cinnamon, cloves (or pepper) and molasses flavor a
demands that leaves leave. Acquiescing, they fall.
which, they lie in wait. For what remains unclear. Mine
looked perfectly happy lazing around in heaps that faded
from red and orange to brown and brittle.
liked the crinkle underboot, the flurry that followed the
dog, the nutty scent of the season settling. It put me in
mind of nut-brown gingerbread, spiced with cinnamon, cloves
I gave in, locating rake, tarp and Saturday. Friday I slid
to sleep on good intentions and awoke to a deep drift of
snow. Relieved of rake duty, I was relieved to read that
leaving the leaves can be good. They serve as comforter and
snack to the dozing plants.
things happen inside too — like lazing around, sinking
gingerbread deep into a drift of whipped cream.
One 9-inch square gingerbread
1 tablespoon softened butter, for greasing pan
teaspoon ground ginger
teaspoon ground cinnamon
teaspoon kosher salt
teaspoon baking powder
teaspoon baking soda
of ground cloves or black pepper? Up to you
(2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut up
cream, optional, but very good
Prep: Generously butter a 9-by-9-by-2 (or 3) inch square
baking pan. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, ginger,
cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda and optional
cloves and/or pepper.
Brown: Measure molasses into a quart-sized heatproof
measuring cup. Heat butter in a medium saucepan set over
medium heat. Let sputter until nut-scented and the bottom of
the pan is flecked with brown bits. Start checking at 5
minutes, but it may take as long as 14 minutes to brown.
Whisk brown butter (and all those nice brown bits) into
molasses. Whisk in milk.
Whip: Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk
attachment, whip eggs until pale and fluffy, about 4
minutes. Still whipping, cascade in sugar. Scrape down sides
and bottom of bowl. Whipping on medium speed, drizzle in
brown butter mixture. Scatter on flour mixture. Mix just
until combined. Scrapes sides and bottom again and mix in
any recalcitrant streaks.
Bake: Pour into prepared pan. Bake until springy in the
center and cake begins to pull away from the sides of the
pan, 50-52 minutes.
Serve: Nice warm, with whipped cream.