Children love to get involved with the festive preparations and making gingerbread is great fun and delicious too! Gingerbread biscuits, with their delicious spicy aromas, make lovely gifts for family and friends.

You can also make lovely edible decorations.

Make a hole at the edges of your gingerbread shapes so you can tie a ribbon through and hang on your Christmas tree – well, until it gets gobbled up. Homemade gingerbread
is very hard to resist!

This lovely bakeware set by designer Ashley Thomas includes cutters in the shape of festive stars. For a stained-glass effect, you can cut a small hole in your decorations and place a boiled sweet inside; as it cooks, the sweet will melt to give a semi-translucent stained-glass effect that looks really pretty.

How to make

  1. Put the butter, sugar and syrup into a saucepan and heat gently until melted.
  2. Sift the flour, spices, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl  then add to the saucepan.
  3. Mix well and roll into a ball of dough.
  4. Chill in the fridge for 15 mins.
  5. Roll out the dough to 1cm thick on a lightly floured surface.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and prepare a baking tray with baker paper.
  7. Then use Christmas cookie cutters to cut out different shapes. Stamp circular pieces with Christmas biscuit stamps, if using, then transfer to the baking tray.
  8. Bake in the over for 8 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool completely.
  10. Have fun decorating with icing, silver balls and edible glitter.

Designer details After graduating with a first class degree in Surface Pattern Design, Ashley Thomas launched her own brand of home accessories working from her attic in 2008. Ashley makes beautiful interior accessories and giftware from humorous designs and whimsical illustrations. Her brand is made in England and is exclusive to a selection of interior boutiques and galleries in the UK, Paris and Tokyo. Ashley joined the ‘Designers at Debenhams’ family in 2011, with her At Home with Ashley Thomas collection.