by Patricia Koffman
The Cajun Gingerbread recipe first came into our lives when we sent our sixth and fourth grade daughters to a summer cooking class. We had just moved into a new community, and our fourth grader was starting at a new school. A small yellow “cookbook” of child-friendly recipes was given to all participants. “Chicken Adobo” and “Cajun Gingerbread” quickly became favorites.
Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and iron rich blackstrap molasses give Cajun Gingerbread an intense holiday aroma. It’s a “quick bread”, and even the most careless “throw together” of ingredients is unlikely to spoil it. However, I suggest you make it carefully, because if you give it as a gift, it will be interpreted as a token of love.
Cajun Gingerbread is easy to make. See recipe below.
For years Cajun Gingerbread served as our “daily bread”; the quick breakfast, the always-handy snack, and a treat that was brought to school to share with classmates. Unfortunately, in one of our many moves, the yellow cookbooks were stowed away and remained unopened for years.
Two decades later, an elementary school teacher suddenly remembered Cajun Gingerbread, with a pang of nostalgia, and reached out to me for the recipe. The yellow cookbooks resurfaced briefly, only to be shelved and forgotten again.
Years later, while Brian was recovering from CAR-T therapy, his hemoglobin suddenly dropped, with no obvious cause. Like many caregivers, I am an expert in “worrying”, and I began to worry that this hemoglobin drop was caused by an inadequate intake of iron…
Despite no medical data to back up this idea, I fished out the Cajun Gingerbread recipe, baked it up, and voila!.. a return to normal hemoglobin!
Our girls are all grown up.
They still make Chicken Adobo.
I make Cajun Gingerbread.
It’s a token of love.
Patricia Koffman, Executive Director
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
Tools you will need
Use 2 standard loaf pans + 1 large mixing bowl + 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup + electric hand mixer + 1 rubber spatula.
Ingredients and prep
Melt ½ cup butter (8 tablespoons) in the 2 loaf pans in a 350-degree oven as it is warming up. I use Earth Balance Original Vegan Spread.
In the large bowl
Beat 2 eggs
Crush together these ingredients with the back of a spoon
1 and ½ teaspoons of baking soda
2 teaspoons of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon of ground cloves
1 tablespoon of sugar
Dissolve 1 cup of blackstrap molasses in 1 cup of boiling water in the glass measuring cup.
1 cup of sugar
3 cups of whole wheat flour
How to do it
Combine the melted butter, eggs, and the crushed combination of baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and cloves + 1 cup of sugar and beat them all together in one large bowl.
After you have combined the molasses with the boiling water, add it to the big bowl with all of the above and beat again.
After you have measured out 3 cups of whole wheat flour, beat the flour in the big bowl with all of the above.
Prepare the 2 loaf pans:
Smear the residual butter or Earth Balance around in the loaf pans so that the baked bread will not stick.
Transfer the batter to the loaf pans:
Scrape half of the big bowl contents into each loaf pan, and bake at 350 degrees until a knife or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean; approximately 30-45 minutes.
Let it cool.
Slice it up.
Eat it with butter or Earth Balance.
Patricia Koffman is the Executive Director of the CLL Society… also the wife and caregiver of Dr. Brian Koffman.
Originally published in The CLL Society Tribune Q4 2019.