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.
Then I stumbled on this awesome Gingerbread Men recipe from Taste.com.au. 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
- 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.