Cookies for Christmas have changed so much over the years. But the old fashioned traditional gingerbread man still reigns supreme at least in my house.
Old Fashioned Traditional Gingerbread Men
Christmas and gingerbread men go together like peas and carrots. Many years ago these little folk were always referred to as Gingerbread Husbands in Scotland.
Traditionally they’d have currants for eyes and buttons and a slither of glace cherry for the smile.
Gingerbread in any form has become synonymous with Christmas. Originally spices were expensive so would only be used on special occasions like Christmas.
Nowadays of course Gingerbread Men come in all shapes, sizes, and disguises (just like the real thing I guess). They have everything from fruit sweeties to icing sugar and fancy colourings on them.
That’s the modern world for you, always a new look and a new way with old things. This is a traditional old Scottish recipe for the infamous Gingerbread Husbands taken from my new book Simply Scottish Cakes & Bakes.
Ingredients for gingerbread men
- brown sugar
- golden surup
- plain flour and bicarbonate of soda
- ground ginger and allspice
How to make gingerbread men
Melt all that sweet stuff in a pan with the butter. Oh, there is a whole lot of sugary goodness in there.
Pour this into a bowl with your dry ingredients and bring everything together to form a dough.
Pop this into the fridge to chill.
Now roll out, cut into suitably mannish shapes for your gingerbread men and decorate with currants and a bit of cherry.
Bake in the oven till golden.
By now the kitchen will smell amazing, just like Christmas, all spicy and warming.
Gingerbread men are not for those who fear sugar in any of its forms! I have dark brown sugar, treacle and golden syrup in here. Yes, yes I know, overkill on the sugar front, but hey it is Christmas after all.
Let’s not mess with tradition!
Looking for more Chrstmassy sweet treats to try? Then check these out before you go;
Kourabiethes (Greek Christmas cookies)
Gluten free and refined sugar free Christmas cookies
Quick and easy mini mince pies
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
old fashioned traditional gingerbread men
- 25 g butter
- 125 g dark brown sugar
- 3 tbsp golden syrup
- 1 tbsp treacle
- 300 g plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 80 Currants plus a few glace cherries
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 Grease and line 2 baking sheets
- In a heavy based pan melt the butter with the treacle, golden syrup, sugar.
- Stir in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices until the mixtures forms a soft thick dough.
- Gather into a ball and wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes until firm.
- Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough to about 3mm thick and use a cookie cutter to cut out your gingerbread men (hearts or whatever else you fancy).
- Half the currants and use as eyes and buttons and carefully cut slithers of glace cherry to make his cheeky grin.
- Use a palate knife to lift them on to your prepped sheets and bake for approximately 10 minutes until golden and firm, be careful not to overcook them or they will turn into rock. Cool on a rack. Makes about 16 depending on size of men of course!
Thanks for the recipe. i never baked gingerbreads !!
These little chaps look delicious, Karon. I must make time to try my hand at a batch for Christmas. x