During the holidays, I really like making gingerbread and even though I’m not a big fan of the flavor, I really feel like it’s the epitome of holiday desserts. It’s has a lot of winter spices including cinnamon, all-spice, ginger and of course the dark rich flavor from the molasses.
In this recipe, I also added candied ginger and a cranberries that were cooked down into almost a cranberry sauce (it’s not quite thick enough for that, but if you let it cook down more and added a little orange zest and orange juice you’d be all set).
You could very easily make this gingerbread into a bundt cake or layered cake (though gingerbread is pretty dense so be prepared for that) for the holiday but I chose to do squares so I could take it to a town meeting we were headed to.
As soon as you bite into this gingerbread you will get the warm Christmas spices singing along with the sweet and tart cranberries in a soft, yet full bodied gingerbread texture with a crispy and crunchy top layer. This sweet and sticky treat will go fast and leave you and your loved ones wanting more.
2 cups frozen cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup molasses
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons ginger
Heat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9×9 square baking pan with parchment.
In a saucepan, stir together cranberries, granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon water. Stir the cranberries over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved and cranberries form a sauce that is syrupy and bubbling, about 10 minutes. About half the cranberries should be broken down.
In a separate saucepan, stir together the butter, brown sugar, milk, maple syrup and molasses over medium heat. Bring it to just barely a simmer and then remove it from the heat. Don’t let it come to a boil, or the mixture could curdle.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, baking soda and black pepper. Beat in the butter-maple syrup mixture and then beat in the eggs. Stir in the ginger.
Scrape the batter into the pan. Drop dollops of cranberry sauce onto the surface of the batter. Drag a knife through the batter in a swirly design to marble. Transfer pan to the oven and bake it until the top is firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire baking rack and let the cake cool completely before eating it.
Yield: 16 pieces