Monday, December 7, 2009
If there is ANYTHING about this time of the year with the holidays here and such, the one thing I love most is gingerbread. Cookies, cakes, breads, drinks etc. I love the taste, the smell, the spice it brings. It makes me feel warm and happy inside. The downside is that not many people love the taste of gingerbread. Some gingerbread recipes can be very strong in taste. Like my father he said he doesn't like gingerbread. I was in the mood for gingerbread last week. I went on a search to find all gingerbread recipes that I would enjoy. At the moment I'm trying to watch my weight so I can look extra good for my honey when he comes home in 3 weeks. I didn't want something super fattening but I wanted to have the moistness and flavor of gingerbread. First I skimmed some of my cookbooks and nothing fantastic. Then I checked some blogs and had no luck with any gingerbread recipes. I looked at some gluten free/vegan type breads but nothing of interest. So I went with the next best thing, Cooking Light. I know they have good recipes, they show calorie count, and I can easily substitute anything in the recipes. I found 2 recipes I really liked and today I'm going to share the first bread I made. I plan on making the second bread tomorrow and will share that one this weekend. The original recipe for Gingerbread Squares is here, and below I will share my slightly modified version. Gingerbread Squares (Adapted from Cooking Light)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup all purpose-flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup molasses ( I used Grandma's Molasses)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of salt
1 large egg
Cooking spray (I used EVOO in my Misto)
Powdered sugar to coat the top
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep an 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray and line the inside with parchment paper to easily lift the bread out of the pan. Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups, and tap lightly to level. Combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, and baking soda, stirring with a whisk. You could also sift the ingredients together. Combine brown sugar and next 5 ingredients (brown sugar through egg) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. In a separate bowl I beat the egg and added the buttermilk. (So it would be ready to add to the remaining ingredients.) Then stir in the flour mixture. Pour batter into a 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 25 minutes (my bread took 30 minutes) or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Sprinkle gingerbread with powdered sugar.
I've been drooling over the huge gingerbread slice Starbucks has right now, but when I saw that monster had almost 400-500 calories, I knew I could find a less caloric gingerbread and at around 85 calories a slice, give or take I was very happy with the Cooking Light recipe. I think this bread was great. The flavors were mild and had just enough spice. I think the brown sugar helped the molasses from not being as strong and helped on the sweetness factor. Plus it helped make the gingerbread very moist.
I didn't have a 9-inch baking pan, so I had no choice but to use the 8-inch. I still managed to get 25 squares out of it (tiny slices but if I wanted 2-3 I wouldn't feel so bad). Remember how I said my father doesn't like gingerbread??? WELL! I told him to try a small piece and he was surprised at how good it was. He was expecting a strong ginger taste that he despises and in return it was a light, moist and slightly spicy cake. No joke, I had maybe 4-5 squares and the rest was finished off by my parents in no less then 2 days! That why I'm going to make the other gingerbread recipe tomorrow! Check out what I received in the mail the other day.
A FRENCH PRESS! I ordered it through Open Sky on KERFs page. Her coffee always look so delicious and I couldn't miss the opportunity to order it with a $20 off coupon. After I publish this post I'm off to make some decaf Christmas blend coffee! Too bad I don't have anymore Gingerbread Squares to have with my coffee, boy was that a treat!