Sunday, 24 July 2011

Gingerbread Men


Gingerbread men are one of the first bakes I remember making. Rolling out the dough, cutting out the shapes, nose pressed to the oven door whilst they bake. The best bit was always that first bite, I always went for the head!  Through-out the years gingerbread men have remained a classic bake and never seem to lose their nostalgic appeal.

You’ll always find many different recipes for gingerbread men, but what I love about this one is it never fails, I usually always have the ingredients for them and they take no time at all! You can eat them as they are or if you want to make them extra special they’re a blank canvas for you to decorate however you like, what’s not to love! So give them a go!





Gingerbread Men

Ingredients

350g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
140g unsalted butter
100g dark muscovado sugar
3 tbsp golden syrup

Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5 and line 2-3 baking sheets with baking paper.

In a large bowl sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, spices and a pinch of salt and mix well. Make a well in the centre and leave to one side.

Place a saucepan over a low heat and gently melt the butter, sugar and syrup. When melted leave to one side for a few minutes then pour in with the dry ingredients.

Using a wooden spoon beat the mixture onto a dough, knead lightly with your hands and leave until the dough is cool to the touch.

Lightly dust a surface and rolling pin with flour and roll out dough to about 5mm thick. Using a gingerbread man cutter stamp out the shapes, re-rolling and pressing the trimmings back together to press out 10-12 shapes.

Carefully lay the gingerbread men onto the prepared baking trays. Use the flat end of a wooden skewer to press in eyes and buttons on each gingerbread man and the sharper end to carve a smile.

Bake in the oven for 12 minutes until golden. Cool on the sheets for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. The gingerbread men will keep up to 1 week in an airtight container (if you can wait that long!).

Belle’s Top Tip
These gingerbread men are a great bake to keep kids occupied. When ready lay out bowls of different coloured icing, edible glitter, Smarties, silver balls etc and let them decorate them however they fancy!  You can also customise them for a special occasion, blue or pink decorations for a baby shower for example.