Spiced gingerbread men. Decorated with an easy royal icing. These biscuits make a cute festive bake the whole family will enjoy making and eating! Homemade gingerbread men are the taste of Christmas!
I couldn’t let the festive season pass and not post a gingerbread biscuit recipe on the blog! I’ve been making this gingerbread biscuit recipe for many years now and it has never let me down. The biscuits perfectly crisp and golden on the outside, yet soft and chewy in the centre. They have the perfect combination of spices and are utterly delicious dunked into a cup of coffee or hot chocolate!
My gingerbread dough is made from just a handful of ingredients and it’s an absolute breeze to make. Start by creaming softened butter and dark brown sugar until light and fluffy. Then add one egg to the mix along with a few tablespoons of golden syrup. Finally toss together flour, bicarb and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the wet whilst the mixer is running and continue to mix until a soft and slightly sticky dough forms.
I’ve added a mixture of ground cinnamon and ginger to the dough and there is just enough flavour from the spices without being overwhelming. I’ve also used golden syrup in place of molasses, but if you cannot get your hands on golden syrup wherever you live you can substitute the syrup for black treacle or molasses.
Once the dough is chilled you’re then good to go and start rolling it out. Roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper. This way you don’t add any extra flour to the dough and it’s not as messy! 😉
Cut the gingerbread men out and then evenly spread out onto 2-3 large baking trays and bake until golden. Baking time will depend on the cutters you use. I used a 4-inch gingerbread man cutter and this batch of gingerbread biscuits were in the oven for approx. 10-12 minutes. But baking time will differ by a few minutes either side depending on the size of your cutter and how thick you roll the dough.
The best part comes next, the decoration! I decorated my gingerbread men with royal icing. You can tint the icing with food colouring and pipe cute decorations onto each biscuit. Top with chocolates, sweets or festive sprinkles. They’re slightly crisp on outside then as you bite into the biscuit you will discover the divine chewy centre.
125g unsalted butter, softened
175g dark brown sugar (you can also use light brown)
1 large free-range egg (I use British Lion Eggs)
4 tablespoons golden syrup or molasses (not blackstrap)
350g plain flour (all-purpose)
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
227g (8 ounces) icing sugar
2 teaspoons egg white powder
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3-5 tablespoons cold water
Food colouring (optional)
- To make the dough: Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and golden syrup and mix until combined. In a small bowl toss together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon. Add the dry mixture to the wet and mix until a soft and sticky dough forms. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and leave to chill the fridge for at least 15 minutes. Note: I left mine in the fridge overnight then allowed it to sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before rolling out.
- Once the dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 160 Fan / 180 C. Line 2-3 large baking trays with parchment paper or silicone mats. Roll the dough out between two pieces of parchment paper or on a lightly floured work surface until it’s 1/4 inch / 0.5cm thick.
- Cut out the gingerbread men shapes and spread out evenly on the lined baking trays. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden. Leave to cool on the baking trays for 10 minutes, then carefully transport to a wire rack.
- To make the royal icing: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the icing sugar, egg white powder, cream of tartar and 3 tablespoons of cold water. Beat for 5 minutes until thick and glossy. Add the additional 2 tablespoons of water until you reach your preferred consistency.
- Decorate the gingerbread men as desired with the icing. Leave the icing to set for about 30 minutes before eating. Gingerbread men will keep in an airtight container for up to up to 1 week.
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