16 December 2013

Plate Up. Gingerbread Men

Have a holly jolly Christmas, it's the best time of the year!

Here's the perfect recipe to spread some Christmas cheer this season. I made up this batch to take into work and my little gingerbread men were met with plenty of smiles and ooh's and aah's. These little guys are such a great holiday tradition and I love that fact that you can cut and decorate them however you like. I made a mixture of men and Christmas trees and decorated them with piped icing and smarties.

What you'll need
125g butter, room temperature
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 golden syrup1 egg, separated
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
150g icing sugar
Smarties to decorate

What to do
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line and grease two baking trays. Use an electric beater to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the golden syrup and egg yolk and beat until combined. Stir in the sifted flour, ginger, mixed spice and bi-carb. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Press dough into a disc and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest.

Meanwhile place the egg white in a clean, dry bowl. Use an electric beat to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the icing sugar and beat again until stiff peaks form. Make sure you take your time here otherwise your icing will be too runny. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.

Place the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll out until nice and thin (about 4mm). Use a 9cm gingerbread cutter and any other shapes you like to cut out the dough. Place on the trays and repeat with any excess dough. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Place your icing into a piping bag and draw on your faces. You can even do some clothes if you're feeling especially daring. Use dollops of icing to stick on the smartie buttons. Don't worry if the icing appears runny at first, it will set so just leave it to 'dry'.

Photos by Krissie.