I made these for a friends Halloween party this weekend, I know how very un Australian. I got the ideas for the gingerbread men from doctor Google but the pumpkin and cat were original. The recipe for the gingerbread I used is actually a Mary Berry recipe. Usually we use it to make a gingerbread house as that is what the recipe is for, but I halved the recipe for the Halloween gingerbread so here is the altered version:
187g unsalted butter
150g dark muscovado sugar
75g golden syrup
450g plain flour
1/2 tbsp bicarbonate soda
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 1/2 egg whites
337g icing sugar
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
Cachous (for the cats)
Red and black writing icing
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius. Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a large saucepan. Set aside once the sugar is dissolved.
2. Sieve the dry ingredients and make a well in the centre.
3. Pour in the melted butter mixture and stir. Once the mixture is cool enough to handle knead to a stiff dough.
4. Roll out gingerbread, a few sections at a time, until about 5mm thick. Cover the gingerbread not being rolled out with cling wrap so it does not dry out.
5. Cut out pumpkins, gingerbread men and cats. Bake the gingerbread, one tray at a time, for 5-7 minutes until lightly browned.
1. Whisk the egg whites in a medium sized bowl until frothy.
2. Using an electric mixer, on a slow speed, add the icing sugar a tablespoonful at a time.
3. Stir in the lemon juice and beat the icing until it is very stiff and white and stands up in peaks. Cover the surface with a damp cloth if not using immediately.
1. Cut the tip off a disposable piping bag and fill it with the Royal icing. Pipe some icing on baking paper to see whether the thickness is right.
2. For the vampire gingerbread man stick on 4 M’n’Ms with Royal icing. Then using the black writing icing to draw a straight line. Next make 2 fangs by piping little triangles with the Royal icing. Finally stick on 2 eyes with Royal icing.
3. For the mummy gingerbread man stick on 2 eyes with Royal icing. Then pipe on horizontal strips from one side to the other of the man to look like bandages.
4. For the headless gingerbread man stick on 3 M’n’Ms with Royal icing. Then using the red writing icing pipe on varying dribbles of blood.
5. For the cat pipe on two ears as well as a collar. Then stick one cachous to the collar.
6. For the pumpkins outline the pumpkin in Royal icing and pipe icing on the stalk. Stick brown M’n’Ms to the stalk until it is covered and stick orange M’n’Ms around the outline leaving an even space between each one. Finally Stick on 2 eyes with Royal icing and then make 4 curved lines in the middle.
The sections in bold are the ones I changed or added to make the recipe read better.