stars, re-rolling the dough as necessary. Using the tip of a 6mm-round nozzle, punch a hole in the top of each star. Place on baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper and bake for 18–20 minutes or until dry to the touch. Allow to cool completely on trays. To make the icing, place the icing sugar and eggwhite in a medium bowl and stir well to combine. Spoon the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a 2mmround nozzle. Pipe the icing around the edges of the stars and number stars 1–25+. Thread the stars onto lengths of ribbons and hang. + There’s enough gingerbread dough to make 40 cookies. Any leftover cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1–2 weeks.