Ok so here's one of the recipes I promised. It was handed down from my Mum. If you have the time and the patience the fun is in the icing. We created our own piping bags by cutting a hole in the corner of plastic zip-lock bags.
Eating these biscuits takes me back to the days of the Pizza Palace in the 1970's (Adelaide readers may remember this on Anzac Highway at Klemzig - it was taken over by Pizza Hut in 1978) where by the cash register they sold gingerbread biscuits coated in white icing sugar and sprinkles - it was such a special treat to take one home at the end of the night :)
Be warned! These biscuits are so good you will find yourself sneaking them when the little people are not looking. Our most recent batch didn't even make it to the icing stage!
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add egg yolk and beat well. Gradually add sifted dry ingredients and syrup, mix well, knead lightly. Divide dough into six portions. Roll each portion between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper to 3mm thickness (I find the thinner the dough the crisper the biscuits).
Gently remove greaseproof paper from the top. Cutout gingerbread figures with biscuits shapes or cut around cardboard shapes (be creative) with a sharp knife. I cleaned and used the kids playdough tools. Remove any excess mixture around the cutout figures and roll again.
Lift gingerbread figure by the bottom sheet of greaseproof paper then turn onto greaseproof oven trays. Peel greaseproof paper away and cook in moderate oven for 10 minutes (about 180C). Cool on trays. Prepare icing and pipe on features/clothes.
Sift icing sugar. Beat egg white lightly in a small bowl, using a wooden spoon. Add icing sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. When icing reaches piping consistency (firm) beat in lemon juice and desired food colouring. Spoon royal icing into small plastic bag, snip off one corner to make a piping bag.