Friday, September 30, 2011


I have not had enough gingerbread in my life. A nice, thick slice of spicy gingerbread, with a drizzle of frosting, maybe spread with some apple butter and accompanied by a cup of hot cider...mmm. This recipe makes just enough for one loaf, and is so quick and easy that you'll hardly remember it took any effort at all.

You'll need a stick of softened butter and some brown sugar.

Cream them together until the butter is light and fluffy.

In an ideal world, I would have done that. But I got distracted and cracked the egg in before doing so.

It worked out fine. Just be more attentive than me, and do things in the right order.

Once you've followed the (correct!) instructions, add the molasses. Usually I would say pour the molasses into a greased measuring cup. But I had just a cup left in the bottle, so I poured it right in.

To get the rest of the molasses out of the bottle, I added some water and shook. You need water later in the recipe anyway, so if you're at the bottom of your bottle like me, just add your premeasured cup to the bottle and shake it around. You get water that looks like this. But you've also gotten all the molasses. And you won't have to throw away a molasses-coated bottle, which I'm sure would turn your kitchen to ant central in about five seconds. Anyway.

Set the molasses water aside for now.

Back in the mixing bowl ...

... scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is getting mixed evenly. Stir until all the molasses is distributed evenly throughout the batter.

Add the flour (a bit at a time, to help your batter out.)

Then the baking soda.

Here are your gingerbread spices.

I wanted to add a bit of minced candied ginger too, but I couldn't find any. If you have some and want to add it, a tablespoon would be lovely.

Add the spices to the bowl.

Now you can nab your water. Slowly pour it in (not all at once--just a bit at a time.)

Be sure to scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl!
Steal a container of applesauce from your Kid and crack it open before she notices.

Dump it in quick!

I would never hear the end of it if she caught me. "Why are you using my snack? That's my snack ... " Nevermind that I'm making a way better snack with this snack ...
Use the butter wrapper to butter a loaf pan. Or just use cooking spray.

Yup. I used salted butter. For baking! Gasp!

It was all I had. I just added less salt to make up for it.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Then toss it in a 350F oven for about an hour.

When a toothpick inserted into the center of the gingerbread comes out clean, that means it can come out!

Let the loaf pan cool for, say, 15 minutes before you try to turn the gingerbread out. Otherwise, the heat and moisture might cause some breakage.

Now that it's out and cooling, you can make the frosting!

Okay. This doesn't really need frosting. But I find the contrast of white frosting and brown gingerbread so, so pretty, and leaving it plain just seems boring.

Just a little butter will kick off the frosting-making. Microwave it for 20 seconds to melt it.

When it's melted, dump in the powdered sugar and use a small whisk or a fork to lump them together.

Add milk or cream in small increments until you get the consistency you're looking for.

Like this. I added a bit more afterward.

And don't forget to flavor with vanilla!

That's why I added a little more cream after the vanilla. Vanilla extract is a liquid, too, so adding it would thin the frosting out as well. I didn't want it to get too runny.

See how smooth and nice this is? :)

When the frosting is the consistency you want, just pour it onto your gingerbread.

Then cut yourself a slice.

This was The Kid's slice. I was a nice mom and gave her the frosting-covered heel.

Do I really have to tell you the next step? ;)

Recipe: Gingerbread

1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
1 egg
1 c. molasses
2 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/6 tsp. (just a pinch!) cardamom
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. minced candied ginger (optional)

1 c. water
1/2 c. applesauce

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat until combined. Add molasses and beat until combined.

Add flour and baking soda slowly, until completely combined. Add spices.

Slowly add water, until completely combined. Scrape down the bowl!

Add applesauce and stir until combined.

Pour into a well-greased loaf pan (or a 9" cake pan) and bake for 350F for 1 hour. Let cool completely before drizzling with frosting.

Recipe: Gingerbread Frosting

1 tbsp. melted butter
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp. milk or cream

Combine all ingredients. Drizzle over gingerbread and allow to harden.

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