And since everyone loves to have a sweet treat after something savoury, he’s back again with a delicious gingerbread Christmas tree recipe! Read on to learn how to make it.
- Gingerbread Christmas tree ingredients
- How to make a gingerbread Christmas tree
- Gingerbread recipe FAQs
Gingerbread Christmas tree ingredients
- 500g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 3 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- 150g unsalted butter, softened
- 175g dark brown sugar
- 150g honey
- 1 egg
- 1 eggwhite
- 1 ½ cups (240g) icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
- Silver cachous (edible silver balls) or any edible colourful sprinkles to decorate
|Prep Time||2 hours & 30 minutes|
|Cook Time||20 minutes|
|Serves||1 tree = 10 people|
How to make a gingerbread Christmas tree
Make the gingerbread
- Preheat the oven to 180C and line some oven trays with baking paper.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, spices and a pinch of salt into a bowl.
- In a separate mixing bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar until fluffy with electric beaters. Add honey and egg. Beat until combined.
- Turn the speed down to low and add in the sifted dry ingredients until the mixture comes together.
- Divide the dough in half. Wrap separately in plastic and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Trace 19cm, 15cm and 10cm stars onto cardboard and cut them out. For 7.5cm and 4.5cm stars, use star cookie cutters. Get the kids involved here!
- Roll out each ball of dough between sheets of baking paper until 4mm thick.
- Using the star templates and 7.5cm star cutter, cut out 3 stars of each size from the dough. Using the 4.5cm cutter, cut out as many stars as possible from the remaining dough.
- Place the same sized stars together (3cm apart) on your oven trays. Bake larger stars for 8-10 minutes and smaller stars for 5-7 minutes or until deep golden.
- Once the biscuits are done, stand for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
Make the icing
- As the gingerbread stars cool, it’s time to make the icing. Add your eggwhite into a bowl. Stir in icing sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, until combined.
- Start to assemble your gingerbread Christmas tree by placing one of the 19cm stars at the bottom. Then, add a thin layer of icing and place 2-3 of the 4.5cm stars on top. Continue stacking and use the next smallest size at each layer until all 7.5cm stars are used. Make sure you’re stacking them at offset angles to create the ‘tree’ look.
- Finish the tree off by laying a 4.5cm star flat on top and a second one upright. Use the rest of the icing as glue to decorate the tree with cachou and sprinkles of choice. And if you have any remaining icing, you can drip it over the tree to look like snow.
- Leave the tree to set for 1 hour in a dry environment*. Serve dusted with icing sugar.
- *If you can assemble the gingerbread Christmas tree in an air conditioned or less humid environment, the stars will be easier to handle and will stay fairly rigid. Humidity will cause the tree to fall or be unstable.
- Best to cook the gingerbread the day before and assemble on Christmas day.
- If you have leftover stars, wrap them up with string to look like presents at the bottom of the tree.
- To give the gingerbread Christmas tree as a gift, simply wrap it in a sheet of cellophane and secure it with a ribbon.
Gingerbread recipe FAQs
Can I use white sugar instead of brown sugar for gingerbread?
Do not substitute with white sugar. The unrefined brown sugar gives a bitterness flavour that you traditionally taste in gingerbread. However, if you only have white sugar and you have molasses, you can do the following: for 175g brown sugar, use 175g white sugar plus 2 tbsp molasses. Stir together and use in the recipe.
What is the significance of gingerbread at Christmas?
Gingerbread houses originated in Germany during the 16th century and became associated with the Christmas tradition. Their popularity rose with the story of Hansel and Gretel by the Brothers Grimm. The tradition of gingerbread at Christmas time then came to America with Pennsylvanian German immigrants.
Why is it called gingerbread?
In Medieval England, the term gingerbread (from Latin zingiber via Old French gingebras) simply meant ‘preserved ginger’. From there, it came to mean confections made with honey and spices. For centuries, the word was used to refer to a traditional European pastry, very like a cookie, which is roughly what we know it to be today.