My daughter fancied making gingerbread men the other day. Being bereft of a man shaped cutter she settled on a heart shape. These ended up being a soft chewy cookie, the icing giving them a bit of a crunch. She enjoyed the process and we all enjoyed the results.
125g butter, at room temperature
100g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
125ml (1/2 cup) golden syrup
1 egg, separated
375g (2 1/2 cups) plain flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Plain flour, to dust
1/2 tsp lemon juice
150g (1 cup) pure icing sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Brush 2 baking trays with melted butter to lightly grease.
Use an electric beater to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy.
Add the golden syrup and egg yolk and beat until combined.
Stir in the flour, ginger, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
Press dough into a disc.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
Meanwhile, place egg white and lemon juice in a clean, dry bowl. Use an electric beater to beat until soft peaks form.
Gradually add icing sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Divide icing among 3 bowls.
Add desired colouring to the bowls and stir until combined.
Cover bowls with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
Place the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll out until about 4mm thick.
Use a cutter to cut out shapes. Place on trays about 3cm apart. Repeat with any excess dough.
Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Decorate with prepared icing either with a knife or piping bag, or both.