Gingerbread Men

Ok, maybe I should be PC and call then Gingerbread People, but I only have men cutters anyway. I’ve just finished planning a whole term of Cookery Club (CC) which scarily takes us up to Christmas, seriously I’ve never been so organised in my life. These Gingerbread Men will be baked in the final CC before Christmas. I’ve been trying different gingerbread biscuit recipes for a while; none were quite right either they had a long list on ingredients, a huge amount of golden syrup/treacle or just didn’t bake properly. I remember the gingerbread men we used to buy from Mellors or Sayers and wanted these to be similar.

When researching recipes for CC I look for a few things:

  • Ingredients work out no more than £1 per child. In this case I’m halving the recipe for each child.
  • Recipe can easily be scaled up or down.
  • Doesn’t require expensive/unusual equipment & only uses oven or microwave.
  • Baking will fit on the baking trays. We use supermarket value baking trays in CC. While they are smaller than the majority of baking trays you can fit 8 perfectly in a professional oven.
  • Can be made, baked and washed up in 90 min. Never underestimate how long it can take a child to make something! This also means maybe taking some steps out of the recipe. In this case I found that the dough didn’t need to be chilled to make biscuits that didn’t spread too much which is also an advantage of using butter in this recipe rather than marg.

Making these brought up some questions. Hubs insists that Gingerbread men should have icing eyes and buttons where I love them to be decorated with smarties and raisins that caramalise as they cook. The only thing that seemed to spread on these biscuits was the Gingerbread Mens’ bellies. Trust me, they weren’t as rotund when they went in the oven.

Gingerbread Men
Makes around 12 large gingerbread men
Adapted from Cookie & Biscuit Bible

350g Plain Flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1-2 tsp of ground ginger

115g unsalted butter, cubed

170g soft dark brown sugar

1 egg, beaten

2 tbsp (40g) of golden syrup

raisins and smarties for decoration

1) Preheat the oven to 180°c and cover 2 baking trays with baking parchment.

2) Rub together the flour, butter, ginger and bicarbonate of soda until it has the consistency of breadcrumbs.

3) Add the sugar egg and golden syrup. To start with, mix the dough with a wooden spoon them once it is well combined use your hands to knead the dough. At first the mixture can seem quite dry but keep kneading. It will become soft and pliable.

4) Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut out the shapes and place on baking sheet. Decorate if you want with smarties and raisins.

5) Bake for 15min until slightly risen and beginning to colour. Leave for 5 min then continue to cool on a wire rack. Store in a tin to stop them going soggy.

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About Jules

Freelance Food Geek who's passionate about food education. Lives with long-suffering Hubs and 3yo Little Baker (LB) not too far from Derby.

Posted on August 13, 2010, in baking and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Awh, they’re super cute and you’ve got me all excited for the Winter months :)

    Congrats on being so organised!

    Katie xox

  2. Brilliant – these are fantastic!

    The thought of an afternoon’s baking and munching on gingerbread people dunked in tea sounds divine.

    I think the problem of rotund bellies post baking session is universal! I challenge anyone for a solution?!

    Cx

  3. These look superb, such fun and delicious biccies. Your cc sounds wonderul, I would love to be a part of something like that. Lucie x

  4. Looks great as always, I can’t wait to try the recipe out for myself and impress a lucky lady who love gingerbread!

  5. Love those little fellas :O)
    We used to make gingerbread tree decorations for Christmas, the children used be allowed the odd one ;o) Secret is to always hang them near the top ‘ out of reach of the cats! ‘

  6. These little guys are seriously cute!

  7. How adorable – I want to eat them right away! A very Christmas treat

  8. Aww, they look so fabulous! Think the kids will have a great time making those. I’ve just stumbled across your blog for the first time coming through from Fennel and Fern and think it’s fabulous. I will definitely be back!

  9. I adore these and love their round shape! I must try the recipe as like you I have struggled to find a gingerbread recipe I like.

  10. Your CC sounds great and so much fun!

    I love these gingerbread men and how you’ve decorated them, too cute.

    Maria
    x

  11. Maria

    looks like a lovely recipe.do you think it is reasonable to cook & store them in tins this far before christmas & if sealed in cellophane,would they still make lovely edible presents-if not do you have a recipe for long lasting edible gingerbread men?
    i would be grateful for your advice.
    best wishes
    fran devonport

  12. I made these tonight, and they get a BIG thumbs up from me. I like my gingerbread on the soft side, so I rolled the pastry fairly thick and kept the baking time to a minimum. I’m also a big ginger fan (a ginger nut?!) so I went for an extra sprinkle or two.

    Oh, and I started the recipe, only to find that i had no golden syrup in the house. But no disaster – I subsituted with half honey and half maple syrup and it was perfect.

    Definitely one to keep x

  13. Just discovered your excellent site. Must try this recipe. A good gingerbread man is hard to find.

    I look forward to more ginger-based recipes.

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