It feels like school just started, but no, Halloween is over and now we begin the mad rush toward Christmas. It makes me tired just thinking about it. These last couple of months have been a bit of a wild ride and I've been kind of left with my head spinning looking for an exit somehow.
Week after week I've found myself with little energy over the weekend for doing much more than going to Tigger's soccer game and spending the rest of the time sitting around watching House Hunters International, and trying to come up with a plan that will get us a life in a foreign country for a few years. Yes, I'm admitting that I'd like to run away from my problems, but unlike most people I want to take my family with me.
This is the first weekend that there has been no soccer, so I've had a little time to cook. I made a pork roast last night, and then, inspired by a tweet from Sheeps Eating Me, I made my Cranberry Gingerbread for breakfast this morning. I don't spend a lot of time of baked goods that don't involve chocolate, but this gingerbread is a family favorite. Grab a few extra bags of fresh cranberries while you are at the grocery store, because you can freeze them and make more batches of cranberry gingerbread after the cranberries are gone from the market after Thanksgiving.
Here's the recipie:
3 cups of all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup + 2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk (I use the powdered stuff and reconstitute only because it keeps longer. If you have other uses for buttermilk, fresh would be better)
2 ½ cups or 1 bag of cranberries – you can chop them in a food processor before adding, I don’t
1/3 chopped crystalized ginger (optional)
1 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350◦F. Grease and flour 13x9x2 inch glass baking dish. Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, baking soda, salt, allspice, and ground cloves), in a separate bowl. In electric mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Beat in eggs. Beat in molasses. Mix in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk. Add cranberries. Add crystalized ginger and walnuts if desired.
Spread batter evenly in pan. Bake 50 minutes. Check with toothpick. Cool cake slightly, but serve warm. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
In Toronto, every place we went for coffee topped their cappuchinos with a rich whipped cream that was more of an ivory color than I'm used to seeing. It took me a while to figure out how it was made, but the trick appears to be lots of vanilla. I'd recommend that for the gingerbread. Yum!