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British royal chefs share gingerbread recipe served to queen at Christmas

Royal family ginger bread recipe
Copyright theroyalfamily/Instagram
Copyright theroyalfamily/Instagram
By Aly Walansky with TODAY Food
Published on Updated
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Looking for a royally good cookie recipe? These biscuits are definitely fit for a queen!


The royal family is notoriously private, but this holiday season, that hasn't stopped them (or at least those who serve them) from providing a rare glimpse into the treats served during Christmas at Sandringham House in Norfolk — an event hosted by the queen, with the whole extended family in attendance.

On Sunday, the royal pastry chefs shared a recipe for their signature "Christmas Ginger Bread Biscuits."They followed up the blog post with several pictures of the cookies being made on Instagram:

So what's the secret to a perfectly royal cookie dough?

"It's always best to let the dough rest, so it's great if you can make the dough the night before," the pastry chefs posted on royal family's website. "You can also roll out the dough, cut the shapes and put them in a freezer for an hour. This ensures they keep their shape nicely."

This biscuit recipe contains all of the usual ingredients you'd expect in a gingerbread, such as flour, ginger, butter and brown sugar. The recipe calls for "mixed spice," which is a British blend containing nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and more. In addition to being eaten, the palace chefs said that these biscuits are usually personalized or hung on a tree as decor.

In addition to biscuits (which we call cookies across the pond), the chefs are also turning out plenty of traditional favorites like mince pies.

It turns out that ginger cookies have been in the royal family for many, many years.

"When I was there, we made gingerbread men cookies for [Princes] William and Harry in the nursery," chef Darren McGrady, who worked in Buckingham Palace as the queen's head chef from 1982 to 1993, told TODAY Food. But apparently not everyone in the family is very fond of them. "The rest of the royal family didn't eat them though," admitted McGrady, who served as a chef for the late Princess Diana and her sons from 1993 to 1997.

So what are Queen Elizabeth's favorite desserts? "At Christmas they always had the chocolate Yule log [Buche de Noel], Christmas cake, and mince pies," said McGrady. "The royal family like the mince pies served hot so that they can pop the lid of pastry off the pie and pop in a twirl of brandy butter and place the pastry lid back on again. The butter and powdered sugar melt into the the mincemeat making them yummy."

For a more traditional treat, the royal chefs also shared a recipe for mince pies, which includes rum, sherry, port, brandy and a host of dried fruits like raisins.

We wonder if Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, who is currently expecting her first child, will bring along her signature banana bread to the soiree — it's also spiked with a little something extra for a festive kick.

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