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We Make Gingerbread Men

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Welcome to the first Sass & belle does Great British Bake Off! We love to bake and more importantly we love to eat cake. We’ve been thoroughly enjoying the series so far, but let’s be honest, you haven’t seen baking until you’ve seen Sass & Belle bake. Did you catch the GBBO biscuit episode last night? We don’t want to give away any spoilers, but we really liked Floral’s biscotti. Inspired by yesterday’s episode, we decided to share with you one of our favourite classic biscuit recipes. Aiko talks us through her delightful gingerbread biscuits. Do you think she’s got what it takes to be a star baker? (We sampled her yummy treats and we’d say she definitely does!)

‘I love gingerbread biscuits. When I was growing up my grandmother would make them with me all the time. These ginger biscuits from Delia Smith’s recipe are probably the best I’ve ever tried, the grated orange zest really makes a difference and the black treacle makes for a soft, chewy consistency. These also make really yummy gifts at Christmas, so bookmark this recipe! I always use our gorgeous Sass & Belle cookie cutters as the shapes are so much fun. No-one can resist a cookie which says ‘Eat Me’ and I had lots of fun taking selfies with the moustache shaped biscuits!’

You will need

  • 75g light brown soft sugar
  •  2 tablespoons golden syrup
  •  1 tablespoon black treacle
  •  1 tablespoon water
  •  1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •  1 rounded teaspoon ground ginger
  •  pinch of cloves
  •  finely grated zest of ½ orange
  •  95g block butter
  •  ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  •  225g plain flour sifted, plus a little more (if needed)
  • 1 tube of white writing icing (to decorate)

Steps to baking perfect gingerbread men

  1. Put the sugar, syrup, treacle, water, spices and zest together in a large saucepan.
  2. Then bring them to boiling point, stirring all the time. Now remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter (cut into lumps) and the bicarbonate of soda.
  3. Next stir in the flour gradually until you have a smooth manageable dough – add a little more flour if you think it needs it.
  4. Now leave the dough covered in a cool place to become firm (approximately 30 minutes).
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4.
  6. Now roll the dough out to 3mm thick on a lightly floured surface and cut out the gingerbread men.
  7. Arrange them on the baking sheets and bake near the centre of the oven, one sheet at a time, for 10–15 minutes until the biscuits feel firm when lightly pressed with a fingertip.
  8. Leave them to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.
  9. To decorate, use the icing to write names or make faces.
  10. Store in an airtight container.