We were invited to a friends house last night to make a gingerbread/papperkake house, drink glogg and eat rice porridge. When the majority of the party are engineers working in oil and gas it’s only natural that the decision of building a traditional house was overruled with the urge to build an oil rig.
It put me in the Christmas mood and today I wanted to try my hand at making my own pepperkake Christmas Tree.
Makes: around 40 biscuits
You will need:
150 g unsalted butter
160 g sugar
70 ml treacle
50 ml golden syrup
75 ml whole milk
1 medium egg yolk
420 g plain flour
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom, ground to a fine powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp finely ground black pepper
½ tsp fine sea salt
40 g icing sugar
½ tsp warm water
(1) Using a food processor cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
(2) Mix the treacle, golden syrup, milk and egg yolk together in a separate bowl
(3) In another bowl stir 400g of the flour and all the other dry ingredients together.
(4) Alternate between adding wet and dry ingredients in stages, mixing as you go, until the dough comes together.
(5) Add some or all of the remaining 20g flour if the mixture seems too wet, although you want it to be quite sticky as it will set when refrigerated.
(6) Form into a disc, wrap with cling film and refrigerate overnight or freeze until needed.
(7) Once you are ready to go allow the dough to come to room temperature for about 15-20 minutes. (If you are using frozen dough, you will need to let it defrost overnight in the fridge beforehand.)
(8) Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan assisted) and line two or three large baking sheets with baking parchment.
(9) Roll out the biscuit dough with a floured rolling pin on a lightly floured surface until it is roughly 2-3mm thick. I kept finding my dough kept sticking to my kitchen surface to it was easier to roll the dough directly on to the baking sheet and cut out the biscuit shapes there.
(10) Cut into stars with a set of graduated star-shaped cutters, you need around 5 or 6 different sizes. (or any other shape you desire if you don’t want to create a tree)
(11) Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
(12) Allow to cool on a wire rack while you repeat the rolling, cutting and baking until all the dough is used up.
(13) If you are constructing the Christmas tree you need to combine the ½ tsp of warm water and icing sugar together in a bowl, you want the consistency to be think and gloppy. Spoon into a piping bag with a 1cm plain nozzle.
(14) Pipe a little icing onto the serving place you are going to use and place a large star on top.
(15) Pipe a little icing in the centre of the star and top with another large star, offsetting slightly and pressing the biscuits together.
(16) Repeat, gradually decreasing the sizes of the stars, I used around 4-5 stars of the same size before moving to the next size.
(17) Allow the icing to set and then dust with icing sugar.
Note: These biscuits can keep in an airtight container for several weeks, so these are great to make ahead of Christmas day too. If the stored biscuits start to go soft you can also reheat them on a wire rack at 130°C (fan assisted), then allow to cool completely on the wire rack once out of the oven to crisp them back up.