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Gingerbread Men

Makes approx 24 5" men, 50 3"

340 g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarb
1 heaped tsp ground ginger
1 heaped tsp ground mixed spice
120 g butter
170 g light soft brown sugar
30g golden syrup
40g maple syrup
1 large egg, beaten.
1 heaped tbsp finely processed crystallised ginger

Oven at gas 5/190c

Sift together flour, bicarb, and spices. Rub in the butter, then stir in the sugar and crystallised ginger. Beat the syrup and egg together (if it helps, pop the syrup tin in a bowl of hot water to soften before weighing it out) and stir into the dry ingredients to form a soft dough.

Thinly roll out some of the dough onto a floured surface - about the thickness of a £1 coin - and stamp out shapes. Put shapes well spread out onto a sheet of baking parchment and put in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.

Take out of the fridge and put into the oven for 15-20 minutes. While that batch is baking you can gather the offcuts, re-roll and stamp, and put that batch into the fridge to chill. If you use two baking sheets - one for cold, one for hot - and just transfer the baking parchment you can have quite a production line going!

Cool on a rack, and when cold pop into airtight boxes, where they should keep crispy for about a week. Don't leave them overnight to cool, though - they'll go soggy.


...Awaiting decor



To read the full story behind the creation of the Gingerbread Army above, sneak on over to  Mike's Baking Alphabet.

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