George Washington Mother's Gingerbread Recipe
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1 c All-purpose flour; sifted
2 tb All-purpose flour; sifted
1 1/4 ts Baking powder
1/4 ts Baking soda
1 ts Ground ginger
1/4 ts Ground nutmeg
3/4 ts Ground cinnamon
1/8 ts Salt
1/3 c Butter
– 2 tbs which is vegetable
1/2 c Coffee; hot, strong, boiling
1/3 c Dark brown sugar; firmly
1/2 c Molasses; dark
1 Egg; well beaten
1/3 c Mincemeat ; OPTIONAL
Or candied orange peel
This is a wonderful recipe.
Gingerbread goes well back to middle ages and earlier. Ladies would bestow
favours of gingerbread, some ornately tooled to look like velvet or leather
boxes, to knights during tournaments. They were decorated with cloves,
gold and silver leaf, and were sometimes even in the shape of religious
icons. Gingerbread was sold at faires and gatherings
like we sell our hotdogs and popcorn of today. In the netherlands there
were mansized gingerbread molds. Gingerbreads can be traced to German,
Italian, Swiss and Austrian cuisine. These gingerbreads of old were highly
decorated, gilded and painted with colored sugars. Gingerbread molds are
prized by antique collectors.
In colonial american days, the molds were of wood and recipes were
considered signature and guarded with pride. It was a custom to add
mincemeat or candied fruits to the ginerbread as well.
The hot coffee added to this recipe is what forms the moist gooey glaze
which has a hint of a slight crackle to it, as you bite into it. Its
heaven when warm. The recipe is attributed to George Washington’s Mother.
It has been referenced in two old books in my keeping, and also featured by
Woman’s Day. I am sure this recipe can be traced back to England and is
dated in the early 1600’s. I am positive it is of british decent. It has
been adapted to modern measurements.
I DON’T add the mincemeat or candied fruit. [Katie]
Sift dry ingredients together. Add butter/shortening to boiling coffee and
stir until dissolved. Add sugar and molasses to same mixture. Combine with
dry ingredients; add beated egg and continue to beat until batter is
smooth. (Fold in mincemeat if using.) Butter and lightly flour 9 inch
square pan or small loaf pan. Pour in batter and bake in preheated 350F
oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Cut and serve warm or with Lemon Sauce or