COOKIES! The Virtual Cookie Exchange

Kerry Shafer, author of the Books of the Between (and a fantastic upcoming paranormal mystery series)  invited me to participate in a virtual cookie exchange blog hop.


And of course I said yes, because … COOKIE!

Last week, Kerry shared a delicious recipe for Melting Moments – which, in my house, would have to be re-titled “Disappearing Moments” because they’d be gone the second they emerged from the oven.

The week before that, paranormal author Linda Poitevin shared a Snowball recipe that would also disappear quite quickly at my house–and not because of the California temperatures.

So now it’s my turn, which means it’s time to share a Spann holiday favorite….

…and anyone who knows my taste in lattes, snacks, and holiday treats should already know my recipe will be: GINGERBREAD!

I just made this one again the other night, and as always it reminded me why gingerbread is one of my favorite holiday treats. This is a “cake-style” gingerbread rather than the type you use to make houses and gingerbread ninjas:

1.5 cups all purpose flour 

1 teaspoon ground ginger

3/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

1/2 cup butter

1/3 cup brown sugar, densely packed

1/2 cup light molasses (or dark molasses, if you like a slightly stronger molasses taste)

1/2 cup water

1 egg, lightly beaten (with a fork is fine)

1 bottle of hard apple cider (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8″ square cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper, and butter the paper also. (I butter both the bottom of the pan AND the paper, because gingerbread can stick really badly otherwise – but feel free to line the pan first and butter only the sides and the paper if you want to live dangerously.)

Combine the flour, ginger, allspice, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. Set aside.

Put the butter, brown sugar, molasses and water in a saucepan and cook over low heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. You won’t need to reach a boil. Let the mixture cool almost to room temperature, and then beat the egg into the butter-sugar mixture. (Note: if you add the egg before you cool the mixture, you run the risk of scrambling or cooking the egg as you add it, which really puts a crimp in the whole “tasty gingerbread experience.”)

While waiting for the butter-sugar mix to cool, crack open that hard cider. Pour into a glass. Drink. Repeat if necessary. (Note: there is no hard cider in the gingerbread. The cider is for the intermission, because you have to do SOMETHING while waiting.)

Eggs added without scrambling? K. Let’s move on.

Pour the butter-sugar-egg mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir until moistened. Don’t over-stir. Get the lumps out and back off, Junior.

Pour the batter into the cake pan. Put the cake pan in the oven. Don’t burn yourself. OVEN WILL BE HOT. (Unless you’re not good with order of operations, yo.)

Bake the gingerbread for 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Dust the gingerbread with powdered sugar. Decide that’s not enough and dust it again. 

Optional step: throw caution to the winds and just dump all the powdered sugar on the gingerbread, and let the kids sort it out.

Second optional step: skip the powdered sugar, replace with whipped cream.

Third optional step: Skip the caution and use both powdered sugar AND whipped cream, because HOLIDAY GINGERBREAD, WOO! 

When you finish your gingerbread (as long as it’s not before next Tuesday), stop by these great blogs:

Historical romance author Jennifer Delamere

Mystery author Lisa Alber

for more cookie recipes and holiday cheer!

And if YOU have a great cookie recipe, TAG! You’re it too! (Come back and link your cookie post in the comments here, and I’ll add you into this post!)


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