Gingerbread Men… the fella with the blue eyes.
There is a inner child hiding in every grown up, true! These gingerbread men bring that inner child out of me. This is truly a trip down memory lane, and I blame it all on the fella with the blue eyes.
In the late 1990’s the Blue Bird garage had been transformed into a wonderful market place with restaurants. Amongst the treasures was a bakery and at the helm was the talented chef patissier Claire Clarke.
I was working 16 hours a day Monday to Saturday at a Michelin restaurant but I did manage to drag myself out of bed nearly every Sunday to walk to The Blue Bird to buy a gingerbread man with blue eye’s. If they did not have one with blue eye’s I had to choose another but as it was rather special and a token gesture, it was always better to buy the one with the blue eye’s. Bizarre!
Years later and I had moved away from that part of London, my path crossed with the very talented chef patissier Fabien After a chat Fabien managed to find me the ever so special gingerbread men recipe.
This recipe holds some true and great memories for me of hard times and rewards.For those reasons I thought it would be great to share it with you.
This recipe now holds only fond and fun memories. I have so much fun making this and have endless photo’s of smiley faces all different shapes and sizes, and of course some with blue eyes.
- 1kg plain flour
- 4tsp bicarb of soda
- 4tsp ground ginger
- 2tsp mixed spice
- 300g unsalted butter
- 400g dark muscavado sugar
- 300g golden syrup
- 4 medium free-range eggs
Cut the butter in small pieces; let it come to room temperature. Once the butter is soft, cream the butter and the sugar. Add the golden syrup and add the eggs one at a time, mix well after each egg.
Sieve the flour, spices and bicarb of soda together. Gently fold the flour in to the creamed butter mix. Divide the gingerbread dough in to two even size mixes, I find it easier to handle and prevents you over working the mixture. Wrap each bit well in plastic and refrigerate for a minimum of 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 150°C.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface roll the gingerbread dough out to about 1cm even thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut the shapes, arrange the men on the prepared tray, leave at least 1cm gaps as they do swell and could easily attach themselves to each other.
Bake for 15 – 18 minutes, until golden but not too dark.
Let the men cool on a cooling rack, refrigerate the crispy men over night if you like your gingerbread men to have soft and gooey exterior. Decorate with icing made of mixing water and icing sugar to a paste, use this icing to attach the eyes of your choice.
Keep the gingerbread men in an airtight container. Also brilliant for Christmas Tree Decorations, use different cookie cutters and decorate appropriately.
Makes about 24 large gingerbread men.
Food Fanatics Tips
This gingerbread cookie dough is brilliant, I double the recipe and freeze half of the cookie dough. When needed, defrost over night in the fridge and bake as required. This cookie dough can be shaped in any shape you desire, the cookie dough makes fantastic christmas tree decorations. Do not forget to make a hole for the ribbon to hang them up before you bake them. Have fun, I always do and get spectacular reactions from big and small!