Grandma McLeod's Gingerbread

Makes about eight servings


Gingerbread isn't just for dessert. It's wonderful for lunch, split into slices and spread with cream cheese.


1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup molasses
1-1/2 cups white flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup boiling water
1 large egg, beaten

Whipped cream or sweet butter (optional)


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Cream the shortening by mashing it with a wooden spoon against the sides of a large mixing bowl until creamy. Add the sugar and beat to mix as thoroughly as you can. Put 1/2 teaspoon of the baking soda and the molasses in a small bowl and, using either an electric or hand-held beater, beat until the molasses becomes light and fluffy, then mix this into the shortening and sugar.

Mix together thorough1y the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt on a large piece of waxed paper. Stir together the boiling water and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Gradually add about one-third of this to the shortening-molasses mixture in the bowl, then add about one-third of the dry ingredients. Continue, adding one-third of the water-and-baking-soda mixture, followed by one-third of the dry ingredients, until both have been mixed in. Now add the beaten egg and stir the batter thoroughly.

Grease an 8-inch square baking pan. Sprinkle a little flour over the bottom and sides, then turn the pan over and tap it lightly to get rid of any excess flour.

Pour the gingerbread batter into the pan. Bake for about 25 minutes in the middle of the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Take the pan out of the oven and cut the gingerbread into squares, then remove the squares from the pan with a spatula. Serve still warm with plenty of whipped cream, if you like that, or simply spread with sweet butter.


Knead It, Punch It, Bake It!:
The Ultimate Breadmaking Book for Parents and Kids

By Judith and Evan Jones
Illustrated by Mitra Modarressi
Houghton Mifflin Company
Hardback, $16.00
144 pages, Concealed Wire-o binding
ISBN: 0-395-89256-2
Recipe reprinted by permission.


Knead It, Punch It, Bake It!


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This page created November 1999

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