>Week of Loaves: Lemon Cranberry Gingerbread

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It’s not midnight yet! I’m still making my self-imposed deadline of a loaf a day! I’m so very tired!

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This is a gingerbready loaf with whole cranberries and lemony delicious flavors. I really wanted to make a lemon glaze to drizzle over the top, but we were out of powdered/confectioner’s sugar and I’d already been to the store three! times! today.  If you want the glaze to soak into the loaf, drizzle it over while it’s hot. If you want it to sit on top like icing, let the loaf cool completely.

Lemon Cranberry Gingerbread (with Lemon Glaze)
adapted from Guy Fawkes Day Cake, The Joy of Cooking, p. 724
Gingerbread:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup molasses
juice of one medium lemon (zest is also used; see below)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
zest of one medium lemon
2/3 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
2/3 cup milk or egg nog

Glaze:
1 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
juice of one lemon
dried cranberries (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350˚/180˚. Grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan or 8″ square baking pan.
In a small pan, melt together the butter, molasses, and lemon juice. Whisk until smooth and melted. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, sugar, spices, baking soda, and lemon zest. Toss in the cranberries, coating them with flour mixture.
Add half the butter mixture and half the milk, give it a quick stir, then add the rest of the butter and the milk. Stir quickly a few times, until just combined. The batter is rather thin, like a waffle batter.
Pour into the greased pan and bake until the cake begins to pull away from the pan sides and a skewer stuck in the middle comes out clean, about 45 minutes for the loaf pan or 35 minutes for the cake pan. Let cool in the pan on a rack.

To make the glaze, put the powdered sugar in a large bowl and slowly stir in the lemon juice until it’s thin enough to drizzle. Dip a spoon in and hold it over the bowl to test drizzle-ability, then lick the spoon to test for flavor. (Using an un-licked spoon), drizzle the icing over the loaf in pretty swirls. Dot with dried cranberries, if desired.

Mug shot
The bag my lemons came in.

Recommended accompaniment: A rousing chorus of “Here We Come a Wassailing”, because this could count as Christmas loaf. Moudy cheese optional.

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