I went on a random but lovely jaunt to some out of the way interiors shop with ma and Daithi. Daithi was unnervingly well behaved, helped by a small plastic box of raisins, jelly tots and breadsticks and a very random activity cube we found in the lighting shop. To reward such admirable behaviour he was given a gingerbread man when we went for tea.
He didn’t finish it.
I foolishly let him bring it home with him.
I knew I should have disposed of the corpse.
Needless to say, we collected Tom and he could see nothing but the remnants of the poor dismembered gingerbread man. For a solid hour there was a barrage of where’s my gingerman, mummy my want one, give me daithi’s etc. But then he sniffed out my weakness. He asked me to make him one. With a kind of if you loved me you would tone in his voice.
I had to prove myself (and I had nothing else planned for the afternoon) so I made a batch. Expectations were low following the catastrophe of the gingerbread house last year. Turns out this is a way better recipe. It’s from Odlums. Not always at the forefront of my mind when I’m looking for a recipe but they have a few stalwarts like brack.
In other news, I made a dog. There he is there.
I named him Ray but Tom thought Osslebox suited him better and I’m inclined to agree.
This quantity makes about 35 standard round biscuits or a household of gingerbread people.
Oven temperature 180 Celsius
Light muscavado 75g
Golden syrup 1 remarkably generous tablespoon
Egg yolk 1
Plain flour 250g
Bread soda 1/2 teaspoon
Ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon
Ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon
Line a few baking trays with baking parchment and preheat the oven.
Beat the butter (preferably soft) and sugar together till smooth. Throw in the egg yolk and syrup and beat some more.
While that’s all going on weigh out the flour, soda and spices and mix together.
Tip the dry ingredients into the sugary butter mix and beat till it forms a lumpy dough.
Turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment and knead it for a good minute to make it smooth and lovely before wrapping it up in the parchment and popping it in the fridge to chill.
Put your children down for their nap – apprx 15mins.
Unwrap the dough and knead it a little to bring it back to life.
Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin and roll out your dough to about 5mm.
I did mine in about three batches so it was more manageable. I cut the men freehand but used a standard round cutter for…the round ones.
You can re-roll all the little offcuts.
Arrange neatly on the baking trays and bake for 10-12mins till good and tanned.
Take them out and let them cool down before decorating OR, ingeniously, break some chocolate into chunks and put them straight on the scorching hot biscuits. Give it a minute and then spread the chocolate evenly around the biscuit using a butter knife or the like.
I went old school for my gingerbread men with some jelly tots and sprinkles but go nuts, the only imitations are your cupboards and patience.