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Christmas hot chocolate gingerbread perches

I’ll hold up my hands and admit that I stole this idea from Lakeland [1].  Having a quick browse in their local store today, I saw a delightful picture of some mini gingerbread houses, perched on the side of a hot chocolate mug, which I thought was pure genius!  But while I thought it was a great idea, I didn’t want to spend a day constructing tiny houses when it only takes me 5 minutes to make the hot chocolate!

With Christmas round the corner, and having recently made Christmas gingerbread trees, I thought I’d tinker with that recipe to create smaller versions that I could perch on the edge of my hot drink.  I tried three different sizes of cookie cutter (I have a small, medium and large Christmas tree cookie cutter) and the small one worked perfectly.  The medium sized one worked too, but just didn’t look right, while gravity meant the larger Christmas tree leaned to one side and looked like it had enjoyed one too many egg nogs!

In the end, I actually made these with a gingerbread latte and it really was yummy, but they’d go wonderfully with any kind of hot chocolate, or even a chai latte!

 

Ingredients

Method

Line 3 baking trays with parchment.

Put the flour, bicarb, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg into a food processor and pulse to combine.

Add the butter and blitz until you have the consistency of fine breadcrumbs.

Add the sugar and pulse a few times to make sure everything is mixed.

In a jug whisk the egg and golden syrup together, before adding this to the processor and blitzing until everything comes together in a soft dough.

Remove from the processor, roll into a ball, wrap in Clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 180°C / 356°F (160°C / 320°F fan).

Lightly flour a surface and your rolling pin and roll out the dough until it’s about 0.5cm or 1/5th inch thick.

Using small Christmas tree cutters, cut the gingerbread shapes and move to your baking trays, leaving a couple of centimetres between each piece.

Cook in the oven for 15 minutes and as soon as you’ve removed them from the oven, cut a small slice in the trunk of each tree, about an inch long and half a centimetre wide (see picture) before setting aside to cool completely.  It’s important that you cut them while they are still warm and soft, as they can crack if you cut them when cooled.

Once cool, mix your icing sugar with a tablespoon of water and stir.  Keep adding teaspoons of water and stirring until you have a thick consistency suitable for piping.

Add a drop of food colouring and stir, adding enough colouring to create the dark green of a Christmas tree.

Pipe lines across your tree (see photograph again) and attach decorations to look like the decorations on a tree.

Leave for the icing to dry, then perch on the cup of your drink of choice.

 

TRY RED VELVET COOKIES [2]