Often, the food holidays are established in months that make little sense—National Plum Pudding Day in February, when plum pudding is a Christmas tradition.
Another example is National Gingerbread Day—which is today, June 5th. Why isn’t it in the fall, a more popular time for spice cookies; or in December, the month for making gingerbread men?
Truth be told, a spice cookie can be just as tasty with a cold drink on a blazing summer day. So our tip of the day is: Don’t constrain yourself—enjoy your favorites year-round.
Beyond gingerbread cookies, you can celebrate with gingerbread cupcakes, iced gingerbread bars, a bundt cake or a chocolate gingerbread cake.
Gingerbread cupcake with cream cheese
frosting. Photo courtesy McCormick.
If you’re in a cookie frame of mind, there are three different types of ginger cookies:
Gingerbread cookies are traditionally made in shapes—flowers, hearts, trees and so forth. They can vary by size and can be iced and decorated. The medieval German Lebkuchen Guild made gingerbread into an highly-decorated art, crafting fancy shapes, decorated with sugar and gold. The tale of Hansel and Gretel, published in 1812, vastly increased the popularity of gingerbread cookies and other gingerbread treats, such as gingerbread Christmas cards (but not gingerbread men—see Food Trivia, below). How about making gingerbread beach balls and other summer designs?
Ginger cookies are soft, molasses-type cookies that are flavored with ginger and other spices. They are larger than, and otherwise differ from, gingersnaps.
Unlike the fancier gingerbread, a gingersnap is a small, thin, plain round cookie; but it retains the hard, smooth texture of a gingerbread cookie. Like a gingerbread cookie, it breaks with a “snap.” Gingersnaps contain a larger amount of ginger, and thus are spicier than the chewier ginger cookies.
Credit for the invention of gingerbread men is given to Queen Elizabeth I—because we don’t know the name of the palace baker who came up with the idea during her reign (1558 to 1603). Her Majesty bestowed “portrait” gingerbread cookies upon important court visitors, decorated in their likenesses. Gingerbread men and animals became popular Christmas tree ornaments.
Gingerbread Bars With Cream Cheese Icing
Gingerbread Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting
Gingerbread Whoopie Pies With Lemon Creme Filling
Gluten-Free Gingerbread Butter Cookies
Classic Gingerbread Cake
Gingerbread Cake with Creamy Gingerbread Frosting
Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt
Make gingerbread cookies, cakes, cupcakes and bars year-round: