Gingerbread All the Way

Gingerbread cookies

The quintessential gingerbread for Christmas

Gingerbread is so synonymous with the month of December, but why? Perhaps it is the fact that the gingerbread recipes are often crafted into novelty festive shapes, or perhaps it is the spicy yet sweet nature of the gingerbread itself which makes us associate it with the Christmas holidays. Whatever it may be, it is a well loved sweet treat all over the world and even has two days dedicated to it during the year.

National Gingerbread House Day is on December 12th and National Gingerbread day is celebrated on June 5th and the sweet treat itself is said to date all the way back to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks who used it during ceremonies. However, over the centuries, Europe claimed it as its own and began to adapt recipes. There were many variations of gingerbread and the texture and tastes could vary from soft to crunchy, sweet to spicy, but even then it was loved by all who tried it.

The festive gingerbread houses

Gingerbread today still varies in flavour and texture wherever you go but usually is a crisp cookie-like sweet that uses ingredients such as ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, sugar, honey and molasses. The ingredients once prepared are then cut into novelty shapes like gingerbread men or women or other shapes (especially at Christmas when they can often be reindeer, Christmas tree or Santa shaped) and then decorated with icing sugar or colourful icing.

Gingerbread houses however are the most exciting thing about Christmas and for kids and grownups alike, it is just so cool to start creating your own gingerbread house. Gingerbread can make the walls and roofs of your house and you can get creative with decorating it to look like your idealistic Hansel and Gretel house. Flaked almonds make perfect roof tiles, whilst chocolate fingers are great decorations for the doors and outer walls and can make your gingerbread house look like a cosy little log cabin!

Gingerbread cakes are just as popular as the cookies themselves and can have the flavours of gingerbread cookies but all the moisture and softness of a Christmas cake! If you want to keep the festive flavours flowing (that was a bit of a tongue twister!) then why not try the Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle on Recipebridge – it’s festive and extravagant!

If you are a lover of gingerbread but are looking for more recipe ideas, then look no further than the Gingerbread Cookie Cocktail. This delicious drink is made with vanilla vodka, an orange wedge, brown sugar, coffee liqueur, and gingerbread syrup (which you can buy or make yourself from scratch – depending on how adventurous you are feeling!).

What are your favourite gingerbread creations? Feel free to post pictures or tell us about your fantastic gingerbread people or houses on our Facebook page or Tweet us.

Posted by RecipeBridge Staff Writer December 16th 2011
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