Monday, 3 December 2012

Spicy gingerbread men

One of my pet hates is being tempted into buying a gingerbread man and then tasting nothing, not even a smidgen of ginger. I don't really like it when they are iced either, for me its all about spice and warmth not sugary sweetness.

I love gingerbread men so very much, I am terribly unrestrained if I have them in the house, but now its December it feels the perfect time to bake these spicy little biscuits.

Some basic recipes have egg in , some do not. I do not know if this would make a huge difference to texture, so in the interests of research, and not because I want to eat ALL the gingerbread men, I am going to try a few batches. Below is my egg-less version of gingerbread, good if you have no eggs in the house or have an allergy.

Gingerbread men

makes 8, depends on cutter size, recipe easily doubled

70g butter
30g treacle
50g light brown sugar
170g plain flour 
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp mixed spice
balls of stem ginger chopped, plus 1 tablespoon of the syrup
raisins to decorate (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C FAN and lightly grease a baking sheet, unless you know that yours is super non stick, then this is not necessary.

Gently warm the butter, treacle and sugar until melted.

Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, spices and stem ginger together in a bowl. Add the stem ginger syrup to the melted mix. Mix the wet and dry ingredients, press together until a dough is formed.

Lightly flour a surface and roll out the dough, it may crumble a little, just push it together with your hands. Stamp out the men, re-rolling the trimmings until all the dough is used up. Press chopped raisins into the dough as eyes and buttons if you like. 

Cook in the preheated oven for 8-12 minutes, depending on size. Keep an eye on them, they will catch very quickly.

Leave to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes then carefully transfer to a wire rack.

Once cool the men can be decorated with royal icing or melted chocolate if you wish.

These were really nice and warming gingerbread men, I will keep the spicing the same in the next batch and compare the textures of an egg and egg-less batter.
My ugliest googly eyed ginger bread man, I felt sorry for him, so ate him first!
p.s. sorry not many pictures, camera was charging!


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