Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas In A Loaf

I have to say that lately I have been a little lazy when it comes to posting.  So feeling extremely guilty I knew I had to post something and quick.  So I madly flipped through my maze of post-its, spare envelopes, and old shopping receipts that had what at times looked like Chinese inscriptions instead of recipes. 

I mistakenly had thought I had found my candidate last night and gave it a whirl.....whoa, that was crap....no post for last night.  Now I was back to the drawing board, trying another recipe I had scribbled on another random piece of paper (organization.....not my strong suit) in the hopes of redeeming myself.  Now obviously this recipe worked out since I am posting it tonight, but it was a very close call.  The process of constructing this recipe unfortunately involved a three year old licking and/or stealing every utensil and measuring cup used to make this, along with some serious spillage in the oven and subsequently a small mushroom cloud of smoke.  However, seemingly clinging to my sanity after going through this trying set of events (not to mention my husband watching television at the highest decibel.....I swear he's going deaf) I was able to pull myself together, put my three year old in the bath tub, and finish this recipe. 
Now you might be saying to yourself , "get to the point lady, what did you make?"  So to answer this question, I knew that I wanted to do a gingerbread recipe, but I didn't want to do another rock hard gingerbread cookie.  I liked the idea of a soft gingerbread loaf, with lots of yummy cream cheese frosting on top.  A very nice addition to my morning coffee.  So although chaos ensued, I was able to put together a pretty darn good gingerbread loaf, and after the mushroom cloud settled all you could smell in the house was the smell of Christmas.....and that's how redemption is done.

Gingerbread Loaf

Estimated Cooking Time: 1 Hour

Bread:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/8 cup honey
1/8 cup molasses
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup applesauce
2 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons orange zest

Frosting:
8oz cream cheese at room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour a 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, spices, salt, and baking soda.  Whisk the dry ingredients to remove any clumps and set aside.  In a large bowl whip the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the honey and molasses, mix well to combine.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each egg.  Add the vanilla and orange zest and mix. 
To the butter mixture add half of the dry ingredients, mix until just combined.  Add the buttermilk and mix again.  Add the applesauce, mix, then add the remaining half of the dry ingredients.  Mix until well combined.  Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake the gingerbread until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs, about 40-50 minutes. 
When the gingerbread is done baking remove from the oven and place on a rack and cool for about 15 minutes, then invert and remove the loaf from the pan.  Cool the loaf until slightly warm.  Wrap the loaf in plastic wrap and cool completely.  For the frosting, mix all the ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth.  Unwrap the cooled loaf and frost away.

3 comments:

  1. Julie, the one you work withDecember 7, 2010 at 6:37 PM

    I'm going to have to make this this weekend. It looks delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You not only managed everything you described in the post, you also took some beautiful pictures! Nicely done.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Terry,
    Thank you so much for the comment! Any feedback coming from you is truely an honor. I hope you keep reading!

    ReplyDelete