Monday, October 12, 2009

Gingerbread for Dummies

Please don't take offense at the title. The dummy in question would be me, of course. And the aforementioned gingerbread would refer to the recipe I have used for years. It's absolutely delicious, but I am almost embarrassed to reveal it to you because even Henry could make it. Or one of my dogs. No, it's not from a box (no matter how lazy I can be, I would never resort to that) but it's the next step up.

However, back to that lazy thing. You see, I love gingerbread but I have no patience for peeling and chopping up fresh ginger or fighting with trying to chop up candied ginger while the knife gets all gunked up and you end up cutting off your index finger instead. That's why I love this recipe. It calls for none of that stuff. All you have to do is measure, mix and bake!

So here it is. I have no idea where I got the recipe. I think I clipped it from a newspaper or something when I was in college a million years ago. No wonder I can't remember. All I know is that it is really, really good and really, really easy. Serve it warm with my mom's Ice Cream Sauce and you will thank me!

3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup molasses
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour (I use unbleached)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons hot (tap) water
1 cup boiling water

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, molasses and oil. Sift together the salt, spices and flour (or if you are lazy like me, you will just dump all of these in a bowl and stir it with a whisk to blend).

Dissolve the baking soda in the 2 tablespoons of hot water and add to the wet ingredients. Pour this into the flour mixture and blend well, using a spatula. Stir in the boiling water, blend quickly and pour into a greased 9-inch square pan (I line the pan with parchment but that's because I worked in a bakery; it's just fine if you don't).

Bake at 350-degrees for 55 minutes or until center is set (time may vary due to the accuracy of your oven). Let cool at least 30 minutes before cutting or removing from pan.

This will serve from 6 to 8, depending once again upon how generous you want to be.

I just took a pan of this out of the oven. Wish you were in my kitchen right now. It's nasty and rainy here and it's the perfect night for warm gingerbread. Too bad I can't eat any of it (damn diet anyway) but is it okay if I inhale?

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