I’m thinkin something gingerbread-y would be just about right. Something vibrant yet light. Buttery, crispy and fresh would be good. Something homebaked…and vintage. Like homemade graham crackers but way better. I say let’s light up the fireplace, pour some fresh-brewed coffee and crack open some old recipe books and have a look at…
“The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book” by Fannie Merritt Farmer, published in 1896, Revised and Reprinted in 1930.
Well, lookie what I found?
Only FIVE ingredients in this light little gingerbread cookie and a recipe that calls for smoothing the batter ON THE BOTTOM as in UNDERSIDE of the baking pan. Okay! Haven’t done THAT before! haha!
Cookie sheet pan
2 Large mixing bowls (one for dry ingredients, one for batter)
Sifting device (I used a whisk)
Measuring cups and spoons
(2 Tablespoons of butter for greasing the pan)
1/2 cup butter (1 cube, we used unsalted)
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup milk, we used 2%
1-7/8 cup bread flour
2 teaspoons ginger (we used fine ground)
Here we go! . I’ll only adedd here & there to fill gaps in the directions. This is not our usual tweaking-of-the-recipe or variation-on-a-theme. Okay, confession. I did switch the order of a couple of things (yeah, and I specified some things not specified in the original recipe, ha!) but I want it to go perfectly for you…and I can’t help mahself! :)
Preheat the oven to 350 and set the oven rack to center position.
Flip over a cookie sheet pan (I used a 12″x18″ size) and butter the flip-side bottom of the pan quite liberally (maybe even going over it twice and a good rub of butter) and set aside.
Tip: I just unwrapped half of a fresh cube of cold butter and rubbed the end of it in circles all over the bottom of a pan (twice over).
Sift together and set aside:
1-7/8 cup flour
2 teaspoons ginger (we used fine ground)
Tip: i just whisked these ingredients together cause I don’t like sifting. :)
Beat on high in a blender until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes):
1/2 cup butter (we used unsalted)
Beat into the creamed butter on high-speed until fluffy (about 2 minutes):
1 cup light brown sugar (gently packed in the cup)
While beating on low-speed, slowly pour into the batter:
1/2 cup milk (we used 2%)
the prepared flour/ginger mixture
Tip: Try using half the milk and half the flour, beating a bit, then adding the balance. This will give you a better blend.
Beat for about 1 minute until thorough incorporated.
Using a spatula or a long cake frosting knife, spread the batter over the flip-side bottom of the prepared cookie pan.
Tip: I put 3 big dollops of dough along the center of the pan and smoothed the dough out to the sides so that the butter coating would stay in place.
It is important not to spread batter over the edges of the pan.
Tip: If your batter exceeds the edges of the pan, just scrape it away with the spatula to get clean edges…but it doesn’t have to be perfect. :)
Pop it into the 350 degree oven and get ready for some fancy dancing now at baking time.
Baking timing note: Total baking time for my batch was about 17 to 20 minutes, however, your oven baking temperatures, thickness of the spread, etc. may impact timing so keep a keen eye out. :)
Bake at 350 for 5 minutes, then rotate the pan around 180 degrees in the oven to ensure even baking then bake for an additional 5 minutes, checking to be sure the gingerbread does not become too brown around the edges.
Remove the pan from the oven and cut away the outer edge of the gingerbread, returning the pan to the oven for an additional baking time of 3 to 5 minutes.
I usually check for internal temperatures, however, that doesn’t work too well with cookie-type thicknesses (though I poked some holes in it and I think I it read 140 degrees).
While the “center-cut” of gingerbread continues to bake, you must immediately cut the gingerbread into shapes cause when it cools it’s not to easy to cut a straight line.
Tip: I cut plain Jane squares (as the recipe suggests) and rectangles, but next time– diamonds would be nice…but don’t go gettin fancy on me or we might lose that vintage “edge”. ha!
Here is the “center cut” with the edge pieces cut away so that the center could get a little extra baking time
Remember, the gingerbread will crisp as it cools BUT if you forget to cut them (as I did for some, you might try heating the gingerbread in strips in the microwave for about 20 seconds to warm them enough to slice them).
When I change up the shapes on my next test of this recipe, I will post more photos here. So be sure the come back to watch for them! Also be sure to send me your own creations and I will try to post them here as well! That would be cool. I LOVE to see your vintage-gone-modern creations! :)
Thank you for visiting and may all your cakes (and Fairy Gingerbreads) be vintage!
- Vintage Rose-Water Cupid Cakes Recipe (bakethiscake.com)
- Cherry Hill Roll (bakethiscake.com)
- Princess Kate Cake (bakethiscake.com)
- Marco Polo Cake (bakethiscake.com)