The most common cookie we think of when we think of Christmas is the molasses cookies' cousin, the gingerbread cookie! At Christmas time it is a tradition for most people to make spiced gingerbread men and colorful gingerbread houses. In my family, we have made gingerbread houses many times. One year, I had a little meltdown because my house kept falling over!
Gingerbread has been around since the 16th century. Gingerbread houses were first seen in Germany around the same time. Gingerbread houses became extremely popular after the Brothers Grimm wrote their terrifying and creepy tale, Hansel & Gretel. For those of you lucky enough to have never heard this twisted fable, it is about two kids whole stumble upon a house in the forest made of gingerbread and candy.
Just like many other foods, gingerbread came to the new world with the settlers. In what is now America, people enjoyed the softer version of gingerbread. One person was George Washington (because of his lack of real teeth?! I don't know for sure but makes sense!!) His mother was known for making softer gingerbread and that became one of the many, many popular variations of this treat.
Gingerbread houses are such a stable cookie, it's no wonder we love to build with them! I think it is so amazing that cookies can be so full of history and hold so many memories for people.
What Christmas memories do you have with gingerbread? What is your favorite way to make gingerbread?
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 and 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tbsp. ground ginger
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. colves
- 1.4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter,softened
- 3/4 packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup dark molasses
- 1 large egg, room temp.
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Whisk the flour, salt, and spices together in a bowl. Set aside.
- In a mediu size bowl, cream the butter and sugar until they've just come together.
- Add the egg and mix until incorporated
- Add the molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest. Mix until incorporated.
- Slowly mix in the flour mixture until your dough forms. If your dough is remarkably dry, add 1 tsp of milk until it comes together, but you don't want it sticky.
- Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4" thickness. Bake on a baking sheet for 8-9 mins.