Gingergirl: ‘A little project for little bakers’

Helen Keown


Helen Keown

Gingerbread men are perfect for little bakers
Welcome to all about food. It’s time to get baking little men with the little people!

Welcome to all about food. It’s time to get baking little men with the little people!

Ask gingergirl

Hello gingergirl,

I am looking for a recipe for gingerbread men. The recipe I have spreads a lot making my gingerbread men obese, which isn’t very appealing in gingerbread men.

Can you please help?

Aisling, Cappamore (age 13)

Hello Aisling,

Obese gingerbread men…or women are not a good look! I have to say, I have become something of a gingerbread expert thanks to my two daughters’ love of baking - as well the many years I spent making literally thousands of the little guys during my time selling at the various Farmers’ Markets!

The beauty of working with this dough is that it can handle a good bashing (kneading) from my girls and it still bakes perfectly. We made some really cute, I mean spooky (!), gingerbread ghosts for Halloween thanks to my ever increasing collection of cutters, and I plan to make some gingerbread decorations for our Christmas Tree!

Gingerbread Men

(makes approx. 12)

75g of light brown soft sugar

2 tablespoons of golden syrup

1 tablespoon of treacle

1 tablespoon of water

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

A pinch of cloves

Finely grated zest of an orange

95g of butter

½ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

225g plain flour sifted, plus a little more (if needed)

Tubes of icing (to decorate)

Put the sugar, syrup, treacle, water, spices and zest in to a large saucepan and bring to boiling point, stirring all the time.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and the bicarbonate of soda. Next, stir in the flour gradually until you have smooth manageable dough – add a little more flour if you think it needs it.

Leave the dough covered in a cool place to become firm for approximately 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°c. Roll the dough out to 3mm thick on a lightly floured surface and cut out the gingerbread men.

Arrange them on the baking sheets and bake for 10–12 minutes until the biscuits feel firm when lightly pressed with a fingertip.

Leave them to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack. To decorate, use the icing to make little faces or write names.

Gingergirl’s famous chocolate brownies are back!

I am forever getting messages from my Limerick customers in search of my chocolate brownies. These brownies have gained superstar status over the last 7 years and have been the topic of newspaper and magazine articles, blogs, rugby captain’s speeches (!) as well as being awarded their very own Facebook page!

Well, the good news is that they are back and are now adorning the cake stands of Melt Chocolate & Coffee Café on Little Catherine St. Enjoy!

Contact gingergirl


Gingergirl aka Helen Keown is an artisan food producer who produces a range of handmade luxury jams, preserves and chutney’s made from local, seasonal or organic ingredients. Helen’s produce is available nationwide from independent food emporiums and is also available at selected food delis across Europe.

Letters to ‘gingergirl’ c/o The Limerick Leader, 54 O’Connell St. Limerick.

You can follow gingergirl’s on Twitter – under gingergirlfood or on Facebook – under ‘gingergirl’.