This recipe for Hummingbird Bakery’s gingerbread men is our go-to recipe for the best gingerbread every time.
Hummingbird Bakery’s gingerbread men are a classic afternoon treat – that are almost too cute to eat. Have these gingerbread men plain, or decorate them with icing and sweets. Once you’ve rolled and cut out your gingerbread men, pop them on a baking tray and into the fridge for another ten minutes to firm up again. This will help the gingerbread men keep their shape when cooking, giving nice clean lines for a professional looking gingerbread man.
- 400g plain flour
- ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2tsp ground ginger
- 2tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp salt
- 180g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 125g soft dark brown sugar or dark muscovado sugar
- 1 egg
- 125g black treacle
- 1 egg white
- ½ tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 310g icing sugar, sifted
- food colouring, optional
- gingerbread biscuit cutters
- a baking tray, lined with greaseproof paper
Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
Put the butter and sugars in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and cream on slow speed until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat in the egg and treacle, scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Turn the mixer back down to slow speed and slowly add the flour mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time, stopping often to scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Once an even dough has formed, take it out of the mixer, divide into 3 and wrap each piece in clingfilm. Leave to rest overnight in the fridge if you have time.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3. Take the dough out of the fridge and leave to soften for about 10 minutes. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour and roll out the dough to a thickness of about 4 mm with a rolling pin. Cut out your gingerbread man shapes with the biscuit cutters. Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking trays and bake in the preheated oven for about 10–15 minutes.
Leave the cookies to cool slightly on the trays before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Beat the egg white and lemon juice together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk). Gradually start adding the icing sugar, mixing well after each addition to ensure all sugar is incorporated. Whisk until you get stiff peaks. If the icing is too runny, add a little more sugar. Stir in a couple of drops of food colouring, if using, and decorate the cookies.
This recipe is taken from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook by Tarek Malouf and The Hummingbird Bakers
Published by Ryland Peters & Small
Text © Tarek Malouf and The Hummingbird Bakers
Photography copyright Ryland Peters & Small
Tips for making Hummingbird Bakery’s gingerbread men:
To make the perfect gingerbread icing, mix one egg white with 128g of sifted icing sugar. Add two drops of your food colouring to the mixture and apply to your cooled gingerbread as you like.
Avoid over-greasing your baking tray or using too much butter as this can cause your gingerbread men to spread while baking. Swap the oil for baking paper or use a silicone baking mat instead.
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