We are thrilled to welcome Liz Marden & her daughter Kat Marden from Liz Marden Bakery & Cafe in Kennett Square, PA as guest bloggers for Behind-the-Plants! Liz and Kat created more than 8,000 gingerbread cookies, as well as two stunning gingerbread models of the Conservatory and the Peirce-du Pont House that are used throughout this year’s Christmas display. They share their “construction grade” gingerbread recipe below!
Construction Gingerbread Recipe
All Purpose Flour 6 ¾ cups
Ground Cinnamon 1 Tablespoon
Ground Ginger 1 ½ teaspoons
Salt ½ teaspoon
Light Corn Syrup 1 ½ cups
Light Brown Sugar 1 ¼ cups firmly packed
Butter 1 cup
Yield: 1 Gingerbread House or a lot of ornaments!
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 F. Get all of your ingredients and measuring cups together. Choose cookie cutters!
Step 2: Sift flour, cinnamon, ginger, and salt and place in large bowl.
Step 3: In a saucepan over medium heat, combine light corn syrup, brown sugar, and butter, stir. Do not boil – heat only until butter is melted.
Step 4: Pour butter mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture and stir until well mixed and dough is formed.
Step 5: Roll out gingerbread dough with a rolling pin on a piece of parchment paper* while the dough is still warm – if dough cools put in microwave for 45 to 60 seconds to reheat. This makes rolling much easier.
*Parchment paper is available at quality kitchen supply stores.
Step 6: Using your chosen cookie cutter, cut out the cookies, peel away excess gingerbread from parchment paper and save to re-roll. If you are going to hang the ornaments, poke the holes now with a straw, taking away the excess gingerbread.
Step 7: Bake until golden brown and firm to the touch approximately 15 to 25 minutes.
To Decorate: We like to make royal icing the easy way – with meringue powder. Mix it up, make it any color then pipe away! We used a pastry bag with a #4 round tip. You can also use a plastic bag that zips with the corner snipped off.
Royal Icing Recipe
Meringue Powder 3 Tablespoons
Confectioners’ Sugar 1 lb.
Water, lukewarm 7 Tablespoons
Combine meringue powder and confectioners’ sugar in bowl. Whip with electric hand mixer on low speed, adding water one tablespoon at a time. Then continue to whip on medium speed for 8 minutes until icing becomes stiff, but not too stiff to pipe. Keep royal icing bowl covered at all times with a damp towel to keep it from drying out!
Voila! Easy, homemade ornaments beautiful enough to decorate any tree!