Christmas isn’t Christmas without gingerbread cookies and festive wreaths. Why not combine the two and make it a day to remember?
If you’re a stickler for tradition, then you surely know your gingerbread cookie recipe off by heart. This year, why not make a festive wreath to shake things up a bit? Plus, you’ll even have enough dough leftover for some cookies to gift. The kids will love this idea and it might be great to make smaller wreaths so that everyone can partake in the fun.
For the gingerbread
- 150 grams unsalted butter, softened
- 150 grams dark muscovado
- 2 eggs
- 45 ml golden syrup
- 400 grams plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground ginger
For the royal icing
- 1 egg white
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 225 grams icing sugar
Step 1 & 2
Preheat the oven to 180°C and then line several baking trays with some baking paper.
Cream the butter and muscovado until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and golden syrup. Add in the flour, baking powder and spices and mix well to bring the dough together.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, around 3–4 mm thick. Cut out a ring shape of about 20 cm wide for the base of the wreath. Then, use the rest of the dough to cut out lots of stars and Christmas shapes of your choice. Arrange the base and other shapes onto the lined baking trays and then pop into the oven for around 10–12 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer onto a wire rack and leave to cool while you make the icing.
whisk the egg whites until frothy but not firm, and then add the lemon juice. Then, one spoonful at a time, sieve and fold in the icing sugar, then transfer it all to a piping bag.
Tip: Buy the Woolworths Royal Icing Mix if you don’t have time to make royal icing from scratch. Just add water and stir gently to avoid bubbles forming.
Cut a tiny hole into the piping bag and carefully start piping patterns onto your gingerbread shapes. You can go as intricate or simple as you like – this will depend on your skill level. Remember: straight lines and dots are easier than curved lines. Allow the cookies to dry completely before moving.
TIP: If you want to go all out, skip piping royal icing on the cookies and have Christmas themed patterns printed on rice paper. Cut out the different shapes and paste them on the cookies with a watery mixture of royal icing. You can customise the wreath to suit your table decor or holiday colour scheme.
Snip the hole in the piping bag a bit bigger and use the royal icing as glue to stick the shapes onto the base in a pretty pattern. Leave to dry before moving or serving.
TIP: If you want to hang your wreath up, make a small hole in the base while the cookie is still warm. Then thread a piece of ribbon through. Also, make sure not to overload the base with too many cookies, as the weight may cause it to break and fall.
These wreaths also make a beautiful festive table centrepiece when a candle is placed in the middle. Guests can then have some cookies with their after-dinner coffee.
ALSO SEE CHRISTMAS TREE CAKES RECIPE