Thursday, November 16, 2006

Making Gingerbread

Yesterday was a cold, gray, rainy day, and I wanted something nice and comforting to go with a cup of afternoon coffee. When my daughter got up from her nap, I asked her if she'd like to make gingerbread. She inquired if we could use our new boy and girl cookie cutters but I explained that we were going to make the cakey kind of gingerbread, not the dough that you roll out for cookies. She thought the idea of cake sounded nice, as long as I promised to make the cookies soon too, which of course I did.

So with her standing in the "helping chair" we mixed up the very simple batter, practiced counting while the mixer whipped it up, and then sampled batter before I got it in the oven. (Yes, eating batter with raw eggs is a risky practice, but we only use local organic eggs and I take that risk.) When the gingerbread came out of the oven, we sat down at the table and enjoyed a nice warm piece.

The recipe I used comes from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. My mom had an older version of it and used it often when I was growing up, and the red plaid cover is comforting to me. When I'd just gotten old enough to use the oven, I started making this gingerbread recipe on my own, and it became traditional for me to make it for my family on Christmas Eve so sharing it with my daughter brightened an otherwise dismal day.

Here's the recipe:

Gingerbread

1.5 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4t cinnamon
3/4t ground ginger
1/2t baking soda
1/2t baking powder
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1/2 cup hot water

Stir all ingredients together and use an electric mixer on low until combined. Then mix on high speed for 2 minutes (medium speed if using a stand mixer). Pour batter into a greased and floured 8x8 pan and cook at 350F for 25 minutes.

37 comments:

Anne Douglas said...

Can butter be substituted for shortening, Sylvia?

And finally, a recipe that makes use of molasses! I keep seeing it on the shelves in the supermarket, and wondering what folks do with it (much like corn syrup). Then I miss home (New Zealand) wishing for Golden Syrup.

Becky said...

Yum! I love gingerbread, but I've never been able to find a good recipe for it. I wrote it down. hehe I'm going to try it. :)

Silvia Violet said...

Hi Anne, I'd love to travel to New Zealand someday! I think that butter would work fine. You might need slightly more since butter is around 80% fat and shortening is 100% fat.

Glad you liked the recipe Becky! Hope it works for you :)

Anonymous said...

The gingerbread recipe sound yummy.
Will have to try it. Happy Thanksgiving.

littlelamblst said...

There is something wonderfully evocative about gingerbread and the wonderful smell of it baking. Will definitely try your recipe.

emma said...

roses are red
viloets are blue
i really wish i could write like you.

roses are red
violets are blue
and now i wish i could cook too!
emma

Silvia Violet said...

Emma, you crack me up!

Cherie said...

Good morning Sylvia! Thanks for the gingerbread cake recipe. It sounds delicious! :^)

Cherie said...

Silvia, sorry I just mis-spelled your name in the previous message. It's early...Cherie M.

Tam said...

Silva, That sounded so good I copied it and sent it to my husband in an email. He loves to bake breads and is always looking for new recipes. He will love this one.

Silvia Violet said...

No worries on the spelling Cherie! Glad you liked the recipe.

Tam, I hope your husband has fun baking it.

LISA WILLIAMS said...

Sound yummy!

Shuck Ying said...

I've never made gingerbreat. I must try this recipe.

Deborah Chan said...

The kids love gingerbread.

Dawn M said...

That sounds lovely, I shall have to try it. Will Golden Syrup substitute for the molasses (never seen molasses in England but I think it's black treacle, which I hate).

Cathy said...

I have so many wonderful memories of baking with my kids. Though we never tackled gingerbread, we would spend a weekend making christmas cut-out cookies. Of course, it was the decorating that they enjoyed the most.

Silvia Violet said...

Dawn, molasses is an intrical part of gingerbread whether the cakey kind or the cookie recipe so I'm not sure how it would be with a substitution. If I were going to substitute, I'd go with dark Karo syrup aka dark corn syrup. I've never seen Golden Syrup in America so I'm not sure about that one. I do believe Molasses may be the same as black treacle based on this article. I know plenty of people who wouldn't eat molasses straight but who love gingerbread so you might want to try it.

Nicole said...

Ooooh, thanks for the recipe. Gingerbread sounds nice right about now, with a nice cup of hot chocolate with it. Hugs. :-)

Mary Ann said...

Hi Silvia, This gingerbread sounds wonderful and easy to prepare!!
Hugs
Mary Ann

Beth said...

thanks for the recipe I was wanting to make gingerbread cookies this year with my daughter cool

Cathie said...

I've always bought gingerbread cookies but didn't like them til I was an adult! But thought making them would be hard. Too, I never had it like cake! Do you put frosting on it too? It sounds easy!

Cynthya said...

That sounds wonderful, and easy, too (which is always a plus!) I'll bet it smells wonderful while it's cooking. I think I have all the ingredients except the molasses. I use molasses in pecan pie, can't think of any other recipes I use it in off the top of my head.

escondita said...

Yummm....I will definitely be trying the gingerbread, no later than this weekend! and thanks for the venison burger recipe--we have a deer being processed right now, and I'll try it out. We love goat burgers, too (we raise them...goats, not burgers!). Of course, I'd REALLY love one of your books to read while I'm eating a piece of fresh-baked gingerbread... (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). Thanks for posting the recipes!

Julia

Anonymous said...

Hi Silvia,
That is so nice you sharing the family tradition with your daughter. It is hard to teach a boy all of this when he is more interrested in video games and instead of cooking but he dose mine eat the goodies after there bake. LOL! Thanks A nice Blog you have here.
Hugs!
Lisa

Silvia Violet said...

Cathie, I don't usually frost it, but I often serve it with whipped cream or ice cream. Frosting would be good too though.

Cynthya, I don't use molasses too often but I do like to dip cornbread in it and I also put it in smoothies instead of honey sometimes because it is high in iron.

annalisa said...

I've never made gingerbread before - your recipe sounds good and easy! I'll have to try it - or get my hubby to - he likes cook & bake! :)

annalisa

Susan said...

mmm this looks yummy.

Jackie said...

Sounds like a really good reacipe...I copied it down to try. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Cherie said...

Hello Silvia

that sounds good.
I know my farther would love it.
I wrote it down and I'll try and make it.

~Cherie K~

Joan said...

Thank for the recipe. I didn't have a gingerbread recipe.

jennybrat said...

Thanks for the recipe. The blog looks good.

Teresa said...

Those cookies sound like they were wonderful. I was wondering if there is any way I could get a copy of the recipe. I love any kind of cooky with ginger in them.

Silvia Violet said...

Teresa, we haven't made the cookies yet and I've got a few recipes I'm going to pick between. When we make them, I'll report back and share a recipe.

Anne Douglas said...

Dawn M

Yes, you can substitute Golden syrup for the molasses, but you will get a much more mellow flavour. Indeed for the best match treacle would be the thing. I am like you though, golden syrup all the way :) AND IM OUT! wahhh!!!! I need a care package from home :)

Liz said...

i want to make this over the weekend with my grandson. Hes 3 and last time he stayed we made Chocolte Chip Cookies. Hes in charge of pouring in ingredientds and the mixer. I really think he'ld get akick out of little men
Thanks Silvia

Liz said...

Ok Forgive my last post I had read thru the recipe upto the pan, blame it on too little sleep and not enough Sex.LOL
I'm still gonna make it with him. He helped me make Amish Friendship brea and loves it so I think he'll like this too

Jodi said...

I'll have to copy this recipe and make it with my daughters. They love to help bake.