100 g unsalted butter, chopped and at room temperature
½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
⅔ cup golden syrup
1 egg yolk
2 ½ cups plain flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground ginger
330 g packet royal icing mix
Red and silver sugar pearls, to decorate (optional)
- Grease three large oven trays and line with baking paper.
- Beat butter and sugar in a small bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add syrup and yolk. Beat until combined. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add combined sifted flour, cocoa, soda and ginger. Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured bench. Bring dough together with your hands. Divide into two equal portions. Wrap each portion in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Roll out each portion of dough between two sheets baking paper until 4mm thick. Using a 9 1⁄2cm gingerbread man cookie cutter, cut out 20 shapes. Arrange on prepared trays, 3cm apart.
- Cook two trays at a time in a moderate oven (180C) for about 10 minutes, or until firm to touch. Cool on trays. Repeat with remaining tray.
- Make icing according to packet directions. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1⁄2cm plain nozzle.
- Decorate gingerbread men with icing and sugar pearls, as pictured. Stand at room temperature until set.