When I was a little girl, my mom would make gingerbread, pull it out of the warm oven, and slather it with butter. I can barely remember it, but I do remember it being really special, a homemade treat. Of course, I decided to make some.
Last weekend I searched through my grandma's recipe box, looking for a gingerbread recipe, and I found one…. a bit tattered, but definitely still readable and so very special because it looks like it's been used quite a bit. Below is a printable recipe, without photos, for your convenience.
The first step is to cream the shortening and sugar. Beat in the eggs, and add buttermilk, along with syrup. Just a tip for the buttermilk…. If you don't have any onhand, you can make your own, using regular milk and about a tablespoon of vinegar. Let it sit for a few minutes, and you have soured milk, the perfect substitute for buttermilk. For the syrup, Grandma's recipe calls for Ribbon Cane Syrup, but I looked it up to see what I could substitute, since I didn't have that particular syrup. I read that a good substitute would be molasses or light corn syrup. I happened to have light corn syrup on hand, so that's what I used, though I'm anxious to try molasses next time just to see what it does to the texture of the bread.
Next, measure 3 cups of flour, and sift, adding in baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Add in spices, and mix well. Grease and flour your pan/s. I used a large loaf pan, as well as 2 mini loaf pans. Pour batter into pans, and bake for about 30 minutes in a slow oven (about 350 degrees). The larger loaf did take a bit longer to bake all the way through. The recipe also says that dough can be kept in the refrigerator and used as needed.
Serve gingerbread with butter; it's definitely best while warm. I had my doubts, using the corn syrup. We really enjoyed the way this bread turned out, though. It's not too sweet, not too strong…. it makes a really delicious breakfast treat or snack. Enjoy!
And if you're looking for more holiday recipe inspiration, check out my list of The Best Christmas Recipes for Your Holiday Celebrations.