Maisie’s Gingerbread Men

Baking with children – Gingerbread men.

My daughter and I bake a lot together. I grew up watching and helping my mother and grandmother cook and bake and have inherited many of their recipes. I think that is why I am not afraid of cooking and experimenting with food. Maisie was not always an easy eater but she has developed a sense of adventure with food and we have a rule that you try something once. It doesn’t matter if she doesn’t like it, but in fact she eats pretty much everything including veggies. And cooking, especially baking is great education – from reading a recipe to weighing and measuring.

Her school is having a Gingerbread Man competition and as it was a cooking weekend this weekend (Christmas puds!) we decided to do the gingerbread too. I had quite a few cake decorations in the cupboard that needed using up – and so she had lots to play with, including sprinkles, writing icing, and edible glitter. The recipe is based on one from the BBC website.

Maisie Bakes

Ingredients:

350g/12oz plain flour – plus extra for rolling out

2 tsp ground ginger1 tsp ground cinnamon

125g/4½oz butter

175g/6oz light soft brown sugar

1 free-range egg

4 tbsp golden syrup

Preparation method:

1. Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon into a electric mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix until it looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.

2. Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together, mixture and beat until the mixture clumps together. Tip the dough out, knead briefly until smooth, wrap in clingfim and leave to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

4. Roll the dough out to a 0.5cm/¼in thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using cutters, cut out the gingerbread men shapes and place on the baking tray, leaving a gap between them.

5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown. Leave on the tray for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.

When cool, set child free with decorations. We made lots so not all were decorated but they looked beautiful and she was absorbed for ages.

Maisie Gingerbread