Thursday, January 20, 2011

What Could be Better in the Middle of Winter?

It's cold and snowy outside and I am craving gingerbread...spicy and sweet, a good old-fashioned rustic dessert that will stick to my ribs and warm me up.

As always, one must have a recipe. Since it had been a very long time since I'd made this treat, I went to the trusty cookbook bookcase (well, there are a few other books in here, but not many)...

I sat on the floor and went through several cookbooks before deciding that the only way to satisfy that comfort-food craving was to pick out the most appropriate FARM JOURNAL cookbook, which was Homemade Bread (second from left in the photo). Nothing beats these old cookbooks, if you are looking for down-home cooking. Published in the 1960s, these books are, to me, the epitome of plain and simple, no-frills, yet satisfying country cooking.

I picked out a recipe called Spicy Gingerbread Squares, because I was intrigued by the use of orange peel and cardamom, in addition to the ginger. It also called for buttermilk, which gives a tender crumb. 
I set up all of my ingredients on the counter, to allow them to come to room temperature, while I prepared the baking pan.


Don't you love this 
Emile Henry
pan with the bright red glaze? 

The ever-present PENZEY"S SPICES I need: cardamom, ginger, allspice. Ahhh, the intoxicating smell...

 ...the vintage sifter, working as well as a new one would...

...fresh orange peel, zested with a very sharp Microplane tool.

Okay, time to start the mixing. 
Who likes molasses?  

Put it in the pan, bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, and...


  Let's dig in!!!

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