I’m not talkin Men or Houses….

I adore Gingerbread in desserts.  It’s luscious when served warm & aromatic out of the oven, topped with cinnamon spiked whipped cream.  Simple & delish!  For a festive holiday brunch, serve gingerbread waffles or even pancakes!  A boxed mix batter will do- may want to thin it out with a tablespoon or two of milk.  My preferred mix of choice is Trader Joes http://www.traderjoes.com/.  It has a rich, distinctive flavor minus any preservative after taste.



 

Another clever use of boxed gingerbread mix is to follow directions for the cookie recipe batter, roll it out and cut with biscuit cutter to fit into miniature muffin tins for tartlets.   A fluffy mousse filling of mascarpone & cream is the finishing touch on a bite of heaven!

Gingerbread Tartlets- makes 32 miniature tarts

1 box Gingerbread mix

4 oz. mascarpone cheese (rm temp)

1c. whipping cream

2 heaping T. sugar

1/2t. cinnamon

Follow directions on mix for gingerbread cookie batter, roll thin, and cut out 32 rounds using a 2″ cylindrical cookie cutter.  Spray muffin tins.   Press rounds into muffin tins.  Bake @ 350 for 8-10 minutes.  For the 4 empty slots, pour in 1 T. water to prevent tin from warping.  Cool completely before filling.  *** shells can be frozen at this point for future filling.

Whip cheese, cream, sugar & cinnamon until smooth and thick.  Using a pastry bag, pipe mousse filling into each tart shell, garnish w sprinkles, nuts, chocolate shavings, crystallized ginger, or chopped pears.  Serve within an hour (they can get soggy)!

 Trifle is really a large parfait!

If you were overloaded with sweets this holiday and have gingerbread leftover, cut it into cubes, let it sit overnight to get a little stale, then use to make bread pudding.  See http://www.thethymesavor.com/comparing-pumpkin-bread/.  Even easier though, is a trifle layered with chunks of gingerbread, liqueur laced whipped cream, fruit & a garnish of citrus or sparkling sugar.  Use your creativity to change it up with different mousse flavors and fruit.  It’s the layers of color & texture that catch the eye so you’ll want to serve this in a trifle dish or use a glass bowl.  Here’s one of my favorite versions.  For the mousse, I use the same basic recipe as listed above for tartlets, but we’re jazzing it up with lemon.  My recipe is different from the traditional British type as there’s no custard and we use the gingerbread in place of sponge cake.

Lemon Ginger Trifle- makes 6-8 servings

Lemon & Ginger go together famously and this trifle is the perfect pairing to show them off.

1-lb gingerbread (either store bought or baked)

8oz. mascarpone or cream cheese (rm temp)

2c. heavy or whipping cream

1/2c. lemon curd (found in jams & preserves aisle of grocery store)

3T. chopped candied/crystallized ginger

1 qt berries, (rinsed  patted dry)

1 lemon, freshly zested

2T. sanding sugar (looks crystal like & sparkly- find in craft stores)

Cut gingerbread into 2-inch pieces.  You should get about 6 c. worth of pieces.  Whip cheese, cream & lemon curd until well combined.  Gently fold in chopped ginger.   Put a layer of gingerbread pieces in the base of a 9″ trifle dish or glass bowl.  Add a few dollops of the whipped mousse, enough to almost cover the gingerbread.  Then sprinkle in a few fresh blueberries, raspberries or strawberries.  Dust with sanding sugar & fresh lemon zest.  Layer one or more times until you’ve reached the top of the dish.  Garnish top with more fresh lemon zest & sanding sugar.   Let folks serve themselves with martini glasses for a sophisticated touch.  *** You can easily make this up to 8 hours ahead & chill before serving.

If thinking about making a dessert for the holiday bogs you down, buy a mix, bake in a 9″ round, cool slightly, dust with confectioners sugar and top with edible flower garnish~ you’ve got dessert!

HO HO HO!