Farmersgirl Kitchen

Sweet Gingerbread Men

Sweet Gingerbread Men - a perfect homemade holiday treat

I’ve been baking Sweet Gingerbread Men for as long as I can remember, it’s a bit of a family tradition both my mum and her mum made gingerbread men around Christmas time.  I still have my gran’s original Gingerbread Man cutter which she gave me when she stopped baking.

My Gran's original large Gingerbread Man cutter and the mini Sweet Gingerbread Men cutter

These days I find that the large gingerbread men are just too much for us to eat, so I managed to source a mini cutter which makes the perfect Sweet Gingerbread Men and whenever I make Gingerbread Men I think of the song made famous by Sammy Davis Jnr. 

“Feel like I’m made out of gingerbread
Uh huh (uh huh) uh huh (uh huh)
Crumb pickin’ lip lickin’ gingerbread
Uh huh (uh huh) uh huh (uh huh)
Can’t think about rainy weather now
I’ve finally got myself together now
Fresh out of the pan sweet gingerbread man
Fresh out of the pan sweet gingerbread man”

Sweet Gingerbread Man – music by Michel Legrand, Lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman

Sweet Gingerbread Men are simple to make you just need a few tools

The mixture for making the Sweet Gingerbread Men is straightforward to prepare, however, when rolling out the dough I would recommend cutting it into four pieces and working with one piece at a time.  You can re-roll the dough but, it does become harder to work as it cools.  I use fondant icing tools to mark out the buttons and eyes, I was particularly pleased to find a tool that is a ‘C’ shape and makes a lovely smile for the little characters. 

 

a tray of sweet gingerbread men ready for the oven

I roll my dough onto a piece of baking parchment as it is very sticky and will stick to your work surface.  Be careful when lifting the cutouts onto the baking tray, also lined with baking parchment, because they can distort.  Add the features after you have transferred the shapes to the baking tray.  Keep the dough pieces apart as they will spread a little. 

As well as Sweet gingerbread men you can make other shapes, like these mittens

You don’t have to stick to Gingerbread men shapes, if you have other cutters, you can make any shape you like.  I made Gingerbread Mittens, I was rather pleased with the ‘knitted’ rib cuff for my mittens!

Recipe for Sweet Gingerbread Men

 

Sweet Gingerbread Men
Yields 20
Crunchy gingerbread biscuits (cookies) cut in the shape of little people.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 tbsp Golden Syrup
  2. 100g (4oz) butter
  3. 225g (8oz) soft light brown sugar
  4. 1 egg beaten
  5. 450g (1lb) plain flour
  6. 1 tbsp ground ginger
  7. 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Instructions
  1. Place syrup, butter and sugar in a large saucepan. Heat gently until melted.
  2. Remove saucepan from heat leave for 5 minutes to cool slightly, add the egg and sift the flour ginger and bicarbonate of soda on to the syrup mixture.
  3. Beat with a wooden spoon until well mixed and smooth ball.
  4. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes or until mixture is cool enough to handle, then transfer mixture to work surface and knead lightly.
  5. Roll out out thinly and cut out the gingerbread men with a cutter.
  6. Reroll the trimmings and cut more figures.
  7. Place shapes on to baking sheets covered with baking parchment.
  8. Mark the eyes, mouth and buttons with a small knife (see notes for my tips)
  9. Cook at 180C, 350F, Gas 4 for 10 minutes
  10. Remove from the oven, and leave on the trays for a few minutes until the biscuits firm then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
  1. If you roll the dough and cut out directly onto the baking parchment it is less likely to stick
  2. I use cake decorating tools to mark the features on the gingerbread men
  3. You can store the biscuits in an air tight tin or plastic box for about a month, but they also freeze well and you can keep them for 3 months. You may need to refresh them in a hot oven for a couple of minutes to make them crisp again.
Farmersgirl Kitchen https://farmersgirlkitchen.co.uk/
Homemade Sweet Gingerbread Men Cookies will delight young and old alike - here's my family recipe

 

I have a word of warning for you…if you make these Sweet Gingerbread Men once, you will be expected to make them every year, until you can pass on the mantle to the next generation. 

A pile of homemade  Sweet Gingerbread Men

 

What are your Christmas baking traditions? 

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Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Phil in the Kitchen
    December 14, 2015

    I’m feeling very nostalgic – I don’t think I’ve eaten a gingerbread man since … well, I can’t actually remember. That’s a lovely traditional bake. I’m jealous of your family baking traditions. I can’t claim to have any of those although for the last 10 years or so I’ve made biscotti at this time of year. (That’s more to do with my love of dessert wine than any tradition, though).
    Phil in the Kitchen recently posted…Turkey with Beer and JuniperMy Profile

    • Leave a Reply

      Janice Pattie
      December 19, 2015

      Aw, thanks Phil. Nice to hear that you are starting your own tradition.

    • Leave a Reply

      Janice Pattie
      December 19, 2015

      Thanks Caroline, they will soon be eaten when my family arrive for Christmas!

  2. Leave a Reply

    Sammie
    December 7, 2016

    Ooh I love here sweet Gingerbread men. I haven’t actually got round to baking gingerbread yet this year so have Pinned ready to make.
    Sammie recently posted…Cherry Bakewell Soda BreadMy Profile

    • Leave a Reply

      Janice Pattie
      December 7, 2016

      Thanks Sammie, I’m sure you will enjoy making and eating them!

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