These gingerbread cookies are shaped like gift tags. They can be attached to Christmas presents, but also make a lovely gifts in a bundle on their own. You can leave them plain or emboss them using patterned or letter plunger cutters.
- 50g/1¾oz light muscovado sugar
- 50g/1¾oz dark muscovado sugar
- 50g/1¾oz golden syrup
- 150g/5½oz butter, roughly chopped
- 1 medium free-range egg (at room temperature)
- 300g/10½oz plain flour
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp ground mixed spice
Put both types of sugar, the golden syrup and the butter in a heavy-based saucepan. Set it over a medium heat and warm, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted and the sugars have dissolved.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and leave to cool for about 5 minutes before beating in the egg. Sift over the flour and then the spices, one at a time, mixing gently after each addition, to make a soft dough.
Put the dough into a food bag, or wrap in cling film. Chill for several hours, preferably overnight, to firm up – this makes the dough easier to roll out.
Remove the dough from the fridge 15–30 minutes before rolling it, so it can soften slightly.
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.
Roll out the dough between sheets of baking parchment to the thickness of a £1 coin. If the dough seems very sticky, dust it and the parchment lightly with a little flour. Peel off the top parchment sheet, then using a template or gift tag, cut out your tags with a sharp knife. You could also use a suitably sized cutter-approx 5 x7cm.
Gather up the dough trimmings and re-roll them between more parchment paper to cut more tags. Lift the tags, on the parchment, on to a baking tray. If necessary, trim off the top corners of each tag with a knife to make the classic tag shape. Create a hole near one end with the end of the drinking straw. If you want to emboss your tags, do it now. Chill for about 15 minutes.
Bake for 8–12 minutes or until a rich golden-brown. Leave to firm up on the tray, then lift, still on the parchment, on to a wire rack to cool.
To finish the biscuit tags, roll out the fondant between two pieces of baking parchment to a 2mm thickness. Peel off the top sheet of parchment and use a 1.5cm round piping nozzle or a pen lid to cut out circles. Use a paintbrush to apply a tiny bit of water or runny honey to each biscuit tag around the cut-out hole, to act as glue, then place a circle of fondant on top. Use the drinking straw or the end of the paintbrush to push the fondant through the hole in the biscuit, leaving a white border.
Leave to set before threading strawberry laces through the holes.
You can cut them into whatever shapes you like or use our method to make gift tags.
They also make great decorations to adorn the tree with or can be individually embossed with people’s names and used as edible table name place cards for festive gatherings.