This recipe is ideal for making with children because there’s no grappling with hot sugar and the mixture can all be made in one bowl. It is also very forgiving of haphazard measuring, as robust testing in many school baking classes and toddler groups has shown.
- 75g unsalted butter softened
- 150g soft light brown sugar
- 350g plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 4 tbsp golden syrup or honey
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- currants, raisins or Smarties®, to decorate
You will also need: Gingerbread man-shaped metal cutter
Cream the butter and the sugar.Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger and stirwell.
Measure the golden syrup or honey into a small microwaveable bowl and warm in the microwave until runny.Combine with the beaten egg, then add to the flour mixture and mix well.
Mix in the orange juice a little at a time until a dough forms. Shape it into a flat disc, wrap tightly in cling film and chill for anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 days. If you like, the dough can be frozen at this point for future use. It will need about 3 hours to defrost at room temperature before you can roll it out.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Mark 4 and line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface and stamp out gingerbread men. Place them on the prepared trays, spacing them at least 3cm apart, and chill for at least another 15 minutes. Decorate the gingerbread men with currants, raisins or Smarties® before baking if you like an old-fashioned caramelised taste, or press them in as soon as the biscuits come out of the oven. Alternatively,wait until the biscuits are completely cold and stick the decorations on with a tiny bit of melted chocolate or icing.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the biscuits are dry on top and slightly darker than when they went in the oven. Allow to cool on their trays for about 10 minutes, then use a palette knife to transfer them carefully to a wire rack. They will harden as they cool.
Join Miranda Gore-Browne as she reads the story of The Gingerbread Man here: