* If you’d rather not use raw egg white, use pre-packed royal icing sugar mixed with 40ml cold water.
Cream the butter and sugar together with electric beaters until light and fluffy. Mix in the syrup, then add the dry ingredients. Gradually add the milk until a soft dough forms. Wrap the dough in cling film, press into a disc a few centimetres thick and chill for at least 30 minutes (ideally, a few hours).
Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Line two large baking trays with baking parchment (you’ll probably need to make the baubles in 2 batches). Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a sheet about 3mm thick. Cut out shapes with circular cutters and pierce a small hole for hanging and carefully transfer to the lined trays.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes, rotating and swapping the trays halfway, until the biscuits are all lightly browned at the edges. Leave for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Make the icing in a medium bowl: beat the icing sugar into the egg white until you have a thick, pure white icing. It should be the consistency of toothpaste, so add a few drops of water or lemon juice if it’s too thick, or a few extra teaspoons of icing sugar to thicken. Transfer to a piping bag, snip off the end and use to decorate your gingerbread.
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