These tough cookies beat the pants off gingerbread men. For more pictures, see my Flickr ninjabread photoset. I’ve linked to appropriate photos in the set from various points in the recipe.

These little bastards take up a lot of room on a baking tray, so I spent about an hour swapping trays in and out of the oven until they were all cooked (I made a double batch). Luckily they only take 10 minutes to cook.


  • 125g butter, at room temperature
  • 100g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) golden syrup
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 375g (2 1/2 cups) plain flour
  • 1 tbs ground ginger
  • 1 teasp mixed spice
  • 1 teasp bicarbonate of soda
  • Plain flour, to dust
  • Royal icing packet mixture*
  • 8-10 drops red liquid food colouring
  • 1-2 tsp black food colouring paste*
  • Silver edible glitter*

* These ingredients can be found at cake decorating supply stores


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Use an electric beater or blender to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the golden syrup and egg yolk and beat until combined. Stir in the flour, ginger, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Press dough into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
  3. Meanwhile, make the royal icing according to packet instructions. Separate into 3 bowls. Add the red food colouring to one bowl and mix until bright red. Add the black food colouring to another bowl and mix until almost black (a little grey is okay, it will set black when dry). Leave the third bowl white. Cover the bowls with plastic wrap.
  4. Place the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll out until about 4mm thick. Use a 9cm gingerbread man cutter to cut out shapes. If your men are fat, trim them so they’re lean and mean. Use a spatula to place on trays about 3cm apart. Use excess dough to cut out star shapes using a 2cm star shaped cutter and a straw for holes in the middle.
  5. Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven. Using a spatula, transfer to a rack to cool (leave them on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to the rack, or they will be too soft and may break on transfer).
  6. Place prepared icings in small plastic bags. Cut a small hole in a corner of each bag. Pipe icing over gingerbread men to decorate. For throwing stars, spread the white icing over the stars (scooping icing out of the holes when necessary) and sprinkle glitter over them, then tap off any excess glitter. Attach the stars to the men using royal icing.

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