Festive gingerbread

Ingredients
125g unsalted butter

100g dark brown muscovado sugar

4 tbsp golden syrup

325g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 tsp ground ginger

5 tbsp icing sugar

3 tbsp sweets, sprinkles and decorations, such as white chocolate stars, silver balls, pearly 100s & 1000s
Method
1
Preheat the oven to 170ºC/R3. Line two large baking trays with baking parchment. Melt the butter, sugar and syrup together in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat.

2 Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger into a bowl, then stir the melted ingredients into the dry ingredients to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll to a thickness of about 5mm.

3 Stamp shapes out of the dough using cookie cutters or cut round festive templates. Place the shapes onto the lined baking trays and bake, in batches, for 9–10 minutes until golden brown.

4 Remove from the oven. While still warm, use a skewer or chopstick to make any holes that you may need to hang up the biscuits with ribbon or string. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

5 Mix together the icing sugar with a splash of water to make thick icing then drizzle or pipe over the biscuits and decorate with sprinkles. The gingerbread biscuits can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
 
Other decorating ideas
Christmas puddings 

Dip round gingerbread biscuits into melted white chocolate, and decorate with sugar holly leaves.
 
Rudolph the reindeer
Pipe melted dark chocolate onto round gingerbread biscuits to make antler shapes, and pipe dots for the eyes and nose. Roll a piece of red fondant icing into a ball and stick onto the nose dot. 
 
Recipe and picture courtesy of Waitrose. More than 5,000 recipes can be found at www.waitrose.com/recipes
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