Saturday, December 10, 2011

Gingerbread Loaf with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

I know I already wrote a post about Christmas songs, but seriously? We need to talk about The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Here's where I stand: no matter how difficult a person is to shop for, a bird in a fruit-bearing tree is not the answer. Especially if you are said person's true love.

What's wrong with a box of Frangos and a Starbucks gift card? Even a nice pair of wool socks would be a better choice. Two living things to care for? That's not a gift; it's an obligation. Besides, just think what a PITA it would be to wrap.

While we're on the subject, let's not forget that Mr. TrueLove doesn't stop at the partridge. He also deems it appropriate to bestow two turtle doves, three french hens, four colly (am I the only one who thought it was calling?) birds, six geese, and seven swans.

That's 23 birds. Good luck regifting.

Also, what's the deal with the maids, ladies, lords, pipers, and drummers? Sounds like indentured servitude, if you ask me. Not to mention that 42 people dancing, leaping, piping, and drumming would probably go from entertaining to more annoying than this commercial in about 1.7 seconds.

Winged creatures and stage performers aside, all we're left with are five golden rings. Which is actually a pretty decent gift, since you could probably sell them at Cash 4 Gold and use the money to buy yourself an iPad2. That is, of course, if you have any left after buying all the birdseed and earplugs you're going to need.

Perhaps this is why gift cards were invented.

Gingerbread Loaf with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from King Arthur Flour

For the gingerbread:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 & 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup water
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk

For the maple cream cheese frosting:

4 ounces cream cheese
2 ounces butter
1 & 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon milk


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9"x5" loaf pan.

2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Combine the melted butter and molasses in a separate bowl, then pour into the dry ingredients and mix until completely incorporated.

3. Add the water and stir until smooth. Combine the buttermilk and egg in a separate bowl, then pour into the batter and stir until combined.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in the pan 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.

5. To make the frosting: Use a hand mixer to beat together the cream cheese and butter for about 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time, beating at low speed after each addition. Once the sugar is totally incorporated, add the maple syrup and milk. Beat the frosting for 1-2 minutes, or until smooth. You can adjust the thickness of the frosting by adding more powdered sugar (if you want it to be thicker) or more milk (if you want it to be thinner).

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1 comment:

  1. I haven't tried the recipe (yet), but the comments about the 12 days of Christmas are BRILLIANT!
    Thanks for a bit of Christmas cheer mid April!