Gingerbread Men are one of my favourite Christmas treats. Ginger is one of my favourite flavours, and I think Gingerbread Men go down a treat all year round. For this recipe, I took inspiration from my Mum’s favourite and most well loved recipe book, the Good Housing cookbook from the early 1980’s. She uses this book constantly, but it certainly isn’t very vegan friendly. I wanted to try and veganise the recipe for Gingerbread Men in this book, and it was really easy to do so. I just subbed vegan margarine for the butter, and soya milk for the egg.
Plain Flour – 350g
Bicarbonate of Soda – 1 tsp
Ground Ginger – 2 tsp
Vegan Margarine – 100g
Soft Light Brown Sugar – 100g
Soft Dark Brown Sugar – 75g
Golden Syrup – 60 ml
Plant Based Milk (I used Soya) – 60 ml
Boiled Sweets – Optional
1) Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees (170 for fan assisted ovens)
2) Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger in to a bowl
3) Add in the margarine. This is where you need to get your hands dirty. Rub the butter in to the flour
4) Stir in the sugar and syrup. You can use all light brown sugar, but I like the taste of the two sugars mixed together
5) Add in the soya milk. You will need to get your hands dirty again. I added a tablespoon of milk at a time and kneaded the mixture together. Add milk until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Make sure not to add too much, as you want the mixture to hold together, but not be too sticky
6) Roll the dough to 1/2 cm thick. You may find it easier to split the dough in half to do this
7) Use a biscuit cutter of any shape you like. I used men, women and various Christmas shapes
8) Cook for 10 – 12 minutes. As always, remember that vegan cookies will firm up outside of the oven, so do not leave them in for too long. Leave on the baking tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack
9) Ice, if wanted, and enjoy!
You can also cut out a shape in the middle of the Gingerbread biscuit. When baking them, fill the hole with crushed boiled sweets. These will melt in the oven. When cooled, these will create Stained Glass Window Biscuits. These are really beautiful biscuits and make great gifts. You can also cut a small hole in the top of the biscuit, and once cooled pull a string through, and hang them on your Christmas tree! I chose circles for mine, with star shapes cut out. I cooked the little star shapes separately as well.
To decorate, I tried my hand at a vegan version of royal icing. I haven’t perfected this yet, but I basically mixed a tablespoon of aquafaba (the water from a tin of chickpeas) with icing sugar. I also put in a dash of ginger extract. This gave the biscuits an extra ginger kick. I don’t have exact measurements for this, I just added icing sugar until I got a thick, creamy texture. You need to whip this using an electric mixture, and it took a while for the aquafaba to mix to the desired texture
I also separated the mixture in to three, and left one white, and coloured the other two red and green. You do not need to do this, you could decorate using any icing of your choosing, or leave them undecorated.
These are best enjoyed with a nice cup of tea!
Check out my other Christmas recipe here