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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What Does Gingerbread Have to do with the Revolution?

 Gingerbread was a popular Colonial treat and a favorite at Christmastime with Colonist in America. They decorated their homes with gingerbread, and women baked from family recipes handed down the generations from European ancestors. 

Gingerbread goes back centuries, and stuck with American cookery down the generations. Can you imagine the aroma as it baked in a cast iron pans inside huge hearth ovens?

Check out this beautiful Colonial Gingerbread mold sold on Ebay.

 Cindy at Country Christmas Blog has these beautiful gingerbread designs with her recipe.

Here's a traditional colonial recipe from the Colonial Williamsburg website.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup melted margarine
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup unsulfered molasses
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 4 cups stone-ground or unbleached flour, unsifted
Combine the sugar, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Mix well. Add the melted margarine, evaporated milk and molasses. Add the extracts. Mix well. Add the flour 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly. The dough should be stiff enough to handle without sticking to fingers. Knead the dough for a smoother texture. Add up to 1/2 cup additional flour if necessary to prevent sticking. When the dough is smooth, roll it out 1/4 inch thick on a floured surface and cut it into cookies. Bake on floured or greased cookie sheets in a preheated 375°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes. The gingerbread cookies are done when they spring back when touched.

Books to Inspire your Colonial Christmas


  1. Is that a gingerbread brownie? Looks yummy. With all the baking ladies did way back when, homes had to smell divine!

  2. We used to have gingerbread a lot when I was young. It was always a form of cake, not a cookie, and my grandmother would make a lemon sauce for it that we warmed before using.

    Thanks for the memories, Rita.

  3. The scent of gingerbread always reminds me of this time of year. Thanks for sharing the info on these goodies!

  4. I love gingerbread, and just made some cookies last night. It makes the house smell wonderful. Thanks Rita.

  5. Check out my facebook page for a look at the gingerbread house my granddaughter was part of creating.

    Or look at this video.

    My granddaughter was the Master Cookie Decorator for the project. The snowflake window is one of her creations.

  6. I want that mold, Rita! Thanks for this post! I love gingerbread, too, like Janet and am working on recipes without any wheat.

  7. For my new novel, I wanted my main character's nickname to be "Gingersnap." I had a hard time figuring out a date on that name, but finally came up with somewhere in the very early 1800s, which worked.

  8. That top picture is mouth watering!

  9. I LOVE Gingerbread! Thank you for this recipe!!! :)


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