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. Annette says

    Louise, I remember having these cookies when I lived in Denmark and I was so excited when I saw this recipe before Christmas. I made them and I was so disappointed :-( I don’t know where I went wrong, maybe you can help me.

    I live in Canada now, and I know that the elevation is different here, I’m not sure if that has anything to do with it or not. The cookies were so hard that I could hardly bite into them. I baked them for the about 12 minutes if I remember correctly.

    I hope you can help :-) I would really love to try again!

    Thank you,
    Annette
    asimpson2@telus.net

    • Anonymous says

      Annette: So sorry, my mistake! I have edited the recipe and it should now work out. My husband have been working on a baking recipe converter for some time now and now I only use this whenever I need to convert.

      Hope that it works now :-) Let me know if it dosen’t.

      • Annette says

        Louise, sorry I just looked at the recipe and I figured out what was different but that didn’t make a difference in what I was working with because I followed the gram version. I always weigh my ingredients as I am use to my danish recipes :-) You don’t have to post my previous message or this one, that’s ok. I’m not sure now where I went wrong as I followed the recipe. Could it be that I should maybe have baked it for less time? Thanks so much Louise for your help!!

        Annette

      • Anonymous says

        You should only bake them for 10 – 15 minutes max. They will still feel soft to the touch but they get harder when the cool. Hope it helps. Gingerbread should be eaten all year round :-)

  2. Annabelle says

    Just found you and will never let you go…sounds like a song huh? May I make a suggestion? For some of us inexperienced bakers it would also be very helpful if you would tell us what number piping tip you use on all your future posts where you pipe. For example, are the dots number 3?

  3. aristea says

    Hello from Greece! I saw in shops some kind of gingerbread small hearts tho filled with apricot marmelade. Can you tell me how can i do your recipe and fill the hearts with apricot?
    thank you in advance! Wish to all merry cristmas!

  4. K Gal says

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe! I love seeing them at German markets. I made three large hearts for family gatherings. I wrote Merry Christmas in German on them and decorated with a star frosting tip to look like snowflakes.

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