I have said it before, I am saying it again: after many years of testing and tasting my way through the many versions of German gingerbread I can conclusively say that this is THE BEST gingerbread recipe when it comes to gingerbread-man-gingerbread as we know it in the Anglo-Saxon realm…
It is made with fresh ginger and freshly ground cardamom…
Is it worth the effort? YES!
Prep. Time: about 30 minutes plus overnight resting plus decorating time
Cooking time: about 15 minutes
Makes about 30
Brown sugar 50g
Pinch of salt
Fresh ginger 15g
Cardamom, freshly ground 1tsp
Baking powder ¾tsp
Plain flour 350g
For the glace icing:
Icing sugar 120g
Boiling water about 2 Tbsp
1. Place the honey, treacle, brown sugar, pinch of salt and 4 tablespoons of water together in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and then bring to the boil. Remove from the heat.
2. Slice the butter into cubes and stir into the honey and sugar mixture.
3. Peel the ginger and then either grate it or chop very finely.
4. Grind the cardamom with a pestle and mortar.
5. Stir the ginger, cardamom and baking powder into the honey and sugar mixture and leave to cool.
6. Carefully fold the flour into the cooled honey and sugar mixture until well mixed.
7. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and leave in a cool place overnight.
8. When you are ready to bake your gingerbread biscuits, line your baking tray(s) with baking paper and preheat the oven to 190°C.
9. Roll out the dough (in portions) on a floured surface to a thickness of about 1/4 cm and get going with all your Christmassy cookie cutters.
10. Bake the results tray by tray for about 15 minutes and leave to cool completely before decorating.
11. To decorate, combine the icing sugar with boiling water, mix until smooth, place in a piping bag and decorate your gingerbread biscuits with any manner of dots and dashes! Depending on how thick your pipe the icing it will need a good hour to dry before you can pack the biscuits away.
Decorating alternative: decorate the biscuits with whole almonds (skinned or otherwise) pressed into the dough before baking, and/or use a skewer to pierce a hole in each biscuit to be able to hang them up as decorations after baking… or to finish off your gift wrapping!
I’ve never thought to add fresh ginger to gingerbread – great idea. I agree with you about the cardamom; it should always be freshly ground as it loses its flavour if kept for very long. Absolutely love that diamond gingerbread “button” with the twine bow.
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Thanks the Kitchen Witch 🙂 Gingerbread buttons in the classic round button shape (use a wedding ring or a piping nozzle to stamp them out…) also go down well for finishing off gifts!
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