Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add egg and beat well. Gradually add sifted dry ingredients and syrup, mix well, knead lightly. Divide dough into 6 portions, and roll each portion till 3mm thick.
Cut out gingerbread figures with special cutters or cut around cardboard shapes with a sharp knife.
Bake in a moderate oven (180ºC) for 10 minutes. Cool on trays.
Spoon icing into a small plastic bag, snip off one corner to make a piping bag. Pipe on features and clothing.