Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Baking Gingerbread Men

 So readers, I’m more of a cake maker than a biscuit baker, I discovered this weekend.

I took a notion for Gingerbread Men on Saturday and decided to give them a go.  “How hard can it be?” I said to myself.  Turns out more difficult than I envisaged… 

I used a BBC Good Food recipe, which I think would have worked no problem if I’d had a bigger food processor – my little one couldn’t handle the amount of crumb I was trying to make.  I had to stop halfway and go back to the hand done method. 

Then, my dough was soft, I rolled it too thick… put the gingerbread men too close together… and ended up with obese gingerbread people.  

At least it was a learning curve. Some ended up more like Gingerbread Cookie People, which according to Mr What Claire Baked were really tasty, but just not the look I was going for.

Anyway, next time, I’ll do the following…
  1. Make my biscuit crumb by hand
  2. Use a little less golden syrup so the mixture isn’t so wet
  3. Use a little more flour to set the dough
  4. Roll the dough thinner to make more of a biscuit
  5. Spread the gingerbread men out further on the tray

Gingerbread Men

You can view the recipe here: or view my recipe breakdown below.

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
Writing Icing to decorate

Lay out all your ingredients before starting. Spot the small food processor.


1. 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.  If you don’t have a food processor, use your hands to bring the butter and flour until it’s breadcrumbs and then mix in the flour.
Prepping the dry ingredients

2.Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together, add to the food processor (or bowl) and pulse/stir until the mixture clumps together. Tip the dough out, knead briefly until smooth, wrap in clingfilm and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
Dough prepped and ready to be wrapped in Clingfilm
3. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line several baking trays with greaseproof paper.

4. Roll the dough out to a 0.5cm/¼in thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using person shaped cutters, cut out the gingerbread men shapes and place on the baking tray, leaving a good 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 the writing icing and give each one its own personality.

One of the more successful people!

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