My Favorite Gingerbread
Fitting to her name, my mother was quite a fan of ginger as a spice and used it often. Molasses cookies with ginger, Indian pudding, and little gingerbread cookies we would make together at Christmas – these were two inch cut out gingerbread ladies and men that my sister and I would hand decorate with icing and silver balls…..when you make the cookies that small (bite size really) it makes A LOT of cookies….we would get sloppy at the end, silver balls bouncing on the floor and popping undecorated ones in our mouths so we could just be done – like a scene out of ‘I Love Lucy’!…….One of Ginger’s favorite desserts was gingerbread, and I share with you here our favorite recipe, which I found in The Boston Globe on December 22, 1985……It is best served warm, in a pool of lemon sauce which I always double. For a festive presentation, dust the top with confectioner’s sugar and put a raspberry and sprig of mint on the plate…..a sensory delight in every way! Grease a 9-inch square cake pan, line the bottom with a piece of wax paper cut to fit it exactly, grease the paper, dust the pan with flour, then tap out excess. Set aside. Set oven to 375.
Combine the flour, ginger, cloves and cinnamon and set aside. In an electric mixer, combine the sugar, eggs, molasses, and oil and beat them until just combined. In a small cup combine the baking soda and 2 tablespoons of hot water and beat that into molasses mixture. Gradually beat the flour into the batter until it is just blended, then add the boiling water all at once and stir to mix.
The batter will be quite thin. Pour it into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until top springs back when pressed with fingertip. Leave the cake to cool slightly in the pan, then cut it into squares while it is still warm. Serve with lemon sauce.
Another lesson I learned from Ginger was to always have candied ginger in the home and take it with you when traveling as a very effective cure for nausea….you can find pure candied ginger at Whole Foods, and sometimes you can find ‘Gin-Gins’ chewy candy at TJMaxx! Be ready for those holiday party hangovers!!
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