When you are small your first job is to unwrap candy for the decorators...then you move up to standing for 12 minutes at a time to make icing for the decorators (who were always so impressive) then you got to place candy on for the decorators after they had put icing on. Eventually you worked your way up to having a small part in decorating that you were responsible for. One day you graduated to being part of the business owner! :-) I've been out of the business since I've been married and quite missed it...but this year my sister Beth and I are taking it back. We got the coveted gingerbread house cookie cutters (they don't make them anymore that i can find--and ours are taped together they are so old--18 years). We thought we would try out the business in our new town so we have started our adventure!
For those who are curious we sell our houses for $18 or 2 for $30. We make our gingerbread from scratch and spend hours decorating them. Everything is edible except for the cardboard base. We also shrink wrap them so they come giftwrapped and stay in tact better. We are looking for ways to get the word out this year. I'll post more on the decorating and selling later.
All that to say...my sister and I got together and baked on Sunday. I had never baked the gingerbread because my Dad always did it for us, he is the BEST gingerbread baker ever! And he has perfected the recipe. I am sharing the recipe below so that others can have amazing tasting gingerbread. We mix molasses and honey so its dark but sweet--it is soooo yummy!
Foster's Gingerbread Recipe:
- 5 1/2 - 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons powdered ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup solid vegetable shortening
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cups molasses
1/2 cup honey
- 2 eggs beatenPreheat oven to 375°F. Thoroughly mix flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Melt shortening in large saucepan. Cool slightly. Add sugar, molasses and eggs to saucepan; mix well. Add 4 cups dry ingredients and mix well. Turn mixture onto lightly floured surface. Knead in remaining dry ingredients by hand. Add a little more flour, if necessary, to make firm dough. On floured surface, roll out 1/8 to 1/4 in. thick for cut-out cookies. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet, small and medium-sized cookies for 6-10 minutes, large cookies for 10-15 minutes. Really watch the gingerbread, you don't want it to get burnt or too hard, when they are still soft but firm and baked take them out! Note: If you're not going to use your gingerbread dough right away, wrap in plastic and refrigerate. Refrigerated dough will keep for a week.