German Dessertgingerbread

Gingerbread with Lemon Glaze
(Makes 9  3" squares)

I won't even mention Hansel & Gretel here. It would be, well, so trite. You know, to bring them up just because we're talking about gingerbread. But don't you wonder just how much of that house they got to eat before they were found out?

2 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 C sugar
1 stick butter (softened)
1 egg
1 C molasses
1 C hot water

1 C water
1/2 C sugar
1 T cornstarch
pinch salt
1 T butter
1 lemon (juice)
1 tsp. lemon zest (grated)

Batter: Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour with next 5 ingredients (incl. cloves). Cream sugar and butter together, add egg, and beat well. Stir in molasses. Combine the two mixtures, mixing well, and add hot water.

Bake: turn batter into a greased and floured 9"-sq. or round cake pan and bake for 1 hour. Cool, slice, and serve warm with tangy lemon sauce. Gild the lily by adding whipped or ice cream.

Lemon Glaze:
Bring water to boil. In a separate saucepan combine next 3 ingredients and gradually add boiling water. Stir till thick and syrupy. Remove from heat and add butter, lemon juice and zest. Serve warm over gingerbread.

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Tips & Glossary

Beets: how to peel and cook beets is a matter of personal preference. You can cut off the tops, peel them with a vegetable peeler and boil them. Another method: leave on about 1" of the tops, wrap them in foil, and bake for 1 hour in a 350 oven. Cool and use rubber gloves, or handle with a paper towel, to prevent hands from turning...well, beet-red. The skins will slip right off. Most cooks say baking- then-peeling is the tastiest way to cook beets.

Ginger: dried ground ginger is far more potent than freshly-grated from the root. Sweet dessert recipes call for ground powder. If you wish to use freshly grated ginger, use 6 times the amount of ground called for in the recipe.

Nutmeg: use small whole nuts and store them, tightly covered, in a dry dark area. Grate what you need using the smallest grating edge or grind in a food processor. What a difference from store bought ground nutmeg!

Wurst: German sausages— more types than you can shake a stick at. Here are several:
Bockwurst: smoked; with veal, chives & parsley.
Bratwurst: pale; with veal, pork, ginger & nutmeg.
Knockwurst: short & plump, smoked; with pork, beef & garlic.
Weisswurst: "white"; with veal, pork, cream & eggs.
• Wienerwurst: with beef, pork, coriander & garlic.
Frankfurter: smoked; with lean pork & bacon fat.


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