Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Perfect Gingerbread: two ways

I discovered this wonderful recipe about fifteen years ago, and it makes just about the best gingerbread around. I always get raves from people when I serve it, and folks are always asking for the recipe. This can be made as a cake/bread or, with a few slight changes, as muffins [Recipes for both versions are at the end of this post].

I nearly always make this in an 8" square pan, but this year I bought these cute star-shaped bake-and-give pans that hold an equivalent amount of batter. My biggest problem is that with this pan there wasn't a high enough percentage of soft insides and a too high percentage of edge.

If you use one of these pans, I'd recommend that you be a bit careful with it; keeping the pan on another, rigid, pan, and cut the pan away to remove it. My cake broke into pieces because I handled it a bit too cavalierly, so I just served the cake straight out of the pan.

Our usual accompaniment is lemon curd, but this year I whipped up some cream. Yummy!

Gingerbread
from the Dairy Hollow House Cookbook

1 ½ cup flour
1 cup sugar
2tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup butter
1 egg, well beaten
3 Tablespoons molasses
1 tsp baking soda
1 scant tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk

1. Combine flour, sugar, ginger, and cinnamon. Cut in butter.

2. Reserve ¼ cup crumbled mixture for topping.

3. Add egg to remaining mixture. Stir in molasses.

4. Dissolve baking soda and salt in buttermilk, and add to flour/spice/egg/molasses mixture.

5. Pour into greased 9 inches square pan; sprinkle with topping.

6. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Serve with lemon curd, or whipped cream, or both!

The muffin variation has the same fantastic flavor:

Gingerbread Muffins
from the Dairy Hollow House Cookbook

1 ½ cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup butter (4 oz)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (or rolled oats)
1 egg, well beaten
3 Tablespoons molasses
1 tsp baking soda
1 scant tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
handful raisins (optional)

1. Combine flour, sugar, ginger, and cinnamon.

2. Cut in butter with pastry cutter or two knives.

3. Reserve ¼ of the crumbled mixture in a small bowl for topping. Stir in chopped walnuts or rolled oats to reserved crumbled mixture and set aside. (I left the nuts and oats out of the topping this time, because I was baking them for my mom who has lots of food sensitivities).

4. Add egg to remaining mixture. Stir in molasses.

5. Dissolve baking soda and salt in buttermilk. Add to the flour/egg/molasses mixture.

6. Fill muffin cups half full; sprinkle with topping.

Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

8 comments:

Maria said...

Both ways look perfect to me!

Melissa said...

Oh my gosh, that star pan is great! I love gingerbread, and this looks fantastic!

♥Reeni said...

The star pan is so pretty! How delicious, I like gingerbread any and all ways!

Sherry Trifle - Lovely Cats said...

I love gingerbread! Your recipe sounds delicious. Good to see the doggies are enjoying their Christmas treats too.

TeaLady said...

Gingerbread. Yummy!!! I made it for the first time in years a couple of weeks ago. I had forgotten how good it is.

Happy New Year!!!

natalia said...

How nice !I thought gingerbread was only in the cookie form but soft is a must try !! Super cute star (could be for a panettone as well )Happy new year ! Baci

Cathy said...

This gingerbread looks great! I've never made gingerbread before, but now I know which recipe I'll start with! I love the star pan; sorry it resulted in too much "edge" for your taste. I am going to attempt a castle cake for my daughter's bday next month and had similar worries about the turrets and such. Fortunately in that situation the taste of the cake is not really the point.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

P.S. I made your eggnog scones -- they were great!

juju73 said...

These look wonderful and I LOVE the presentation!

Happy New Year!!!