My children have been always creative and they enjoyed making Gingerbread Characters when they were young. To decorate the characters, they used chocolate chips, ‘Smarties’, lollies and icing. One day I made a character’s mouth (lips) using sliced red lolly snake, and that upset my son so badly. He removed those red lips from the character and never let me make red lips again. I still don’t know why, and he doesn’t remember it.
These three characters in the photo were made by my daughter many years ago. If you are offended by one of the characters, I sincerely apologise for it, but she did decorate them well, didn’t she?
Butter 125g *softened
Dark Brown Sugar 1/2 cup *lightly packed
Molasses 1/4 cup
Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon
Self-Raising Flour 2 cups *you might need extra 1 to 2 tablespoons
Salt 1/4 teaspoon
Ground Ginger 1 to 2 teaspoons
Ground Cinnamon 1 teaspoon
Beat the softened Butter and Sugar in a large bowl until creamy. Add Molasses, Egg and Vanilla, and beat until well combined.
Stir in the Flour, Salt, Ginger and Cinnamon, mix well to combine. knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth. You can add extra Flour if required. Divide the dough into 2 portions. Shape each into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line two oven trays with baking paper.
Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out one portion of dough on a lightly floured surface to 4mm thick. Use gingerbread man/woman/character cutter to cut out shapes and then carefully transfer to the prepared oven trays, leaving a little room between each. Re-roll any scraps to make more shapes. Repeat with the other portion of dough.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven. Transfer to a rack to cool.
To make the icing for decoration, mix icing sugar with small amount of hot water and food colouring.