Everyone needs a good gingerbread recipe.
Everyone needs several good gingerbread recipes, because there isn’t just one type of gingerbread.
I feel the essentials are as follows(I’m backing myself up with links to my favorite recipes as well):
The cakey bread kind. I like mine stuffed with whole pears!
These are gluten and dairy free, and can be dehydrated as a cooking method.
The classic. Soft. Chewy. Full of childhood memories.
My go-to for a soft gingersnap that’s gluten and refined sugar free.
Now that we’ve covered our ginger-loving bases, lets talk hard gingerbread.
If you’re going to bake gingerbread houses, cut gingerbread cookies, or a gingerbread tree as I’ve done here, you’re going to need something that holds it’s shape when it’s baked and is sturdy enough to hold weight(even if it’s just royal icing).
This recipe is up to the task and bonus – it’s good for eating too! Chalk that up to a lot of butter in the dough and the addition of cardamom. I really don’t think cardamom gets enough attention so I add it in whenever I deem appropriate.
This was an appropriate situation.
If you don’t have cardamom, don’t fret. Bump up the cloves a dash, or add in a little allspice. Nutmeg could also substitute.
If you make this dough ahead of time, make sure that you let it sit out on the counter for a few hours before trying to roll out. It will be almost impossible to roll taken straight from the fridge. You want it a little chilled, but not ice cold.
You can bake the dough in any shape you want(note that baking times will vary depending on the size and thickness of your cookies).
If you are interested in creating a tree, you’ll need a lot of dough. I used 6 batches worth of dough to make this one, though you may not be as insane as I am and decide to keep your tree under 3 feet tall.
I cut out a large star shape and used a knife to cut around the template to get my star shaped cookies. Cut out two or three, trim the template down a touch with scissors, cut out two or three, and repeat until you have a million cookies ranging from about 12″ in diameter to a tiny star for the top.
How big and how many stars you make is up to you.
I did also bake rounds varying in size to place every two stars as I stacked. This is not necessary, it just adds to the height of the tree and helps give the “branches” a little more separation. Also, it does NOT add more stability! Just note.
You’ll need a good amount of royal icing to decorate. Each layer will need to be glued together with the icing, and you’ll need a lot of icing(and patience!) to decorate each branch. I piped the royal icing out on each star tip and let harden overnight before I stacked the tree. Don’t wait and try to pipe the icing on after the tree is assembled – it will be almost impossible.
You can find my go-to icing recipe HERE.
After assembly, a dusting of powdered sugar over the top of the tree certainly wouldn’t go amiss.
Find the Gingerbread recipe HERE