MAKES about 12 big gingerbread men – PREP 45 mins – COOK 15 mins – Easy
1 stick unsalted butter
½ cup muscovado sugar
3 tbsp golden syrup
3 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 balls stem ginger from a jar, chopped
few pinches cayenne pepper, pinch crushed dried chillies, ½ tsp ground cloves, few pinches crushed caraway seeds
½ cup powdered sugar
a few glacé cherries
2 balls stem ginger
1 .Heat oven to 400F. Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment. Melt butter, sugar and syrup in a pan. Mix flour, soda, spices and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Stir in the butter mix and chopped ginger to make a stiff-ish dough. Quickly divide into 4, and add 1-2 pinches cayenne to one, a pinch crushed dried chillies to one, ½ tsp ground cloves to one and 2-3 pinches of crushed caraway seeds to the last. Mix in.
2. Wait until cool enough to handle, then roll out dough to about .25in thick. Stamp out gingerbread men, re-rolling and pressing the trimmings back together and rolling again. Lift onto baking sheets. Bake for 12 minutes until golden. Cool 10 minutes on the sheets, then lift onto cooling racks.
3. To decorate, mix powdered sugar with a few drops of water until thick and smooth. Halve then slice cherries thinly to make smiles, and cut ginger into small squares. Spoon icing into a food bag, snip off the tiniest bit from one corner, then squeeze eyes and buttons, and a tiny smile onto 1 man at a time. Stick on a cherry smile and ginger buttons. Repeat to decorate all your gingerbread men to look exactly the same, then leave to set (will keep up to 1 week in an airtight tin).