150g sugar (I used white, but brown is just as good)
230ml golden syrup (see notes below)
30g dark molasses
1 large egg
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
800g all-purpose flour
1 egg white
½ teaspoon lemon juice
210g powdered sugar, sifted
Combine the butter and sugar in a bowl and mix for 5 minutes until creamy and fluffy.
Stir in the egg and mix well.
Add the golden syrup and molasses, as well as the orange zest and vanilla extract and mix well. At this point, the mixture might look curdles, especially if there was a temperature difference between the butter and egg, but that's ok, you're on the right path.
Sift the flour with ginger, cinnamon, pepper, baking soda and salt.
Incorporate ¾ of the flour into your butter mixture and add the remaining flour gradually. Depending on a few factors, like humidity and how large the egg was, you might need more or less flour. I find that 800g is the best quantity, but you might need 50g+/-. It is best to knead the dough to the end and only add enough flour to make a dough that is soft and easy to work with, but doesn't stick to your hands and can be rolled easily. Don't add more than 850g flour as the dough will be too stiff and rolling later on will be difficult.
Once the dough done, wrap it in a plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
After 2 hours, place the dough on a floured working surface and roll it into a ¼-inch thick sheet.
Using gingerbread men cookie cutters, cut small or large cookies and place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
I used the same dough for the gingerbread house you see below - all you need is a pattern you like and you're good to go!
Bake the gingerbread men in the preheated oven at 350F - 180C for 10-15 minutes just until the edges begin to turn golden brown. If you want to store the cookies for a longer time though, I recommend baking a few more minutes to dry them out slightly.
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer for 5 minutes or until thick and fluffy.
Spoon the icing into a small piping bag and decorate the cookies and gingerbread house.
You can replace the golden syrup with a caramel syrup. To make the syrup, melt 250f white sugar until it has an amber color. Pour in 100ml hot water (stand back as it might splash) and cook the syrup just until the sugar is melted. Remove from heat and let it cool down before using it.
Recipe by Pastry Workshop at http://pastry-workshop.com/gingerbread-men-turta-dulce/