Saturday, December 26, 2009

Daring Baker's Gingerbread Tale

Memories of Gingerbread Town

It was a humble home, filled with love, and always an extra crumb or two for hungry friends or strangers. We welcomed the stray birds, animals and even the poor snowmen who were alone and forgotten after a few days of fun and frolic.
Peace and harmony reigned in Gingerbread Town. One for all, and all for one was our motto.
Sadly, it was our very own goodwill that put an end to our little town.
As time went by, more and more strangers wandered in, hungry for just a bite--a crumb from roof timbers, a smidgen from the door. Over the years the little house became drafty as cracks turned into large holes, and the roof began to slide--one thing lead to another, and finally it all fell DOWN!

There is a good side to this story. After our home fell, we all moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and became huge music stars!
All's well that ends well!

Anna's Recipe:
Spicy Gingerbread Dough (from Good Housekeeping)

2 1/2 cups (500g) packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups (360mL) heavy cream or whipping cream
1 1/4 cups (425g) molasses
9 1/2 cups (1663g) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon(s) baking soda
1 tablespoon(s) ground ginger


1. In very large bowl, with wire whisk (or with an electric mixer), beat brown sugar, cream, and molasses until sugar lumps dissolve and mixture is smooth. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and ginger. With spoon, stir flour mixture into cream mixture in 3 additions until dough is too stiff to stir, then knead with hands until flour is incorporated and dough is smooth.

2. Divide dough into 4 equal portions; flatten each into a disk to speed chilling. Wrap each disk well with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until dough is firm enough to roll.

3. Grease and flour large cookie sheets (17-inch by 14-inch/43x36cm)

4. Roll out dough, 1 disk at a time on each cookie sheet to about 3/16-inch thickness. (Placing 3/16-inch dowels or rulers on either side of dough to use as a guide will help roll dough to uniform thickness.)

5. Trim excess dough from cookie sheet; wrap and reserve in refrigerator. Chill rolled dough on cookie sheet in refrigerator or freezer at least 10 minutes or until firm enough to cut easily.

6. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (149C)

7. Use chilled rolled dough, floured poster board patterns, and sharp paring knife to cut all house pieces on cookie sheet, making sure to leave at least 1 1/4 inches between pieces because dough will expand slightly during baking. Wrap and reserve trimmings in refrigerator. Combine and use trimmings as necessary to complete house and other decorative pieces. Cut and bake large pieces and small pieces separately.

8. Chill for 10 minutes before baking if the dough seems really soft after you cut it. This will discourage too much spreading/warping of the shapes you cut.

9. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until pieces are firm to the touch. Do not overbake; pieces will be too crisp to trim to proper size.

10. Remove cookie sheet from oven. While house pieces are still warm, place poster-board patterns on top and use them as guides to trim shapes to match if necessary. Cool pieces completely before attempting to assemble the house.


  1. LOL, what a hilarious post! Happy new year to you too!

  2. Haha, it isn't beautiful, but I like your post and I bet you enjoyed yourself :-) Happy New Year!

  3. LOVE the Gingerbread Town story! Happy New Year!

  4. Thank you all for appreciating my sense of humor! I will try again, and do a better job next time. The good news: the gingerbread really was delicious. No one could believe I actually made it!

  5. What a cute story! You have such a great attitude =D. Beautiful job!

  6. So funny! I love your post it brought a smile to my face!

  7. LOL, nice story to go with your house. glad you enjoyed building and taking down (eating) the house!

  8. Loved your little story to go with the house--very cute! :)