It may be a little sadistic, but I rather enjoy torturing gingerbread men by dunking their heads in a mug of coffee or hot chocolate, then watching their icing faces melt away as they realise the true horror of their predicament. It is probably on par with lining up gummi bears and tearing the head off one while the others watch on. Playing with your food is acceptable!
Ok, so the compliments I received for my gingerbread cookies have spurred me to pop the recipe up for everyone to try out.
You will need the following for ~50 cookies
- 250g butter, at room temperature
- 200g sugar
- 1/2 - 1 cup golden syrup
- 2 eggs, separated
- 4 cups plain flour
- 2 tbs ground ginger
- 1-2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- additional flour for rolling dough
(2) In a separate bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and bicarb. Gradually add to the syrup mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon. The mixture should become dough-like and will leave the bowl easily without sticking.
(3) Lightly flour a clean surface and place dough, knead it until it's smooth (don't clean the floured surface, you'll use it again). Roll into a ball, flatten to make a disc and wrap in clingwrap. Place in fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
- 200g icing sugar
- food colouring (red and green)
- egg whites left from gingerbread recipe
(5) Collect the dough from fridge, and add more flour to surface if necessary. Roll dough to .5cm (5mm) thickness and use shaped cookie cutters for desired effect. (I found that taking 1/4 of the dough at a time and rolling it was easier and less messy).
(6) Place cut-out cookies on baking paper in 2 trays (I had to use 3), spacing them about 2-3cm apart (otherwise you end up with a MONSTROSITY). Pop in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until they're browned considerably. Take them out at 10 mins and they'll be soft cookies, leave them in a little longer and they'll be a little softer than gingersnaps. Leave on a rack to cool.
(7) Spoon icing into a piping bag (or if you're a genious, get a ziplock bag, spoon into a corner, twist the bag to seal the icing in and carefully snip the corner). Decorate!!