Gingerbread is a staple in any suburban bakery and, come Christmas, adding a festive spin to the gingerbread ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ repertoire can be a welcome break for both bakers and customers alike.
WHAT YOU NEED
1 batch gingerbread cookies in the shape of tuxedos (8x10cm) or groom cutters available
from Peggy Porschen)
About 400g ivory sugar paste
2 tsp gum tragacanth
Small amount of white vegetable fat
Ivory, Christmas red, ice blue and holly green
120g florist paste
Wool texture mat
Dresden tool or small kitchen knife
Small and medium snowflake plunger cutters
WHAT TO DO
1. Knead the sugar paste until smooth and pliable, adding the gum tragacanth and a small amount of white vegetable fat if it feels hard and brittle. Divide the paste into four parts. Keep one part ivory, then mix one part with red food colour, one part with blue colour and one part with green food colour. Store the pastes in resealable plastic bags so they do not dry out between use.
2. Roll out the ivory sugar paste, until about 2mm thick and press the wool texture mat on top to emboss the knitted pattern. Use the tuxedo cookie cutter and stick them on top with edible glue. Use the thin end of a Dresden tool to score lines on the cuffs, necks and hems of the jumpers. Repeat for the remaining cookies, decorating an equal number with the red, blue and green sugar pastes.
3. Knead the florist paste until smooth and pliable, adding a small amount of white vegetable fat if it feels hard and brittle. Divide the paste into three parts. Keep one part white, then mix one part with red food colour and one part with blue food colour. Roll out the paste until about 1mm thick. Cut out snowflakes of various colours with the snowflake cutters. Use edible glue to stick the snowflakes to the jumpers, trimming off any overhanging parts of the snowflakes if necessary.
Ice Crystal Cookies
While you’ve got the gingerbread dough out, consider adding these ice crystal cookies to the Christmas mix. You just need 500g royal icing, a small amount of Superwhite Icing Whitener (optional), and silver sugar balls.
• Prepare your paper piping bags. Adjust the colour and consistency of your royal icing. You will need both soft-peak and flooding consistencies of white royal icing.
• Take a piping bag filled with white soft-peak icing, cut a small section from the tip of the piping bag and pipe decorative details on all of the cookies. For larger sections of decoration, first outline with the white soft-peak icing and then fill with the white flooding icing.
• Attach the silver balls.