1/2 cup (100g) firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg yolk
2.5 cups (375g) plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 cup (125 ml) golden syrup
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Beat butter, sugar and yolk in a small bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Stir in sifted dry ingredients and golden syrup; mix to a soft dough. Knead gently on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Roll dough between sheets of baking paper until 3mm thick.
Cut egg shapes from dough. Sprinkle more flour if it’s sticky, and flour your cutters and rolling pin if necessary. If dough is too crumbly and difficult to work with, bundle it up in some cling wrap and pop it in the fridge for a couple of hours (or leave it to rest in the fridge overnight). It will be much easier to work with when it’s firmed up a little.
Place gingerbread shapes about 3cm apart on paper baking (you may need to carefully transfer them with a spatula to retain the shape). Bake in a moderate oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on trays.
Now your cookies are ready to decorate with royal icing and watercolour!
If you want to try this look yourself, you need a nice smooth surface of royal icing. (Or cheat and use a packet of ready-made royal icing, which made the whole process faster.)
Knead the icing and roll it out to a thickness of about 3mm-5mm. Roll the fondant between two sheets of baking paper which helped to make a super-smooth surface – and it doesn’t stick, either.
Cut out the egg shapes in the fondant, and attach them to the top of your cooled cookies by brushing on a little boiled apricot jam.
Here’s how to create a gorgeous watercolour cookie effect.
- Use a natural or artificial food colour and mix them with water in a paint palette. Using a clean paintbrush with flat, wide bristles, practice brush strokes and experiment with colours on a spare piece of fondant, before painting the cookies themselves.
- Using a colour palette of peach, pink, apple green and jade green, apply haphazard brushstrokes in a kind of patchwork pattern. You could also try a single round swirl around the cookie. Lisa used simple bold brush strokes for a wash of watercolour stripes on her cookies.
- Using a clean piece of slightly damp paper towel, carefully blot the surface of the cookie, and gently rub the colour in the direction of the brush strokes to soften the watercolour effect.
Recipe By Rebecca Lowrey Boyd/Wee Birdy for We Are Scout.
All photography and styling by Lisa Tilse, for We Are Scout.