These are definitely not Italian traditional cookies, but I have always loved them and I have made them every Christmas since moving to Australia (my girls leave some on a plate for Santa to eat on Christmas Eve along with a glass of milk…). I guess you could say it’s an “acquired” tradition in our family. For my Foodbuzz 24×24 Christmas in July event I could not resist the temptation to make some and use them as decorations. I made 4 regular size gingerbread men to use as signposts and 1 bigger gingerbread man to use with our centrepiece. I decorated them with writing icing and gels: it was so much easier to write our names this way! The girls helped out too and we had a fun time making these together! Highly recommended as “family entertainment” for your next Christmas!
125 gms butter, at room temperature
100 gms brown sugar
125 ml golden syrup
1 egg yolk
375 gms flour
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp mixed spice
1 tbsp soda bicarbonate
Beat the butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer till fluffy and pale.
Add the golden syrup and egg yolk, and keep mixing.
Stir in the flour, ground ginger, mixed spice and soda bicarbonate.
Transfer onto the benchtop and knead till smooth.
Make a ball with the dough, wrap it in cling wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Roll the dough into a 4mm thick sheet and cut out the gingerbread men shapes using a cookie cutter.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 10-12 minutes.
Let them cool down on a wire rack. When completely cold, decorate them with icing (I used Queen Writing Icing and Gels).