I can’t remember the time when this passion for making gingerbread started brewing. I think it was when I was younger and on occassions my sisters and I would make gingerbread men together.
Baking and decorating with my sisters was fun and we had a lot of laughs. Just thinking about it now has slapped a massive smile across my face. But there came a point when I wanted my little men to be cookie cutter perfect. My sisters would go off the rails when it came to the decorating part. Monstrosities such as acid man and road kill (two that come to mind) were born, even though it was bloomin hilarious I just craved making one batch of perfection!
So one day I realised I was an adult. That kind of realisation when you know you can buy anything from the dairy or dvd store (my dreams were simple) without asking a parents permission! I realised that I could make my own gingerbread men, the way I wanted them to be and I guess that’s how it all started.
I came across this recipe during my career as a nanny and I have used it religiously ever since. It’s beautiful and the gingerbread come out soft but firm. I am not a huge fan of hard, crunchy or stale gingerbread so this recipe suits me very well! I get so much feedback on its texture and also the fact that it’s not too gingery.
- 125g butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/2 cup golden syrup
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 1/2 cups plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- pebbles, icing, sprinkles of your choice to decorate.
Preheat the oven to 180c to get that oven nice and hot! Melt the butter either in a pot on the stove or microwave. I usually microwave it in a microwave safe bowl and plop it into a seperate mixing bowl when ready. I then place the sugar in with the butter and mix it until combined, then I drizzle the golden syrup, stir it through and then toss in the egg yolk. Try to seperate the egg white from the egg yolk as much as you can! I noticed it makes the mixture extra oily if some of that egg white gets in there, as well as over measured butter.
Stir in the sifted flour, bicarbonate soda, ground ginger and mixed spice into the liquidy mixture. When you’re stirring your arm can feel like it’s playing a game of arm wrestling, and you feel like you have been tricked into a workout so I just get in there with my hands and mould it all together, so much easier!
Once its all dough like I sprinkle flour onto a clean surface and knead the dough until it is smooth. Then I halve it into two big balls, cover in plastic wrap and place them in the fridge for 30 minutes or so.
I roll the dough onto baking paper because sometimes they have a tendency to stick onto the kitchen bench which is not good for anyones sanity! The desired thickness is 5mm and once placed on the tray they should be 3cm apart. I just roughly estimate thickness and width, I have never had an issue! I practically put them in there holding hands haha
Line the tray with baking paper to prevent tears if the men stick! They cook for 8-10 minutes in the oven (I would aim for 8 minutes) all depends on the oven and how golden the men are!
Once cooked let them cool off! Then the fun part begins. Happy decorating 🙂
- I use chocolate instead of icing for the feet. Cadbury dark, white and milk melts are the best! White came about because my boyfriend wasn’t a fan of dark chocolate so had to change my strategy!
- I buy pre made writing icing in the baking section of the supermarket to draw in the faces and tummies. That’s when im in a lazy mood! Don’t judge me! Haha
- To make the feet pink or blue I mix food colouring with white chocolate. Got to be quick though! It tends to get a bit clumpy and thick after awhile.
- Keep them in an airtight container so that the flies dont get their poopy hands on them, and it keeps them fresher for longer! They can last up to a good week but I wouldn’t know because they get eaten so fast!
Recipe was discovered at kidspot 🙂