Preheat the oven to 325°F. / 165°C. Lightly spray an 8x8 inch (20cm) square baking pan and line with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, spices and salt.
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and gently stir until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread to the edges. Dot with mini gingerbread men (or broken up larger gingerbread cookies).
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are set but the centre still giggles slightly. Allow to cool completely before removing from the tray and cutting.
If there are any lumps in the powdered sugar, make sure you sift them out before adding to the brownie batter.
The baking pan is best if sprayed and lined with parchment to help prevent sticking.
For a brownie that is more cake-like, use butter or vegan butter instead of oil.
If the batter looks too dry or thick, add a few tablespoons of water to the mixture.
Brownies must be fully cooled before removing and cutting into squares.
If you are decorating the brownies with crumbled gingerbread or gingerbread men, make sure you do this BEFORE baking as they will not stick after.
Variations: Add in some white or milk chocolate chips to the brownie batter for an extra dose of chocolatey flavor.Dust with powdered sugar after baking for a snowy look.Sprinkle holiday-coloured sprinkles on top before baking.To Make it Gluten Free: To make these gingerbread brownies gluten free, use a 1:1 gluten free flour blend instead of all purpose flour. Make sure your gingerbread cookies and all other ingredients are gluten-free.To Make It Vegan: Replace the one egg in this recipe with a vegan egg substitute or a flax egg. Ensure your gingerbread cookies and all other incredients are vegan.Storing: Cooked brownies can be stored in an airtight container in the pantry for up to one week.Freezing: Cooked brownies can be frozen in a freezer-safe bag with the air taken out for up to 4 months. Defrost on the counter for 1-2 hours before serving.