Gingerbread man facts for kids
Gingerbread men are cookies made of gingerbread shaped like people. In America, they are most popular at Christmastime. Ingredients include ginger, molasses, spices, flour, butter, eggs, etc. The dough is rolled out on a flat surface, and the gingerbread man is made with a cookie cutter. The cookies can be frosted and decorated with various trims such as raisins.
Gingerbread dates from the 15th century, and figural biscuit-making was practiced in the 16th century. The first documented instance of figure-shaped gingerbread biscuits was at the court of Elizabeth I of England. She had the gingerbread figures made and presented in the likeness of some of her important guests.
Most gingerbread men share a roughly humanoid shape, with stubby feet and no fingers. Many gingerbread men have a face, though whether the features are indentations within the face itself or other candies stuck on with icing or chocolate varies from recipe to recipe. Other decorations are common; hair, shirt cuffs, and shoes are sometimes applied, but by far the most popular decoration is shirt buttons, which are traditionally represented by gum drops, icing, or raisins.
In world records
According to the Guinness Book of Records, the world’s largest gingerbread man was made by the staff of the IKEA Furuset store in Oslo, Norway, on 9 November 2009. The gingerbread man weighed 1435.2 pounds (651kg).
In fiction and popular culture
- "The Gingerbread Man" is a fairy tale about a gingerbread man who comes to life, outruns an elderly couple and various animals, and is devoured by a fox in the end.
- Gingy is a talking gingerbread man character in the Shrek series of animated movies. He is derived from the fairy tale "The Gingerbread Man".
- In Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's famous ballet The Nutcracker (1892), the eponymous hero leads an army of gingerbread men against the Mouse King and his fellows.
- The Gingerbread People are the main characters in the game Candy Land (1945).
- The Gingerbread Men were featured in The Muppet Show. In the "Don Knotts" episode, the Gingerbread Men sing the song "Sweet Gingerbread Man" as the opening number. The lead Gingerbread Man is a hand-rod Muppet performed by Frank Oz while the full-bodied Gingerbread Men were performed by Jim Henson, Dave Goelz, Richard Hunt, and Jerry Nelson.
- In the film The Brothers Grimm, a nightmarish twist on the Gingerbread Man appears. A young child is splashed with mud and the mud steals the child's eyes, nose and mouth. It then forms a small mud body with the child's stolen features for a face. The creature grabs the child and absorbs her into itself. It runs off yelling, "You can't catch me; I'm the Gingerbread Man!"
Kids Gingerbread Man recipe
Here's a recipe so you can make your own Gingerbread Men!
The Ingredients you need
- 6 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks butter of soft butter
- 4 tsp. ginger
- 4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. cloves
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup molasses or golden syrup
- Combine the dry ingredients in a big bowl - flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder, and salt.
- Beat the butter and brown sugar together in another bowl (wet ingredients).
- Mix in the eggs with the butter and sugar.
- Mix in the molasses.
- Gradually mix in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until they are well combined.
- Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C
- Roll the dough out onto a floured surface so it doesn't stick.
- Use a gingerbread man cookie cutter to cut out the cookies.
- Place them on a tray covered with baking paper. Not too close together.
- Bake for 8 - 15 minutes. It's a good idea to just keep and eye on them.
- Let them cool down.
- Decorate with icing, M&M's or other candy.
Gingerbread man Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.