This recipe was filed under great- great- grandma Nellie's desserts, mixed in with things she served during the holidays around 1940. It is a light and fluffy version of a really moist gingerbread cookie. I compare this to a sponge cake. It's quite delicious without being too overwhelming with spice. It truly makes a lovely holiday dessert, especially topped with sliced bananas that have been sautéed in a little butter and brown sugar.
I've put an * by the items I can purchase at my Illinois farmers market.
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 cup molasses
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 cup hot water
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream the shortening and sugar.
Add the egg and molasses and mix well.
Add dry ingredients which have been sifted together.
Add hot water and beat until smooth.
Pour into a greased and floured 9"x13" cake pan.
Bake for about 40 minutes. Check, and if needed, may bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Allow cake to cool before cutting into squares.
Serve with bananas sautéed in butter and brown sugar. Or, a dusting of powdered sugar and a dollop of freshly whipped cream.
Serving size: Serves about 12-15 people.