I was shopping last weekend and popped into TK Maxx. I don't normally go in there, but when I do I often find something worth buying and this time was no exception - one set of gingerbread biscuit cutters, in the shape of little inch-high men in various poses! How cute!!
Obviously, I bought them. ;)
So the next problem was to find the perfect gingerbread recipe. Well, I think I found it.
I think I was very lucky, in that the first recipe I tried was a winner.
I often have trouble, when making cutter-biscuits or cookies, that the dough spreads in the oven and my lovely little people/Christmas trees/stars/whatever tend to spread into one big cookie-mosh on the baking tray. But this one? This was fantastic - every single teeny tiny, perfectly formed little gingerbread chap that went into the oven came out in the same state. And the flavour was to die for, not too sweet, dark, and just the right balance of spices.
And where did I find this miraculous recipe?
Enter stage left: St Delia Smith!
Oh yes. If you want a fool proof recipe, Ms Smith is the way to go.
I won't post the recipe here, as I don't want to incur her wrath (or that of her publishers, whichever!) but I urge you to try it, you can find it here...
The only changesI made were to add a little more flour than stated in the recipe as the dough was a bit too soft, and to chill the biscuits on the baking tray once cut. As the cutters I used were so small I only popped each one in the oven for around 7-8 minutes, which was perfect.
I also urge you to use parchment paper over greaseproof, as it really seems to help prevent spreading.
The recipe made 130 little men, and I decorated every single one with writing icing! Yes, it took some time! Here's what 130 un-iced gingerbread men look like, in case you were curious:
That's a lot of little men!
My favourite cutter was a little ninjabread man, thus:
How cute is he?! <3
This one is definitely in my permanent-recipe file. If you try it, do let me know what you think!