Prep 30 mins
Cook 25 mins
Adapted from the December 2005 volume of Notebook
- 500 g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 pinch salt
- 150 g unsalted butter, softened
- 175 g dark brown sugar
- 150 g honey
- 1 egg
- 1 egg white
- 240 g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra, for dusting
- silver cachous, to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 180 deg Celsius.
- sift flour, baking powder and 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 the dough in half. Wrap separately in plastic. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Trace 19 cm, 15 cm, 10 cm, 7.5 cm and 4.5 cm stars on to cardboard and cut out. For the 2 smaller sizes cutters may able to used.
- Roll out dough halves until 4 mm thick. Using star templates and 7.5 cm cutter, cut out 3 stars of each size from dough. Using the 4.5 cm star, cut out as many stars as possible from the remaining dough.
- Place same sized stars together, 3 cm apart, on baking paper-lined oven trays. Bake larger stars for 8-10 minutes; smaller stars for 5-7 minutes or until deep golden. Stand biscuits for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
- Place eggwhite in a bowl. Stir in icing sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, until combined.
- Stack the largest stars at offset angles, placing 2-3, 4.5 cm stars in between. Glue each layer with icing.
- Continue stacking in decreasing size until all 7.5 cm stars are used. Finish with one 4.5 cm star flat and a second one upright. Use icing as 'glue' to decorate tree with cachous.
- Tie up remaining small stars to look like gifts. Leave tree to set for one hour. Serve dusted with icing sugar.
I love this gingerbread especially for the cardamom in it. It gives the cookies a very special flabour. I used fresh cardomom, cruched it in a mortar and sieved it to get grounded cardamom. Fresh cardamom has such a fresh taste, great. The ginger in here is not too overhelming, spicy, but well balanced. The combination of honey and dark sugar give the gingerbread a delicate sweet note, malty and smooth. I followed the recipe and didn't change a thing (except that I used fresh cardamom). The cutting need some time and if you don't want to make a tree I would suggest to use a cutter. The handling of the dough was easy, baking too. The cookies came out great. The taste was better next day, when all the different flavours have had time to melt. A wonderful - different - gingerbread recipe. Thanks for sharing.
I make this every year and I get rave reviews compared to the "other trees" at the office. I have 15 different sized star cookie cutters and I double the recipe to make a tree about a foot high. I use fresh ground cardamom as well.