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beautiful gingerbread cookie wreath made of star shapes

Gingerbread Wreath


  • Author: Melissa Griffiths-Bless This Mess
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 medium wreath 1x

Description

If you are just as obsessed with gingerbread as me then you need to create this fully edible Gingerbread Wreath.They are fun, festive and make a fun gift for friends. 


Ingredients

Scale

For the Gingerbread

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup salted butter, at room temp
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2.5 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

For the Royal Icing

  • 1/4 cup egg whites (plus a little extra if needed) *see notes for recipe using meringue powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

You will also need

  • Star shaped cookie cutters in a variety of sizes (4 in, 3 in, 2.5 in, 2 in)
  •  at least 2 large baking sheets lined with parchment paper
  • rolling pin
  • parchment paper for rolling
  • piping bag or zipper topped freezer bag
  • Ribbon, to decorate

Instructions

  1. Put the sugar, butter, molasses and egg into a large mixing bowl. Use a handheld electric mixer to thoroughly combine until any lumps of butter have been dispersed.
  2. Sift in the flour, baking soda, ginger, cloves and cinnamon and mix on a low speed until the dough starts to cling together leaving the sides of the bowl clean.
  3. Use your hands to bring the dough into a ball. Lightly flour a surface and turn the dough out on to it. Knead very briefly until smooth then divide into two balls of dough. Flatten each ball of dough into a disc shape then wrap in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
  5. Remove the chilled dough from the fridge. Roll out one of the discs between two sheets of parchment paper to a thickness of about 1/2 inch.
  6. Leaving the rolled out dough on the parchment, use a dinner plate (ours was 10in) as template for a circle. Cut around the edge of the plate with a sharp knife and remove the excess dough. You will be left with a circle.
  7. Add a smaller plate (ours was 6in) to the center of the circle of dough. Cut around the smaller plate then remove the dough from the center. This will leave you with a ring of dough.
  8. Slide the parchment paper with the ring of dough onto a baking sheet.
  9. Roll out the rest of the dough between sheets of parchment. Use the cookie cutters to cut different size star shapes from the dough. You will need at least 8 of the larger size star.
  10. Gently transfer the cut out cookies on to the lined baking sheet.
  11. Put both baking sheets in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and immediately transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  12. You may need to work in batches.
  13. Make the Royal Icing: Put the egg whites into a mixing bowl and whisk until frothy. Add the
  14. powdered sugar a cup at a time and vigorously beat until smooth. At this point you will need to check the consistency of the icing. It should easily flow in a thick ribbon from a spatula when picked up and the consistency of toothpaste. If it’s looking a bit thick add more egg whites (or cold water) a tablespoon at a time. Continue to beat until it reaches the desired consistency.
  15. Transfer the Royal Icing to a piping bag then snip the very end off with a pair of scissors.
  16. When the cookies have cooled you can decorate them. (Use the images for inspiration.)
  17. To assemble the wreath: For the first layer you will need approximately 8 of the 4 inch Star Cookies. Add a small amount of Royal Icing to the underneath of a larger star cookie and gently press it onto the wreath. Repeat with the remaining cookies working your way around the wreath. Next, add Royal Icing to the 3in cookies and place them on top of the larger cookies. Repeat with the smaller 2 inch cookies until the Gingerbread Wreath is full and looks how you would like it.
  18. Tie the ribbon onto the wreath and display it as holiday centerpiece. Enjoy!

Notes

  • You can find my royal icing recipe that does no use egg whites here.
  • The ground cloves add a complex flavor dimension to the gingerbread. If you are not a fan of cloves you can substitute it with ground ginger.
  • This is a large batch of dough that will make the wreath surround plus plentiful cookies. You might have some leftover as depending on the size, they may not all fit on the wreath.
  • We used 4 Star cookie cutters in the following sizes: 4 inch, 3 inch, 2.5 inch and 2 inch. If you don’t have these exact sizes it doesn’t matter. We would recommend a variety of sizes as this is what makes the wreath look visually interesting. You could use different cookie cutters such as
  • Christmas Trees, leaves, snowflakes or anything else festive to make it your own.
  • Once you’ve made the dough you can use it straight away, however, it will be softer and not as easy to handle so that’s why we recommend chilling the dough for a short time before cutting out the shapes.
  • The dough will hardly spread during baking so you can fit quite a few cookies on the baking sheet. Leave about 1/2 inch in-between.
  • We recommend you bake for 10 minutes which will yield a crunchier cookie that is more robust for wreath making. For a softer cookie bake for 8 minutes but take care during assembly in case the cookies break.
  • There is enough Royal Icing to decorate all the cookies and to use as ‘glue’ for the wreath assembly.
  • Use pasteurized eggs (for the Royal Icing) as they are safe to eat raw. We would caution you against any form of raw egg if you are pregnant.
  • Storage: The Gingerbread will soften over time. If you’re not consuming right away we recommend you store in an airtight container where the cookies will keep for at least a week.
  • Gingerbread dough can be frozen for up to one month.
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: gingerbread wreath, gingerbread wreath recipe