Chocolate Dipped Gingerbread Reindeers

As a child I never really associated the flavour of ginger and other lovely wintery spices with Christmas. So naturally, I didn't associate gingerbread with Christmas either. To me it was a readily available thing to buy in the shops, in the school canteen, everywhere. Gingerbread houses I only ever associated it with Hansel & Gretel and even then, as exciting as this house sounded, to me it was only a story about how a father abandoned their children so they could get eaten by a wicked witch.

But as I grew older you start to learn new things, new associations and most importantly, taste buds change. Now I can't spend the festive season without building a gingerbread house. They remind me of Swiss chalets, being in the snowy alps, warm and cosy fires indoors. And the mass amount of sweets and other sugary goodness added for decoration is- obviously- a bonus.

As much as I enjoy making a gingerbread house and marvelling at how pretty it is everyday, the dismantling of it is quite heartbreaking. After weeks sat in the open, the gingerbread itself is usually stale at this point. How it usually works in our house is everyone -ok, so just me- picks at the jelly tots/ m&ms/ jelly beans that have been stuck on top and eventually when the house looks so dilapidated, we bin the remnants. Hours to create, seconds to destroy.

So this year I decided not to build a house but settled for these gingerbread reindeer instead. Aren't they adorable? And it's so easy and fun to make. I've used a reindeer shaped cookie cutter but any shape could be used. I prefer my gingerbread biscuits how I expect a biscuit to be like- crunchy. And this recipe makes just that. I've changed the original recipe slightly by substituting some of the golden syrup with some black treacle and adding a fair bit more spices- I wanted this to be really spicy with a deep molasses flavour to them.

Recipe adapted from Baking Mad

100g unsalted butter
50g dark brown sugar
3 1/2 tbsp golden syrup 
1 1/2 tbsp black treacle
225g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon

250g dark chocolate
Sprinkles to decorate

  1. Sift dry ingredients into a bowl.
  2. In a saucepan, add the butter, sugar, golden syrup and treacle and heat gently until sugar has dissolved. Do not boil.
  3. Beat the sifted dry ingredients into the butter/syrup mixture until smooth.
  4. Pat the mixture into a flat ball, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or until firm enough to roll out.
  5. Line two or three baking trays with baking paper/parchment. Set aside.
  6. Lightly dust your worksurface with flour and roll out the dough to approx. 3mm thick. Use your cookie cutter to stamp out as many as you can and place onto a lined baking tray. These gingerbread biscuits spread a bit so make ensure there is space around each biscuit.
  7. Gather the scraps into a ball and re-roll to stamp out more biscuits.
  8. Place the trays into the fridge to chill for 20 minutes. 
  9. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Bake the gingerbread for 10-12 minutes until the edges are slightly darker (but not burnt!!) Leave to cool on the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Melt the chocolate in a bowl either in the microwave or in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.
  11. Dip the cooled gingerbread into the chocolate and place onto a sheet of baking parchment. Sprinkle the top of the chocolate with edible glitter/confetti. Leave to set.
  12. Once chocolate has set, store the gingerbread biscuits in an airtight container.


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Interior designer & part time baker. Lover of architecture, design and all things cute.