I’m loving winter time. I am spending five days up in the mountains with family. It is currently 33 degrees here in Truckee California. We are at 6125 Elevation nestled in the coziest house you can imagine. There is a huge snow storm going on. We are expecting at least two more feet of snow.
It’s days like these that make me want to bake. And gingerbread is the perfect comfort food to celebrate this holiday season. After all, December is a glorious time of year, especially when it’s snowing outside.
Over the years, my family would take a drive up north once in the winter and once in the summer to celebrate birthdays and have family reunions. All 15-20 of us cram into a big house and eat, drink and play games. It’s a joy to spend time with my nieces and nephews on a more personal level. Many of them join me in the kitchen to whip up a meal like chicken parmesan or lasagna. Then we find time to bake something sweet to make a perfect ending to a family meal.
This week I’m enjoying cooking for my sister and her girlfriend. I’ve made bean soup, BBQ pulled pork, and this wonderful gingerbread cake. We’ve enjoyed having this cake for breakfast as well as dessert.
I feel spoiled to be able to sneak away from my life in the Bay Area and enjoy the splendor of life in the woods. Here are my 9 ways to double your pleasure while on vacation in the mountains.
- Make a fire in a wood stove and be grateful for a generous sister
- Stay in your pajamas all day long
- Make an apple butternut squash soup and serve w crème fraise
- Drink homemade peppermint hot cocoa w whipped cream or marshmallows
- Scrapbook homemade greeting cards
- Put your feet up w a warm blanket and cuddle w a loved one
- Watch football with a cold beer and eat hot appetizers like potato skins dipped in ranch dressing
- Snuggle w your kitty cat on your lap and drink a Peet’s coffee w a dark chocolate ganache
- Bake a delicious and moist gingerbread cake and serve with a vanilla caramel ice cream
Here’s the recipe.
Softened Shortening or butter for coating pan
1C Canola Oil
1 C Granulated Sugar
1 C Molasses
2 T crystallized candied ginger
2 large eggs
3 C unbleached all-purpose flour
1 T baking soda
1 T ground ginger
2 T ground cinnamon
1 t Maldon salt
½ t ground cloves
1 C Pale Ale or Guinness Beer
Serve w whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly coat a 9X13X2 cake pan or 2 9” round pans with shortening and line w parchment.
In a large bowl, whisk together oil, sugar, molasses and candied ginger. Add eggs and whisk until smooth.
In another large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, salt and cloves. Whisk dry ingredients into molasses ingredients starting w dry alternately adding beer ending with dry until just combined.
Pour into prepared pans and bake in preheated oven until tooth pick comes clean @ 45 minutes.
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