65g unsalted butter, softened
50g golden caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
160g plain flour
a little plain flour, for dusting
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves

For the icing
50g (2oz) icing sugar
a little boiling water

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1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and line a couple of baking trays with nonstick baking paper.
2. Melt the butter, syrup and sugar in a saucepan over a low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat once melted.
3. Sieve together the flour, ground spices, bicarbonate of soda and stir the melted ingredients into the dry ingredients to make a dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll to 5mm thickness.
4. Use a cookie cutter to cut out 12 shapes from the dough. Place them on the lined baking trays and bake for 8-10 minutes until just set and starting to colour at the edges.
5. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool on the trays for 5 minutes before lifting carefully onto a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Whisk together the icing sugar and a little boiling water to make a smooth icing in a small mixing bowl. Fill a small piping bag fitted with a very small pinhole nozzle with the icing. Pipe a border of icing around the gingerbread men and smiley faces as well. Leave to set.

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