You can use this recipe to make gingerbread men, but if you have the time then mini gingerbread houses are a quirky idea. I had great fun icing and decorating mine, and will be giving some away as gifts. The houses are designed to sit on the edge of a mug of tea/cocoa etc. and look so cute! This recipe makes more than enough dough for mini houses, so if that is all you are making I would suggest you half the ingredients.
Cooking time: 10-15 mins per baking tray (3 hours to chill)

900g plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
225g butter
350g golden syrup
175g soft brown sugar
120ml water
1 medium egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Royal icing and various sprinkles to decorate

1.  Sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon.

2. In another bowl mix together the butter, syrup, sugar, water, egg and vanilla until smooth.

3. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until they are completely absorbed. Divide the dough into 3 pieces, pat down to about 5mm thickness, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. This dough can keep for a few days in the fridge so can be made in advance of baking.

4. Cut out templates for your houses from card so you can use a knife to cut around them.  You only need 3 shapes, but 2 of each to make a full house. For the sides I measured a 2cmx2cm square. For the front and back I used 3cmx3cm (with a door cut in and slanted roof - see photo). The roof part measured 3.5cmx3.5cm. It's worth baking one set of each and assembling it to check it will fit on a mug and looks how you want it to first!

5. Preheat the oven to 150 C (300F). Roll your dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 3mm thickness. Cut out your shapes using the templates (remember - 2 of each to make 1 house). Bake for 10-15 mins until lightly golden and let cool on a wire rack. I found the houses looked much better with thinner roofs so I baked these on a separate baking tray as they took less time. 

6. While they are cooling, make up some royal icing according to the packet instructions. Assemble the houses and let the icing set before decorating. Now have some fun! See below for my efforts.


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