Fresh Gingerbread with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing and Candied Ginger

It’s that time of year, when everything seems to be covered in twinkling white lights and red ribbons. People are in a cheery mood and there is always a party to look forward to. This is also the national season of baking. Everyone’s got their cinnamon out and butter coming to temp on the counter. You can’t walk through the break room at work without being tempted with chocolate dipped something somethings or candy cane encrusted whatevers. Horrible. Let me tell you, I didn’t even WANT that red velvet cake ball and now I’ve eaten three and it’s 1030 in the morning. Thanks. 

Ugghh. Cookies and Cakes and Bars and Breads and Candies and Sugar Plums are great and all – but you know what the problem with baking is… well besides ALL the dishes (Really, Rhiana, three bowls that I am “setting aside” only to combine later, give me a break!) is that you cannot bake ANYTHING in a single serving. I mean… what if I only want one brownie - I still have to make 18. Now I’ve got 17 extra brownies in my tiny apartment and can’t escape the smell of them. Maybe just a tiny nibble of shortbread - you can’t! You have to make slabs of it; then you’ll be eating shortbread on shortbread for days, only taking breaks to work it out on the treadmill so that you and your thighs will be on speaking terms again. One piece of gingerbread with a gooey-tangy icing to have with your warm spiced chai. Nope. You would travel miles to buy a slice to avoid the extras, but no one else makes it just the way you like it. You can’t bake a slice, you are forced into baking loaves and loaves. Doomed I tell you - Doomed. 

I have found the PERFECT solution. You just have to send it to work with your extra amazing boyfriend. The one that spends the night and puts up with you yelling obscenities at your baked goods. The genius with the arms and the jokes. The one that listens intently to your dumb stories while perfectly balancing mini loaves on the palm of one hand, being careful not to smoosh the icing and upholding your reputation. He and his coworkers will eat it and you don’t have to worry about being tempted! I can’t think of a better situation.

“Cool down you bastards, I want to frost you!”

Fresh Gingerbread with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing and Candied Ginger
Adapted from my idol Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess 
Makes 2 Loaves
Gingerbread Ingredients
2 Cups Flour
10 TB Butter
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
¾ Cup Corn Syrup
¾ Cup Molasses
3 TS Fresh Ginger, Finely Grated
1 TB Ground Cinnamon
1 Cup Milk
2 Eggs, Beaten
1 TS Baking Soda, dissolved in 2 TB Water

Gingerbread Instructions
Combine the baking soda and water; set aside.
Measure out two cups of flour into a large bowl and set aside.
Beat two eggs and add one cup of milk and set aside.
In a saucepan over low-medium heat melt the butter. Whisk in the molasses, corn syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Keep mixing until combined. Remove the pan from heat and then whisk in the milk, eggs and baking soda mixture. Once integrated pour into the bowl with the flour and stir until just combined, it will be very soupy. Pour into greased bread pans and bake for about 1 hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. I to take mine out still a little undercooked so that it will be a little sticky in the middle.

Lemon Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients
8 OZ Cream Cheese (@ Room Temperature)
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
Juice from 1 Lemon
2 TB Whipping Cream

Icing Instructions 
Combine all ingredients in your stand mixture with a whisk attachment and beat until it is fluffy and perfect. Wait for about a million years for the gingerbread to cool before frosting and topping with sliced candied ginger.

Candied Ginger, Thinly Sliced

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