Thursday, November 29, 2012

Haddon Hall Gingerbread


Mia came up with the idea of equating writing stories with Gingerbread Houses and I (quick to recognize brilliance when I see it!) jumped on board....

But I don't do gingerbread houses per se... I do cake houses, and we'll blog about that sometime soon, but I do love gingerbread.

And molasses cookies.

So this old-time recipe works for me!  Here's a picture of it as it is in my 1950 Betty Crocker cookbook:

Don't you just love the pictures?????

Cookbooks should always have great pics. I'm just sayin'....

And here's a close-up:

This old-style gingerbread was made famous in the 1870's... can you believe that? And it was called the Fort Atkinson Gingerbread in the original "Gold Medal Cookbook", a precursor to our current Betty Crocker editions...

How stinkin' cool is that?

So here's the recipe courtesy of Gold Medal, Betty Crocker and my mother's old cookbook! (Mine is actually a reprint edition, I'm so glad they did that!)

Mix together thoroughly:

1/2 cup soft shortening
2 TBSP. sugar
1 egg

Blend in:

1 cup Dark Molasses
1 cup boiling water

Sift together and stir in (beating until smooth):

2 1/4 cups sifted Gold Medal flour
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon

Pour into greased and floured 9" square pan. Bake. Cut into 3" squares in pan. Keep hot and serve hot with sweetened whipped cream, applesauce, chocolate sauce or any of the toppings below. (I'm only showing you the lemon Haddon Hall version here because I'm tired... But choir practice was WONDERFUL tonight!!!)

Lemon sauce for Haddon Hall gingerbread:

Fluffy Lemon Sauce

Mix together in saucepan:
1/2 cup sugar
2 TBSP. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. nutmeg  (just a pinch!)  :)

Stir in gradually:

1 Cup boiling water

Boil one minute, stirring constantly.

Stir in:
1 Tablespoon butter
4 TBSP. lemon juice
2 tsp. grated lemon rind

Gradually mix into:

1 egg, well beaten.

Now if you've ever made lemon meringue pie, this is pretty darn close to the same recipe and structure except for the nutmeg.... You can add the rind or not, it's good either way. If I have fresh lemon I use it. Dried lemon has too much "chaw" in it and I don't like the texture in a smooth sauce like this....

Basically, you're pouring (ladeling) lemon pie filling over homemade gingerbread... so GOOD!!!

But, wait..... The original version calls for this, too!:

Soften white cream cheese (is there another color? Was there ever?????) with a little cream. Beat until fluffy. Split each serving of hot gingerbread and spread with this cheese mixture. Replace top layer and spread more cheese mixture on top layer. Then ladle lemon sauce over it.

I haven't made this in a while. Now I've got the urge to do it and I blame that Mia Ross character... if she hadn't come up with gingerbread themed Seekerville, I'd be happy with a Little Debbie snack cake.


Since they're here and the gingerbread isn't....

This will do for now!  :)


  1. You've reminded me that the grandchildren who are coming to spend Christmas here will be wanting to do their annual gingerbread house decorating so I'd better have the ingredients ready!!!

    My mouth is watering for some gingerbread now... any kind would do; even gingersnaps would suffice. Alas, I have only chocolate chip cookies on hand. Guess they'll have to do for tonight. It's bedtime for me anyway.

    1. Isn't it amazing what the mind does to the body by creating a want/need/desire/emotion????

      Really, we have trained reflexes because now I have to MAKE THE GINGERBREAD!!!! :)

      And a cookie won't do because the texture's wrong. I blame that Mia chick!

  2. I have a 'super taster' that only eats a few foods, and he actually like gingerbread! But we're all tired of gingerbread cookies. So, this cake will be next! I won't put any sauce or frsoting on his (horrors!) but definitely the cream cheese one for ours! The lemon, I just can't wrap my mind around lemon and gingerbread.

    Edna loves your cookbook. Even if it's a reprint. Such lovely photos. She asks that you turn the page so she can keep reading.

    1. Edna is a bionic of great intelligence. This cookbook (the original one went to my brother and I was just a teeensy, weeeeensy bit envious, not because he GOT it just because I couldn't get one to replace it...)

      And then they issued a REMAKE.... Oh, I was working three jobs, it was before book contracts, I was pulling extra shifts at the bakery to make contest money and I ordered the cookbook anyway because I was THAT EXCITED!!!! So I understand Edna's POV on that. She's one smart mixer and they just don't make 'em like Edna anymore. (I whispered that last so my two Kitchen Aids don't mutiny. I let them think they reign supreme... but if Edna were to visit, they'd know their place. Truly.)

    2. P.S. The lemon works. I can't explain how, but it's like a sweet/spice balance of flavors as if you're eating spiced sweet meatballs... Who'd a thunk you could put chili and cranberry sauce TOGETHER and simmer meatballs in it and be HAPPY??????

      I love the human condition.... the "try me" attitude. Epic fails make great stories!

  3. Blame Mia? I want to thank Mia!

    I love all things ginger...and fresh, warm gingerbread straight out of the oven is divine.

    Although I'm not sure I want to mess with impurities like lemon and cream cheese. But since it sounds like it enhances the flavor rather than masks it, I might take the plunge.

    I wonder about that "white cream cheese" designation, too. What other colors did it come in? (I had some gray cream cheese in my refrigerator a couple weeks ago...but I threw it away.)

    And yes, I love old cookbooks. I wish I had more of my Mom's, but I do have her Better Homes and Gardens cookbooks - three of them, I think. She kept buying the updated editions, but never throwing away the old ones.

    Pack rats. Gotta love 'em!

  4. I'm sorry I'm stopping by late today. Had a Bible study luncheon then came home to my sick kid.

    I've never made gingerbread. Must try it!! I do have a great recipe for gingersnaps. I'll have to share that sometime. I got the recipe from a friend but only made it once or twice.

    My kids love those trees! LOL

  5. Yum...gingerbread. Paired with hot chocolate with whipped cream on top..double yum. Have you tried Starbucks gingerbread? It's a loaf with yummy icing and is seriously addictive.