Friday, October 11, 2013

Homemade Gingerbread!

 
 

 Nothing smells any better baking than gingerbread to me!  It also smells like Fall and holidays!  For some reason gingerbread makes me slightly nostalgic for a time gone by.  I don't know why, because I am not much of a person to live in the past, but I always think of relatives long gone when doing anything having to do with gingerbread.   Just the smell of it, reminds me of being a little girl and my mother making it or relatives who made it. 

This recipe is well over 100 years old and has been passed down in my family through the generations.  My own mother got it from her great aunt so you can see that it is very old and dates back to the late 1800's at least.  You will notice it calls for butter or lard, which back then would be the two choices you had for baking.  I realize most of you won't use lard, but I am keeping the recipe authentic.  Feel free to use shortening if you don't use the butter.
 
To make good gingerbread, you have to have good molasses or as the type here in Kentucky is called, sorghum molasses.  Kentucky and Tennessee are the top producing states for sorghum and therefore sorghum syrup or molasses.   Making syrup or sorghum molasses is very labor intensive and just about a dying art.   The sorghum used in this gingerbread came from a Mennonite farm a county over from ours that still grow sorghum and make the molasses with it. 
 
This gingerbread is the cake like version instead of the cookies some people think of and it's good served just plain, sprinkled with some powdered sugar or with a warm caramel sauce.    Here is what you will need:
 
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or lard
2 eggs
1 cup molasses
2  1/2 cups all purpose flour
1  1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1  1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup hot water
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
 
Cream together sugar and butter (or lard).  Add eggs and mix. Add molasses.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. 
 
Add the flour mixture to the sugar, butter and egg mixture and then beat in the hot water.  Mix just until combined. 
 
Pour into a shallow baking pan that has been well greased or sprayed with nonstick baking spray.   Use a 9"x13" pan with and edge on it.    Bake for about 25 minutes.
 
Cool slightly before cutting.
 
Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar!
 
Or with a warm caramel sauce and a dollop of whipped cream for something even more special!
 

 
Caramel Sauce
1 stick butter (1/ 2 cup)
1 cup milk
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

To make the warm caramel sauce, which you can serve over each piece or without, mix the butter, milk and the sugars in saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Allow this to boil for 3 full minutes, stirring constantly.   Remove from heat and stir in 1 tsp. of vanilla.   This will thicken as it sits, but should be served slightly warm over each piece. 


 
 
 
 
 

6 comments:

  1. You don't include the molasses in the directions for this recipe.

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  2. You leave out adding the molasses in your directions.....probably goes in when you add the hot water?

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  3. When do you add the molasses?

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  4. I have fixed the omission now, you add the molasses after the eggs. Thanks for letting me know! :)

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  5. Kathy, my Mom used to make a very light lemon sauce to serve over gingerbread. Would love a recipe for such a sauce. Thank you.

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  6. Can you make this in loaves...if so...what are the instructions and size.

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