Cuddling candy cane gingerbread men

RECIPE OVERVIEW

These are a fun twist on a traditional gingerbread man. As the candy canes won’t fare well in the oven, bake the arms into position wrapped around wooden chopsticks. Kids will have great fun making these cookies. Wrap them nicely to give as gifts to friends and family.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients Add to Shopping List

Serves: 12 people

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Method

YOU WILL NEED: 12 wooden chopsticks or similar

Beat the butter and sugar together in a food mixer until smooth and creamy. Beat in the egg, followed by the molasses, until well blended. Add the vinegar, spices, bicarb and salt and mix well. Finally, add the flour a bit at a time until well mixed and it comes together into a soft dough.

Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper until it’s about 3mm thick. Slide onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or the freezer for half the time), until firm. This can be made up to a few days in advance and kept refrigerated (or longer if frozen).

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Line two large baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.

Using a gingerbread man cutter (approximately 12cm tall x 11cm wide), stamp out 12 cookies, arranging them on the baking sheets as you go and re-rolling the dough as necessary. Lay a chopstick diagonally across each of the cookies and carefully fold the gingerbread man’s arms inwards to cuddle them. They may break a bit, but just press them back together. Bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden and just firm to the touch.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking sheets, transferring to a wire cooling rack once they’re firm enough to handle. Once they’re completely cool, carefully slide the chopsticks out from the cookies and replace them with a candy cane, carefully sliding them in. Serve at once or these will keep for a few days, layered between parchment paper in an airtight container.

TIP

If liked, make up some royal icing and pipe it onto the gingerbread men to give them faces and other decorative trims.

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