We had friends in town from San Francisco for the weekend, and they generally bring ridiculously good weather for some reason. I don’t know how they do it, but they have yet to see the famed Portland rain. Andrew played host and tour guide while I worked, but I was able to sneak out for a glass of wine in at Bar Vivant, a plate of fresh linguine with braised veal sauce and my favorite tiramisu from Piazza Italia, some homemade musubi made with linguica from my friend Chris, and a ridiculously good biscuit sandwich from Bad Habit Room. Not too shabby for a limited amount of time off. I was still ready for the chicken skewer and salad I made tonight though. Sometimes you got to.
Is it bad that I’m posting about gingerbread in March?
I could actually go for one of these right now despite it being unbelievably sunny and warm. These were like a thick, chewy gingerbread cookie. Sort of a gingerbread brownie [blondie?]. I wish I had used the candied ginger per the original recipe for some added oomph. You should too unless you really can’t stand the stuff. I made them for a group that hasn’t been exposed to a whole lot of ginger, candied or otherwise, so I didn’t want to freak them out by how in-your-face that flavor can be. Mission accomplished. It’s the same reason why I didn’t ice them at all either. I dipped them in coffee at least once or twice. They maintained the chew for a few days before ultimately drying out. A scoop of ice cream on one wouldn’t be a bad idea either.
Inspiration: The Crepes of Wrath
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup candied ginger, roughly chopped, optional
- Demerara sugar to sprinkle on top, optional
- White chocolate drizzle, per the original recipe, optional
Preheat the oven to 350° and line a 13″x9″ pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. I used aluminum and sprayed it with cooking spray to be safe.
Add the butter and brown sugar to the bowl of a mixer. Beat for several minutes until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and mix to incorporate. The sugar mixture will be shiny and you won’t see any of the yolk streaks anymore. Add in the molasses and almond extract and mix. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Fold in the dry ingredients with the wet. Don’t over mix. Fold in the ginger, if using.
Pour the thick batter into the prepared pan. You’re going to need something to assist you unless you don’t mind using your hands [I don’t]. Try to even out the mixture and then sprinkle with the sugar, if using.
Bake for 35-40 minutes. A toothpick should be clear when you test it in the middle. Make the white chocolate drizzle while it bakes, if using. Allow the bars to cool for a good 30 minutes before cutting and serving.