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Gingerbread Candle Holders

 Gingerbread Candle Holders
These clever candle holders from our Test Kitchen would make a lovely Christmas centerpiece when grouped together. Or use them at individual place settings as pretty party favors.
8 ServingsPrep: 50 min. + chilling Bake: 15 min. + cooling

Ingredients

  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ICING:
  • 2-2/3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 tablespoons water

Directions

  • In a food processor, combine the flour, ginger and cloves. Add
  • butter; cover and process until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add
  • the brown sugar, molasses and egg; cover and process until blended.
  • Wrap dough in plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or
  • until firm.
  • Unwrap dough; knead until smooth, about 8 times. On a lightly floured
  • surface, roll out dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut out eight trees
  • with a floured 5-in. tree-shaped cookie cutter. Cut out eight 3-in.
  • round circles, rerolling dough scraps if necessary.
  • Place 2 in. apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 6

2 of 2

Gingerbread Candle Holders (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • minutes. Using a plastic straw, cut out circles in a random pattern
  • on the trees (so candlelight can shine through). Bake 6-7 minutes
  • longer or until firm. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  • For icing, in a large bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar,
  • meringue powder and cream of tartar. Add water; beat on low speed
  • for 1 minute or until very stiff.
  • Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert a
  • #5 round pastry tip. Outline trees and decorate trees with garland
  • and ornaments as desired. Pipe icing onto the bottom edge of each
  • tree; set tree on a round base about 1/2 in. from edge. For
  • additional support, pipe another line of icing along the back of
  • tree where it joins the base. Prop trees with small glasses until
  • icing has set. Let stand overnight to dry completely. Store in an
  • airtight container.
  • Place a votive candle or tea light on the base of holder behind the
  • tree, or attach a birthday candle with a dab of icing on the base.
  • Be aware that the heat will eventually soften the icing. Yield: 8
  • candle holders.
Editor's Note: As a substitute for each cup of self-rising flour, place 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a measuring cup. Add all-purpose flour to measure 1 cup. Meringue powder is available from Wilton Industries. Call 1-800/794-5866 or visit www.wilton.com.