Let the kids help you bake
These gingerbread trees are a great way to keep children occupied in the kitchen. Make them as a fun holiday project two days in advance, and ice and stand them upright in icing sugar on Christmas Day.
EASY GINGERBREAD CHRISTMAS TREES
Makes 24 (in various sizes) EASY GREAT VALUE
Preparation: 10 minutes, plus 15 minutes’ chilling time Baking: 15 minutes
For the gingerbread: flour 350 g bicarbonate of soda 1t ground ginger 2t ground cinnamon 1t butter 125 g, softened brown sugar 175 g free-range egg 1 golden syrup 4T
For the icing: free-range egg white 1 lemon ½, juiced icing sugar 100 g, sifted
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper. 2 Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon and pour into the bowl of a stand mixer. 3 Add the butter and mix using the paddle attachment until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar. 4 Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together, then add to the mixture. Mix until it starts coming together, then remove from the bowl and knead until a smooth ball of dough is formed. Wrap in clingwrap and chill for 15 minutes. 5 Roll out the dough to a thickness of ½ cm on a lightly floured surface. 6 Using a knife or a set of cookie cutters, cut out different sized trees.
7 Place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. 8 To make the icing, beat the egg white with the lemon juice using an electric beater until combined, then gradually add the icing sugar until a thick paste is formed. 9 To assemble, decorate the trees with the icing; we used the icing to attach star anise to the tops of the trees. To display the trees upright, stand them in piled-up sifted icing sugar.
WINE: Bergsig Gewürztraminer 2018