This very well-behaved dough can put up with quite a bit of punishment, and is therefore ideal for children to play around with. You can buy proper cutters for making ‘men’ but in fact you (or your children) can pick any shaped cutter you like.
Makes about 15
This recipe is from Delia's Cakes
75g light brown soft sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 tablespoon black treacle
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 rounded teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of cloves
finely grated zest of ½ orange
95g block butter
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
225g plain flour sifted, plus a little more (if needed)
1 tube of white writing icing (to decorate)
You will also need 2 baking sheets, with non-stick liners
Put the sugar, syrup, treacle, water, spices and zest together in a large saucepan.
Then bring them to boiling point, stirring all the time. Now remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter (cut into lumps) and the bicarbonate of soda.
Next stir in the flour gradually until you have a smooth manageable dough – add a little more flour if you think it needs it.
Now leave the dough covered in a cool place to become firm (approximately 30 minutes).
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4.
Now roll the dough out to 3mm thick on a lightly floured surface and cut out the gingerbread men.
Arrange them on the baking sheets and bake near the centre of the oven, one sheet at a time, for 10–15 minutes until the biscuits feel firm when lightly pressed with a fingertip.
Leave them to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.
To decorate, use the icing to write names or make faces.