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* 5 cups all-purpose flour (approximate)
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons ginger
* 2 teaspoons cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1 teaspoon cloves
* 1 cup solid white vegetable shortening
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 1/4 cups unsulphured molasses
* 2 eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 350'F.
Thoroughly blend flour, soda, salt and spices. Melt shortening in large saucepan. Cool slightly. You are going to add eggs so it has to be cool enough not to cook them.
When the shortening is liquid and cool enough add sugar, molasses, and eggs; mix well.
Add four cups of the blended dry ingredients and mix well. Pour the liquid mixture directly into the dry ingredients and knead in additional flour if necessary.
Knead in remaining dry ingredients by hand on a lightly floured surface. Add a little more flour, if necessary, to make a firm dough.
Roll out dough on the backs of lightly oiled cookie sheets.
With 1/8" thick dough bake as long as 14 minutes. For smaller pieces, rolled thinly bake 6-7 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets to wire racks. Cool about 30 minutes. Let baked pieces dry overnight before assembling.
Wrap unused dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate. This dough will keep for 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature and knead briefly to use again.