These are seriously cute and addictive! I make these all the time (and sneak bits of the extra stuff!)and give them as gifts especially for easter and Christmas. Great to make with kids as well as they'll have a ball decorating them...I know i do! You don't have to use the chocolate icing, I just find that the flavour matches well with the cookie and provides a great base to stick the decorations too as it sets well. The number of men it makes is just a guess and will vary with different sized cookie cutters.
- 125 g butter
- 1⁄2 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 1⁄2 cups plain flour
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 3 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 1⁄2 tablespoons golden syrup
- 1 1⁄2 cups icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa
- 1 teaspoon butter, melted
- 1⁄4 cup warm water
- candy, to decorate (i.e. marshmallows, chocolate sprinkles, 100's and 1000's, gummy lollies, m and m's etc)
- pre-made coloured icing (you can make your own coloured icing to draw features on if you please...I just find it easier to bu)
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and beat well.
- Gradually stir in sifted flour and bicarb soda, ground ginger and golden syrup - mix well.
- Knead the dough lightly before dividing into four sections.
- Lightly dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour to prevent any stickiness. Roll each portion to a thickness of about 5 mm.
- Cut dough into people shapes using a cookie cutter.
- Place men/women on a lined baking tray and bake for approximately 10 minutes (they will harden somewhat upon cooling). Allow gingerbread people to cool completely before icing and decorating like crazy!
- ICING: Sift icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl and add the butter. Add the water one tablespoon at a time until you reach a consistency that's runny enough to spread but at the same time won't be so runny that it won't set. On the cookies it should set after a few minutes, and will then completely harden after an hour or so. If it hasn't set somewhat after a couple of minutes your icing is probably a bit too runny; if this is the case just sift in a little more icing sugar.
- DECORATING and VARIATIONS: Go crazy decorating, things like musk sticks, smarties, freckles, 100's and 1000's, choc bits and marshmallows are great lollies to use. Don't hesitate to try other shapes as well, you can use extra dough to add extra features to the men (I've made a pirate before!). Animals are also great (sheep are pretty fun and you can decorate with marshmallows!).
- Have fun!