ATF Gingerbread
I don't know the real name of this recipe, but it's from my neighbor Jane Marshall. Her mom was a home economics instructor back in the '50s, so consequently, Jane knows a good recipe when she sees one. She jotted this down after watching Bon Appétit Catering in July 1985. While Jane's not a big fan of gingerbread, she loves this recipe. I call it ATF (as in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) because it's made with dark beer and crystallized ginger.
You'll Need:

An 8-inch square or 9-inch round baking pan

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1 cup molasses

1 cup dark beer (see Tip)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Dash of salt

1/2 cup crystallized ginger, broken into small chunks

Tip: That's roughly two-thirds of a bottle from a six-pack. Measure out the 1 cup and drink the rest of the bottle, not the rest of the six-pack. Remember: friends don't let friends bake drunk.

Gingery Cream Cheese Frosting

You'll Need:

3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups confectioners' sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1. Center a rack and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the sides and bottom of pan with baking spray.

2. Cream the butter with the mixer on medium speed, add the brown sugar, and beat well.

3. Still at medium speed, add the egg, molasses, and dark beer all together. Beat well for 1 to 2 minutes.

4. In a separate bowl, dry whisk the flour, baking soda, ground cloves, ground cinnamon, and salt together. Add the batter in thirds, beating well after each addition.

5. Using a spatula, fold in the crystallized ginger.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick or thin knife inserted in the centers comes out clean.

Gingery Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla at medium speed.

Add the confectioners' sugar gradually, add the ginger, and beat until smooth

Recipe exerpted from All Cakes Considered by Melissa Gray' Chronicle Books, 2009

All Cakes Considered
All Cakes Considered
by Melissa Gray
Chronicle Books, 2009

9-Inch Round Cake Pan
Baking Pan

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