One of my favourite baked goodies to make for Christmas, although it requires a whole lot of time and patience. I always give them to my nearest and dearest as a part of Christmas gifts and I really enjoy making them.
- 230 g unsalted butter
- 120 g icing sugar
- 360 g honey
- 1 egg
- 5 glasses of plain flour
- 4 tablespoons of dark cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 2 tablespoons of gingerbread spices mix
- sprinkle of salt
- a set of cookie cutters in the same shape in different sizes – I used a 5-element set of star-shaped cutters
All ingredients should be at room temperature.
Sift the flour, mix with cocoa, salt, baking soda and spices.
In a bowl, mix butter with sugar. Add honey and egg, still mixing.
Combine with dry ingredients using your hands. Once you have a smooth dough, form a ball out of it and put into the fridge for around an hour.
Cut out thin (3-4 mm) cookies. Keep track of the number of cookies you have in all sizes. You’ll need the same amount of cookies in all sizes except for the smallest – those you’ll need doubled.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Bake cookies for 5 minutes (the smallest ones) up to 8 minutes (the biggest).
1 glass of icing sugar for 1 egg white – mix using an electric whisk.
The amount of icing you’ll need depends on how many different sizes of cookies you have and how much icing you want to put on them. In my case 4 egg whites and 4 glasses of icing sugar were needed (a bit of icing was left).
Building Christmas trees
- time & patience – a lot of both 😀
As you’ve most likely figured out by now, all you need to do is spread icing on the biggest cookie, put a one size smaller one on it, spread more icing on that one, cover with a smaller one etc. Once you’ve placed the smallest cookie, add a blob of icing on top and vertically place another small cookie on top.
A few useful hints for building the trees:
- The icing should be stiff or else it’ll take ages to firm up.
- You don’t want to build an entire tree and then move to another one – before you add another layer of icing + cookie, the previous one should be nearly dry and steady. It’s best to first do the lowest layer of all trees, then add next levels in the same order. If you feel that a cookie you’re spreading icing on is sliding on a one below it – take a break and let the icing on the trees firm up before you continue.
- If you wish, you can decorate the trees with some baubles.
- From the recipe above I got 22 trees. It took around 3 hours to build the trees, not counting baking which I did a few days earlier.