How to make soft gingerbread hearts

gingerbread hearts
Times fly fast and I am a little late with the second Christmas special tutorial. Today its soft gingerbread hearts. This is a favourite treat of mine at Christmas time.

All the bakeries make them and they are mostly decorated with a thin coat of dark chocolate and decorated with a scrap of Santa Claus. You can also be sure to find this kind of decorated hearts at every German Christmas market.

I decided to decorate it with red flowers and holly leaves. But you could also pipe beautiful patterns in royal icing or use fondant cut outs like snowflakes and other Christmas style decor.

Soft gingerbread hearts

7 oz. (200 grams) Honey
3 oz. (90 grams) sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
1 tsp of ground cloves
1 tsp of ground ginger
13 oz. (360 grams) all purpose flour sifted

I got 2 x 7″ hearts  and around 12 x small 2″ hearts out of this portion.

For decoration:
Dark chocolate (you can leave this out and just decorate the heart as it is)
Royal icing
Scraps
Fondant sugar flowers/leaves or flowers/leaves made out of royal icing. Holly leaves and red berries would also look beautiful.

How to make the gingerbread dough:

Step 1:
In a saucepan warm up the honey on low heat until melted for about 15 mins. Dont let it boil. Remove form the heat.

Step 2:
In a bowl add the sugar and pour the warm honey on top. Stir and let it rest untill luke warm.

Step 3:
Stir in the egg, then the baking soda and the cinnamon, cloves & ginger. Mix untill combined.

Step 4:
Add the flour and knead the dough. It may feel sticky but try not to add too much extra flour. Wrap the dough in plastic and let it rest for 30 mins on the counter. Preheat the oven to 325F (170C)

Step 5:
Knead the dough and roll it out on baking paper dusted with flour. Roll into 5-10 mm thickness and cut out the hearts. Bake the hearts in the center of the oven for 10-15 min depending on size until golden and “puffy”. Transfer to cooling racks.

Decorate the gingerbread heart:

Step 1:
Melt the chocolate and use a angled spatular to spread out the chocolate. Let the chocolate dry.

Step 2:
Pipe a border with royal icing.

Step 3:
Decorate your heart with flowers, holly leaves, berries, fondant cut out snowflakes or just use royal icing.

Happy Caking!

Louise

Louise
Louise is the founder and editor of CakeJournal. She's a passionate, self taught, cake artist who has been doing cake decorating since 2002.
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Comments

  1. Dora Moreno says

    Beautiful cookies. I’d like to try making these but I thought Royal icing would break down because of the grease in chocolate. Have you had anything like that happen to your cookies when chocolate & royal icing are combined? Thanks, great Blog BTW!

  2. Jessica says

    the heart looks great,
    was wondering how well does the dough freeze and also how long does the baked cookie keep fresh for once baked?
    thanks in advance

  3. says

    Thankyou for the gingerbread recipe Louise. Thought I might make a heart for my husband for Valentines Day. Is the “All Purpose” flour a “self raising” flour. Here in Australia we mainly use ‘Plain Flour’ and add a raising agent if needed or; use ready mixed’Self Raising’ Flour.
    Kind Regards from Judith

  4. Jamie (Australia) says

    Hi Louise,

    Thanks for your reply. I will certainly try it next season. :)

    Nice day to you..

    Jamie

  5. Louise says

    Ellery: Thank you. I hoped that you had fun with them

    Mimi: Of course you can cut down the gounded cloves but I dont find 1 tsp overpowering in taste.

    Gis: thank you sweety

    nenu: Im sure they will

    Page: thank you. The trick when it comes to piped dots is to use a damp brush on the dot straight after you piped it ;-)

    Christine: Thank you :-)

    Howtoeat… : thank you. They taste just as good without the chocolate

    Marielba: thank you and a very merry Christmas to you too :-)

    Shaaron: Thank you

    Tracy: I made lot of these hearts for my daughters class and her teacher got a large heart with her name written on it.

    Emma: Welcome to CJ I hope that you will have fun here :-)

    Toni: ohh what a wonderful anniversary present to get. He sure deserves a gingerbread heart baked with lots of love :-)

    Jamie: if you cant get grounded cloves you can still make them without. It will still taste good.

  6. Jamie (Australia) says

    Hi,

    I wonder if I can omit the ground cloves as I couldn’t find it in Brisbane. There’s on WHOLE CLOVES is available.

    Thanks in advance.

  7. Toni says

    Aw this gingerbread heart recipe is perfect and it looks totally adorable and delish!

    After my hubby recently surprised me with a gorgeous diamond necklace from http://www.idonowidont.com as a 10th anniversary present I would love to make one of these soft gingerbread hearts as my present to him.

    You’re so talented and I can’t wait to start making and decorating mine, he will adore it!

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