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Ginger Bread Heart
Ginger Bread Heart


Ingredients:

1/2 cup molasses
1 cup sugar
5 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup hot water
1 tablespoon butter (at room temperature) for greasing the pan


Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F (180 C).
  • Put molasses in a mixing bowl.
  • Add sugar, melted butter, cinnamon and ginger.
  • Put baking soda and salt in a cup and fill with hot water. Stir into first mixture.
  • Add flour, then well beaten egg. Beat hard.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in a well greased pan.
  • Cool on wire rack. Decorate with your favorite icing when completely chiled.


TIP:
Watch oven closely, as ginger bread burns easily.


NOTE: This makes a good sized heart cake or ginger bread loaf cake (13x9-inch) if you don't have heart pan. 

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Did You Know?

Gingerbread was brought to Europe in 992 by the Armenian monk Gregory of Nicopolis (Gregory Makar). He left Nicopolis Pompeii, to live in Bondaroy (France), near the town of Pithiviers. He stayed there seven years, and taught gingerbread baking to French Christians. He died in 999. 

During the 13th century, gingerbread was brought to Sweden by German immigrants. In 15th century Germany, a gingerbread guild controlled production. Early references from the Vadstena Abbey show how the Swedish nuns were baking gingerbread to ease indigestion in 1444. It was the custom to bake white biscuits and paint them as window decorations.

The first documented trade of gingerbread biscuits dates to the 17th century, where they were sold in monasteries, pharmacies and town square farmers' markets. In Medieval England gingerbread was thought to have medicinal properties. One hundred years later the town of Market Drayton in Shropshire, UK became known for its gingerbread, as is proudly displayed on their town's welcome sign. The first recorded mention of gingerbread being baked in the town dates back to 1793; however, it was probably made earlier, as ginger was stocked in high street businesses from the 1640s. Gingerbread became widely available in the 18th century.


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