This is an idea I picked up on the internet, I think on a Pinterest page – I’m only sorry that I can’t give a proper credit to the person who came up with this idea, because it is sheer GENIUS. (And when I bought a new gingerbread man cutter at the weekend and was chatting to the lady in the kitchen shop, she too thought it was a fantastic idea – one that just begs to be shared!)
And so I give you something that might start out as a gingerbread man, but is actually a gingerbread reindeer.
- 350g plain flour
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp bicarb soda
- 100g butter, cut into small chunks
- 175g soft brown sugar
- 1 medium egg
- 4 tbs golden syrup
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C, 375 degrees F or gas mark 5.
Sift the flour, ginger and bicarb soda into a large bowl.
Rub in the butter until the mixture looks like breadcrumb, then stir in the sugar.
Beat the egg and syrup together in a small bowl, then stir into the flour and mix well until it forms a soft dough.
Knead the dough on a floured board, roll out to 5mm thickness, and cut out gingerbread man shapes.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.
And this is where the fun starts – turn them upside down. Ice antlers on what would have been the gingerbread man’s legs, ice cheeks onto the arms, add two eyes, a dab of icing to help stick on the red nose (aka a Smartie), and a mouth. And here you have reindeer! (Apologies here for my icing skills… but you get the gist!)
I do feel a bit guilty about repeating a recipe, so here’s one of the other ones we used a lot in my childhood. These ones are great covered in chocolate – you could get a reindeer-shaped cutter, cover the cooked biscuits in chocolate and add a silver ball for an eye, maybe – or even make them into reindeer as above, only using chocolate to ice the antlers, cheeks, eyes and mouth…
- 225g butter
- 125g sugar
- 325g plain white flour
- chocolate, to cover
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Soften the butter in the mixing bowl, cream in the sugar, then mix in the flour using your hands until the dough is the consistency of shortcrust pastry.
Knead lightly, roll to 5mm thick and cut out shapes.
Bake for 10-12 minutes and cool on a wire rack.
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