Chocolate has unseated molasses in the past few years as a comfort-food flavoring. Before chewy chocolate chip cookies dominated the cookie jar, there were soft, luscious molasses cookies, and before brownies took over there was gingerbread. I get a real hankering for gingerbread sometimes, and this lovely, cakey one with the crisp top came from my grandma. If I don’t miss my guess, there are a lot grandmas in Maine right now with swarms of grandchildren headed this way for summer vacations, and I think a serving of hot-from-the-oven gingerbread might be a nice addition to happy summer memories. I bet a lot of you already make gingerbread for your families.
I used this recipe for my 4-H cooking project years and years ago and got a blue ribbon out of it. I’ve served it with applesauce on top, or whipped cream. I know someone who chops candied ginger finely and adds it to gingerbread.
Sometimes I make an orange glaze, most easily done by melting marmalade. Adding sugar to orange juice with extra peel grated in and heating until it is syrupy isn’t too hard to do, and it is a nice touch. You can get away with it as a company dessert with a jazzy glazing poured over it.
My family called this Hot Water Gingerbread because of the boiling water added at the very end. It turns the whole thing into an alarming muddy mess, but forge on, bake it, and it comes out fine. It will have a crisp top at first that turns soft overnight.
Looking for pot roast secrets
Do any of you have some particularly wonderful thing you do to make a pot roast especially toothsome? I would accept any suggestions.
Hot Water Gingerbread
Yields one 9-by-9-inch gingerbread.
2½ cups flour
½ teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1½ teaspoons baking soda
½ cup sugar
½ cup butter
1 cup molasses
1 cup hot water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-by-9-inch pan. Turn on the teakettle to heat water. Sift together the dry ingredients. Cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the egg, and add the molasses and beat all together. Stir in the dry ingredients and make a stiffish batter. Add the boiling water, stirring out any lumps. Pour into baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the center is risen and firm.