This recipe is suitable for gingerbread men. Taken from Ladies, a Plate: Traditional Home Baking by Alexa Johnston (Penguin 2008). Watch Ray McVinnie's video on how to bake gingerbread biscuits.
|70 g||Brown sugar|
|2 tsp||Ground ginger|
|2 tsp||Ground cinnamon|
|¼ tsp||Ground cloves|
|¾ tsp||Baking soda|
To make the gingerbread
- Preheat the oven to 160C and line two baking trays with baking paper, or grease them lightly. Measure the butter, cut into small lumps, put it in a large mixing bowl and leave to come to room temperature.
- Heat the sugars, spices and treacle in a heavy-based pan and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes to the boil.
- Add the sifted baking soda and stir again until the mixture froths up and turns a pale golden colour.
- Remove from the heat and pour onto the butter in the mixing bowl. Stir well with a wooden spoon until the butter melts. Add the egg, followed by the sifted flour and blend thoroughly to make a soft dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead lightly until smooth. Cut in half and shape each half into a rectangle. Wrap in waxed paper and chill for about 10 minutes.
- Roll out half the dough on a floured board to less than 5mm thick. Cut out shapes and place on the prepared baking trays. The dough will be quite soft to begin with and you may need to use a spatula to lift the biscuits. You can reroll the scraps several times since the dough doesn’t toughen.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes, rotating the trays after 20 minutes. The biscuits should be firm to the touch and just beginning to brown. Cool on racks and store airtight.
To make royal icing
- Beat the egg white with a fork until it becomes slightly liquid, and then mix in the sifted icing sugar a little at a time until you have a smooth icing. Add the lemon juice and keep the bowl covered with a damp cloth.
- Leave the icing white or colour it if you wish, and spread or pipe it onto the biscuits. The icing sets hard quite quickly, so the biscuits store well.