Christmas Cookies – Part 2: The Gingerbread Man

Aristotle wanted to give his teachers a Gingerbread Man for Christmas. Rather than buy those mass-produced ones at the store – which felt so impersonal – I suggested to him that we make our own. With everything becoming so commercial these days, I thought something home-made would be more meaningful. Besides, in an era where time is such a precious commodity, I think the best way to show someone your appreciation is to give them your time. What better way to do that than to use your time to make something special? I figured it would also help to foster the spirit of Christmas – giving from the heart rather than giving for the sake of giving. Aristotle loved the idea so here we are…

The first batch of cookie dough was a bit soft and difficult to manipulate so I went searching for another recipe. I won’t bother to share it here because even though the handling properties were awesome, the taste left a lot to be desired. If we were going to give his teachers something home-made, the least I could do was make sure it is not only edible but yummy. After all, we are trying to show our appreciation, not torture them.

Making Christmas cookies

Then I stumbled on this awesome Gingerbread Men recipe from I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. It turns out, I forgot to add the egg yolk. But the recipe still worked really well. The dough was easy to work with and the end cookie texture and flavour was great.


  • 125g butter, soften
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk (we forgot to add this but it turned out okay)
  • 125ml golden syrup
  • 375g plain flour (we mixed half and half white and wholemeal flour)
  • 1 tsbp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • M&M minis, sugar beads, and sprinkles to decorate

Royal Icing

  • 1 egg white
  • 150g icing sugar
  • food colouring


  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Line baking trays with grease proof paper (most recipes tell you to grease your trays but I find grease proof paper is the best way to make sure your cookies don’t stick to the pan)
  • Beat butter and brown sugar until pale and creamy.
  • Add golden syrup and egg yolk and beat until combined.
  • Add in flour, ginger, mixed spice, and bicarb soda.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Roll out the dough in between two sheets of grease proof paper to a thickness of 6mm. If you get the thickness just right, your cookie will be firm on the outside and soft on the inside – perfect gingerbread texture.
  • Cut out shapes with Christmas cookie cutters.
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until brown.


  • Whisk egg white until soft peaks form.
  • Gradually add in icing sugar and continue whisking until stiff peaks form.
  • Separate the icing into 3 bowls. Leave one portion white. Add green dye to the second bowl and red dye to the third bowl.
  • Pipe icing over the gingerbread men to decorate. Finish with M&M minis, sugar beads and sprinkles.

Christmas cookies for school...

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