What a long and grueling winter it has been! The anticipation of spring makes the reality of the season even that much sweeter. We have had a record number of snow days to make up this year, which will extend our school days into the month of June.
While deciding on a recipe to share this month, I went back to some of my tried and true recipe books that I’ve had since my husband and I were married almost 44 years ago. My parents were from the Shenandoah area in southwest Iowa, and my mom always listened to the Kitchen Klatter radio program out of Shenandoah. She ordered all of the things they offered through the show, and so all of my siblings and I had the Kitchen Klatter cookbook. Mine lacks a front and back cover, loose pages are scattered throughout the book, and butter and vanilla stain many of the pages. (I would tell my students that a book like that was “well loved.”) I know which recipes are favorites because of those stains. They flag frequented recipes like bookmarks.
The recipe I chose is one that I made many years ago. It has the appearance of chocolate, but has a rich, deep flavor from the molasses, coffee and spices. I actually prepared three different bar recipes and took them to school, not being able to decide which one to share with you. My principal helped choose this one for you. He told me he really liked the chocolate one with the white frosting. When I told him that it wasn’t chocolate, he was surprised! I think you’ll like the depth of this flavor, and it makes a very generous pan of bars if you are feeding a crowd.
Well, the days are growing longer and the promises of nature coming back to life give us the hope of spring. Enjoy the season, and bake up a batch of Ginger Creams to celebrate!
1 cup brown sugar
¾ cup shortening (can use butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup boiling coffee
½ cup molasses
2 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
Cream together the sugar and shortening. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the hot coffee and molasses. (Stir constantly while mixing in the coffee so the eggs don’t cook.) Sift the dry ingredients together and add, mixing well. Pour into a greased 11-inch by 17-inch pan and bake around 15 to 20 minutes (just until a toothpick comes out clean) in a 350 degree oven. When cool, frost with butter and powdered sugar icing. ♦