Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bake-a-thon 2007

Okay, I was too busy having fun with my parents and Al's parents, and Ed to take pictures of all this stuff, but trust me, it has been a delicious and fattening holiday season!
I wanted to share a couple of the recipes I made that I found especially tasty.
I never knew how much I loved gingerbread until this year.

I got this recipe from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody. My mom said it was the best thing I made over the holiday.

Gingerbread Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon ground Ginger
1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
1 egg
1/3 cup molasses
3 tablespoons water
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13×9-inch baking pan with foil. Spray foil with no stick cooking spray. Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; set aside.
2. Beat butter and 3/4 cup of the sugar in large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg until well blended. Gradually beat in flour mixture until well mixed. Stir in molasses and water just until blended. Spread evenly in prepared pan.

3. Beat cream cheese in large bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Beat in remaining 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Reserve 1/2 cup of the icing; refrigerate remaining icing. Spoon dollops (about 1 teaspoon each) of the reserved icing over batter in pan. With knife or spatula, swirl icing through batter to marbleize.

4. Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Lift out of pan using foil. Cool completely on wire rack. Invert and peel off foil. Spread refrigerated icing over bars. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.

Gingerbread Pudding Cake:

I got some sugar-free vanilla ice cream to serve with this because of my dad's diabetes and all...I don't know why I would bother serving SF ice cream with this. It's like ordering the double double with a diet coke. Anyway...the ice cream was gritty and I rarely recommend SF anything, so this was much better when I just piled an obscene amount of whipped cream on it.


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, allspice and nutmeg in medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Beat 1/2 cup butter and sugar in large bowl on medium speed until creamy. Add egg; continue beating until well mixed. Reduce speed to low. Continue beating, alternately adding flour mixture with molasses and 1 cup water, beating after each addition just until mixed.
  3. Pour batter into 13x9-inch ungreased baking pan; sprinkle with 3/4 cup brown sugar.
  4. Combine 1 1/2 cups hot water and 1/3 cup melted butter in medium bowl; carefully pour over top of batter. Bake for 40 to 55 minutes or until gingerbread is cracked on top and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm with ice cream, if desired
These sparkling ginger cocktails were in the Dec. issue of Gourmet. I still have some of the ginger syrup left, and I imagine it would be delicious mixed with just about any alcoholic beverage. It was pretty awesome. I garnished with a circle of crystallized ginger (instead of doing the whole rim of the glass thing), which no one ate but me. People don't know what's good.

sparkling ginger cocktails


Active time: 15 min Start to finish: 1 hr (includes chilling syrup)

Servings: Makes 10 drinks


3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sliced fresh ginger (2 ounces)
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 lemon wedges
2 (750-ml) bottles chilled Prosecco


Simmer water, fresh ginger, and 1/2 cup sugar in a small saucepan, uncovered, 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep 15 minutes. Strain syrup through a sieve into a bowl, discarding solids. Chill until cold.

Finely grind crystallized ginger with remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a blender or food processor, then spread on a small plate.

Run lemon wedges around rims of glasses, then dip rims into ginger sugar. Put 1 tablespoon syrup into each glass and top off with Prosecco.

Cooks' note: Syrup can be chilled, covered, up to 2 weeks.

Yeah, I made a lot of not sweet things too, but who cares about those. I made some biscuits that didn't rise very well, a pork roast for Christmas day, some great, that's about it. The rest of the time we were eating out and stuffing ourselves until we begged for the sweet release of death...and that's just how I like it.

Oh, January, we have so much work to do.

And just for fun, here is a picture of Al and Ed and I getting rained on in Rockefeller Plaza.

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