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A Traditional Christmas Treat: Gingerbread Recipes

Updated on January 1, 2012

Gingerbread is one of those sweet treats we always tend to associate with the holiday season. It comes in many variations: from soft cakes to crunchy cookies. This delicious treat has existed for centuries. Gingerbread has been baked since the eleventh century in Europe. Different parts of Europe baked different variations of gingerbread, but on thing remained constant among all of Europe; gingerbread was almost always cut into shapes like men, women, animals and stars; and it was always colorfully decorated.

Gingerbread is most popularly seen at Christmas time in the forms of gingerbread houses and gingerbread men. Gingerbread houses were a German tradition which spread to America where it is still popular today. Some of the most extraordinary gingerbread creations come out of the United States.

Fun Gingerbread Facts

  • The concept of the Gingerbread House was popularized by the Grimms Brothers story Hansel and Gretal: a fairytale of two children abandoned in the woods by poor parents, who stumbled upon a house made of cakes, cookies and candy.
  • In medieval England, gingerbread was a popular fair grounds treat. A tradition began in which unmarriedwomen would consume "gingerbread husbands" at the fair. Doing this gave them good fortune in finding a real husband.
  • The name "Gingerbread" comes from the word "zingiber" which is the latin term for Ginger.
  • There is a Swedish tradition in which you can make a wish on a giingerbread.
  • Nuremberg, Germany was known as the Gingerbread-Capital of the world.

By dichohecho on Flickr.com
By dichohecho on Flickr.com | Source

Gingerbread Cookies

Everyone loves Gingerbread Men around the holidays. This is a quick and easy recipe for gingerbread cookies which you can cut into any shape your heart desires.

Prep Time: 25 Min.
Bake Time:
5 Min. per batch
Servings:
78

What You'll Need:

  • 6 Tbsp of softened butter
  • 1 Cup of sugar
  • 1 Cup of molasses
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Tbsp of white vinegar
  • 4 Cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 Tsp of ground ginger
  • 1 1/4 Tsp of baking soda
  • 1 Tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp of ground cloves
  • 1/4 Tsp of salt
  • Colored icing for decorating (optional)
  • Cookie cutters (optional)

Directions for Gingerbread Cookies

  1. Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl for about two minutes.
  2. Then beat in the egg, molasses and vinegar.
  3. Mix the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and cloves together.
  4. Slowly add the butter-sugar mixture to the flour mix.
  5. Cover and chill for four hours until it is easy to handle.
  6. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. It should be 1/8 in. thick.
  7. Dip cookie cutters in some flour and press into the dough to cut shapes.
  8. Using a spatula dipped in flour lift the cookies and place them on a greased baking sheet.
  9. Bake at 375° F for about 5 or 6 minutes.
  10. Let cool
  11. Use colored icing to decorate the cookies appropriately.

Tip: Using candies for decoration is also a fun idea to try. Icing is great for gluing things like gum drops, M&Ms or fruit slices to your cookies.

Gingerbread Cupcakes

This is a modern variation to an old western European version of gingerbread. Instead of gingerbread cakes, why not make some gingerbread cupcakes?

Prep Time: 25 Min.
Bake Time:
20 Min.
Servings:
12

What You'll Need:

  • 1/2 Cup of softened butter
  • 1/2 Cup of packed brown sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Cup of water
  • 1/2 Cup of molasses
  • 1 1/3 Cups of all purpose flour
  • 3/4 Tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 Tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 Tsp of salt
  • 1/2 Tsp of ground ginger
  • 1/2 Tsp of ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 Tsp of ground allspice
  • Vanilla frosting

Directions for Gingerbread Cupcakes

  1. Prepare the cupcake pans by putting paper or foil linings in the cups.
  2. Cream the butter and brown sugar, in a large bowl, until fluffy and light.
  3. Beat in the egg, water and molasses.
  4. Mix the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, salt, allspice and nutmeg.
  5. Add the flour mix to the butter-brown sugar mixture.
  6. Beat until well blended.
  7. Fill the paper or foil lined pans 2/3 full.
  8. Bake at 350° F for 20 to 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Let cool completely.
  10. Now frost cupcakes.

Tip: Add a few drops of food coloring to your frosting to make your cupcakes more festive for the holidays. Again candies also make great decorations!

Pumpkin Gingerbread

This is a fabulous gingerbread treat that combines all the delicious holiday season flavors: pumpkin, gingerbread and caramel. This recipe is not just perfect for Christmas but for the entire holiday season.

Prep Time: 30 Min.
Bake Time:
40 Min.
Servings:
9

What You'll Need

  • 2 1/4 Cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 Cup of sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tsp of ground ginger
  • 1 Tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 Tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp of salt
  • 1/4 Tsp of ground cloves
  • 2/3 Cup of cold cubed butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Cup of buttermilk
  • 1/2 Cup of canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 Cup of molasses

For Caramel Sauce

  • 1/2 Cup of cubed butter
  • 1 1/4 Cups of packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp of light corn syrup
  • 1/2 Cup of heavy whipping cream

Directions for Pumpkin Gingerbread:

  1. Mix the flour, ginger, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and cloves in a large bowl.
  2. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
  3. Mix the egg, buttermilk, pumpkin and molasses together.
  4. Stir into the crumby mixture until moist.
  5. Pour the mixture into a greased square baking pan.
  6. Bake at 350° F for 40 to 45 minutes.

How to Make the Sauce...

  1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter.
  2. Stir in the brown sugar and corn syrup.
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and cook until the sugar dissolves.
  5. Stir in the cream.
  6. Return to a boil.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Serve with the warm pumpkin gingerbread.

Comments

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    • MikeSyrSutton profile image

      MikeSyrSutton 

      6 years ago from An uncharted galaxy

      Wow! I love all of your recipes! Nice work, and merry Christmas!

    • Skylar Spring profile imageAUTHOR

      Skylar Spring 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thank you both for reading and commenting :)

    • profile image

      V Qisya 

      6 years ago

      I love it! Gonna try this out. Thanks so much for sharing, Skylar. Have a nice day!

      Best Wishes, V

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