Gingerbread Men

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Gingerbread Men

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Gingerbread men are popular for a reason. Fun to make, sweet, a little spicy, and cute as a chocolate button! This dough is prepared in a food processor and comes together very quickly. Decorate with royal icing, Smarties, Jelly Tots, sprinkles, or whatever else you fancy! These make great gifts.

Ingredients

  • 325g plain flour
  • 150g soft dark brown sugar
  • 115g unsalted butter, softened & cubed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 large egg
  • 90g golden syrup
  • To decorate
  • 4-5 heaped tbsp Royal icing powder
  • Warm water
  • Few drops vanilla
  • Smarties, Jelly Tots, etc. (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place flour, sugar, butter, and other dry ingredients into a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and blitz until mix resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the egg and syrup then blitz until the mixture starts to come together into a dough. Tip dough out onto a clean surface and knead lightly until smooth. Tip: The dough will be sticky, don’t add any flour as this will make the biscuits very dry and tough once baked.
  3. Divide into two pieces and flatten each into a thick disc, then wrap each piece in parchment paper and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 160°C / 140°C fan assisted and line a few baking trays with parchment paper.
  5. Roll out once piece of dough between two pieces of parchment paper with a rolling pin. Tip: Peel the dough away from the parchment from time to time to make sure there aren’t any wrinkles being pressed into the dough.
  6. Once dough is about 5mm thick, peel away top piece of parchment, then gently peel dough off the bottom piece of parchment and lay it back on the bottom piece of parchment, this will make it easier to remove the stamped-out shapes.
  7. Use a gingerbread man cookie cutter to stamp out shapes then transfer the shapes to the prepared baking trays, make sure there are at least 2cm gaps between each biscuit as they will expand when baking.
  8. Once the tray is full, place it in the freezer.
  9. Bring the scraps of dough back together then re-roll and cut out more shapes, transferring them to another baking sheet. Place full trays in the freezer. The cookies will hold their shape better while baking if left to freeze for 30 minutes, but you can also bake after 10 minutes of chilling, though they will expand more.
  10. Repeat with the scraps and the second piece of chilled dough until you’ve used all the dough. Tip: If you are limited on freezer space or baking trays, only do as much as you can, leaving the remaining dough in the fridge.
  11. Bake in batches until biscuits are golden and are mostly firm to the touch in the centre, 13-15 minutes.
  12. Leave biscuits to cool on the baking trays for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. (Leave trays to cool completely before using again to bake the rest of the dough.)
  13. To decorate, add 2 tbsp warm water and the vanilla to the royal icing powder in a small bowl and mix well with a fork or small sturdy whisk. Add more water, 1 tsp at a time, until you reach a writing consistency (the icing should flow very slowly like cold treacle, but drizzled lines should hold their shape without too much spreading).
  14. Transfer royal icing to a piping bag fitted with a small plain icing tip (alternatively, use the corner of a freezer bag, then trim off just the tip of the bag when you’re ready to decorate.)
  15. Decorate the gingerbread men with the royal icing any way you like, and if using, stick on sweets with dabs of icing.
  16. Leave until icing is set.
  17. Store gingerbread men in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
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