The Bungalow Chef’s Gingerbread Folks (1920s Recipe)
Who doesn’t love the spicy peppery flavor of Gingerbread? From cookies and cakes, to bread and lebkuchen, I’m completely addicted… especially around the holiday season. And nothing accompanies gingerbread better than a glass of cold milk.
Gingerbread Folks have been a staple in my bungalow for years. In addition to serving them to friends and consuming many of them myself, I always hang these “folks” on my holiday tree.
In the photo above, you’ll see my family's original hand written recipe, circa 1920, is quite versatile. You can roll it out and use it with your favorite cookie cutters or shape the dough into two logs, wrap them in parchment paper, refrigerate, slice and bake. In no time your home will be filled with their magical scent. I also make a great honey glaze to give them a wonderful shine after baking.
1920s Gingerbread Folks Recipe
Yields 20-24 cut cookies or 3-4 dozen sliced refrigerator cookies
1 cup unsalted softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar (and a bit more for rolling out the dough)
1/2 cup dark molasses
4 1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons ground ginger (4 teaspoons if you dare)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl sift the flour, baking soda and salt together. Add the ground ginger, mix well and set aside.
In another large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Then add the eggs and molasses, mixing well.
Incorporate the flour mixture in two steps. Mix well.
Split the dough into two equal portions. Wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate for one hour.
For the roll-out cookies, cover the surface with granulated sugar to avoid sticking to the rolling pin. Roll out to 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch thickness and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and place on wire racks to cool.
Cookie Glaze (optional)
1 cup honey
1 cup water
Juice of one lemon
Blend all ingredients in a heavy sauce pan on top of the stove. Heat and stir until reduced by 50% and mixture is caramelized and golden amber in color. Using caution, remove from heat and brush on the cookies.
You can also dip the cookies in tempered dark chocolate or tell the younger generation to decorate as they wish!
“Every family has a recipe and every recipe has a story!”
Mike Mech, "The Bungalow Chef"