I was talking to my sister the other day about the Christmas season. Sherri reminded me of one of her favorite memories: the scent of sweet, fragrant gingerbread baking the oven. Mommy always made gingerbread this time of year. I had actually forgotten that -- at least consciously. Over the past few weeks, I have found myself in the kitchen, opening molasses and measuring out heaps of ginger to make gingerbread. I guess some memories become so internalized that they become part of you.
The holiday season is a very busy time, too. There are parties, out-of-school children to attend to, cards to write, and friends and family to visit. So, while we all love a homemade treat at this time of year, we generally want to enjoy it with minimal effort.
I have tried my share of gingerbread recipes, and have managed to find a one-bowl version that I like that is super easy and fast. It's moist, sweet and full of gingery flavor. Enjoy!
* 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/3 cup granulated sugar
* 1 cup molasses
* 3/4 cup hot water
* 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
* 1 large egg
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
* 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Grease and flour a 9-inch square baking pan or spray with a baking spray with flour. Heat oven to 325°.
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl; beat on low speed of electric mixer until ingredients are combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and increase mixer speed to medium; beat for about 3 minutes longer. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cut into squares and serve with freshly whipped cream. To serve leftover gingerbread, warm slightly in the microwave for about 15 to 20 seconds.
This gingerbread freezes well: cut into squares and wrap individually. Thaw and warm in the microwave just before serving.