Disposable piping bags will make the decorating easier, as the traditional sort can be difficult to clean and dry properly.
- Preparation time: 40 minutes
- Cooking time: 15 minutes
- Total time: 55 minutes
Makes: 1 house and 12 gingerbread men
- 750g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- 225g butter
- ½ tsp salt
- 115g light soft brown sugar
- 350g black treacle
- 500g royal icing sugar mix
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into a large bowl. Over a gentle heat, stir the butter, salt, sugar and treacle together until smooth; add to the bowl and mix to a dough. On a floured surface, roll out to 5mm thick. Using the templates, cut out 4 walls and 2 roof panels; cut a door out of the front wall. There should be enough dough left to make 12 gingerbread men.
- Space out on lined baking sheets. Bake for 12–15 minutes, until the edges are darker brown than the centre. Cool for 5 minutes, then move to a wire rack.
- Add 3–4 tbsp cold water to the icing mix and whip with an electric whisk for 8 minutes, until peaks form. Transfer half to a piping bag with a small nozzle and use it to stick the 4 walls of the house together. Stand the house on a plate and use full tin cans to prop the walls up until the icing dries. Pipe more icing along the top of the 4 walls, stick on the roof and leave to dry. Stick the door on. Put the remaining icing in a new piping bag with a fine nozzle to add icing details to the roof and walls.