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World on your Plate: Gingerbread Man from England

Gingerbread man


 Run, run, as fast as you can, you can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!

According to the popular fable, the gingerbread man runs away from the old woman who baked him and ends up getting eaten by a fox. Odd fairytale aside, this little treat is an iconic Christmas snack across the world. The great thing about this delicious sweet is that it makes for a fun baking session, especially if you have children to help you decorate. You can make the gingerbread in various shapes like Christmas trees, hearts, stars or, if you have a lot of time at hand, an elaborate house. But the gingerbread man is, perhaps, the cutest form in which to enjoy this festive fare.

 Makes 12 big gingerbread men

140g unsalted butter

100g dark muscovado sugar/ brown sugar

3 tbsp golden syrup (or use honey or maple syrup)

350g flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

4 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Salt to taste

50g icing sugar

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 2000C/ 1800C fan/ gas 6. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a pan. Mix the flour, soda, ginger, cinnamon and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Stir in the syrup solution to make a semi-stiff dough. Use a splash of water to bind.
  3. Roll out dough to about 5mm thickness. Stamp out gingerbread men, re-rolling and pressing the trimmings back together
  4. and rolling again.
  5. Place these onto baking sheets. Bake for 12 minutes until golden. Allow to cool.
  6. To decorate, mix icing sugar with a few drops of water until thick and smooth. Spoon icing into a piping bag, and make eyes and buttons, and a tiny smile onto a gingerbread man.
  7. Leave to set.

You can store the gingerbread men in an airtight tin for up to one week.