I made some brown butter gingerbread cookies for a cookie box and thought why not make the whole thing edible and bake a gingerbread box to gift them in.Jump to Recipe
I wanted to make some soft and chewy gingerbread tiles with the patterns like the springerle ones. I searched everywhere for a beautiful stamp, but the postage times on all the ones i found wouldn’t have arrived in time for Christmas.
So i decided to make the stamped look cookies by hand and cut deer’s and decorations, it worked quite well. The round cookies i painted using edible lustre dust paints mixed with water.
The box parts are made with a normal gingerbread dough.
I love the flavour the nutty brown butter gives them, so i added a little less spices than i might normally so it wouldn’t get lost.
Money is a bit tight this Christmas so i am giving homemade edible gifts to my friends and family, No one really needs anything and i think homemade gifts are fun.
Last year i gave my grandma the edible Christmas card scene and she loved it. (i shared the template for it)
I love to give or receive homemade gifts, its really wonderful. I wanted this to seem a bit special rather than some normal gingerbread (Which would also be wonderful if you just want to make the brown butter cookies) so i tried to decorate them nicely.
I am not very skilled at piping cookies with icing, so i had to try something different and painted them. I iced them first then used sugar flair lustre dust to paint them.
I was inspired by a Christmas card i had received, it had a deer surrounded by silver birch trees on it. I added the robin as my grandma loves them, can you spot it on the branch?.
Gingerbread is so fun to make for the holiday, every year i try to share a template as it is always so wonderful to see you share what you have made from it. I have loved seeing all the shadow boxes that have been made. you can find that and the template here.
This years template is a bit more basic and gives you freedom to have fun and design it how ever you wish, though scroll to the bottom to see how i made the decoration for this one.
If you have a cookie stamp then these will be really easy. I have a Dutch speculaas one i could have used, but i wanted a deer one, Next year i will make sure i order one well in advance.
Some of the tile cookies are glazed and some of them just have icing sugar.
These cookies can be used on their own if you just want some cookies. The first recipe is great for a crunchy cookie (Or biscuit as we call them here) if you roll them thinly or a soft chewy gingerbread if you roll them thicker, or roll them into balls.
The box parts were made with a different dough , below this one.
I use a weighing scale to measure the ingredients rather than using cups.
Brown butter gingerbread tiles
- 100 g unsalted butter once browned you will need 75g
- 60 g soft dark brown sugar
- 40 g soft light brown sugar
- 50 g golden syrup
- 25 g black treacle
- 1 medium egg
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp all spice
- 250 g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- dark rum (or orange juice or water) it was also nice with coffee liqueur
- 200 g icing sugar
- pinch of cinnamon
Make brown butter
- Make brown butter by heating the butter in a pan, stir until the butter melts. It will bubble up and simmer, then the simmering and the bubbling will stop, it will be nice and brown. This is when its ready. remove from the heat.Take the bowl you will be using and place it on the scales and weigh 75g of the brown butter, then put the bowl in the fridge for 20 minutes.Using a whisk. mix the butter together for a minute and it should go pale and creamy like very soft whipped butter. If not chill for a bit longer. Once the butter has firmed up enough like the consistency of softened butter its ready to use.
Make the dough
- Cream the butter together with the sugars using an electric whisk until pale and creamy. (About 2 minutes. Scrape around the bowl with a spatula and mix briefly again.Then add the golden syrup and treacle and whisk until combined.Then scrape the bowl and add the egg and whisk again until well combined
- Mix the flour, baking soda, spices and salt together and mix in.The dough will be very soft, take some plastic wrap and lightly flour it then add the dough and wrap up and chill for at least an hour, or over night.
