Gingerbread Star Christmas Trees

7 Jan

We made lots of gingerbread this year. I had never made it before but it is very easy and tasty. I originally saw the idea on taste.com which is where I got the recipe from but I adapted it to make the smaller sized trees. We put them on a little Christmas plate, attached a Reindeer Handprint gift tag and they were a lovely gift for Aunts, Uncles and friends.

I think it is important to teach children about giving at a time that can become so much about receiving. Thomas is a funny little boy who gains so much joy from seeing others happy so already enjoys the giving aspect of Christmas. He is so innocent and doesn’t expect anything in return. For my birthday last year, he wanted to give me a cloud. So with some help from his Nanna, he went outside and caught a cloud for me (some wadding purchased from the craft shop). He put it in a box and they got a plaque engraved to go on the box. It was so gorgeous. Probably the best present I have ever received!

I think it would be nice for him to hold on to this characteristic as he gets older so we often bake a batch of biscuits and take some to our neighbour or to one of his friends. I think it’s also important to note that giving doesn’t have to be about the most expensive gift  but about the thought and care that you put into choosing a gift for that person. Sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most.

Ingredients

  • 3 1/3 cups (500g) plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
  • 175g dark brown sugar
  • 150g honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 eggwhite
  • 1 1/2 cups (240g) icing sugar, sifted, plus extra, for dusting
  • Silver cachous, to decorate

Method

Preheat oven to 180C. Sift flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, spices and a pinch of salt into a bowl.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add honey and egg. Beat until combined. On low speed, beat in sifted dry ingredients until mixture comes together. Divide dough in 1/2. Wrap separately in plastic. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.Roll out dough halves between baking paper until 4mm thick. Using a set of star cutters cut out as many sets of stars as you can from the dough. With the leftover dough, re-roll it and cut out some small stars to use in between layers.Place same sized stars together, 3cm apart, on baking paper-lined oven trays. Bake larger stars for 8 minutes; smaller stars for 5-7 minutes or until deep golden. Stand biscuits for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

To make icing:

Place eggwhite in a bowl. Stir in icing sugar, 2 tbs at a time, until combined.

Place icing in a clip lock bag and cut off the corner in order to pipe icing onto stars.

Assembling the trees:

Stack the largest stars at offset angles, placing small stars in between. Glue each layer with icing. Continue stacking in decreasing size until you have used one set of stars. Leave the small one and ice all over, place silver cachous on each point and leave flat to set – see picture.

Attach small iced star to the top of the tree with icing then decorate the rest of the tree with icing and silver cachous.

Leave tree to set for 1 hour. Serve dusted with icing sugar. If you are giving as a gift, place a small amount of icing on the plate before you begin assembling tree so it remains in place.

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