Gingerbread men with minimal sugar! The dough is sweetened with molasses and banana, and no sugar-fuelled children makes the party all the sweeter……. ask any Teddy Bear.

Serves: Recipe makes 25-30 depending on size
Seaweeds used: nori

  • 115g (4oz) butter, softened
  • 85g (2 generous tablespoons) molasses
  • 1 ripe very large banana or 2 medium bananas
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1-2 tablespoons nori, ground or flaked
  • 1 tablespoon good quality cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 325g (11oz) white spelt flour plus extra for kneading and rolling

variation: use half ground almonds and half white Spelt flour

Decorations:
Good quality dark chocolate drops and buttons and sultanas

  1. Place the softened butter and molasses in a large mixing bowl and cream with a fork or wooden spoon.
  2. Mash the banana and add to the mixture with the egg. Mix well together.
  3. Add the spices, seaweeds and sifted cocoa powder and mix well. Add the baking powder to the flour. Work in ¼ of the flour with a wooden spoon until well combined. Add the next ¼ and work until also well combined. Get your little helpers to assist with the mixing and kneading.
  4. Tip in the remaining weighed flour and use your hands to gather into a dough. You may need to add a little extra flour to rub all the dough from your hands and from the side of the bowl. Once all the dough is together in a ball, knead lightly. Add flour if necessary so that there is no stickiness. Wrap in Clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Unwrap and leave for 20 minutes to soften a little so it will be easy to roll out.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F /Gas 4. Grease some baking trays.
    Roll the dough to a thickness of 4 to 5mm (¼ inch). Cut into lots of shapes with a variety of cutters. Decorate. Bake large shapes together if possible, as they need a bit longer in the oven. Small thin biscuits will cook very quickly. Generally 10 to 12 minutes will cook all sizes but watch them carefully – they burn easily. Cool on the baking trays to firm up and then transfer to a wire tray.