Christmas is getting near so I thought I’d have a bit of fun this afternoon, radio on, baking utensils at the ready.. and the end result…… me and my kitchen are now covered in icing powder and glitter, but it was worth it!
Gingerbread Christmas Tree! (gluten and dairy free, of course!)
Something fun to do with the kids, or on your own!
To make the gingerbread biscuits (this quantity makes LOADS – probably enough for a whole gingerbread house! so if you are only making a few then halve the recipe or even quarter it):
1/3 cup Olive oil
3/4 cup unrefined raw sugar (golden raw caster sugar, coconut palm sugar, or dark raw cane sugar)
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup soya milk
1 cup amaranth flour / quinoa flour
1 cup gluten free flour mix (make your own or you can use an organic pre-mixed one. If you want low gluten not gluten free then go for spelt flour instead of the amaranth and gluten free flours)
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 and 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt salt
Whisk the oil and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the soya milk and the molasses and whisk all together. Sieve the flours, spices and baking powder, salt and bicarbonate of soda in to the wet ingredients and mix until it forms a dough. The dough may seem quite moist. You want it to be workable but not so sticky that you can’t lift it. Add a bit more flour if it is too wet. Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge to chill for an hour (the dough can be left in the fridge for several days so you don’t have to use it all at once. It can also be frozen).
Preheat the oven to 175 C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Roll the dough out on a floured surface. It’s worth trying small amounts of dough at a time and be generous with the flour. It will stick a bit but don’t worry. You want it to be rolled out fairly thin but not too thin – maybe 5mm thick or so.
To make the tree you need at least 3 star cutters of different sizes. If you don’t have them don’t fret. Draw some stars out on a piece of card and use them to draw around If you want to make a massive tree then you could use more stars, I only had 3 sizes so 3 it was! You want at least 3 of each sized star. I used a tiny christmas tree shaped cutter for the very top, but you could use another star.
Cut out the biscuits and transfer to the baking tray. Bake for 8 minutes. Then remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. They will seem soft when they come out the oven but as they cool they harden. If you want super crispy biscuits just pop them back in the oven for another few minutes.
For the icing:
1/2 cup raw icing sugar
1 tsp soya milk (or any non dairy milk)
1 tsp liquid glucose (not essential)
Mix the icing sugar with the milk until it’s smooth. If you are using the liquid glucose add that and stir well. If the icing is too runny just add more icing sugar until you get the consistency you want. Transfer to a piping bag (if you don’t have one then use a plastic freezer bag and snip the corner off to pipe through).
Assemble the tree!
This is the fun bit
Start with your biggest star and place it on the plate. Add a glob of icing to the centre and stick the next star on top (arranged so the points don’t overlap). I found it easiest to decorate each layer as I went, so pipe icing on to the points of the bottom star and decorate with silver balls, gold balls, edible glitter etc. Then add a glob of icing to the top of the uppermost star and stick the next one one… continue, going down in size until you get to the top! I then added a glob of icing and popped the tree shaped biscuit on the top. If it won’t stand up then break a small piece of biscuit and just pop it behind it to keep it upright
Finally dust with icing sugar so it’s all snowy-looking!