8 Nov 2014

Christmas Cookie Tree by Jane Asher

This Christmas cookie tree by Jane Asher makes a wonderful (and tasty) centrepiece on the Christmas table and is a creative way to using baking for decoration.

Equipment – all from Jane Asher’s range

  • Wooden spoon
  • Mixing bowl
  • Small sieve
  • Rolling pin
  • Storage container
  • Star shaped cutters
  • Baking tray
  • Baking paper
  • Cooling rack
  • Red cake board
  • Icing bag (for piping)

Ingredients

  • 700g plain flour
  • 4 tsps baking powder
  • 4 tsps ground ginger
  • 225g firm butter
  • 350g light muscovado sugar
  • 6 tbsps golden syrup
  • 2 medium eggs

To decorate

  • 450g icing sugar or 3 packets of Jane’s vanilla icing mix
  • 3 egg whites
  • Silver balls, silver glitter dust and other pretty decorations from Jane’s range
  • Green food colouring

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C (fan 180C, gas mark 6)
  2. Grease or line with baking paper 1-2 baking trays
  3. Put the flour, baking powder and ginger into a large mixing bowl
  4. Cut the butter into small pieces and rub it into the flour with your fingertips until the mix looks like breadcrumbs
  5. Add the sugar, syrup and egg and mix well to form a soft dough. (Or make up the choc chip cookie mix as per the directions on the packet)
  6. Place in a plastic bag and chill for at least 30 minutes
  7. Roll out the dough on a surface lightly dusted with flour. Cut out four of each size star.
  8. Place them on the prepared trays (you’ll have to do this in batches) and bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. Cool on a rack.

To decorate

  1. Put the egg white in a bowl and break it up with a fork. Sieve the icing sugar into a second bowl and add the egg white a little at a time. Beat well until smooth and glossy.
  2. Set aside about a third of the icing. Colour the remainder with green food colour, and add a little water, drop by drop, until it is of coating consistency. Pour or brush the icing over the top and sides of all the cookies. Leave to set on a cooling rack over paper to catch any drips, for about 1 hour.
  3. Assemble the tree by sticking each layer, using more icing, to the top of the previous one, placing the points of the stars alternatively on each level.
  4. Add a tiny amount of water to the set aside white icing, if necessary, to give a piping consistency. Pipe the icing onto the corners of the cookies and let it drip over the edges. Stick silver balls and other decorations onto the icing. Sprinkle with the silver glitter dust.

In the video Jane has used two quantities of her chocolate chip cookie mix but you can make this recipe with gingerbread as above.

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