Saturday, December 17, 2016

You Can't Catch Me -- I'm The...

Gingerbread: it's one of the best desserts to serve on a cold and blustery night. The Gingerbread Man would have had a run for his money this weekend -- we're supposed to have a HIGH of 3 above tomorrow. Whoopee.
     You can literally stir up a pan of gingerbread batter in less than ten minutes. (Cookies take a bit longer! 😁 ) Even nicer -- this pan of hot, spicy goodness is also low-budget. Win win. 


Here are some gingerbread ideas worth exploring.


*The basic recipe. This is my go-to...and it's close to Taste of Home's version.


from Taste of Home

GOOD 'OL GINGERBREAD

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup hot water
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour  (heaping measure, if you're at high altitude)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix everything together quickly, then pour batter into a greased 9" square or round pan. Bake at 350 degrees 20-25 min. Serve warm. Feeds 9, if you're polite -- 4, if you're cold and hungry.


*How about a gingerbread bundt cake, instead? This version, from Honestly Yum, features a coffee/cardamom glaze.


*Laura Ingalls Wilder was famous for her gingerbread. The author (or co-author, as it may be) of the Little House books often baked it for special events. Here's her recipe, as given by Laura in a letter:

"1 cup brown sugar blended with 1/2 cup lard or other shortening. 1 cup molasses mixed well with this. 2 teaspoons baking soda in 1 cup boiling water (Be sure cup is full of water after foam is run off into cake mixture). Mix all well. To 3 cups of flour have added one teaspoon each of the following spices: ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sift all into cake mixture and mix well. Add lastly 2 well-beaten eggs. The mixture should be quite thin. Bake in a moderate oven for thirty minutes. Raisins and, or, candied fruit may be added an a chocolate frosting adds to the goodness."




If you want Laura's gingerbread in recipe format, go to Patty's Kitchen. She'll help out.


*Got any gingerbread left over? A trifle might be just the thing. Taste of Home is all over this.

Looks good, doesn't it? From Taste of Home


*Use your cookies to decorate a cake! Like this version, courtesy of Betty Crocker. Oh my.


photo from Betty Crocker -- thanks, lady.


...and a good recipe for gingerbread men here, adapted from Real Simple's version. 
They're cute on the cake, but tasty by themselves, too.


GINGERBREAD MEN










  1. cups all-purpose flour
  2. teaspoon baking soda
  3. 3/4teaspoon salt
  4. 3teaspoons ground ginger
  5. 1tablespoon ground cinnamon
  6. 1teaspoon ground nutmeg
  7. 1/2teaspoon ground cloves
  8. 1cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  9. 1cup packed light brown sugar
  10. 1large egg, at room temperature
  11. 1cup unsulfured molasses
  12. 1teaspoon vanilla extract






DIRECTIONS

  1. Cream butter, egg and sugars together, then add all dry ingredients except flour, along with molasses and vanilla. Beat til thoroughly mixed, then gradually add flour, a cup at a time. You should have a firm dough by the time the flour's mixed in; if not, add another 1/4-1/2 cup flour. (Keeping the dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour will also help it to firm up.)
  2.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough out on a floured surface; cut men (or other shapes) with cookie cutters. Transfer to greased cookie sheet; bake 12 min., or until firm. Let cool, then decorate with white icing and candy embellishments.  Makes about 4 dozen cookies, depending on cutters used.


*This one's a charmer from way back:  gingerbread houses that perch on your coffee cup. They even have a version for sugar cookies in a later post. (Thanks, Not Martha, for sharing. Liked 'em then -- love them now.)






Nineteen more recipes for gingerbread are here.  Enjoy...






Note: this post also ran on our Christmas Goodies blog.




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