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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Old Fashioned Ginger Creams

"Just like Grandma used to make" and I can say that because my Grandmother did indeed used to make these. There were few things better than Sundays at Gram's when I was a kid. The best part about these days was spending time in the kitchen with my Gram. She always cooked up a storm for our once weekly dinner with her. The minute you walked in the door you knew what would be for dinner just from the smells that permeated the house. On certain days Gram would let me assist with little bits of preparation. I was mostly interested in helping her with desserts and she would humor me by allowing me to slowly add sugar to whipping egg whites or assist her with blending of some batters. I do not recall helping her bake the ginger creams, but I do recall snitching pieces from the pan that was left out on the counter top. Ginger creams ranked up at the top of her desserts, along with schaum tortes and bread pudding with hard sauce.
Of the few things that my grandmother was able to label for me before her passing was her recipe box. Just a few wonderful old note cards with her south paw writing on each one. This is the treasure that she passed on to me and I want to share a few of her beautiful delicious desserts with you. Ginger creams will always bring me back to my childhood. I hope you will enjoy them and create memories of your own with their spicy smell and taste.

Gram Danning's Ginger Cream Slices (I have made a few changes and have noted them in the recipe. These bars are excellent with or without the extra ginger)

1C sugar
1C shortening
2 eggs
2/3 C molasses
1t. baking soda
1C lukewarm water
1t. ginger
2Tbsp fresh grated (minced) ginger (this is one of the changes I have made)
1/3 cup small dice crystallized ginger (this is another of the optional changes I made)
1/2 t. cloves
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
3C flour
-Cream shortening; add sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
-Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add molasses, blend together.
-Sift flour, measure. Resift with salt and spices. Mix soda with lukewarm water.
-Add dry ingredients alternately with liquids to the creamed mixture.
-Pour into greased and floured 10x16 inch pan.
-Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. When cool, spread with following icing. Cut into as many slices as you like (I tend to get about 40, or less if we are looking for a big hunk of ginger love).

Fondant Icing
2C sugar
1 1/4 C milk
1t. butter
1/2 t. vanilla
1/8 t. salt
-Cook sugar, milk and butter to soft ball stage (232-235 degrees f). Cool
-Add vanilla and salt. Beat until creamy and of spreading consistency.
These are great with a nice dark roast coffee or herbal teas and even better when shared with loved ones. The bars do dry out fairly quickly, so it's best to cut and keep them sealed with some plastic wrap (or indivudually wrapped if they last that long).

This article has also been posted at Just Baking a wonderful site about, you guessed it, baking. I will be writing 2 articles a month over there, so check it out!

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1 comment:

Cinara said...

These Ginger Creams look wonderful, Jen! I needed a recipe with ginger a couple of months ago, and these would be perfect... But I've already added the recipe to my! ;o)
And if you want to take a look, I've just published your Crinkle Cookies in my blog, OK? They were really yummy! XXOO