Nothing smells better than sweet, spicy, gingerbread cookies baking in the oven and they are so delicious!
Gingerbread is an old European tradition. It was first made by monks to celebrate special occasions. Ginger was one of the spices brought to England and France by the Crusaders. It was used as a preservative and baked into cakes and added to meats to make them last longer.
Today we celebrate Christmas with decorated gingerbread cookies and houses. Gingerbread is good any time of the year.
You can make easily make gingerbread from scratch. There are hundreds of recipes on the web. Most of the recipes call for a lot of spices and molasses so they can be expensive to make. About.com has a recipe called a Shortcut Gingerbread House and Cookie Dough Recipe that looks pretty easy and uses a spice cake mix for the base. You can buy mixes and kits that work well too. You can make houses, cookies, cake, muffins, even pancakes.
Here is a gingerbread pancake recipe that I like:
1 cup flour
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground allspice
¼ cup fat free milk
2 Tbsp. molasses
1 tbsp. oil
Heat nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Combine the first 6 ingredients in bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine the next 4 ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into dry mixture and stir until just mixed – do not over mix. Pour ¼ cup of batter on skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes or until bubbles begin to form. Flip, and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Serve with butter and warm maple syrup or whipped cream. You can even make them in the shape of a gingerbread man by spooning out the shapes on your skillet for head, body, legs, and arms.
Just as delicious as IHOP and will help use up some those expensive spices if you bought them for cookies.