Gingerbread men

Oh my lord, this last month has been just crazy, anyone else with me on this? Between my son’s birthday, the death of a friend, relatives visiting and buying a house, I have just been out of my normal sorts and routine and only now feeling the relief of getting back to basics.

My youngest is going through a phase of loving gingerbread men. If I don’t give him one on collection from creche, the entire evening can be ruined. I mean like a total tantrum filled meltdown for 3 hours. While I don’t really want to teach him that he gets what he wants, I love giving him a treat and chatting with him on the way home and I love baking with him and seeing how happy he is when he gets the new treat and to be honest, he only ever eats part of the treat and then hands me the rest to eat. I can’t complain, I love gingerbread men too. Especially chocolate covered, smarties adorned ones 🙂

I have been trying to get around to finishing a few recipe posts to share this last while, but never quite got there. Then as it turns out, last week my three-year old took my recipe cards and flushed them literally down the toilet. While I could fish them out and rescue them, I really didn’t feel like it was worth it, as I hadn’t intended to share the gingerbread men yet, it is however the only thing I have ready. I really had thought that once the dog had been re-homed, my days of chewed up, half eaten (or flushed, wet and soggy) things were truely over.  I thought wrong. Welcome to the threenage years Vanessa!



This recipe makes a LOT of cookies. I usually make a batch of dough, cut in half and freeze one half and bake that day with the other. Or if it’s Christmas, we make a full batch of these yummy cookies and make them into nice little presents for family. But the half batch is perfect for a week of treats for us.

  • 350 g plain flour
  • 1.5 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 125 g butter
  • 50 g dark brown soft sugar
  • 125 g Demerara sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup ( I like to use the squeezy bottle type, as pretty as the tins are, they are just so messy)
  • to decorate (optional) 250 g milk chocolate chips and some smarties


Sift together the dry ingredients : flour, bicarb, ginger and  cinnamon.

Pour the dry ingredients into a food processor (or you can sift directly into it)

Add the butter and pulse for about 30 seconds.

Stir in the sugar and pulse together for literally a few seconds.

Beat the egg and the golden syrup. Add to the food processor and pulse again.

Tip the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and knead briefly until it comes together.

Wrap and place in the fridge. It can last up to 2 days in the fridge or a month in the freezer (perfect for pulling out for emergency activities with kids on rainy house bound days).


Heat the oven to 160 C (fan oven).

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut into shapes. Place on a lined baking tray.


Pop into the oven for 10 minutes.

Once baked cool on the tray (no need to move them to a rack) for them to firm up as they will still be soft when removed from the oven.



Melt the chocolate chips (I did this in a pyrex jug in the microwave in 30 second blasts until smooth)

Dip the legs of the gingerbread men into the chocolate and pop onto a clean piece of lining paper. Dot some chocolate onto the men’s torso for the smartie buttons.


Spoon the left over chocolate into a small piping bag and draw on smiley faces. Allow to dry out for an hour or you can pop them in the fridge just to solidify the chocolate. They keep really well in an air tight container for 2 weeks.

And that is it, unless you want to wrap them up as gifts…

We did a family baking night at christmas and then Alexander painted some boxes to give them as gifts.


close up





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