On the eighth day of our 12 Days of Christmas Desserts,
we are featuring Gingerbread!
Gingerbread Cookies from Rocket Baby Bakery
Gingerbread is a type of baked good that is typically flavored with ginger, cloves, nutmeg or cinnamon and sweetened with honey, sugar or molasses to create a yummy, spiced treat. Gingerbread can vary from a soft, moist loaf cake to something close to a ginger snap.
Gingerbread Cupcakes from Classy Girl Cupcakes
Gingerbread is used to construct the walls and roof of the “gingerbread house” and then royal icing is added to create the illusion of snow. Houses are then decorated with various types of candies to complete the look.
Honey House from Hill Top Bakery
But how did the tradition of Gingerbread come about? Ginger root first appeared in ancient Asia, but the Crusades or the 11th allowed the root to be brought to Europe. Ginger was thought to have medicinal properties and was used to disguise the taste of preserved meats.
During Medieval times, ginger cookies became a favorite in many parts of the continent, including France, Holland and England. The cookies were often cut into various shapes, decorated with gold leaf, and displayed at fairs.
Gingerbread Cookies from Manderfield's Home Bakery
Gingerbread houses were first created in Germany during the 16th century. Nuremberg was recognized as the "Gingerbread Capital of the World" and master bakers and skilled workers were employed to create complicated works of art from gingerbread. However, they didn’t become popular until the Brothers Grimm published the story of Hansel and Gretel in 1812. The tale of children stumbling upon a house made of sweets was adopted by people who wanted to recreate the delicious-sounding house while also making it more festive and merry, instead of creepy. Also thanks to the popular children’s story, the idea of making gingerbread houses spread to the United States.
Gingerbread House from Monzu Bakery & Custom Cakes
Fun fact time: the world’s largest gingerbread house was built in 2013 at the Traditions Golf Club in Bryan, Texas. The house required a building permit and used 4,000 gingerbread bricks during its construction. The delectable structure is 60 feet by 42 feet and measures up to 20 feet tall. Starting with a wood base, it took 1,800 pounds of butter, 7,200 eggs, 3,000 pounds of sugar, 7,200 pounds of flour and over 200 volunteers to become the tasty, record-breaking reality it is today. But what’s a gingerbread house without some decoration? More than 22,000 pieces were added to the house’s facade after construction to provide the final, yummy touch.
Gingerbread Cookies from Sweet Perfections Bake Shoppe
So, whether you’re a beginner or a gingerbread expert, everyone can enjoy this holiday tradition! Fun to make, fun to eat; decorating gingerbread men (and ladies!) or creating a unique gingerbread house is the perfect activity for the whole family!
Find Gingerbread at one of these WBA member bakeries:
Clasen's European Bakery
Classy Girl Cupcakes
Hill Top Bakery
Manderfield's Home Bakery
Monzu Bakery & Custom Cakes
Neat-O's Bake Shoppe
Rocket Baby Bakery
Sweet Perfections Bake Shoppe
Tamara's the Cake Guru
To find a WBA Member bakery near you, click here.
Day 7 - Holiday Pies
Day 9 - Christmas Cookies