About Me

I have been cooking my way through life for over 50 years, beginning with mud pies as a child. I've turned a corner now and feel a Renaissance in my life. Recipes and Random Thoughts is my personal spin in a blog about how to prepare good food and how it prepares you for life. I want to share with you, honest to goodness food punctuated with perspective from the special memories and moments that have marked my journey.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Gingerbread, a Christmas Classic

As the carpenter walked in my back door, he said, "Your house smells  like Christmas!  What are you cooking?"  He was there to make some repairs while I was baking pieces for a gingerbread house.  Every home should have the the sights and scents of the holidays and nothing evokes that association like a fresh decorated Christmas tree and the smell of gingerbread baking.  Nobody thinks of the 4th of July when they smell gingerbread - it's almost as essential to Christmas as the tree.  I've decorated many a gingerbread man and slaved over gingerbread houses but basic gingerbread is surprisingly delightful to dinner guests simply adored with sweetened whipped cream or orange sauce. It brings back memories. I can say this because, I'll never forget the hostess who served it to me one night and I thought, "How could I have overlooked this classic?"

Bake something gingerbread each Christmas, it will surprise you and your friends.  This recipe is from Willams Sonoma Desserts collection.

1 2/3 all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmed
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbls unsalted butter, room temp
 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs room temp
1/2 cup molasses
 1/2 cup warm water

Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish and dust with flour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until well blended., Set aside. In another bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter and brown sugar until well blended and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, until just blended.  Continue beating while slowly addding the molasses. sprinkle the flour mixture over the egg mixture and stir until just incorporated. Add the water and stir until blended. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly.

Bake until the gingerbread is puffed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes.  Let cool on a rack. Cut into squares and serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream.

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