How to make a gingerbread Christmas tree

pinacle of tree

Looking for a fun Christmas activity to do with the kids? Something that will ignite your Christmas spirit, make a lovely centre piece for your table and fill your tummies with Christmas cheer? Then look no further than today’s ajb Christmas bonus, ‘How to make a gingerbread Christmas tree’.

Our kids delighted in making the tree featured in today’s post –  although on careful observation of the pics for this story I now have my suspicions that more of the lollies that I supplied for decorative purposes ended up in three little tummies… oh well, I guess that’s just one of the many joys of Christmas!

 

Have fun!

 

 

Gingerbread
(Makes 1kg dough – approximately 2 Gingerbread trees)

Ingredients
100g butter
2/3 cups brown sugar (coconut sugar is a great substitute)
1/2 cup golden syrup
2 eggs
2 cups plain flour
1 cup self raising flour
1 tsp bicarb of soda
3 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 portion of royal icing (recipe below)

ginger bread ingredients
The basic ingredients for gingerbread (we have substituted extra coconut sugar for golden syrup in today’s recipe but it is advisable that you use golden syrup if you are able to source it as it results in cookies which are more moist)

 

5 – 6 different sized star cutters (or concentric cutters as pictured below)

cookie cutters
If you do not have a set of star cutters in different sizes, then why not ask around your friends. No doubt you will accumulate quite a few. Alternatively, you can purchase concentric cutters such as these pink ones (from Pantry Magic Jakarta)


Method
1. Melt butter, brown sugar and golden syrup over low heat. Allow to cool
2. Into a large mixing bowl sift flours, bicarb of soda and spices
3. Pour melted butter mix into sifted flours and add egg mixing into a dough. If dough is too stiff, add a small amount of chilled water (no more than 30ml)
4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes

cookie dough

5. Remove dough from the fridge and divide in half
6. On a well-floured surface, knead dough until even consistency then roll out into 5mm thickness (just not too floured as was the case with our biscuits!)

floured dough

7. Cut out two of each star size
8. Repeat with remaining dough

cutting shapes
ready for the oven

9. Bake for up to 10 minutes at 180 degrees celsius (gingerbread should be slightly soft when cooled)
10. Remove from the oven and whilst still warm, make a hole in the centre of each star with a skewer

baked gingerbread
Soft-baked gingerbread stars ready for assembly

11. When cooled, put the largest star on your serving plate and secure in place with a small amount of royal icing (recipe below) on the base of the biscuit

base cookie secured with royal icing..onwards and upwards!
The base biscuit is secured with a small blob of royal icing. The skewer is inserted into the middle of the biscuit which is secured with more icing

12. Pipe a small amount of royal icing in the centre of the star
13. Put a skewer into the hole and thread the other largest star on top, making sure the points are alternating

assembling tree
Alternate the biscuits for maximum effect
side view of tree
Onwards and upwards!

14. Continue icing and placing the next star in position, reducing in size until the smallest star remains

naked gingerbread tree
15. Decorate with lollies, little marshmallows and any other small sweets that you can lay your hands on. This is where you get creative (and the kids get to have a sneaky feast!)
sweets for decorating
Voila! –  The masterpiece!
gingerbread tree - complete


Notes

To make the royal icing:

Ingredients
1 egg white
1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar (sifted)
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Method
1. In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg white and lemon juice
2. Gradually add icing sugar and continue to whisk until smooth and fully combined
3. Cover and refrigerate
4. Remove from fridge approx. 20 minutes before needed (stir before using)

Golden syrup
can be difficult to find (in Jakarta the supermarkets Kemchicks and Ranch Market are most likely to reliably stock golden syrup). If you get caught out, rice syrup can provide a less-sweet alternative.

Javara stocks excellent ingredients and we especially love their spices for Christmas baking (including their Spekulas spice mix – a festive blend of cassia, nutmeg, ginger and cloves). Javara’s organic coconut sugar is also a staple in our pantries and is a healthier substitute for sugar derived from sugar cane.

 

 

Looking for more ideas to assist in preparing for a fabulous festive season? Check out these stories. We are sure you will enjoy them…
Crafty and cool paper diamonds
The ajb Oleh Oleh Gift List
The ajb Ultimate Guide to preparing your home for a Jakarta Christmas

… and as always, we love hearing from you! Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below 🙂

 

 

Words: Jo  Photography: a journey bespoke

 

 

Comments

    • ajourneybespoke says

      Hello there Helen! Always great to hear from you! Littlies will love making this gingerbread treat – and no doubt Jack and Mary will especially enjoy decorating their gingerbread tree. Have fun 🙂

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