Ok, I’m going to start by saying something quite controversial. I know I love baking, but I hate 90 per cent of all Christmas inspired desserts. Pudding, trifle, mince pies? Nuh-uh. They’ve never done it for me, so apologies in advance – none of the aforementioned will be making an appearance in The Leopard Print Baker.
(In fact, if you do like Christmas pudding do get in touch as I’ve never actually found someone who does!)
For me, this time of year is all about gingerbread and chocolate. When I was small, I used to make biscuits with my mum, so it seemed apt to share my version of Gingerbread People as my first festive recipe for the blog.
If you have a party coming up whether it’s a family do, a friend’s gathering, or the office Christmas party, decorating the Gingerbread People is a great activity for kids and big kids too as demonstrated by me and my boyfriend!
Please note, you’ll most definitely need a few cookie cutters before starting this one.
- 350g/12 oz plain flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 2 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 125g/4 oz butter
- 175g/6 oz light brown sugar
- 1 free range egg
- 4 teaspoons of golden syrup
- Writing icing and or sweets/cake decorations of your choice
Mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon and pour into the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and blend until the mix looks like breadcrumbs. You might want to use a blender, I usually use my hands to do this – it’s much easier! Then stir in the sugar.
Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together, and stir until the dough starts to come together. Bring the dough together with your hands and knead it until it’s smooth. If it starts to crumble add a teeny bit of flour. Wrap it in clingfim and leave to chill in the fridge for about 15/20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper. If you only have one tray like me, you can just do two rounds of baking.
Roll the dough out to a 0.5cm/ 1/4 inch in thickness on a lightly floured surface. Don’t make the mistake of making the dough to thick or your people will rise and look like the incredible hulk when they come out of the oven. That legitimately happened to me first time I tried this recipe.
Using cutters, cut out the gingerbread men shapes and place on the baking tray, leaving a gap between them.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown. Bring them out of the oven and Leave on the tray for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Now here comes the fun part – the decorating! I usually go with writing icing but you can always add sweets or decorations of your own. Warning – be very careful if you do use writing icing, or you will end up with a very smudgy Gingerbread Person, just like my boyfriend’s creation!