My family hasn't exactly made gingerbread men cos it's just so fiddly to get the gingerbread man into the oven whole. Yes, you heard me right. More often than not we end up with his body bits baking separately. And that just wouldn't do!
But as a nanny, how could I not have a Christmas craft of decorating gingerbread men??!! That'd be appalling. So I set my heart to find the recipe that was thick enough it'd withstand all the candy the girls could pile on top, but yummy enough that the adults would love it too. And I struck gold! Well, more like ginger.
One of the girls I've been caring for has a severe peanut allergy and most soft gingerbread cookie recipes called for molasses. Now molasses ain't cheap so I wanted to use mine but just couldn't be sure that there wasn't a trace of peanuts. Instead I found a substitute of golden syrup which ended up being honey from the cupboard which I knew the girls could have. Phew.
Even then, I was watching her closely as she handled the cookies, looking for any hint of an allergic reaction. Sticky business. (heh)
So, this recipe was the grand finale to my crafts with the girls and I'm so pleased it was gratefully received. The girls were especially happy with the decorations which were Smarties, Sugar Pearls, Edible Shimmery Sugar, and coloured royal icing. As expected, they ended up eating quite a bit of the decorations on their own and probably went on a sugar high. Honestly, it's Christmas so I wasn't going to crack down on them. I did warn them that the more they ate, the less they'd have to use on the cookies.
Okay okay… here's the recipe adapted from All Recipes UK.
- 350g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp double acting baking powder
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 115g butter softened and cubed
- 175g brown sugar
- 4 tbsp honey or light golden syrup
- 1 egg
- In a large bowl sieve the flour, baking powder and ginger and mix with a whisk
- Throw in the cubes of butter and use hands to work it until it resembles crumble
- Mix in the brown sugar
- In a small bowl whisk the syrup & egg until slightly frothy
- Create a well in the dry mixture and pour in the syrup & egg
- Using hands, mix & knead the mixture until it forms a ball and the bowl is pretty clean
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees C and prepare for a rack to be placed in the middle of the oven
- In between Silpats/Parchment Paper, roll out some of the dough to about 1/4" thick and cut with desired cookie cutters
- Place raw cookies on a lined baking tray with about an inch between each cookie
- Bake in oven for 10mins and remove to cool on tray for about 5mins and then onto wire rack until room temp.
- Decorate as desired and store in an airtight container
I used water & icing sugar to make a simple mixture of royal icing that would harden making stacking easy.
|The prep & the results!|
|Christmas Mobile, Nativity Stain-glass, & Snowglobe|
|Hand painted Salt Dough Ornaments|
All this fun! :D