It might be better to just use initials for guests with long names. Not sure you can write neatly with icing? Never mind the name, just decorate imaginatively and use the biscuit as a napkin-holder decoration instead.
Cut out mini gingerbread biscuits using a small biscuit cutter, the neck of a bottle or a screw top, or cut shapes free-hand with a knife. Thread them as decorations on the festive candy-cane twine you use to wrap up your presents and everyone will want to open their present from you.
Make gingerbread biscuits with a hole in the middle. Bake and check the size of the hole as soon as you take them out of the oven. It will be possible to enlarge the hole while the biscuit is still soft. Stack up as many gingerbread biscuits as you want on your candlestick, and stick them together with icing or glue.
Icing can hide a multitude of sins.
Once you’ve assembled your candlestick, you can decorate it any way you choose. Then put in the candle – you can trim the base with a knife for a better fit. A paper sweet case around the base will help to hold the candle steady. Please note! Do not allow the candle to burn below the level of the top gingerbread biscuit and never leave a lighted candle unattended.
Gingerbread biscuits with colourful ‘windows’ look very impressive: crush boiled sweets in different colours in a mortar and fill holes in the biscuits with them; they melt in the oven for an attractive window effect.
Impress them with colourful windows.
It’s best to bake the biscuits for 1–2 minutes first, take them out of the oven, sprinkle on the crushed sweets in piles that completely cover the holes and then bake for the remaining amount of time. This will prevent the dough from overflowing into the windows. Decorate with icing, dust with icing sugar, or leave them plain. Tie candy-cane twine through the top and hang them on your tree.
You can get as creative as you like here: oversized or miniature gingerbread biscuits, wide silk ribbon or classic candy-cane twine, plain biscuits or lots of icing. Let your imagination run wild and hang a garland in every room!
Text and photo: Ida Köhler
Tips before you start
- Buy ready-made gingerbread biscuit dough. If you’re not going to eat the biscuits, there’s no point spending time and energy making your own dough.
- Roll out the dough directly on the baking paper, so you won’t have to lift the biscuits and risk them falling apart. Place a damp tea towel under the baking paper to hold it steady while you roll.
- If you want to hang up the gingerbread biscuits, use a drinking straw to make holes before you bake them.
- The gingerbread biscuits will be soft when you take them out of the oven, which gives you a chance to enlarge any holes that have closed up or trim uneven edges with a knife.
- Icing can hide a multitude of sins. Let out your inner maximalist!
- For snow-white icing that sets really hard, whisk an egg white with an electric mixer, add a capful of spirit vinegar (24%) and gradually add about 240 g / 8 oz icing sugar until the consistency feels right. Spoon the icing into a freezer bag and cut a small hole in one corner to get a simple piping bag.