Whether you are a lover of ginger or not, you have to admit that gingerbread men are just adorable, not to mention a quintessential favourite of Father Christmas and his reindeer. Gingerbread cookies store well, and can be made in advance for Christmas. We made mini men (perhaps called “Gingerbread Boys”), to nibble on with our tea. We decorated them by dusting them with Nicoletta gold shimmer. We also added soft pearl balls for those fabled buttons.
- ½ cup softened butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup molasses (treacle)
- 2 ½ cups cake flour
- 1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
- 3 tsp. ground ginger (add grated fresh ginger if you love the “ginger-heat”)
- 2 tsp. ground mixed spice
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Pinch of ground cloves
- ¼ cup strong cold tea
- 1 tsp. vanilla essence
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the molasses to the butter mixture and beat well. Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the tea and mix well. Add the vanilla and mix to form a dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for 24 hours to allow the dough to rest and stiffen for rolling. Roll the dough to the desired thickness and cut into gingerbread men. Arrange the shapes on greased cookie sheet or a Nicoletta non-stick baking sheet and bake at 180°C for 8 – 10 minutes.
The ginger and spices in this recipe give the cookies a warm and spicy yet mildly sweet taste and aroma. Store in tins, and dust with Nicoletta gold shimmer to decorate. Use Nicoletta soft cream pearls as buttons by sticking them to the “The Boys” using Nicoletta silver writing icing.
For those of us who have forgotten the fairy-tale: Run, run, as fast as you can, you can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man..