December 21, 2008

A Gingerbread Tradition

Click on the title to take you to a bit of Gingerbread history.

Mom's favorite Christmas treat is Gingerbread, not cookies or houses, but by loaf. Grandmother use to make it every year. About 8 years ago after Grandmother had passed Mom mentioned she missed the holiday treat.
I had been blessed to inherit Grandmother's recipe collection so I went in search of grandmother's recipe in hopes of surprising Mom. I could not find Grandmother's handwritten recipe though in her collection I did find

The Brer Rabbit's New Orleans Molasses Recipes booklet copyright 1948 Penick & Ford, Ltd. Inc.
This is the recipe I have been making the last 8 years. The family loves it.
My Best Gingerbread
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Brer Rabbit Molasses
1 cup hot water
Cream together shortening and sugar. Add egg; beat well. Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Combine molasses and water; add alternately with flour mixture to creamed mixture. Line 8" x 8" x 2" greased pan with greased waxed paper; pour in batter. Bake in moderate oven, 350ยบ F., 50 - 60 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Remove from pan.
It is very good, especially with topped with whipped cream.
I could not find Brer Rabbit Molasses at our local grocers. I do however keep blackstrap molasses on hand at all times for offering molasses water to the goats. (Goat owners will understand :-)

I have used Blackstrap as a substitute with no problems what so ever. Though do believe any molasses will work.

It's 7 degrees out this morning, a good day for baking.


Joanna said...

looks good. you're getting ready for your company.

City Mouse said...

Gingerbread is a favorite of mine! Since I am on vacation until January 5 (!) I need some things to bake during the day - I'll try this recipe this week! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Yum. I really like gingerbread. We do have brer rabbit molasses here, which is strange. I thought it was east coast only. Maybe it was a special buy by the store...

A few weeks ago the SCA group I'm in ran a culinary symposium. Basically we gathered people from all over the country to teach about food in the middle ages. I took the gingerbread class.

Boy! Was it different in the middle ages! It was basically made of very fine bread crumbs (very stale hard bread, probably dried in an oven, and then pounded really small). We used bread crumbs for stuffing, dried them in the oven and then pounded them down. Then honey is heated, and the ginger and other spices are mixed into it. Once it's warm it's combined with the breadcrumbs. It's very quickly mixed in, because it hardens fast. Then the mixture is spread out on a flat pan and left to harden. It can be slightly sticky, depending upon the humidity in the room.

It tastes very good, but very different from 'our' gingerbread. It's more like a candy than a 'cookie'.