When the weather is this wet and cold, I don’t need an excuse to fire up the oven. So when the little man asked if we could make gingerbread men as our Sunday activity, he didn’t really need to sell it to me.
And who wants to go shopping for ingredients when it’s pelting down?
Here’s a simple recipe from Waitrose that mostly uses stuff you would have in the store cupboard.
I adapted it further – see my notes toward the end. I’m really not a fan of rushing out to buy ingredients that would sit in the larder until well past their expiry date.
100 grams unsalted butter, softened
100 grams light muscovado sugar
1 .5 – 2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons crystallised ginger (blended to a paste)
250 grams flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon mixed spice
a generous pinch of salt
Optional, for decorating:
2-3 tablespoons of melted chocolate
1. Grease and line a baking tray or cookie sheet. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C or Gas 4.
2. In a pan, heat the sugar, butter and honey until well combined into a thick syrup. Add the paste of crystallised ginger and mix well.
3. Separately, mix all the dry ingredients with a fork, airing the flour well.
4. Pour the syrup into the dry ingredients and mix well till it forms a stiff dough. Knead with your hands to make it pliable.
5. Roll the dough out between 2 sheets of parchment paper to 5 mm thickness. Cut the gingerbread men using a cookie cutter. Peel away the extra bits to leave just the gingerbread men silhouettes. Leave them for 5 minutes or so before you carefully transfer them to the pre-greased baking trays with the help of a butter knife.
6. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
7. Cool the gingerbread men for about 20-30 minutes.
8. Go to town with your decorations.
And while your gingerbread men are getting ready, why not take your mind off the wait? Check out how well you know the story by taking The Gingerbread Man quiz.
1. The original recipe is for Gingerbread Christmas trees from the November 2014 issue of Waitrose Kitchen.
2. I have used 1.5 tbsp of honey in place of 3 tbsp golden syrup.
3. I used crystallised ginger that I had (6-7 cubes blended to a paste) instead of the ground ginger. It gives the cookies a heady kick of ginger.
4. Oven temperatures vary. Check your gingerbread men after about 8-10 minutes. I followed the original times (10-15 minutes) and my first batch was more tanned than the second. See pic below.