Healthy Christmas Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
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Gingerbread men are a Christmas classic with their warming spiced taste making for the perfect winter biscuit. Making gingerbread is easy to do with just a handful of basic ingredients and endless variations of this classic recipe are out there to try. Whether you’re in the festive spirit or not, these lightly spiced and sweet gingerbread biscuits will fulfil those weekend cravings – and Express.co.uk has rounded up three of the best recipes to try.
Family friendly gingerbread men recipe
Christmas baking can be fun for all the family, which is why it’s important to choose simple recipes that are easy for any age to follow.
This family friendly recipe will give you the perfect gingerbread men to satisfy everyone’s taste buds and artistic flair.
To start, preheat your oven to 180 degrees (160 fan), line or grease two baking trays, and gather the following ingredients:
- 100 softened butter
- 100g dark brown sugar
- 50g golden syrup
- One large egg
- 250g self-raising flour
- Two teaspoons of ground ginger
- One teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 250g fondant icing (made from icing sugar and water)
- Three tablespoons of water
- A selection of writing icing pens in various colours
Add the butter and sugar into a mixing bowl and mix into a fluffy cream before adding the syrup and egg.
Continue to whisk while adding all remaining ingredients into a thick beige mixture.
Lightly knead into a firm dough and tightly wrap in cling film before leaving it to chill in the fridge for one hour.
Dust a surface with flour and roll out the dough to your desired thickness – thicker shapes will take longer to cook.
Stamp out the shapes and evenly space them on the baking trays – leave to cook for 15-18 minutes until golden on top and firm in the middle.
Leave to cool completely before whipping up some white icing using icing sugar and water.
Whisk the fondant until smooth and pour into a piping bag to pipe crafty designs onto your lightly spiced, sweet gingerbread men – (use writing icing to add colour and detail to the biscuits).
Soft and chewy gingerbread men recipe
For an extra soft yet chewy texture, this recipe is the perfect take on classic gingerbread.
Swapping out the crunchiness of most gingerbread for this smooth and spicy mixture offers a little more variety when it comes to Christmas baking.
To make 16 of these melt-in-your-mouth gingerbread biscuits, you will need:
- 350g plain flour
- One teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- Two teaspoons ground ginger
- 115g butter, cubed
- 175g soft light brown sugar
- Four tablespoons golden syrup
- One egg, beaten
- Writing icing or piped white fondant
The key to achieving that extra chewy texture is to keep a watchful eye on your gingerbread in order to remove them from the oven as soon as the dough is cooked.
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Begin by preheating the oven to 190 degrees Celsius and lightly grease or line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and add in the butter a little at a time, rubbing through your fingertips until it turns into breadcrumbs.
Beat your golden syrup into the whisked egg and slowly add to the dry mixture while mixing.
Knead the dough into a smooth ball before rolling out onto a lightly floured surface until the dough is 0.5cm thick – cut using a cookie cutter to get the perfect gingerbread man shape.
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until golden and puffed and leave to cool on a wire rack before decorating.
Cook for a further two minutes if your shapes are still too soft and always use writing icing pens or a fine piping bag to decorate your shapes.
Root gingerbread men recipe
While traditional gingerbread men recipes often use ground ginger in its powder form, this recipe embraces the fiery taste of fresh root ginger.
Using fresh ginger creates a lighter colour and taste for a more fluffy gingerbread instead of the more classic sweet and crunchy kind.
To make 16 gingerbread men, you will need:
- 125g butter
- Three tablespoons of runny, clear honey
- 180g caster sugar
- One egg
- One teaspoon of grated fresh root ginger (adjust to taste)
- 320g self-raising flour, sifted
- Two pinches of ground cinnamon
- 130g icing sugar
- Currants and glace cherries
Begin by preheating the oven to 150 degrees and line a tray with baking parchment.
Melt your butter and honey together in a pan or microwave and stir well before combining with the sugar and egg.
Add in the fresh ginger and stir before sifting in the flour and cinnamon to combine all the ingredients into a light dough.
Roll out the dough onto a floured surface to a 5mm thickness and cut into shapes before laying onto the tray.
Bake for six to eight minutes until lightly golden and leave to cool on a wire rack.
Combine the sifted icing sugar with some water until it makes a smooth, spreadable icing to add eyes and buttons to your gingerbread men shapes.
Dot with currants and cherries to cover the icing for some added sweetness.
You can chill the dough before rolling it out to achieve cleaner, more defined shapes – chill for anything between one to four hours.
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