Gluten Free Gingerbread

Gluten Free Gingerbread

Gingerbread, for so many of us, is synonymous with the Christmas holidays. There are certainly many different types of recipes available, but this particular one is one of our family’s favorites, and has been converted into gluten free, using Oma’s special recipe. Gingerbread was Oma’s specialty around Christmas and I have many fond memories of her in her tiny kitchen, lovingly preparing this delicacy, made just once a year. If she invited one of us to help her, that was truly special. It is not a ginger cake, but a true traditional German-style gingerbread. While baking, it will fill your house with the beautiful scent of its combination of spices – ginger, anise, cloves and cinnamon.  In the olden days, this type of gingerbread was made using peculiar ingredients, such as “Hirschhornsalz,” “potash” and “natron.”  Some of these ingredients supposedly provided softness to the dough, and, no doubt, insured  greater longevity of the end product. After researching these ingredients, that  makes sense, especially considering the Ancient Egyptians used some of them  for embalming purposes. Sounds appetizing, doesn’t it?!? Naturally, we would never use any of these more questionable ingredients in our recipes. If you insist on their inclusion, you may do so at your own risk. However, they are simply unnecessary, and we don’t know why anyone would even want to. Continue reading

Gingerbread Cake

Gingerbread Cake

This week’s TWD recipe heralds the beginning of the holiday baking season, at least for us. Anything involving gingerbread is a definite favorite in our house, invoking fond memories of baking with Mom and Oma – three generations in the kitchen, gathered around the table, cooking and baking together. Albeit a very rare occasion, made possible only during our not so frequent visits to Germany. Continue reading

Pueblo Gingerbread House

Pueblo Gingerbread House

In preparation for our new book, which will be available in just a few days, we wanted to add an updated recipe for a gingerbread house. In our first book, ‘A Celebration of Gluten Free Baking’, we featured a small traditional gingerbread house, which was very easy to make. This time we wanted to honor the Southwest traditions and build a two-story pueblo-inspired house, complete with vigas, the traditional chili pepper ristras and furnished with lights. Southwest cuisine, in general, is known for its indulgence in spices. Continue reading

Gingerbread Memories

Gingerbread Memories - Southwest Pueblo Gingerbread House

There is something so undeniably christmasy about gingerbread. Right along with the smells of fresh evergreens, and the delightful aroma of warm sugar cookies, the instantly recognizable combination of ginger, cinnamon and cloves immediately signals that we are smack in the middle of the holiday season. At this time of year gingerbread is everywhere, not only in delicious cookie confections and intricately constructed pieces of architecture, but in scenting candles, coffees, and even slightly more unique items like lip balm and shampoo. Why? I think because gingerbread, outside of being a common part of many people’s holiday celebrations, is the sort of thing that has the ability to evoke a host of memories just by its smell alone. Christmases past and present, celebrations spent with family, and that snowy afternoon you spent baking and cooking with grandma as a small child. Everyone has their own special memory that comes to mind. Continue reading