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farmer jo, spice girl
cooking with ginger
by Joanna Piatek | 1 2 3 4
continued from page 3

The recipe takes some time, and needs at least three big bowls, but it's well worth it. It can be made in a large baking sheet, muffin tins, or pie pans. No matter the shape it takes, it will taste good. 

Gingerbread Preheat oven 350°F.
½ cup butter
½ cup white sugar
1 egg
2½ cup flour
1½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
½ tsp. salt
½ cup dark molasses
½ cup flavorful honey
Hot water

Melt butter in a large saucepan. Let it cool — about 10 minutes. Then, beat in the white sugar and the egg. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground and fresh grated ginger, and salt. In the second bowl add the molasses and honey. Pour 1-cup boiling water over the top and stir to melt. Add the sifted mixture and the liquid mixture, alternating about a cup each at a time, into the butter mixture. Alternating helps the batter stay smooth and shortens the overall beating time. I think this gives the bread a nicer texture. Beat after each addition. 
At this point, you have a few options. You can use a single 9"x13" pan, or two large muffin pans (each holding a dozen). Feeling indecisive? Use a 9"x9" and make muffins with the excess batter. Grease whatever pan(s) you're using. Fill the pan about half way. This should make one 9X13 pan of gingerbread, which will take about 45 minutes to bake. If using muffin tins, keep a close eye on them— they should bake in about 10 minutes. To test whether the gingerbread is finished, insert a knife or toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, it's done. 
. The only way to make this gingerbread even better is to top it off with candied ginger icing. I usually serve it in a bowl along with the bread so people can add as much as they like. 

Ginger Icing
¼ cup chopped candied ginger
¾ cup powered sugar
1 pkg lowfat cream cheese
1 Tbsp. milk
2 tsps. vanilla extract

In a food processor, or with a mixer, beat cream cheese, powered sugar, milk and vanilla until combined and fluffy. Add candied ginger and beat until all incorporated. Spread liberally over cooled gingerbread. 

Joanna Piatek (jopiatek@hotmail.com) is constantly on the look out for new ways to use ginger. But for right now, she'll be heading back to the couch. With a ginger martini in one hand, gingerbread in the other, and her ginger cat purring on her lap. Happy Holidays and hopes for a peaceful New Year! sz

more articles by Joanna Piatek : 
farmer jo: apples | tomatoes | zucchini | string beans  | a personal passover 

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