Mary Berry’s Gingerbread Men

Ever since I read this story to the JBug, I’ve been meaning to make some gingerbread men. However it took me a while to find some suitable cutters. When I found some cutters I liked (a set of 3 different sized gingerbread men), the shop was out of stock online and they didn’t have them my local store. Others on the internet looked too flimsy or were non-traditional (including ninjabread men which Mr Foodie would love but the reviews aren’t particularly great). I eventually tracked them down the set I wanted in the town where my parents lived. The other afternoon with time for baking, JBug and I headed into the kitchen together to make them.

I used Mary Berry’s recipe from her Baking Bible. I put the oven on and then JBug greased the trays. He did quite a good job in the middle of the trays but needed some encouragement to rub the butter paper over the whole surface of the tray. We then measured out bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger. The Jbug requested some ground ginger to try so I gave him some. From the faces he made he obviously found it extremely fiery and willingly drank a whole beaker of water immediately I gave it to him! Next we measured the flour into the bowl. We had almost finished when JBug decided to turn the electronic scales off!! Arrgh!! Luckily I had just glanced at them before he did so I knew we only had a few more grams to add. I added what I hope was the right amount and then rubbed the butter into the flour mixture. While I did this JBug used the time to turn the scales on and off and run his toy tram through the flour we’d spilt!

Next we stirred in some sugar before adding golden syrup and a beaten egg. This was mixed to form a smooth dough. However the dough seemed extremely dry so I added a splash of water. This was a mistake as it became far too sticky and needed quite a lot more flour adding to it. JBug by now was getting a bit impatient and constantly fiddling with anything that was within reach. Once the dough was the right consistency, we rolled it out on a lightly floured worktop. JBug enjoyed cutting out the gingerbread men and ate a vast quantity of raw dough while he did so. It was quite challenging to stop him so that we would actually have some to put in the oven! We decorated them with currants and then baked them in the oven for 10 minutes. After cooling slightly, we put them on a wire rack to cool completely.

At tea time, JBug and I shared one. It was lovely and chewy with a pleasant ginger flavour. The adding of water and extra flour didn’t seemed to have done them any harm. It was quite stressful trying to do this with the JBug as he was constantly fiddling with one thing or another. Next time I will pre weigh the ingredients which should speed up the dough making and allow the JBug more time to participate in the cutting and decorating which he clearly enjoyed.

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