120g unsalted butter, at room temperature,
120g brown sugar,
180ml syrup (molasses),
1 tsp. (5ml) baking powder,
0,5 tsp. (2ml) salt,
2 tsp. (10ml) ginger,
1 tsp. (5ml) ground cinnamon,
0,5 tsp. (2ml) ground nutmeg,
1 clove of garlic (2ml).
Neither Christmas or New Years should pass without the ginger bread man. Typically, these fragrant gingerbreads contain molasses. Molasses gives the gingerbread a nice chestnut color, makes it moist and adds a sweet taste to it. The gingerbread men are made tasty with the addition of these spices: ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and garlic. All these spices are warm and very fragrant, but individually have a distinct taste to them. Ground cinnamon gives the gingerbread a warm, nice, sweet woody taste that is subtle, but intense. The ground ginger gives a sharp, amazingly rich and spicy aroma, with the delicate aroma of lemon and ground cloves. The size of the gingerbread men can be adjusted to your individual taste. There are several ways to decorate your gingerbread men, one, adding raisins or currants into the dough before baking, or decorating them with a candy coating. Moreover, these gingerbreads can be delicious Christmas decorations, if you put a hole in the top of each of them before baking. I found this recipe in the book “On Cooking”.
1. Beat sugar and butter until the mixture becomes creamy.
2. Add syrup (molasses) and egg.
3. Mix well, put aside.
4. Sift flour into a large bowl, mix with baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Grate ginger on a fine grater, over the flour, doing the same with the garlic.
5. Mix well.
6. Start to slowly, about 2 tablespoons at a time, add flour to the wet mixture. Add – stir until smooth, add again, and stir.
7. After mixing the dough, roll it up into a ball, wrap in cling wrap and place in the refrigerator for about 2-3 hours. Do not let it scare you if the dough is a little runny. Once it hardens in the fridge, it should roll out perfectly. Sprinkle the board, the rolling pin and the moulds (which will cut the gingerbread) with flour.
8. Heat up the oven to 170° C. On your board, roll out the dough to 6mm thick. Cut it with sharp man-shaped molds, or your favorite molds. I have used all different kinds. If you roll them out thinner, you will get biscuits, and these should require less time for baking.
9. Lightly grease a baking tray with oil, and shift your gingerbread men onto this tray. Bake them in the oven for 10 minutes. It is important not to overdo the baking, as they will burn instantly. This photo shows the thickness of mine well. The thicker ones turned out like gingerbread men, and the thinner ones baked much quicker and turned out like cookies. I liked the gingerbread men better 🙂
10. The finished gingerbread men should be firm, but soft inside. Put them onto an oven rack to cool.
11. Once they have cooled down, they can be decorated. I decorated them with white icing from a tube, as men, and stars.
12. These are handsome, and all I have left.
13. A tale about a badly behaved gingerbread boy, like the familiar story “Gingerbread Man”, judge for yourself:
Long ago an elderly lady and man lived all alone, in a small old house. One morning the old lady decided to make gingerbread boys. When they were ready, she opened the oven, and out jumped a naughty little gingerbread boy, saw the open front door, and ran away as fast as his legs could carry him.
The elderly couple ran after him as quick as they could, but to no avail.
Little Gingerbread Boy laughed, and shouted:
— I, Gingerbread Boy, can run away from you, I can!
Neither the elderly lady nor the elderly man could catch him.
Little Gingerbread Boy raced on, until he saw a cow.
— Stop, little gingerbread boy, — said the cow — you look so delicious, I want to eat you!
Little Gingerbread Boy laughed, as he replied to the cow:
— I, Gingerbread Boy, ran away from the old lady and the old man. I can run away from you, I can!
And the cow ran after Little Gingerbread Boy, but could not for the life of him catch him. (This was repeated with a few other characters and a horse, which has been skipped.)
Soon, Little Gingerbread Boy saw a fox, quietly lying near a fence.
— Where are you going? — asked the fox, without moving. But Little Gingerbread Boy did not answer her. He ran on, before shouting:
— I, Gingerbread Boy, ran away from the old lady, the old man, the cow and the horse. I can run away from you, I can!
— I would not have caught you, if I could — said the fox. But the fox did run after him. On and on ran Little Gingerbread Boy, until he came to the river, with the fox on his heels. Little Gingerbread boy could not swim.
— Jump onto my tail, I’ll help you cross the river — said the sly old fox.
Little Gingerbread Boy hopped onto the foxes tail, who began to swim across the river. After a few strokes, the fox turned her head and said: —You’re so hard on my tail, you might fall. Come and move onto my back.
So Little Gingerbread Boy moved onto the foxes back. After the fox swam some more, she said: — I’m afraid you will get soaked on my back, shift onto my shoulders.
So Little Gingerbread boy jumped onto the foxes shoulders. When they were already on the other side of the river, the cunning fox said: — My shoulders are sooo tired, do me a favor and sit on my nose.
So, oblivious Little Gingerbread Boy hopped onto the foxes nose. Just as they reached the other shore, the clever fox opened his mouth wide and ate Little Gingerbread Boy! Here the fairy tale ends, and all who listened, well done.
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