Nanny Anita set to making these traditional gingerbread cookies last week, but wanted to give it a bit of a twist. She and my children selected a few favourite cookie cutters and made them out of different characters instead of the traditional ginger bread man.
As long as you have some bits to decorate the gingerbread with, you can make these cookies any shape you want.
30 mins to 1 hour
10 to 30 mins
- 350g/12oz plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 125g/4½oz butter
- 175g/6oz light soft brown sugar
- 1 free-range egg
- 4 tbsp golden syrup
- Icing, cake decorations
- Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon and pour into the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and blend until the mix looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.
- Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together, add to the food processor and pulse until the mixture clumps together. Tip the dough out, knead briefly until smooth, wrap in clingfim and leave to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
- Roll the dough out to a 0.5cm/¼in thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using cutters, cut out the gingerbread men shapes and place on the baking tray, leaving a gap between them.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown. Leave on the tray for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling. When cooled decorate with icing and cake decorations
The traditional way to make Royal Icing is to beat egg whites and lemon juice together, adding the powdered sugar until the mixture holds stiff peaks. With modern concerns about salmonella from raw eggs, you can either use powdered egg whites or heat the egg whites first to kill any bacteria. With the heating method, mix the egg white and lemon juice with a third of the sugar, heat in a microwave until the mixture’s temperature is 160°F. Then remove from microwave, and beat in the remaining sugar until stiff peaks form. Using the powdered egg whites method, combine 1 Tbsp egg white powder with 2 Tbsp water. Proceed as you would otherwise. (Raw egg white alternatives from the 2006 Joy of Cooking)
If the icing is too runny, add more powdered sugar until you get the desired consistency. Fill a piping bag with the icing to pipe out into different shapes. (Or use a plastic sandwich bag, with the tip of one corner of the bag cut off.) Keep the icing covered while you work with it or it will dry out.