How to make perfect gingerbread cookies

Less than a week ‘til Christmas, ya’ll!

I was feeling very festive this weekend and decided to make some gingerbread cookies. It felt right with all the snow we got this week and Christmas being right around the corner. But instead of making gingerbread men (or trees or candy canes or sweaters), I went less conventional and made some unicorns and hearts ❤ Mostly because I wanted an excuse to use my unicorn cutter from Sur La Table (order from Amazon) and the stencil I designed.

I used the gingerbread recipe from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible and had some issues with the dough being too crumbly, so I had to put on my baker’s cap and come up with a solution. Fortunately I salvaged the dough with some almond milk and the cookies turned out great! Read on for the recipe and some tips for success.

Ingredients

Get my handy baking conversion charts here!

  • 350g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 100g butter
  • 175g light muscovado sugar (I used brown sugar)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup (I used light corn syrup)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (the recipe didn’t call for this, but gingerbread just didn’t sound right to me without some!)

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Instructions

Sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger and cinnamon. Add the butter and blend until the mix looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.

Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together, add to the bowl and stir until the mixture clumps together. Knead the dough briefly until smooth, wrap in saran wrap and leave to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.

Roll the dough out to a ¼ inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using cutters, cut out the gingerbread shapes and place on the baking tray, leaving a gap between them.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown. Leave on the tray for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling. Decorate when cooled.

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Tips for Success

Like I mentioned, my dough was a bit too crumbly to effectively roll out. I’m not sure if it’s because of the substitutions I made, but if this happens to you, simply add a dash of milk until the dough becomes sticky enough to roll into a smooth ball. I only had unsweetened almond milk on hand and that worked fine.

It can be difficult to tell when the cookies are fully baked because they’re already a golden brown color. I recommend setting the timer for a few minutes less so you can closely watch them towards the end. I took them out at what I thought was the perfect time (they were firm on the bottom/soft on top when I removed them) but they hardened considerably once they cooled. Hubby says he likes ’em like that, but I prefer a softer cookie.

I had so much fun creating this stencil for my cookie and can’t wait to use it on cakes and other goodies! I’m planning what my next stencil should say…any suggestions? Let me know if you want an “I hate everyone but you” stencil and I’ll ship it out to you asap 🙂

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Follow me on Instagram @beginnerbakes for more baking inspiration and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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