Food & Nutrition

Queen Elizabeth II’s Pastry Chef Reveals Her Majesty’s Favorite Christmas Cookie

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has a favorite Christmas cookie. Here’s why it’s fit for your own “royal family!”

Queen Elizabeth II sits at a desk in the 1844 Room at Buckingham Palace, London, after recording her Christmas Day broadcast to the CommonwealthShutterstock

Queen Elizabeth II has some super specific culinary likes as well as dislikes, and clearly Her Majesty has quite the sweet tooth. In fact, there’s even a special kind of chocolate cake that Queen Elizabeth won’t travel without. But this time of year, she can’t get enough gingerbread, according to her Royal Pastry Chefs.

The Queen loves a batch of Christmas Ginger Bread Biscuits. You can be sure the whole royal family will be enjoying them on Christmas Day! Find out some more of the Queen’s favorite foods, too.

About the royal recipe

The recipe for the royal family’s beloved Ginger Bread Biscuits can be found on the official royal website. It makes only ten cookies, but you can double or triple the ingredients, as we assume the Royal Pastry Chefs do. Note that the ingredients are measured in terms of weight, not volume. So if you have a digital kitchen scale, this would be a good time to break it out. If not, here’s a handy guide that will help you convert weight to volume so that you can use measuring cups instead of a scale. One taste and you’ll be adding these cookies to the list of royal family holiday traditions you’ll want to steal.

You’ll love the ingredients

The cookies themselves require only five ingredients, plus icing and sugar for decorating. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Self-rising flour (here’s how to make it with ingredients you have in your cupboard)
  • Dark brown sugar
  • Unsalted butter
  • Milk
  • Ground ginger
  • Mixed spice (it’s a very British mixture of spices, including allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, cloves, coriander, and more ground ginger)

Why the recipe takes so long to make

The most important thing to note about the method the Royal Pastry Chefs describe is that it will involve significant waiting time. After sifting together the flour and spices, mixing the butter in with your fingers, and then stirring in the milk, you’ll want to wrap the dough in film and let it rest for anywhere from two hours to overnight. That’s all before you roll out and cut the dough, which you’re best off freezing for an hour in order to help the cookies retain their shape.

Decorating the cookies

“The biscuits can then be decorated using icing,” say the Royal Pastry Chefs. Wouldn’t you know it, the gold standard for icing is “royal” icing! Here’s how to make a batch of royal icing for your own batch of Ginger Bread Biscuits. While you’re waiting for the cookies to be ready, take a look at these rarely seen royal family Christmas photos.

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