We’ve been having a somewhat unusually “temperatured” Holiday season so far here in Michigan.
And by unusual, I mean it’s been predominately in the upper 50’s-60’s. It’s weird having it be this close to Christmas, but without snow or even cold air to give you any kind of sense that it’s winter. Especially when you live in the Mitten State- where we’re used to having snow at Christmas by now.
Not that I’m necessarily complaining either, mind you. I like having snow on Christmas like just about everyone else- but the “other” part of it? The part where I have to shovel snow, wake up early in order to drive slowly on the road and still get to work on time?
That I really don’t mind doing without. At all.
Granted, I do recognize that the cause of this warm weather is global warming (which is needless to say, not a good thing) and that I should kinda be more worried/concerned/unhappy that we’re not getting the “right” type of weather for this time of year.
Also, any life-long Michigander knows that in this state, it could be a sunny, warm 60 degrees one day and literally a snowy, freezing 20 degrees the next. Our weather is hardly ever predictable, and as such we just may get our White Christmas after all.
But for now, I’m chilling with this warmer weather.
Day 4 of the 12 Days of Christmas series is here and boy, did I need this here pick me up. This past weekend I spent in a complete tizzy of Christmas baking, trying to get as much done as I could. It left me pretty tired as I headed out to work this morning and I literally just walked into the door a few minutes ago before sitting down to crank out this post. I looked at the pictures and just gave a big smile as I remembered this recipe.
Because gingerbread ALWAYS makes me smile. Always.
I didn’t make actual gingerbread for Christmas last year.
That was a major fail on my part. Major MAJOR fail. My sister Jas called me out for that and rightly so. Christmas to some degree IS about gingerbread, after all.
So, this year I decided to overcompensate for last year’s omission by throwing two gingerbread themed recipes at y’all for the series.
The first was yesterday’s post of gingerbread flavored caramel corn, which is delectably delicious. But today is actually the real thing, with a twist.
I recently bought a new springform pan because there were two recipes I wanted to try that specifically required it (It was only $9, so I would hardly call that a splurge.) The first recipe was a deep dish chicken pot pie, which I fully intend on following through with.
The second one, was this recipe. And based on the outcome of this gingerbread alone, I can tell you that this was a worthwhile investment.
Pumpkin and gingerbread are a WONDERFUL combination, you guys. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. Like chips and salsa. They go together like rama lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong.
(Extra credit points if that last reference didn’t go over your head. It’s from a musical.)
But back to the gingerbread: one thing that surprised me about this recipe was the method of distributing the butter. It’s meant to go in much in the same way that butter is ‘cut’ into flour for biscuits or pie crust; I literally ran the stick of butter over my box grater like I do whenever I make biscuits or pie crust and it distributed the butter much easier than cutting it into small chunks and trying to dice it up with a knife or pastry cutter.
The smell of this cooking up alone is everything I love about the flavors of baking. That one springform pan baking in the oven perfumed my whole apartment and the hallways outside. The canned pumpkin really adds to the ‘kick’ of the rich, spicy ginger flavor here. Dried cranberries are included in the batter that give it a touch of tartness that it needs. But I think my favorite part is the addition of the crumbly topping to the gingerbread. It’s like a crunchy streusel topping that gives a wonderful compliment of texture to the softness of the gingerbread.
Make this one, guys. It’s one of a kind…Like dip da dip da dip doowop da doobee doo. 😉
Cranberry Pumpkin Gingerbread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup butter, cut up
- 1 15 ounce can pumpkin
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup full-flavor molasses
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan; place pan in a shallow baking pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl stir together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cornmeal, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and black pepper. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Remove 3/4 cup of crumb mixture; set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together pumpkin, eggs, molasses, buttermilk, and baking soda until well combined. Add pumpkin mixture and the cranberries to remaining crumb mixture. Stir just until moistened. Spoon batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle top of batter evenly with the reserved 3/4 cup crumb mixture.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a long wooden skewer inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool gingerbread in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove sides of pan.