If we could capture the essence of Christmas in a scent, it would undoubtedly be the warm, comforting aroma of gingerbread!
For many of us Latvians, the magic of Christmas is perfectly enclosed in the sweet, spicy fragrance of freshly baked gingerbreads. Picture this: stepping in from a chilly night to a cozy home illuminated by twinkling Christmas lights, the air filled with the delightful scents coming from a bustling kitchen. As you take in that special atmosphere, you can’t help but feel the holiday magic in the air.
Gingerbreads come in all shapes and sizes, some intricately decorated, while others are left bare. Regardless, each one is a labor of love, baked with care. Grabbing one, taking a bite, you’ll instantly feel your heart warming, embraced by the irresistible aroma of gingerbread. In that moment, everything just feels right with the world, and a smile is inevitable.
Feeling inspired to create your own magical batch of gingerbreads? Here’s a wonderful traditional Latvian recipe to try out:
🌟 Gingerbread Recipe 🌟
600g corn syrup or molasses
6-8 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tsp ground cardamom
3 tsp ground ginger
3 tsp ground nutmeg
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp ground cloves
3 tsp ground coriander
- Heat butter, honey, syrup/molasses, and sugar until just boiling. Remove from heat.
- Add half of the flour, beat well until cooled. Combine spices separately, adding a cup or two of flour to mixed spices.
- Add eggs to the pot, incorporating well. Add spice mixture when the dough is quite cool.
- Gradually add the remaining flour and knead until the dough is smooth and shiny.
- Let the dough rest overnight or for several days to allow the flour to swell and the dough to stiffen.
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Roll out the dough thinly on a buttered cookie sheet.
- Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes, removing excess dough.
- Bake for 5-8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the gingerbreads.
Source: M. Krones-Baldumas recipe in The Everyday and Celebration Table, published in Sweden, 1956.