Nothing says Christmas like biting into a tasty gingerbread man! Baking and decorating gingerbread men is a beloved activity during the festive season for many families around the world.
These ones are extra delicious with whipped burnt toffee icing. Make them to get into the festive spirit or cook up a batch to leave out for Santa with extras for the family to tuck into as a Christmas Eve treat.
Why is the gingerbread man associated with Christmas?
Gingerbread men became a traditional Christmas recipe because of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, where the children find a gingerbread house. Since then, gingerbread men have grown into a festive baking staple in many cultures, often decorated with icing and lollies.
This gingerbread man recipe is a little different with sweet, creamy icing sandwiched between two gingerbread biscuits but it’s sure to become a forever favourite.
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Place butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 8–10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until the mixture just comes together to form a smooth dough. Roll the dough out between 2 sheets of non-stick baking paper to 4mm thick and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Using a 10cm gingerbread man cookie cutter, cut out 32 shapes, refrigerating and re-rolling the dough as necessary. Place on 2 large baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 12–14 minutes or until golden. Tip: If your dough gets too soft, refrigerate after pressing out the cookies for 10 minutes before transferring to a tray.
To make the icing, place the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over high heat and stir to combine. Bring to the boil and cook for 10–12 minutes, without stirring, or until deep golden. Remove from the heat, carefully add the cream. Stir to combine, return to low heat and stir for 30 seconds–1 minute or until smooth. Set aside to cool completely.
Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 6–8 minutes or until pale and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the cooled caramel and beat for a further 6–8 minutes or until well combined.
Lay half the biscuits on a clean bench. Pipe the icing onto the gingerbread and sandwich to close. Serve.