Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Gingerbread Christmas Stars

3/4 oz Nuttelex dairy-free spread
1/4 cup, firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup golden syrup
1/2 tsp lemon rind
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted
1/4 cup self-raising flour, sifted
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
3.5 oz red lollies
3.5 oz green lollies
Silver cachous, to decorate

Combine the dairy-free spread, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes to cool.
Transfer golden-syrup mixture to a bowl. Add the lemon rind, egg, combined flours, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, and stir until well combined.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until dough loses its stickiness and is smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour to rest.
Meanwhile, place the red lollies in a sealable plastic bag. Wrap in a tea towel and use a rolling pin to gently pound until crushed. Repeat, in a separate bag, with green lollies.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until 1/4 inch thick. Use a star-shaped pastry cutter to cut out about 20 biscuits. Use a star-shaped cutter to cut out the centre of each biscuit. Wrap excess dough in plastic wrap and store in the fridge. Use a round piping-bag nozzle to cut a hole in the top corner of each biscuit. Place on prepared trays.
Sprinkle the red lollies into the star-shaped holes in the biscuits. Bake in oven for 5 minutes or until gingerbread is golden brown and lollies melt. Remove from oven and quickly sprinkle the soft lolly centres with cachous. Set aside on the trays to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough, green lollies and cachous to make another 20 biscuits.
Cut the ribbon into 10 inch lengths. Thread a piece of ribbon through the hole in the top of 1 biscuit and knot the ends. Repeat with the remaining biscuits.

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