As you already know, I enjoy the gingerbread cakes at Colonial Williamsburg ~ especially when they are fresh out of the colonial ovens! Last Saturday, we visited the Raleigh Tavern Bakery a little early and got to talk with the baker. To me, that’s more of a treat than the gingerbread cakes! He was so kind and gave so much information about baking in these period ovens as he prepared them for the gingerbread. It was a wonderful time with a colonial friend. Many of you have never tasted the Raleigh Tavern gingerbread cakes, but you can ~ right from your very own oven. All you need is the recipe! So, here’s a link to the historic receipt and the modern recipe.
I also found the following recipe from former Raleigh Tavern Baker, Dennis Cotner:
1 c. unsulphured molasses
1/2 c. evaporated milk
1 c. melted butter
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
6 cups natural unbleached flour
Mix spices, salt, baking soda and sugar. Add melted butter, evaporated milk and molasses. Stir well. Add flour 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly. Dough should be stiff enough to handle without sticking to your fingers. Knead dough for smooth texture. Add a little four if needed to prevent sticking. When smooth roll out to about 1/4 inch thick on floured table and cut into cookies. Bake on floured or greased cookie sheet in 375 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Cookies are done if they spring back when touched. This makes around 50 to 60 cookies.
Dennis said they would give out little cards with the recipe on it – that’s a great idea! So, even if we can’t get to the tavern bakery, we can still whip up a batch of gingers every now and then.