Friday, 6 December 2013

Gingerbread Christmas Tree

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Gingerbread Christmas Tree

I have what I believe to be, the best gingerbread recipe in the world.  I just love it but I only
make it at Christmas time.  It's a Thermomix recipe which means that making it is an easy and relatively tidy affair.  

I was out shopping with my daughter the other day and I came across a Christmas tree baking kit for $5.  It goes without saying that I snapped it up and this years gingerbread cookies will now become a tree.  I noticed on the packaging that it said 'fun for the whole family'.  How I laughed.  Try as I might, I could never re-create those wonderfully traditional scenes about cooking with children in the kitchen.  I could never see past the mess.  This year, as we are going away, we aren't putting up a tree.  In fact, there are no decorations at all so I am really pleased that our house at least has a little something that nods in the direction of Christmas.

The Thermomix recipe can be found here.  For those of you without a Thermomix, the translated recipe is as follows:

Ingredients:
270g Icing sugar
1 Egg white
100g butter
250g honey
half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon
half a teaspoon of ground cardamom
half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg
half a teaspoon of salt
500g plain flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 egg lightly beaten

Method

1.  Using a hand beater/mixer, mix 150g of the icing sugar and the eggwhite to make the icing.  Cover and set aside in a bowl.

2.  In a saucepan on low heat, gently stir together the butter, remaining icing sugar, honey and spices.  Stir until all the butter and honey have melted and all the ingredients are mixed.

3.  Remove from heat and transfer into a mixing bowl and add the flour, baking powder and egg and knead to form dough.

4.  Let the dough cool and rest for about 2 hours.

5.  Preheat the oven to 180C
Cut the dough ball into 4 equal pieces and roll out between 2 sheets of baking paper to a thickness of about 5mm.  Bake the gingerbread shapes in the oven for between 12-15 minutes.  The christmas tree has a number of different sized star cookies so it will take a bit of oven watching to make sure that they all cook properly.

If you are making gingerbread cookies, glaze the gingerbread with the icing whilst they are hot and allow to cool before storing in an airtight container.

Once you have baked the stars, gently 'thread' them on the pole and offset them.  Sprinkle with icing sugar to represent snow.  Alternately, they can be made into lovely christmas tree ornaments (that's if they make it to the tree .. I can never stop at eating just one)

If you don't have a stand to make the christmas tree, use the icing to 'glue' the stars on top of each other.  

This tree would be fabulous for children to decorate with sprinkles, edible flowers and glitter and some chocolate and I know I will be making a few of these to give away to friends and family.

This recipe makes the tree which is 15 stars and 25 gingerbread cookies.  Rather a perfect amount for Christmas time.

and yes .. you are correct in noticing that there is no ginger in this gingerbread. Technically, it should be called cardamom bread I suppose. Either way, it is just delicious.


Merry Christmas,
Louise

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