Tis the season to be baking! And what better way to spread holiday cheer than by making your very own gingerbread man using a cherished family recipe? The joy that comes from mixing, rolling, and decorating these delicious treats is truly magical.
Making gingerbread is a slow process. Prepare the dough 2 weeks before you plan to bake the gingerbread!
First, gather your ingredients! Flour, sugar, honey, lemon, spices and anything else that you find listed below. It's like gathering all the enchanting elements of Christmas all at once!
Prepare the dough
Follow my family recipe with love and care. As you measure each ingredient, you can almost feel the presence of generations past who have baked these same cookies with joy and anticipation.
Step 1: Melt the sugar beet syrup, honey and margarine together in a saucepan while stirring, remove from heat and let cool.
Step 2: Mix up flour, sugar, baking powder, gingerbread spice, cocoa (or chocolate pudding powder) in a bowl. Mix well and make a hollow in the center.
Step 3: Add lemon juice and eggs to the edge. Slowly add the honey-syrup-margarine mixture to the center and gradually knead from the edges. The dough will still be quite sticky at this point.
Step 4: Dust the dough with flour and let rest in a zipper bag in a cool place for at least 1 week. After 2-3 days, knead the dough vigorously once. (I usually let the dough rest for 2 weeks and knead after 1 week.)
2 weeks later
Step 5: Roll out the dough to a thickness of 5-10 mm and cut out those adorable gingerbread men shapes. Each one will have its own unique personality - some might have a slightly crooked leg or a mischievous smile. Embrace their imperfections; they make them even more lovable! Decorate the gingerbread with almonds.
Step 6: Preheat the oven and let the sweet aroma of gingerbread fill your home. It's like a warm hug from Santa himself.
Step 7: Bake the gingerbread to golden-brown perfection in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes at 170 degrees convection, or 190 degrees top and bottom heat. As they transform in the oven, your kitchen becomes a winter wonderland filled with the delightful scent of cinnamon and cloves.
Step 8: After baking, store the gingerbread in a slightly opened cookie tin for 1-2 weeks in a cool place.
Step 9: Enjoy and share the joy! Whether you gift them to loved ones or enjoy them yourself with a cup of hot cocoa, these homemade gingerbread men are sure to bring smiles and warm hearts.
As you take that first bite, you'll taste not only the yummy spicy gingerbread aroma but also the love and tradition that goes into every batch. Baking gingerbread men is more than just a delicious treat; it's a way to connect with your family's history and create new memories for years to come.
So, this Christmas, gather your loved ones, put on some festive music, and let the joy of baking your own gingerbread men fill your home with warmth and happiness.
Happy baking and a very merry Christmas!