6 Ways with Gingerbread

The gingerbread man was just the beginning of this holiday love affair. Catch the next chapter with our tasty new ways to enjoy gingerbread.

Gingerbread Sailors and Mermaids
(You can find mermaid cutters at cookiecutter.com)
1 1/2 cups butter
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup honey or molasses
1 large egg
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Royal Icing or prepared frosting
Candy decorations and sprinkles

Beat first 2 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffly. Beat in honey and egg.

Combine flour and next 5 ingredients. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating until blended.

Shape dough into 2 flat disks. Cover with plastic wrap; chill at least 1 hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350°. Line several large baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick aluminum foil. Roll out dough, 1 section at a time, to 1/4-inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut out gingerbread shapes with cookie cutters. Re-roll trimmed-off dough to make additional cookies. Place 1 inch apart on prepared sheets.

Bake cookies, in batches, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool 1 minute on baking sheets; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Decorate cookies with Royal Icing or prepared frosting in a tube, and candy and sprinkles, if desired. Let icing harden at least 1 hour.

Related: Step-by-Step Gingerbread Lighthouse

Gingerbread Hot ChocolateGingerbread Hot Chocolate
Gingerbread Hot Chocolate

1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
10 whole cloves
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
4 cups whole milk
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Garnish: mini marshmallows

Combine first 3 ingredients in an 8- x 10-inch piece of cheesecloth; pull edges together, and tie to secure.

Heat milk and spice bundles in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring just to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover, and steep 30 minutes.

Remove spice bundle from milk. Heat milk mixture over medium-low heat until hot. Add brown sugar; cook, stirring constantly, until sugar melts. Add chocolate, stirring until chocolate melts. Stir in vanilla. Serve warm; garnish, if desired.

Related: Festive Holiday Drinks

Raised Gingerbread Doughnut HolesRaised Gingerbread Doughnut Holes
Raised Gingerbread Doughnut Holes

1 cup warm (105° to 115°) water
1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup molasses
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. nonfat dry milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
Powdered sugar

Stir together first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in butter, molasses, and egg.

Stir together flour and next 5 ingredients until blended. Stir in yeast mixture; beat until blended. Cover, and let rise at room temperature 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in volume. Punch dough down.

Pat or roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness on a floured surface; cut with a 3-inch doughnut cutter or 1 (3-inch) and 1 (1-inch) round cutters, using smaller cutter for the hole. Let doughnuts and holes stand and rise at room temperature, uncovered, 45 minutes.

Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches into a large, heavy pot; heat to 375°. Fry doughnuts and holes, in batches, 1 minute on each side or until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Related: Indulgent Brunch Recipes

Pineapple Upside-Down Gingerbread CakePineapple Upside-Down Gingerbread Cake
Pineapple Upside-Down Gingerbread Cake

3/4 cup butter, divided
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar, divided
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh pineapple
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup molasses
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 6 Tbsp. butter in a 10-inch cast iron or heavy ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Tilt skillet to coat sides. Remove from heat, and stir in 1 cup brown sugar. Arrange pineapple on bottom of skillet; set aside.

Stir together flour and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.

Melt remaining 6 Tbsp. butter in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, and stir in 1/2 cup hot water, molasses, and remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar. Whisk in egg.

Add butter mixture gradually to flour mixture, stirring until well blended. Pour batter into prepared skillet.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Invert cake into a round platter. Scrape any sugar mixture left in skillet over cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Related: 26 Favorite Holiday Desserts

Gingerbread BiscottiGingerbread Biscotti
Gingerbread Biscotti

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger
8 oz. white chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 375°. Beat butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugars, beating well. Beat in eggs.

Combine flour and next 5 ingredients; add to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in almonds and crystallized ginger.

Divide dough in half. Using floured hands, shape each portion into a log 3 inches wide and 1 inch high. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake 25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet; remove to a wire rack, and set aside until cool to the touch. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.

Cut each log crosswise into 1/2-inch slices with a serrated knife. Place slices on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 7 minutes; turn cookies over, and bake 7 more minutes. Cool completely on wire racks.

Dip ends of biscotti in melted white chocolate. Place biscotti on wax paper until chocolate hardens.

Related: Picture-Perfect Cookies

Gingerbread ButterGingerbread Butter
Gingerbread Butter

1/2 cup pecan halves
1 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
1 to 2 Tbsp. molasses
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350°. Spread pecans on a sheet pan, and bake 6 to 7 minutes or until toasted. Cool.

Process pecans in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add butter and next 4 ingredients; pulse until blended. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Remove from refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving.

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