October 24, 2013

Laura's Gingerbread

My favorite Little House book is The Long Winter.  I used to read it, repeatedly, while eating gingersnaps dipped in milk for breakfast.  My dad used to feed me cookies for breakfast when I was in elementary school.  My mom was already on her way to work, most likely, so this is why that happened.  (My brother would eat pop-tarts, so gingersnaps probably weren't that bad, in the grand scheme of things.  I hated breakfast...pretty much until I was 25 or so, so again, gingersnaps = not so bad.)

It's odd that I would eat gingersnaps while reading that book because the last thing the Ingalls family was eating that year were cookies.

Later, when I read Little Town in the Ozarks, it turned out that gingerbread was Laura's signature dessert.  I made ginger cookies once (a family recipe), but I never posted it.  Maybe I will soon because they're Christmas cookies.

I found this magnet with the gingerbread recipe on it at the gift shop in Mansfield.  Good thing, too:  I didn't want to buy the whole Little House Cookbook just for one recipe.  The other recipes in that book  involved lots of salt pork and lima beans.  None of that would be happening around here.

This gingerbread was delicious.  It was moist and flavorful and the kitchen smelled amazing while it was baking.  I did leave out of the cloves, because I only had whole cloves.  They probably would've made it super spicy...I think I'll add more ginger next time too.

I baked it at 350* because that's what I assumed "moderate" meant.  It took 45 minutes.  Maybe at 375* it would take 30 minutes?  Let me know if you try it!

About the recipe...
I did the 2 teaspoons of baking soda in a coffee mug with 1 cup of boiling water (uh, water microwaved for 2 minutes).  It does run over, so be careful!
I used a potato masher to combine the shortening, brown sugar, and molasses.
I stirred it all together with a wooden spoon.  I thought about using the KitchenAid, but well, you know...trying to keep things authentic around here.

I could easily see this being a go-to dish for the holidays.  Maybe with some cream cheese frosting for Thanksgiving?  Yes.  I think so.


  1. Ahhh! Gingerbread is one of my all time favorite things to make and eat! My grandmother use to always make it! When she passed away I could not find anyone who had the recipe! Finally my Great Aunt had it and it was the original recipe my grandmother had written on an index card! The recipe is very similar! I love eating it for breakfast warm with a little bit of butter! So amazing

  2. i'm sure it smells so good too! and i'm thinking ginersnaps are on the same level of healthiness as poptarts!

  3. I looooove gingerbread in any way, shape or form. There's a gingerbread recipe I want to try soon that involves a brown sugar frosting...

  4. That is so cool! :) This sounds like a good one to try.

  5. I think...I think I have that cookbook. ?? I need to go raid my box. That sounds so familiar though.

    This sounds fabulous!!!!


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