- On a floured surface roll out the dough and make cookies. Thin cookies will have a nice snap and be crisp and thick tile like cookies will be soft and chewy, roll out and make as you wishBake at 180c-350f for about 8 minutes depending on size. The large cookie on the cookie box is made with this dough and took a little longer.(i wanted them to look like stamp cookies so i cut deer's with excess dough and placed it on top before baking)
- Sift icing sugar in a bowl and add a pinch of cinnamon then add your chosen liquid a tsp at a time until you have a runny glaze, drizzle or brush on the glaze. Leave for an hour or so to dry.
The gingerbread box
The box has the dough above for the decoration, and a gingerbread dough that is good for construction for the rest.
Any left over dough i used for cookies.
For the box i used this dough recipe. I added the zest from half an orange to it. Find the template below for the basic box. If you dont have a printer it is an easy shape to make yourself with a ruler.
Make it 8.5 by 6,5 inches
Decorate it as you wish, i used the deer template from my shadow box. I used the small deer from layer 1 and drew around it on the dough, then moulded it to give it some shape. Next i used a knife to draw on some trees, and cut some to add on. I used a knife to give them texture for the icing to stick to.
I did not include the template for the compartments inside, but i made those by baking extra side parts and trimming them to size once baked. I cut them a little shorter in height to ensure the lid would lay flat.
To cut parts once baked gently cut with a serrated knife in a sawing motion rather than cutting straight down. This way makes it less likely to break.
The lid and base took about 10 to 12 minutes to bake and the sides took about 8 minutes.
Notes on gingerbread
I adapted this dough recipe i use for building and used 575g plain flour instead and left out the cocoa powder but you can keep it in if you wish. I also added the zest half a large orange. Chill the dough for about 2 hours before rolling out on a floured piece of baking paper.
Place the template on then cut around it and removed excess. This way the dough is already on the paper so you dont need to move it.
The box shape is very easy to adapt to a smaller or larger size. You can add gingerbread compartments inside by baking extra side parts, i make those slightly shorter in height.
Dark gingerbread dough
- 250 g unsalted butter
- 210 g soft light brown sugar
- 45 g black treacle
- 45 g golden syrup i use lyles
- 5 tbsp water
- 2 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
- 2 1/2 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground all spice or clove
- 1 / 2 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 15 g cocoa powder optional use 575g plain flour if not using
- 560 g plain flour see above note
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Add the butter, sugar, and syrups and the spices in a pan and heat until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved, turn off the heat, let cool for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bicarbonate of soda. add the flour, cocoa powder and salt and mix into a soft dough. make two balls and flatten, flour slightly and cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.when rolling out to cut flour well so it does not stick to the baking paper or the template
The royal icing to glue it together.
I used the recipe for the royal icing i always make. The recipe makes a large batch so if you want to pipe decorations then it will be plenty, If not make half the recipe.
- stand mixer with paddle attachment
- 455 g icing sugar
- 80 g egg whites about 2 eggs
- 3 g cream of tartar
- 9 g water
- Sift the icing sugar to remove lumps, add in the bowl of the stand mixer and add the water, egg whites and cream of tartar, mix for a minute or two with the paddle attachment at a low/medium speed until combined, scrape bowl with a spatula and then turn up speed to high and mix for 5 minutes or until peaks form.Place in a bowl or lidded box and cover with a layer of plastic wrap touching the surface so a crust doesn't form then add a wet paper towel on top and add another layer of plastic wrap, then if using tub/box place on lid and keep in the fridge.lasts for two weeks.if using right away cover bowl with a damp towel until ready.
I left the decoration part for you to do as i thought it would be wonderful for you to get creative and create anything you like. If you want to see how i made the dough decorations here are are some snaps i took on my phone (sorry for the poor quality i made it at night) if you want a deer template find it here
step 1, Cut the shape for the decoration.
step 2, Using a knife draw on some trees. then add the deer (See below)
step 3, Cut a tree and place it on, then add a few more.
step 4, Use a knife to add texture to the trees. I made the moon shape by pressing a piping nozzle into the dough.
The deer for the cookies
Looking for other edible gifts of holiday recipes?
Here are some of my favourites
Christmas tree meringue tower
Poached pear pies