To combat my lack of Christmas cheer and melancholy about being far away from my family during the holidays, I made some traditional gingerbread on Christmas Eve. My hope was that the delicious smells would permeate my house and lighten my mood. I chose this recipe because it used fresh ginger and freshly-grated nutmeg. I didn't have quite enough ginger (it calls for 2/3 cup!). The amount I put in was closer to 1/2 cup, and I could tell that the typical ginger kick was lacking. Even so, it tasted good, especially with the addition of a little more butter on the side (because the 2 1/4 sticks in the recipe just wasn't enough, hehehe). Vanilla ice cream would have been the perfect accompaniment, though. The gingerbread smelled so good when it came out of the oven that we just couldn't wait for dessert to eat it. We cut a piece right then and there. And then we cut another...and another. I just couldn't get enough. In fact, I made another, gluten-free version of gingerbread the next day (scroll down to see the recipe).
On Christmas Day we were scheduled to have dinner with relatives in the area. Since one of them can't have gluten, I decided to try my hand at making a bread everyone could eat. I don't care for the starchy flours used in most gluten-free breads, and the texture of baked almond flour reminds me of coconut (which I love), so I tried adapting an almond flour-based bread recipe into a gingerbread. One of the cookbooks on my shelf is Cooking with Trader Joe's, which includes just such a recipe. My version is a mashup of the cookbook recipe with the flavorings of the gingerbread recipe I found online. This time I made sure to have plenty of ginger on hand to make the kick really stand out. I actually like it better than the wheat flour bread. Even if your diet doesn't require going gluten free, I totally recommend giving this recipe a try. It's super moist and flavorful.
Adapted from the Almond Bread recipe in the Cooking with Trader Joe's cookbook.
- 16 ounces almond flour (about 4 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/3 cup minced fresh ginger (or more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (I replaced this with more nutmeg)
- 5 large eggs
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix thoroughly.
- Grease an 8x8 baking pan (I prefer glass) and pour the batter into it.
- Immediately place the pan into the oven on the center rack.
- Bake until a toothpick or fork inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes.
Have you ever experimented with combining recipes to get something new or different? I know I have, with varying success. But part of the fun is testing out how ingredients go together and what happens when you change something. And who knows, maybe you'll come up with something your family loves.