holiday fever, that is…
i can’t lie…i’ve had it for some time now. i can hear the chorus of grumbles already, but i love seeing holiday displays. even when it’s still warm enough for me to forgo a cardigan or jacket. i’ll walk into a store and slowly drift away from sean, eyes like saucers, one hand stretched out longingly…towards the holiday displays.
i can’t help it, i’m a sucker for candy cane stripes and gift wrap, twinkly things and sparkly do-dads.
the other day i walked into such a store and came home with a mean hankering for some gingerbread. back in the day, long, long ago when i worked for the coffee giant we all know (green aprons and venti cups), i loved to set up the pastry case. especially during holiday season. though, at that time, all of their goods were laden with hydrogenated oil (you could tell because we used to squish up an expired pastry from time to time…which would result in a puddle of clear oil…nice). i’ve been told they have changed their ways. anyways…the gingerbread came in a nice little loaf with a heavy slick of cream cheese frosting and a sprinkling of candied ginger.
this is adapted from a martha stewart recipe. i swapped some of the spices and also changed some of the measurements as well. i also used fresh grated ginger since i always keep a good chunk in the freezer.
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup molasses
1 large egg, lightly beaten
preheat oven to 325 F. grease an 8-inch sqaure pan (i used two small loaf pans). in a bowl rub brown sugar with the ginger to combine. add flour, salt, baking powder, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
place butter and water in a small saucepan to melt. stir into dry ingredients until smooth. stir in molasses and egg to combine. pour into prepared pan(s) and bake for about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (the mini loaves tooak about 25 minutes). cool on a rack before removing from pan.
cream cheese frosting
i just added powdered sugar until i got both a consistency and flavor i liked.
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon grand marnier
2 cups powdered sugar
in the bowl of a mixer, beat cream cheese and liquer on medium-high until creamy and fluffly. add powdered sugar in increments to combine. frost cake and garnish with chopped candied ginger.