Sunday, January 5, 2014

Gingerbread Men

It has been a windy, rainy and generally miserable weekend weather wise here.

I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned to the universe that this is all back to front and t's actually supposed to be Summer?

Oh well, days like this are perfect for some weekend baking and so far today I've made pineapple cupcakes with coconut and vanilla frosting, cheese puffs and gingerbread men. I've posted plenty of pictures of the gingerbread men I've made before but I have never posted the actual recipe for some reason.

These are so easy to make and heaps of fun - if you have kids (or a Husband!) get them involved in cutting out the figures and decorating them!

Gingerbread Men - Makes 20-30 depending on the size of your cutters

125g butter
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup golden syrup
3 cups plain flour
2 tspns ground ginger
2 tspns ground cinnamon
1/2 tspn allspice
2 tspns bicarb soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tspn vanilla essence

Pre-heat oven to 180C / 160C fan-forced. Grease and line oven trays.

Combine the butter, golden syrup and brown sugar. Heat in a microwave safe bowl / jug for 60 seconds or until butter is melted. Stir to combine and allow to cool for 5 mins.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, spices and bicarb. Add the butter mixture, egg and vanilla. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined.

Divide the dough in half and knead each portion on a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to 5mm thickness.

Now use your gingerbread man cutter or whatever biscuit cutters you have to cut out shapes and place them on your oven trays.

Bake for about 10 mins or until golden brown. We like our gingerbread men soft so I tend to pull them out right on the 10 minute mark. Allow to cool, and firm up, on trays before removing to a wire rack. 

Decorate with royal icing.

Until today I have generally avoided royal icing but due to a lack of ingredients in the cupboard, it was my only option. I was a bit worried about the whole raw egg white in this icing, but once I made it I was sold, it was so easy to use and set firm so I could stack the biscuits up in a container.

Royal Icing

1 egg white
1 cup icing sugar
food colourings if using

Using an electric mixer, beat the egg white in a small bowl until just frothy.

Gradually add the sifted icing sugar and beat until sift peaks form. You can also tint the icing with food colouring if you want to but on this occasion I chose to stick with plain white.

Now all that's left to do is sit down with a cup of tea and a freshly baked gingerbread man / zombie / sheep and enjoy!!

Mrs B xx

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