Monday, January 12, 2009

Lazy Sunday by the fire

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I had good intentions of making a couple loaves of bread yesterday to go with the beef vegetable soup that was simmering on the stove. That went out the window as I slept for almost two hours in front of the fire wrapped up in a cozy fleece blanket in my big comfy chair.

Instead, I decided to try a recipe for gingerbread from Cooking Light magazine that looked really good. I have one in my hand-written cookbook that my mother used to make for me. She would bake it right before I was due home from school in the afternoon so it would still be warm when I walked in the door. And the aroma would greet me as I came inside. A big square of warm gingerbread with a cold glass of milk....Mom knew how to spoil a girl.

Unfortunately, Mom's recipe calls for shortening which we all know is not very healthy. I've tried a few others, but always went back because they just didn't have it. This recipe is different. It uses canola oil and less sugar and molasses, but it still has that nice crisp feel when you bite into it and the cake is moist, a little chewy but not gummy and very rich for only 1/4 cup of oil.

I didn't have the full amount of ground ginger on hand, but I had a knob of fresh ginger in the freezer. So I grated about a tablespoon into the wet ingredients in addition to the dry ginger. It was scrumptious and gave it that extra little kick that you don't feel until you've scraped the last crumb off the plate. This one is definitely a keeper, but don't worry, Mom, I'll hang on to yours as well.


OLD FASHIONED GINGERBREAD (adapted from Cooking Light )

11.25 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 1/2 cups)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger (or 1 1/2 if not using fresh ginger)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg
2/3 cup molasses
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 (4-ounce) container unsweetened applesauce (or 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (baking soda through ground cloves) in a bowl, stirring well.

3. Combine sugar, oil, and egg in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until combined. Mix in molasses, grated fresh ginger, and applesauce.

4. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to egg mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Pour batter into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean.

5. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Cut into squares.

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Char said...

that sounds so divine with a cuppa hot coffee

Susan said...

It was very, very yummy and quick! I like to drink a cuppa tea with mine, or coffee, or milk. C'mon over, I'll put on the pot!

Ruth said...

Oh MAN! What you do to a woman at work! Who should be working! I can SMELL it, thanks so much.


Seriously, this would be just the ticket right now. Along with that amazingly cozy blanket, my goodness! I would be set having a piece and lying down for a snooze.

The recipe sounds great, especially with that fresh ginger! Way to be resourceful. And with buttermilk. Yum. We have some left from the holidays, so maybe I'll have to whip this up after work, if I have anything left.

I adore molasses.

Susan said...

Ruth, it did smell amazing while it was baking! Sorry to make you drool onto your keyboard ;)

I'm such a country hick that my favorite way to eat molasses is whipping it with a pat of butter on my plate and then slathering it on top of a hot biscuit. You're talking some goooood eatin' there!

Too bad you can't stop by after work and have big chunk of gingerbread with a cup of tea. That would be nice.

Amy said...

Fantastic! Looks like a great recipe. I love the subtle warmth of ginger when it's balanced well with the other ingredients. I'm going to bake some ginger snaps soon.

Spending the day napping in front of a fire is wonderful! What a great way to relax and unwind.

Cindy said...

Ooh... sounds like a perfect day to me! I've been known to have a homemade treat just warm out of the oven when Isabel comes home from school as my mother used to do for us. It's such a wonderful memory and one of the many benefits to having a home office. Thanks for sharing the recipe for this treat. I can smell it already...

Ruth said...

Ohh, now it's morning, I haven't had breakfast yet, and that slather of butter and molasses sounds fantastic! Fresh biscuits nowhere in sight.

Your mom was sooo sweet to bake for you so you would smell it when you came home. Wow.

tipper said...

I love Gingerbread-reminds me of my Granny. Thanks for sharing the recipe-I'm going to give it a try.

Susan said...

Amy, gingersnaps sound good, too, although I'm more of a smoosh-in-my-mouth person than a crunch-in-my-mouth person. When I eat crunchy cookies, I'm more likely to treat them like potato chips....I can't eat just one or two or three!

Susan said...

Cindy, you're a good mommy and you're creating memories for Isabel. You never forget those moments and the smells of the foods of your childhood. It's wonderful that you can work from home and be there for Isabel when she needs you.

Susan said...

Ruth, I guess I'll just have to make some of my mmm-mmm-good buttermilk biscuits and send them to you. Of course, then they wouldn't be fresh....I guess you'll just have to come over for breakfast!

My mother was definitely a mom of the fifties and she loved to bake.

Susan said...

Tipper, I know you'll like this recipe. It is down-home comfort food at its best!

laura said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog! Came over to yours and was rewarded with not only great photos, but your delicious-sounding and -looking gingerbread recipe. I'm going to make some tomorrow--can't wait!

Susan said...

Hi Laura, I'm so glad you came for a visit! I humbly thank you for your nice words. I hope you like the gingerbread as much as we did.

Oliag said...

Found you through synchronicity and had to comment on these great mouth is watering as I love all things ginger...TraderJoe Tripple Ginger Snaps are to die for!
I will be saving this recipe! - and visiting often...

Susan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan said...

Oliag, thanks for stopping by and finding me through Ruth's blog.

I love, love, love T.J.'s Triple Ginger Snaps! I could eat the whole bag by myself. Have you tried the Gluten-Free Ginger Snaps? They are equally addictive.

Hope you come by often!

Wrensong Farm said...

I LOVE gingerbread, I'm definitely copy/pasting your recipe! (I usually am lazy and buy a box of mix from Trader Joes....):)