Here's a healthier version of a traditional favourite. You can buy fancy-shaped cutters and let the kids cut out gingerbread figures, stars or Christmas trees. Chopped dried fruit or nuts make good decorations.
Lynn Lewis and Joachim Wahnschaffe
85g plain flour
85g wholemeal flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
80ml golden syrup
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Preheat oven to 190 degrees C. Lightly grease a large baking tray. Sift plain and wholemeal flours, bicarb soda, ginger and cinnamon into a bowl, tipping in any bran left in the sieve.
Place butter and syrup in a saucepan and melt over low heat, stirring occasionally. Pour mixture onto dry ingredients. Stir, working mixture into a firm dough.
Break off a walnut-sized lump of dough; roll into a ball in the palms of your hand. Flatten to 6cm in diameter and place on baking tray. Repeat with remaining dough. Alternatively, roll out dough on a floured work surface and cut out decorative shapes.
Bake for 8–10 minutes or until slightly risen and just browned. Cool on baking tray for 2–3 minutes or until cookies are firm enough to lift without breaking; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight tin for up to 5 days.