Who doesn’t love a gingerbread man!!! If i’m being honest, this is the first time I have attempted making them and it will most certainly not be the last! They are so super easy to make and quite fun to decorate! You can even get your kids involved… or not? The obsessive compulsive side of me prefers the decorating to be somewhat identifiable as a gingerbread man, not a sticky mess of royal icing all over a biscuit. Besides, I find it quite therapeutic making them look so adorable!
If your kids are anything like mine, they have devoured many upon many of these cute little snacks in their short lives. Predominantly to bribe them at a coffee shop for five minutes while I foolishly attempt to finish a warm cup of coffee? OR, to get through the first few isles of the super market without them scrambling around in the trolley for something to eat every two minutes. It’s ridiculous the amount of empty packets and half eaten foods I arrive at the till with once I’ve fumbled my way around the store. The person at the check out always commenting, ‘oh, some hungry little people you have here!?’ I try my best to put on a smile but deep inside I’m a hot, flustered, stressed out, mess! Grocery shopping with my three in tow is no mean feat…feeding them constantly is the only way I get through it! Oh, the memories gingerbread men have for me and my tribe. Forget the Christmas cheer of gingerbread men in my house, we use them as a tasty tool for survival! 😉
I love this recipe as it’s not super sweet or gingery. It doesn’t use molasses or golden syrup like so many other recipes. Instead it uses maple syrup and honey which are much better sweetening alternatives. These gingerbread men actually taste delicious and are soft and easy to eat. Too often I find my kids eating off the chocolate buttons and then discarding the biscuit as it’s too crunchy or too gingery. These, I promise, are just perfect in flavour and texture. The recipe makes about twelve large gingerbread men so there will be many left over for your shopping trips or coffee stops through the week 😉
I hope you and the little (and big) kids in your life enjoy these!
- 125g unsalted butter - room temperature
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup runny honey
- 1 large egg
- 21/3 cups plain flour - sifted
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp bicarb soda
- *Royal icing* - for decorating
- 1 large egg white
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 cups icing sugar
- In an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar till fluffy. (approx 1 min)
- Add in the maple syrup, honey, cinnamon, ginger and beat till combined.
- Add the egg while beating on a low speed till combined.
- In a large bowl, add the sifted flour, bicarb soda and salt. Whisk it to combine well.
- Turn the mixer on low speed and slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture till combined.
- Turn out the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and mould it together with your hands into a round disk shape.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about 2 hours, or until firm.
- When the dough is firm, heat the oven to 180℃ and line two baking trays with baking paper.
- Roll out the biscuit dough on a lightly floured surface to your prefered thickness. Mine are about 2-3mm thick.
- Cut out the gingerbread man shape with a cookie cutter. OR, use any cutter shape you choose.
- You can use the remaining off-cuts to roll and cut out more biscuits. Make sure the dough is not handled or heated too much. Preferably you should return it to the fridge for 10 minutes before you roll out the off-cut dough.
- Place the biscuits on the baking tray and into the oven. Bake for about 13 minutes or until golden brown and to your liking.
- Remove the biscuits from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack before decorating them.
- To make the royal icing, whisk together the egg white and the lemon juice for 15 seconds. Add the mixture to the icing sugar and mix till well combined. Place the mixture in a piping bag with a very small hole on the tip to get the best results for piping. The icing will set once exposed to air.