Monday, January 12, 2009
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
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.