Merry Christmas and happy holidays…
Santa Claus is coming to town…
Let it snow, let is snow, let it snow…
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
Etc, etc, etc…
I HEART THE HOLIDAYS!
This really truly is my favorite time of year. Something about the cheesy joyful Christmas music and festive decorations and anticipation in the air makes me warm and fuzzy and happy inside. I am proudly a total sucker for it and feel all cozy everyday and everywhere I go. Even the chilly weather is tolerable! Ehh…sort of. I don’t do well with cold. Unless it’s snowing! Sigh. Contentment.
That said, the older I get, the more the season sneaks up on me. It seems that Thanksgiving dinner dishes are barely washed when I blink and it’s Christmas. All before I can even get a chance wear my favorite holiday sweater!
Well, this year, I said no more! I made a vow to go immediately into holiday mode the second Thanksgiving weekend was over. So my mini-Christmas tree quickly found its way out of the box under my bed and onto the dining table. Little Santa and Mrs. Claus figurines stand by its side. A scented candle is lit every night – smelling of cinnamon snap then spiced pear then Christmas cookie as the wick burns down. Holiday tunes are loaded onto my iPod and played on the daily. Both work and personal computer background images are now illustrations of Christmas trees. My Google homepage displays the Winter Village theme – super cute btw! – right above a red and white Christmas countdown. I even manually changed my Gmail colors to be red and green!
With all of these steps taken to be Miss Holiday Spirit 2009, all that was left to do was bake up a season-inspired treat. So I decided to try my hand at Gingerbread! I’ve always been curious about Gingerbread – because it is quite possibly the epitome of holiday baked goods – but have never actually eaten it. I know, weird, right? I guess I was always too busy filling up on peanut butter kiss cookies and Grandma’s pumpkin cake roll to bother looking its way. It was about time.
Here’s my recipe for Gingerbread, adapted from this recipe:
1/2 cup Sucanat
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup molasses
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water
Preheat the oven to 350*F. Spray an 11×7-inch pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, mix Sucanat, vegetable oil, egg and molasses until well combined. In a separate bowl, mix whole wheat pastry flour, brown rice flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just blended. Stir in hot water. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes.
Now I know I don’t have anything to compare this to, but I thought the Gingerbread tasted delicious! The spice combination worked wonderfully together and completely captured the flavor of the holidays. And the brown rice flour gave the bread a bit of texture – sort of like cornbread! I was a fan.
Is there a holiday treat you’ve always wanted to try, but never have?