Best ever gingerbread men

It is the season for gingerbread men according to Chris’s mum… I didn’t know this. But normally she presents us with a box around now. Unfortunately this year she couldn’t be bothered to make any, but I had planned to do some anyway. Finally went and bought the ingredients for these today, because I was going to see my mum and dad and figured it would be better to enjoy baking them and then take the majority to them, therefore not having to also eat them and spoil my diet (we kept one each for tomorrow, and had one today. Life isn’t totally joyless here!) panther was great at these. Got her involved in the mixing stage, and now she is older (nearly 3) I was able to let her stand near me whilst doing the bit on the hob. I even got her to put her hand over the saucepan to feel the heat. The best bit was when it came to the cutting out. Although the original good food recipe (double ginger gingerbread men) didn’t do it this way, we put the eyes etc on before they went in the oven. It means some of the raisins blow up, and a few fall off, but I find it easier doing it this way than messing about with icing to stick them down after. We had a production line with me cutting and her making the faces, which she could do perfectly after I’d done one to show her (we used raisins for the eyes and buttons, and a quarter of a cherry for the mouth) she found it easier to do when she placed the mouth first as she could put the eyes etc in the right place in relation to it. We will be making these again for Christmas, if not before as they are delicious. They would be fine in freezer too I think.

140g butter substitute
100g dark muscovado sugar
3 tbsp golden syrup (does anyone else have trouble measuring this? But it worked anyway!)
350g plain flour
1 tsp bicarb
2 tbsp ground ginger (let panther just shake this in so they were very gingery!)
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 balls of stem ginger (ie. the jarred stuff… I used 3 as that’s what was left in the jar)

Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a pan on the hob
Mix the dry ingredients together and pour the melted butter etc in
Chop the stem ginger as finely as you can (for me this was not very finely) and add it to the mix
Stir it all together to form a dough, which should be quite stiff
Roll out the dough, cut out your gingerbread men and add your faces (makes about 12)
Bake for 12 mins at 200

When rolling out the dough you don’t actually need as much flour as you might expect. I used too much so my dough then got too dry. I rolled it out twice then just shaped the rest into round biscuits as it was too dry to roll again. It was a very good dough to work with and hardly made any mess at all. The biscuits are very gingery but enjoyed by all I’ve given them to so far.

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