from Emily (who loves food)
Forget gingerbread men – gingerbread dalmatians are what’s hot.
These little cuties were born into my kitchen out of a craving for gingerbread cookies, but a serious lack of cookie cutters.
Between my three options – a tiny star, a snowflake or a dog, well, the dog came out on top.
These cookies are soft in the centre, with crisp extremities. They keep fantastically in an air-tight container, and go down a treat with a cup of tea. These ones were iced with royal icing, but in terms of decorating, you could really do whatever you liked!
Gingerbread Dalmations – Makes roughly 20-25 cookies
Prep time: 15 mins + chilling time Cook time: 10 mins
- 120g Butter
- 1/2 cup Caster sugar
- 1/2 cup Golden syrup
- 1 Egg yolk (save the white for the icing!)
- 2 cups Sifted flour
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Baking powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking soda
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Ground cloves
- 1 tsp Ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
- 1/2 tbs Orange juice
In a large bowl, cream the butter until smooth, then add the sugar and beat for a further 2 mins.
Add the golden syrup, egg yolk and juice and stir to combine.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg – tip into the wet mixture, and stir to combine into a nice ball of cookie dough.
Cover, and pop into the fridge for as long as you’ve got.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Lightly flour a work surface, and roll out the dough to about 1cm thick. Dig a cookie cutter in there, and place your shapes about 2cm apart on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 8-10mins, depending on your oven.
Prep time: 2mins
- 1 large egg white
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 cups icing sugar
Beat egg white and lemon juice together, then gradually add the icing sugar, beating on a low speed until – when the beater is lifted, the icing forms a ribbon that remains on the surface for a few seconds before disappearing.
Seperate the icing into different bowls, one for each colour. For these dogs, I reserved a little bit of icing, and added a few drops of black food colouring to it.
The white parts required no colouring.
Using a small knife, apply the base layer of icing to the cookie, starting in the middle and gently spreading it out to the edges, then put aside to dry.
Once the white coat had dried, I used a toothpick to apply the spots, ears, eyes and noses with the black food colour.
Royal icing is the best for decorating cookies – it shows off your colour by drying nice and crisp. Add more lemon juice for a runnier icing, more icing sugar for a stiffer icing suitable for piping.