The origins of gingerbread can be traced back to ancient Greece and Egypt, where honey was used as a sweetener and ginger was added for flavour and medicinal purposes. In the Middle Ages, gingerbread became a popular treat in Europe, where it was often decorated with intricate designs and given as gifts.
One of the most well-known gingerbread creations is the gingerbread house, which was popularized by the Brothers Grimm fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel.” In the story, Hansel and Gretel come across a house made entirely of gingerbread, candy, and sweets. Today, many people continue this tradition by constructing their own gingerbread houses during the holiday season.
Gingerbread is not only delicious, but it also has some potential health benefits. The ginger in gingerbread has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which may help to reduce muscle pain and stiffness. Additionally, the spices in gingerbread, such as cinnamon and nutmeg, have been linked to improved blood sugar control and a reduced risk of heart disease.
While gingerbread is often associated with the holiday season, it can be enjoyed year-round. Whether you’re munching on a gingerbread cookie or constructing a gingerbread house, this tasty treat is sure to put you in the holiday spirit.
Here’s our favourite gingerbread recipe for making gingerbread biscuits. If you decide to make classic gingerbread figures with this recipe then here’s a top tip – pop your cut biscuits into the fridge for about half an hour before cooking and they will hold their shape just perfectly.
If you’ve enjoyed this (or if you have an even better gingerbread recipe!) then leave us a comment below, or send us a picture of your best effort!
- 260 g plain flour
- 130 g brown sugar
- 90 g butter softened
- 1 egg
- 5 tbsp golden syrup
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- Switch on and start preheating the oven to 190°C (Gas mark 5).
- Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the spices, cinnamon and baking powder and give it a good stir.
- Add the butter in chopped pieces and mix together until the mixture has the consistency of breadcrumbs. Feel free to use a blender at this stage.
- Stir in the sugar then add the golden syrup all at once. Give it a good mix until it all comes together.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly-floured surface until it's about half a centimetre (0.25in) thick, then cut out to your favourite shapes.
- Pop your biscuits on a sheet of baking paper then onto a baking tray, and bake for about 15 minutes.
- Once your gingerbread biscuits are a lovely golden-brown colour, take them out of the oven then put them on a cooling rack. Be patient - once they're cooled you can decorate them and enjoy!