These will keep in a cake tin for 1-2 weeks.
- 100g/4oz dark muscovado sugar
- 3 tbsp golden syrup
- 125g /41/2oz butter, diced
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 350g plain flour
- 2tsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 150g/6oz Royal icing sugar
- edible gold leaf (we used Squires kitchen gold leaf from Waitrose)
- you will need
- 2 baking trays lined with baking parchment
Draw house shaped templates on card or baking parchment. For each house cut 4 rectangles about 10 x 6 cm for the large houses (9 x 5cm for the smaller one) and 2 rectangluar ends, cut into a triangle at the top to make the pointed roof shape – 6 or 5 cm at the base, 8 or 10 cm tall with the side walls being 5 or 6 cm high, then cut into the triangle shape. However, you can make them any shape or size.
Place 3 tbsp water into a medium saucepan with the sugar and syrup. Stir until the sugar has dissolved then bring to the boil. Remove from the heat. Add the diced butter and stir until melted. Whisk in the bicarbonate of soda, it will foam a little. Add the flour and spices, and beat well to make a soft dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for 3 hours or overnight until firm enough to roll out.
Pre-heat the oven to 200C, 180C fan, gas 6.
Dust the work surface with flour and roll out the dough to the thickness of a £1 coin and cut out your house shapes.
Bake for 10-15 mins (depending on size) until just turning darker brown at the edges. Allow to cool completely before removing from the tin. Make up the royal icing sugar as directed on the packet.
Place the royal icing in a piping bag and snip the end. Pipe a thick line of icing around the edge of each piece and use to ‘glue’ the pieces together. Leave to set overnight (keep the bag of royal icing in an airtight container to keep it moist).
Pipe windows, doors and roof tiles on each biscuit and decorate with edible gold leaf if liked.