These dismembered, bloodied and bandaged gingerbread men are so much fun to make and decorate. Make a whole batch of all one design, or mix them up. The gingerbread recipe is one I have used for years from a Donna Hay magazine, but I add a little fresh ginger to it for extra taste and zing, and reduce the sugar a little.
Makes approx 12 gingerbread men.
For the gingerbread men:
- 2.5 cups plain flour
- 125 g soft butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup golden syrup
- 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger (powdered)
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
For the icing:
- 1 egg white
- 1 cup icing sugar
- red and black food colouring (get the good quality gel pastes from a specialty store, you won’t get great colour from the supermarket ones)
Beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until creamy. Add the golden syrup and beat until combined. Add the fresh grated ginger. Sift the flour, bicarb soda and powdered ginger and mix until combined. Knead to form a dough, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for half an hour.
Heat the oven to 190c.
Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper until roughly half a centimetre thick. It will be quite crumbly and this is normal.
Cut out the gingerbread men using a cutter. Tip: dip the cookie cutter in flour to stop it sticking to the dough.
Slash your gingerbread men according to your fancy, carefully lift them onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, and cook for 10-12 minutes.
Allow to cool on a rack completely before icing.
Mix the icing sugar and egg white until a smooth, thick paste forms. You don’t want it too runny so add more icing sugar until you have a workable, thick consistency.
Divide icing into three bowls, add the red food colouring to one, and the black to another.
Using a small tipped icing nozzle, or a plastic icing syringe from a specialty store, ice your biscuits as you please.
A few tips:
- If you can, have three nozzles and bags so you don’t have to do all one colour first, then rinse and do the next colour.
- You can also use small ziplock plastic bags with a tiny piece of the corner snipped off.
- Have a damp clean cloth on hand for fixing mistakes, and some toothpicks will also come in handy.
- Use wine and champagne glasses to stand the pieces in while waiting for the icing to dry, or ooze over the body artistically.
- Have a biscuit to practice on, wipe away mistakes with a clean damp cloth, or wait for small mistakes to dry and scrape them off. This will be tricky with the coloured ones, they will leave a smudge.