Gingerbread Men and Women are generally awesome - and are even more awesome when they are made to look like your friends (ok, not actually like them very much) as gifts to give to them for Xmas. For example, in the above picture we have (starting from top left and going clockwise): K-bobo, Katie-Cuddlepot, Daniel, Ben, Super Sophie, Chris, Paolo, Leobean and A-dizzle.
These particular gingerbread people are extra gingery with a double ginger hit so if your friends and family don't like ginger...... well...... don't make them these.... or divorce them. Don't worry A-dizzle will be posting some awesome Xmas shortbread recipes for those of your family and friends that don't do ginger.
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup blackstrap molasses (just fill a 1/4 cup measurement halfway)
1/4 cup almond milk or soy milk
2 cups plain wholemeal flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup crystallised (or you can also use glacé) ginger, chopped very finely
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C, or about 160 if your oven is fan forced.
2. In a bowl whisk together the oil, sugar, molasses and milk until well combined.
3. Add one cup of flour and whisk through. After this you will want to put the whisk aside and get a wooden spoon because the mix will get too stiff.
4. Add the bicarb, baking powder, spices and the other cup of flour and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon (this will help develop your huge biceps so you may like to even out the other side by stirring a bit with your left (or non dominant) hand). Stir through the finely chopped ginger.
5. Wrap the biscuit dough up in plastic wrap and flatten slightly into a thick disk. Refrigerate for about an hour and a half (or as long as it takes before you have time to make them - you can leave in the fridge for up to 2 days, but make sure you take it out of the fridge 10 mins before using to soften it up a bit).
6.Flour your benchspace and roll out the dough to about 1/2 cm thick (keep the piece of plastic wrap aside though as you will use it again). Use a person shaped biscuit cutter to cut out the biscuits and transfer them carefully to a tray lined with baking paper (you will want to do this with a thin spatula). Continue until you can't fit any more out of your rolled dough.
7. Grab up all the little extra bits of dough and put them back in the plastic wrap. Wrap tightly and knead a bit before flattening out into a disc shape again (this will smoosh all the pieces together). The roll this piece out and cut some more.
8. Keep repeating step 7 until as many biscuits are cut out of the dough as possible. Here they are before cooking:
9. Bake each batch for about 8 minutes (if you know your oven is very hot you will probably want to reduce that to 6-7 mins, or reduce the temp) and then transfer to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before icing.
Makes 22 Gingerbread People (may vary depending on the size of your cutter).
Now the icing...
How much effort you want to go to really depends on how much time you have. You can make do with just eyes and mouth or you can go the whole shebang and give them little outfits.
1 1/2 cups soft icing mixture
2 tbsp soy milk
Food colourings (of your choice)
Coloured sprinkles (if you want - I used them to make A-dizzle's awesome colourful tights because she always wears awesome tights)
1. Put icing sugar in a bowl and add 2 tbsp soy milk. Mix well with a butter knife.
2. Consistency should be like toothpaste, nice and thick but easy to pipe. If it is too dry add 1/2 tsp more soy milk, alternately if you find it is too runny you can add a little more icing mixture.
3. Split icing into 3 containers and add a different colour to each one (I used green, yellow and hot pink).
4. Put into piping bags with the thinnest nozzle you have and go crazy on the little divas!
5. If you want to use the coloured sprinkles just smear some icing on first so that they stick (I made a small amount of brown icing using a bit of cocoa powder to use for sticking sprinkles to - but you can use the coloured ones too).
Here are all the other ones that I made too:
And all of them together: