Our Spicy Holiday Treats

With such a scrumptious lineup, you can hardly blame us for wanting to share our spicy holiday treats.

| November/December 1981

  • 072 holiday treats
    With ginger you can make a wide assortment of spicy Christmas holiday treats. 

  • 072 holiday treats

Recently, MOTHER EARTH NEWS' staff taste-tested several ginger recipes for this issue's Herb Garden column. And after sampling—or should we say devouring—the holiday fixings, we couldn't resist offering instruction for some additional spice-filled treats, along with the honors-winning recipe given in "Benefits of Ginger for Cooking and Healing." So the top four runners-up are presented here, as well as sourcebook information and some notes based on our own cooking experience.

Christmas Gingerbread Loaf

This recipe is adapted from Louis de Gouy's The Bread Tray  (Dover Publications).

Start preparing the fruity-flavored delicacy by sifting together 4 cups of bread flour, 2 teaspoons of baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons of ginger, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg. To this dry mixture add 1/4 cup each of chopped nuts, seedless raisins, and mixed chopped candied fruit (we also included 2 tablespoons of minced preserved ginger).

In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup of melted butter or other shortening (we used vegetable shortening), 1 cup of buttermilk (our recommendation) or sour milk, 1 cup of molasses, 1 cup of honey, and 4 whole eggs. Beat the liquid ingredients until they're thoroughly blended, then add that mixture to the dry combination and stir vigorously. Pour your prepared batter into two generously greased bread pans (Our chefs dusted the tins with ground ginger first) and bake the loaves at 350°F for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the centers are firm. Cool the holiday bread before slicing, and serve the sections with whipped cream topping. You can store leftover pieces—if there are any—in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Gingerbread People

The Junior League of Shreveport, Louisiana included this recipe in its book, Revel, which is available for $11.20 postpaid from Books Unlimited. The transforming touch which makes this soft cookie so delectable is provided by the freshly grated orange peel.

Cream 2 sticks of butter or margarine with 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Then add 1 egg and beat the batter until it's light and fluffy. Now, mix in 4 teaspoons of grated fresh orange peel and 2 tablespoons of dark corn syrup or molasses. In a separate bowl, combine 3 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking soda, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of cloves. Add these ingredients to the creamed mixture before blending everything well.

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