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.
Nowadays of course Gingerbread Men come in all shapes, sizes and disguises (just like the real thing I guess) and 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.
- 25 g/4oz butter
- 125 g/4oz dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons golden syrup
- 1 tablespoon treacle
- 300 g/10oz plain flour
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons mixed spice
- Currants and glace cherries to decorate
- 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 2-3cm thick and use a cookie cutter to cut out your ‘husbands’ (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 husbands of course!