By: Zina Abdulrahman, Arts and Entertainment editor, The Pawprint
Make a batch of gingerbread for your biscuit tin this halloween. Pipe ghoulish ghosts and monstrous mummies for the icing topping for a suitable spooky theme.
- 100g unsalted butter, cubed
- 50g golden syrup
- 50g black treacle
- 100g light brown soft sugar
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- 225g plain flour
- 100g icing sugar
- black writing icing
- Heat the butter, syrup, treacle and sugar in a medium saucepan over a low heat for 6-8 mins until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, and leave to cool for 10 mins.
- Briefly whisk the bicarb, ginger, cinnamon, mixed spice and plain flour in a large bowl to combine. Add a pinch of salt, and the butter and sugar to the mixture. Mix briefly with a spoon, then knead to a rough ball in the bowl. Add 1 tbsp water to bring the dough together, if you need to. Tip out onto a work surface and knead briefly again until you have a soft, pliable dough. Press out to a flat disk, wrap and freeze for 15 mins or chill for 30 mins.
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface, split the dough into sections and work in batches if you need to. Roll out to 5mm thick. Cut out using a gingerbread person cutter. Reroll the offcuts. You’ll get 20-25 depending on the size of your cutter.
- Transfer the biscuits to a parchment lined tray with a little room in-between and chill again for 10 mins.
- Heat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3. Bake the gingerbread for 10-15 mins until the edges are lightly golden. Cool on the tray for 5 mins then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Mix icing sugar with ½-1 tbsp water to make a thick, pipeable icing. Transfer half of the icing to a piping bag and cut a very small hole in the bottom.
- To make the ghosts: Using the piping bag icing to make an outline around the gingerbread people and leave to set. Once set, add a drop more water to the remaining icing in the bowl to loosen slightly, then use to fill the ghost shapes. Use a cocktail stick to smooth out the icing right up to the set outline. Leave to set again. Add two black dots for the eyes, then an oval for the open mouth.
- To make the mummies:
Snip a slightly larger hole in the piping bag at an angle, and go back and forth over the remaining gingerbread people, so it looks like bandages. Add two white dots as eyes and leave to dry. Add pupils to the white dots once set with the black writing icing.
Enjoy your Halloween gingerbread cookies!!