Chocolate gingerbread biscuits – a chocolatey twist on classic gingerbread biscuits; they make great cut-outs for Christmas!
I can’t believe that we are only a week away from Christmas; I still have so much work left to do and so many things that I want to bake and not enough time to do it all in! I made these chocolate gingerbread biscuits a while ago but haven’t had time to share them; seeing as we are so close to Christmas though I thought that I had better get them posted quick!
These biscuits are a delicious chocolatey twist on my classic gingerbread recipe. They are incredibly easy to make, and they don’t spread much in the oven so it is a perfect dough for making festive cut-outs with. They are also sturdy enough to use as tree decorations or to give as gifts.
They are delicious un-iced, but they do look very pretty if you ice them with white royal icing. The contrast between the dark biscuit and white icing is very striking. I’ve given the recipe for home-made royal icing below; it does contain raw egg so if that is of a concern for you then I suggest using royal icing from a packet instead (or vegan royal icing – details below).
Because these biscuits don’t contain egg they are really easy to convert to vegan. Simply swap the butter for a vegan spread such as Violife, or for coconut oil if you prefer. I found that the vegan ones cooked slightly quicker than the non-vegan so do keep an eye on them. For the royal icing, you can use aquafaba (the liquid drained from a tin of chickpeas) instead of the egg white; just add it gradually until the icing reaches the correct consistency.
Chocolate Gingerbread Biscuits
Chocolate Gingerbread Biscuits:
- 100 g (3.5oz) butter/vegan spread cubed
- 80 g (1/3 + 1/8 cup) light brown soft sugar
- 2 Tbsp golden syrup
- 2 Tbsp treacle or molasses
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 210 g (1 + 3/4 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 30 g (1/4 cup) cocoa powder
- 235 g (2 + 1/3 cups) icing (powdered) sugar sifted
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 large egg white (or about 2 Tbsp aquafaba)
Chocolate Gingerbread Biscuits:
Place the butter, sugar, golden syrup and treacle in a pan and heat gently while stirring until it is melted and smooth.
Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the spices and bicarbonate of soda, followed by the flour and cocoa powder. Mix until it forms a smooth dough then cover the pan and place in the fridge for about an hour, until the dough is firm.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 and line two baking trays with baking parchment. Bring the dough together into a ball and roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 3mm (1/8) inch thick.
Cut out shapes using cookie cutters and place them slightly spaced apart on the baking trays. Re-roll the scraps to cut out more shapes.
Place the trays in the freezer for 15 minutes until firm then bake for about 8-10 minutes until the biscuits feel firm around the edges (they will harden more as they cool). The smaller ones will cook quicker than big ones so try to group similar sized ones together on the trays.
Leave to cool on the trays for 5 minutes then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the biscuits are cool, make the royal icing. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the lemon juice. Stir in the egg white a little at a time until the icing is smooth and thick but pipe-able; if you drizzle some back into the bowl the pattern should disappear after about 8 seconds. If it is too thick then add a little more egg white (or lemon juice if you've run out), and if it is too runny then add a little more sifted icing sugar.
Spoon the icing into a piping bag fitted with a 1mm plain round nozzle. Pipe snowflake designs onto the biscuits (Pinterest is a great place to get inspiration for patterns!) and set them aside for half an hour to dry. Once dry store in an airtight container.