This classic honey gingerbread recipe can be used to make simple gingerbread cookies or classic gingerbread men. This recipe will make around 12-16 large gingerbread men, or 20 gingerbread cookies and they can be kept for a week or so in an airtight container once cooled. The finished cookies will be crisp around the edges but soft and chewy towards the middle. If you have children at home then this is a nice bake to get them involved in, they'll certainly enjoy eating them afterwards!
Time to make and bake: approximately 1 hour (including 30min chill time)
To make honey gingerbread you will need:
- 4 tbsp of Just Bee Original Honey
- 125g unsalted butter
- 350g plain flour
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- 2 tsp of ground ginger
- 175g soft light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
A large mixing bowl
Two large baking sheets
Let's make some gingerbread!
1. Mix the dry ingredients.
Add the flour, baking powder and ground ginger into the mixing bowl and give it a stir around with a fork until combined.
2. Rub in the butter.
Cut the butter into chunks and add to the bowl, rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
3. Add the sugar.
Add the soft light brown sugar and stir until it looks evenly distributed through the mix.
4. Making the dough.
Beat the honey together with the egg, then stir into the flour mixture to make a dough. It might look like it's too dry to come together at first but use your hands to push it together, at this stage you can remove it from the bowl and knead until it becomes a smooth firm dough.
Wrap the dough in cling film and place it in the fridge and chill for around 30 mins. If you don't have any cling film you can put it in a plastic box with a sealed lid, we just want to stop it absorbing any of the smells and flavours of other food in the fridge.
Top Tip: Divide the dough into 2 or 3 pieces before putting in the fridge, it will chill through easier and give you more manageable amounts to roll out later!
5. While you wait!
While the gingerbread dough is chilling in the fridge there's a number of things we can do.
The first thing I do is clean up my work surfaces and wash the mixing bowl, fork and anything else that's got messy.
After that it's a good time to prepare the baking sheets in your preferred method. Baking parchment works brilliantly but equally so does a good non-stick surfaced tray. If you don't have either a regular baking sheet lightly greased with a small amount of butter will be fine too. Put them somewhere handy to fill with our gingerbread later!
You'll still probably have time to sit down for a cuppa!
6. Put the oven on.
Once the gingerbread dough has been in the fridge for 30 minutes, it's time to get the oven on. We want to preheat it to gas mark 5 or 190c (170c for a fan assisted oven). If we do that now it will have plenty of time to get up to temperature.
7. Rolling and cutting.
Take a piece of your gingerbread dough and roll out until it's around 5mm thick. If you need to knead it a little more to stop it cracking when you roll it out then you can.
Cut out gingerbread shapes using a cutter of your choice, circles for simple cookies, a gingerbread man, hearts, stars or whatever cutters you have. (If you don’t have a round cutter, you could use an empty Just Bee honey pot!)
Transfer the gingerbread to your prepared baking sheets, they will spread a little so leave a couple of centimetres between them.
Top Tip: On hot days and to minimise the shapes spreading return the full trays to the fridge to chill again for 10 minutes before baking.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 12 mins, they should be a lovely golden brown. For an even bake, rotate the trays after 7 minutes and swap shelves if you are baking multiple sheets at the same time.
Once baked, leave aside to cool slightly before transferring the gingerbread to wire racks to cool completely.
9. Decorating and other ideas.
If you'd like to decorate your gingerbread then now is the perfect time to get younger kids involved. With a few small bowls of different coloured icing and a handful of sweets they will undoubtedly make the gingerbread men look like monsters that have just crawled out of a swamp... but that's all part of the fun!
We think the amount of ginger is perfect for most people's taste, but for a milder biscuit you could always just use 1 teaspoon of ground ginger instead of 2.