Ingredients at 0:50
Decoration ingredients at 4:38
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Step 1: How to Cookie
1. Start by sifting the rice flour, tapioca flour, white sugar, brown sugar, bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger into a large mixing bowl. Lightly mix them together then add the cubed butter. With your hands, mix the butter into the dry ingredients by lightly massaging the butter until it looks like lots of little crumbs. The dry ingredients should envelop the butter completely until you can't tell the two apart. Once that's done, add the golden syrup. Again using your hands, mix the ingredients together until a uniform dough forms. It will start off being very sticky and it will mainly be all over your fingers, but just keep at it, and before you know if it'll have formed a dough that holds its shape and isn't too sticky.
2. Now sift some flour onto a dry flat surface (I used a 50/50 mix of white rice flour and tapioca flour). Place some of the dough onto the surface then sprinkle some more flour onto the rolling pin. Then carefully roll it out, trying to apply an even pressure on the rolling pin at all times. Roll the dough until it is about 3-5mm thick.
3. If you want to make a wreath, make sure you know how big your disc is going to be and roll out enough dough to that. I used a large plate and the bottom of a cake tin as a template. After rolling out my dough, I traced around my plate with the tip of a sharp knife. Removed the plate then place the bottom of a cake tin more or less in the centre. It will be covered in biscuits so it doesn't have to be perfect. The easiest, and probably best, way to ensure that the whole wreath base makes it onto the oven tray in one piece would be to roll the dough out directly onto some grease proof paper or a non-stick sheet and then simply remove the excess dough once you've cut around your template.
[Or you can do what I did and try and move it with the help of a metal spatula. It did end up snapping in the transfer but I simply stuck the edges back together and smoothed out the connection with my fingers. Once it's baked you can't see the join, and as I mentioned before: other biscuits will be placed on top of this one so it really doesn't have to be perfect].
4. Cut out as many other biscuits as you have dough for, using whichever shapes you want. I used a star, a Christmas tree and a mini gingerbread man because that's what I had that was Christmassy - but I'm sure this would work with pretty much anything, especially holy leaves or snowflakes.
5. Delicately place your biscuits on an oven tray, taking care to leave plenty of space between them as they will spread a little as well as puffing up slightly. Bake in an oven that has been pre-heated to 190°C for 8-10 minutes, depending on how crispy you like them. They should have a deep golden colour and smell just like gingerbread men should smell! When you take them out, do not touch them until they have cooled completely or they will crumble in your hands. Once cooled though they'll be solid biscuity-biscuits. You can of course leave it here if you simply want some plane gingerbread biscuits, I often do. Make sure to store them in an airtight container or they'll go soft pretty quickly. (Much quicker than non gluten free biscuits unfortunately).
Step 2: How to Wreath
6. If you are making the wreath, then along with your shaped gingerbread biscuits and the wreath base, you'll need some white chocolate, some dark chocolate, some gel colouring, some edible glitter, some round icing tips (size will vary depending on the size of your biscuits), and some strong freezer bags with a corner cut out of the bottom.
7. Melt your chocolate either in the microwave or over a double boiler, taking care not to burn it.
- If you're using candy melt or other such compound chocolate just go ahead and melt it all.
- If you're using real chocolate (which means chocolate that contains cocoa butter) you'll need to temper it. The easiest way to do that is to melt it until about 3/4 of the chocolate is liquid and then stir in the rest until you have a smooth liquid chocolate.
8. Add in some gel colouring, whichever colour suits your needs, pour the chocolate into your freezer bag that has been fitted with your tip, and start icing away. I simply like to follow the outline of the biscuits to define their shapes and not overpower them with chocolate, but feel free to fill them in completely. Repeat the process with your different colours / chocolate, and sprinkle some edible glitter over everything to make them extra festive. (Seriously, they look so out of the ordinary when they're sitting there glittering away in the warm glow of the fairy lights from the tree!)
9. Don't throw away any excess chocolate you have, you can now use that as glue.
Prepare your wreath base by sticking onto whichever base you want to present it on. Place a few dollops of chocolate on the back of the wreath and place it on the support. Then roughly decide which biscuits you're going to place where on your wreath. Then place some little dabs of melted chocolate on the back of each biscuit and gently place them on the wreath. Don't press down on the biscuits too much or they'll snap, but do make sure they're touching the biscuit underneath. Once the chocolate sets, they'll all hold in place.
Step 3: Dazzle the World!
I wish you a very merry Christmas, thank you for reading my instructables.
I'll see you next time in 2016! All the best for the new year!! <3