Nov 182012
 

gingerbread christmas tree

The lovely people at Bakestore sent me some cookie cutters to try out. Or so I thought….what they actually sent was a full on tree kit. How to make a tree out of gingerbread stars. Momentarily I thought they had seriously over-estimated my baking skills. Then I saw the rice krispie treetree for sale in M&S for £18!! And theirs is barely decorated, so I thought ‘Hang on just a minute. It’s lots of biscuits piled up in a stack. Surely I can do that? My decorating skills are ok, I can bake biscuits, my icing isn’t too bad..’.  So I gave it a go!

I used the Biscuiteer recipe for treacle spice biscuits (or treacley gingerbread to you and me).  I trust Biscuiteer wholeheartedly as will any of you who have ever had the pleasure of diving in to a tin of their biscuits.  See below for recipe.

The Christmas Tree kit did include some other recipes as well as tips for icing, decorating etc.  Not all the recipes were gingerbread.  One idea (see pic) was for a rice krispie cake tree.  I might try that one as well.  Also in the kit were all the cookie cutters and good quality icing bags and nozzles.  The kit is made by Wilton, so I would expect good quality anyway.

In total I made four batches of gingerbread.  At first I thought you would need one of each size biscuit, but a bit of basic maths told me that some sizes would need to be doubled or tripled even to get a decent height in the tree.  Although it is a bit of a faff making these type of shaped biscuits (a lot of putting it back in the fridge to harden up) the recipe is pretty easy and they do turn out well.  I made 18 biscuits in total and stacked them by placing a blob of royal icing in the centre of the board and then each biscuit to ‘glue’ them in place.  Do keep peeping at the overhead view too, else you’ll end up with the leaning tower of Christmas!

gingerbread christmas tree

Once stacked and (sort of) straight, I hummed and hawed about how to decorate it.  I went for the easier option of dusting it with icing sugar so it ‘snowed’ over the tree and then adding a blob of white royal icing to each corner as snowdrifts.  Then I popped a silver ball on each and decorated the top with the smallest star, iced.  To finish it off I sprinkled it with edible glitter so it was like a little bit of winter wonderland in my kitchen.  For the photos I resisted the urge to add a robin and plastic deer for a bit of kitsch but I’m sure they’ll be adorning it very soon.

I think it looks pretty impressive and as you now I am not a highly skilled cook, so this is very do-able for anyone, including the kids.  A lovely Christmassy activity with the kiddiwinkles on those cold, festive afternoons and one to wow the relatives with.  Aunty Marge will see you in a whole new light!

To get a Christmas Tree kit click here to visit the Bakestore website.  They have such gorgeous stuff that I bet you’ll see a few more must-haves while you’re there!  And they are based just up the road from me, so I wholeheartedly support my local business AND if you enter the code ‘Nigella’ you get 10% off your order!  Yes, dear reader, that’s me with my very own discount code.  Check. me. out.

Happy cooking (and eating!)

**************************************************************************************************************** 

Treacle Spice Biscuits Recipe

Ingredients

200g plain flour

½tsp baking powdergingerbread christmas tree

½tsp ground ginger

½tsp cinnamon

½tsp mixed spice

50g muscovado dark brown sugar

100g salted butter, diced

50g black treacle

Sift and mix the flour, baking powder, spices and sugar in a bowl. Add the butter.  Either rub in with your fingertips or use the paddle on a mixer to combine until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Add the treacle and bring it all together until it is of an even colour with not too many streaks of treacle.

Line a table top with baking parchment and place the dough on, squashing it into a flat disc.  Place another piece of parchment on top and roll out to 5mm thick.  Put in fridge to chill for ½ hour and pre-heat oven to 170ºC (150ºC fan).

When chilled, cut out biscuits and place on lined baking tray.  You can keep the cuttings to be re-rolled.  Bake for 14-18 minutes – the biscuits will turn a darker colour (even these already dark treacley ones) but be careful not to burn them!

Transfer to wire rack to cool but do this VERY carefully as they are fragile and will break easily.  Totally cool before storing in airtight tin (for up to a week) or assembling tree.

  4 Responses to “Christmas Gingerbread Tree”

  1. Check. You. Out! Brilliant. And do-able. Love. It! XXX.

  2. Oooh love it! Very impressive! Yum! I do one like this made out of chocolate and nut crosses of different sizes all piled up. Divine. xoxo

    • Thank you! I am going to have a go at a lighter biscuit to take up to the family this Christmas. Hopefully it will taste as good as it looks! Although, get a few sherries in them and they won’t notice!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: