Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gingerbread Season

I was reading The Homesick Texan's entry into the world of gingerbread construction projects - her personal rendition of the Alamo - when I realized that I haven't made my favorite seasonal treat: gingerbread.

I tried and failed making gingerbread houses in the past. To be honest, I didn't have the patience for the work. In those days you never ate the houses so I really wasn't motivated.

I did not invent this recipe. It was one of the first things I made as a naive bride in 1976 out of my brand new Joy of Cooking . That whole book was so exotic to me in those days. Now it is just a well thumbed, cover falling off semi-antique that I wouldn't give up for a newer edition no matter what the bribe.

So give this a try or just come on over and help me take care of my treat. Silly Dave who loves so many things with ginger won't touch it.

Gingerbread (Joy of Cooking)
Preheat oven to 350, grease a 9x9 baking pan

Melt 1/2 cup butter, cool slightly then beat into 1/2 cup sugar and 1 egg until fluffy.

Sift together 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon each ground ginger and ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. (optional: nutmeg or allspice.)

Combine 1/2 cup light molasses, 1/2 cup honey, and 1 cup very hot water. (optional: 1 tablespoon grated orange peel)

Add the sifted and liquid ingredients alternately to the butter mixture until blended. Bake about 1 hour.

Enjoy plain, with a dusting of powdered sugar, or with lemon curd sauce.