As a mother of two girls, when I first wrote this recipe out, I started questioning - why are they gingerbread men and not women? A little bit of research shows me that the answer lies back many hundred of years at least. As far back as Queen Elizabeth I’s 16th-century reign, in which she hired a royal gingerbread maker who once once made gingerbread men to represent foreign dignitaries and people in her court during a royal banquet..
There are other stories too, such as women used to make them as 'love biscuits' in the hope that the man they gifted them to would eat them and fall in love with them.
What I know for sure is that gingerbread men are fun to make with the kids and the taste just exudes Christmas for me.
Check out our recipe below - should make about 20 gingerbread men!
- 350g plain flour – sieved
- 2 tsp ground ginger (if you only have fresh ginger, double the measurement)
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 100g butter
- 175g soft light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 4 tbsp golden syrup
- Preheat oven 190'C/Gas mark 5
- Mix the flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and rub in the butter with your hands
- Add sugar and stir in the syrup and egg to make a firm dough
- Roll out to about 5mm thick and cut out your gingerbread men or any other shape (we like to do Christmas trees and bells)
- Lay out the biscuits evenly on a baking tray with baking paper and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown
- Leave to firm up for a couple of minutes before cooling on a wire rack
- Once cooled, decorate with icing