Get artistic with the kids during the Christmas hols with this festive and creative gingerbread recipe
Makes about 8 men
Melt the syrup, sugar and butter in a small saucepan.
Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and mixed spiced into a mixing bowl. Pour over the melted ingredients and mix together to form a soft dough
Tip the dough onto a sheet of cling film and wrap tightly. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until the dough is firm.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour and roll the dough out to 3mm thick. Using a cutter or a small knife, cut out your family. Mums, dads, cats and dogs – you could even make a house for them all to live in.
Using a spatula, carefully transfer the gingerbread family to a non-stick baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden and firm.
Cool on the tray for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days, then decorate just before packaging into gift bags or boxes.
To decorate, beat the egg white until foamy with an electric whisk. Gradually whisk in the icing sugar a spoonful at a time until stiff and pipeable. The icing can be coloured before piping or spreading onto the gingerbread family.
Tip: The icing can also be used as glue to stick on decorations. Try chocolate shavings for brown hair, or coconut or Demerara sugar for lighter hair. Sliced cherries make good lips and currants good eyes. Get creative with sweets, nuts and dried fruit – the possibilities are endless!
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