Spooky Gingerbread men recipe
The spooktacular night is almost upon us and across the country I’m sure many families are getting ready for Halloween parties and a bit or trick or treating. As we live in a flat we haven’t had any trick or treaters in the past few years. I’m not sure if that’s because the kids here don’t go trick or treating or if they just stick to their immediate neighbours. I think going trick or treating at Halloween is a relatively new thing in the UK. When I was a kid no one really did it, though I can see the younger version of me loving an evening of visiting the neighbours, getting lots of sweets and chocolates and then scoffing the lot! Even when my brother was young enough it still haden’t taken off that much. I remember taking him around the neighbours we knew, my grandparents would have checked it was okay to do so first, and carrying his bag of treats home.
Last year we baked some lovely Halloween cupcakes which I think Hana took into work. I can’t imagine I just ate them all, Okay I can imagine it but I wouldn’t have done it. This year I was trying to think of another fun Halloween recipe and as it is also half-term I thought I should post a recipe where you can get the kids involved. It needs to be fun and simple to make so they can feel they have made it themselves. I thought the idea of a gingerbread man skeleton sounded pretty fun and it is a really fun and simple recipe to make. They are also quite quick to make and child friendly.
I remember baking things like biscuits and gingerbread men with my grandmother when I was young and it was always lots of fun, it’s one of the recipes which spurred me into a love of food and cooking; when I was baking these in batches today that wonderful smell wafted through the flat and took me back to being 9 and 10 years old holding on to my gran’s apron strings and getting impatient for the biscuits to be done.
Find an adult helper
So if you’re a little monster, here is a great recipe for Halloween treats. You’ll need a grown up helper with some of this, so keep one handy.
Halloween Gingerbread men recipe
350g/12oz plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
175g/6oz light soft brown sugar
1 free-range egg
4 tbsp golden syrup
Ask your adult helper to preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line two baking trays with baking paper.
Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and work the butter in by hand till the mixture looks like a bowl of breadcrumbs. Add in the soft sugar and work this in by hand too.
Your hands might get a bit sticky so ask your helper for a cloth.
Beat the egg and golden syrup together, add to the mixing bowl and ask your adult helper to use a whisk or food processor to mix it all together. Wrap it in clingfilm and pop in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Roll the dough mixture out to a 0.5cm thick on a lightly floured surface. Use a gingerbread man cutter to cut out gingerbread man shapes and place on the baking tray, leaving a gap between them as they will get bigger.
Ask the adult helper to pop the gingerbread men in the over to bake for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown. Remove from the over and places on a wire rack to finish cooling.
When cooled decorate with the writing icing, you can ask your adult helper to buy a can of this in the shop, it makes it easier to pipe a shape on.
I decorated mine like this, so they looked like funny skeletons.
Recipe, text and photos By Russell Bowes