Christmas is my favourite time of year, particularly in the kitchen. As the kids have gotten older, we’ve started our own family baking traditions and they love it!

As we decorated the tree this year, we had a beautiful batch of easy to make gingerbread biscuits in the oven. The house was filled with that quintessential Christmas smell. It was magical. The best part, was that both kids loved getting their handsy dirty, rolling out the dough and choosing which shape they wanted to make.

The recipe that we used was so simple and is perfect to make ahead of time and freeze until you’re ready to bake. At this time of year, I’m always making as many things as possible in advance, so once school is out and the countdown is on, there’s less mess and chaos to deal with.

This year, we decided to make some extra biscuits for the reindeers and turned them into Christmas decorations. All you need is some string or ribbon and to make a little hole in the top with a skewer whilst they’re still warm.

125g butter at room temperature
100g dark brown sugar
125ml golden syrup (or half gold syrup, half black treacle)
1 egg
370g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
2 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
50g finely grated fresh ginger (optional)
½ cup icing sugar
½ tsp lemon juice


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170C and line trays with baking paper or reusable silicone liners.
  1. Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer until smooth and creamy.
  1. Pour in the golden syrup and mix until smooth.
  1. Add the egg and mix until just combined.
  1. Sift all of the dry ingredients and gently fold in by hand. Add in the fresh ginger and fold. Be careful not to overmix the dough.
  1. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured bench and gently knead 2 or 3 times. Split the dough in half and shape both halves into a disc shape. This will help later when it’s time to roll it out.
  1. Wrap both halves of dough in cling wrap (or a beeswax wrap) and leave in the fridge for 2 hours. It’s really important to not miss this step otherwise you’ll end up with a giant sticky mess.
  1. Once chilled, roll the dough out between two sheets of baking paper with a rolling pin. The kids may find a mini rolling pin easier to use, and don't forget their aprons.
  1. Choose your favourite cookie cutters and start cutting the dough. Place each one onto the lined baking trays. Repeat until you’ve used all of the dough – or wrap it in a few sheets of cling wrap and place in the freezer for a later date. If the dough is sealed tightly, it will last up to three months in the freezer.
  1. Bake for 10-12 minutes until they’re just starting to brown around the edges. You can adjust the cooking time and thickness of the dough to create soft, chewy cookies or crip, crunchy cookies. The kids prefer a slightly thicker, soft cookie in our house.
  1. If you’re planning to make Christmas tree decorations, don’t forget to use a skewer to make a hole near the top whilst they’re still warm. That way you can easily thread some string or ribbon through.
  1. To decorate, you can either use an icing writing pen, royal icing or my go to easy icing which is ½ cup icing sugar (sifted) with a few drops of lemon juice. Mix until you have a smooth consistency that is thin enough to pipe but will still hold its shape on the biscuits. Be sure to only start icing your biscuits once they’re completely cooled otherwise the heat from the biscuit will melt your icing. You can add a few drops of food colouring, use smarties/m&ms or any kind of sprinkle you like.
December 05, 2022 — Michelle Leach

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