I love the spicy taste of gingerbread; and, it is a favorite at either, or both, Thanksgiving and Christmas. As soon as the weather becomes cold, the days shorter and baking is a welcome activity, my thoughts turn to the comforting foods that our family enjoys to warm the house, fill the house with fragrance and satisfy our hunger.
Gingerbread is oftentimes baked as small cake, cut into squares for serving and topped with either a sauce or whipped cream. This recipe is for a gingerbread loaf which may be frosted and decorated, and then served by cutting into slices.
This recipe would lend itself well to the buffet table or other gathering. I’m sure it would also be welcomed at Christmas breakfast.
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup milk
1 cup molasses
½ cup liquid shortening
Place flour, soda, baking powder, sugar, salt and spices into a large mixing bowl and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together milk and eggs, and then stir in molasses and oil. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients in the large mixing bowl and mix well. Place the batter into a greased loaf pan (9x5x3 inches). Bake in a moderate (350 degree oven) for approximately 50 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center of the loaf is clean when removed. Remove the pan from the oven, let stand for a few minutes, remove the loaf from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
Small amount of milk
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
Place confectioner’s sugar in a small mixing bowl; drizzle with milk and begin to blend. Continue to add small amounts of milk until desired spreading consistency is reached. Add salt and vanilla and mix well.
Frost the cooled loaf with the frosting. Decorate the loaf if desired with chopped nuts, colored sugar, small candies or other edible items.
I used spicy gumdrops which I flattened, with the bottom of a heavy drinking glass with a flat bottom, between sheets of waxed paper that were first sprinkled with granulated sugar. I then shaped the circles of candy into holly leaves and cut slices from the red gumdrops to use as berries. When I cut the red drops into berries, I dipped the cut surface into sugar. This makes a nice Christmas garnish for the loaf and the spicy gumdrop flavor blends well with the gingerbread.
A topping of white frosting, sprinkled with chopped nuts and then accented with maraschino cherries or flowers made with a circle of raisins would be nice for everyday.
For Thanksgiving a topping of white or light orange frosting sprinkled with chopped nuts and candy corn would be attractive and tasty. Or white frosting with a sprinkling of green colored sugar and a row of candy pumpkins or other Thanksgiving candy shapes.