- 100g dark or light muscovado sugar
- 125g butter, cut into pieces
- 75g golden syrup
- 325g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 3 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Renshaw Petal Icing Paste
- Gold and silver edible silk powder
- A little glacé icing
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Line two baking sheets with baking paper.
- Put the sugar and butter into a saucepan. Measure in the syrup (it’s a good idea to put the pan onto digital scales, zero them and weigh in the syrup to exactly the correct amount). Heat gently to melt slowly, stirring occasionally. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
- Sift the flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl. Stir well. Pour in the melted mixture and stir together with a wooden spoon to make a stiff dough, then use your hands to bring the mixture together.
- Dust your work surface with a little flour. Put the dough on top and press it out with your fingertips until it’s quite flat – this is easier than rolling, as it helps prevent it from cracking. Now take a lightly floured rolling pin and carefully roll out until about 5mm thick.
- Stamp out circles of dough using a 9cm cutter and transfer carefully to the baking sheets, then use a 5cm cutter to cut out a circle in the middle of each one – it’s easier to do this when they already are on the baking sheets. Re-roll the trimmings until all the dough is used up, making approx. 15 garlands. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown, then leave to cool fully on the baking sheets.
- Roll out the petal paste to 2-3mm thick and cut out shapes with snowflake, star and leaf-shaped icing cutters. Alternatively, you could make the leaves by pressing the paste into a silicone mould. Leave to dry, then paint with gold and silver edible silk powder. Fix to the biscuit garlands with small dabs of glacé icing.
Tips: for the glacé icing, mix icing sugar with a little water to make a fairly stiff paste. To give as gifts for Christmas, place a selection of garlands into clear presentation bags and tie with string or ribbon. To turn into Christmas tree decorations, thread ribbon through the centre of each cookie garland.