Old Fashioned Gingerbread with Egg Nog Icing

Old Fashioned Gingerbread with Egg Nog IcingSo I know the holidays are over, but come on, there is still plenty of time for gingerbread. This year I started a new Christmas morning tradition with my parents by baking my favorite gingerbread recipe. Not overly crunchy decorated cookies, not a house, but a warm, spicy, moist, real old fashioned gingerbread. This is a recipe I love to make at the very beginning of a party. As it bakes it fills your house with the most incredible aroma – warm, inviting, unmistakable. It wafts down the hallways and turns heads. My favorite thing is when people enter my hallway in my building and immediately ask (in reference to the aroma), “is that you?” Oh yes, that is me. As long as you’re talking about the gingerbread and not the poorly ventilated trash chute…

This recipe that I speak so highly about is actually not my own, but one I came upon some years ago on a quest for really good gingerbread. Amongst all the recipes I found, it was one from Emeril Lagasse that I decided to try and I certainly picked a winner. What makes it special is the use of Guiness – a whole cup. What more needs to be said? I also love that it calls for Turbinado Sugar (aka raw sugar – the big brown crystals). The combination gives it such a warm and earthy depth. I promise you’ll love it.

Now you’ll notice that Emeril gives instructions for a spiced creme anglaise to serve with the bread. The starving artist says eff that – isn’t it enough that I’m baking a cake? Truth be told, it *does* need something to put on top of it as the cake itself is not that sweet (another reason it’s so fantastic). I came up with a very easy and festive alternative: egg nog icing. Need I say more?

Gingerbread Recipe

Egg Nog Icing:

1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup Egg Nog
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch grated nutmeg
2 tsp Brandy (optional)

Mix all the ingredients together. Done. I like the icing to be a little loose for this recipe – if you want it thicker, reduce the amount of egg no.

Crispy Baked Panko Chicken

Well, friends, here it is, my first cooking show webisode. Crispy Baked Panko Chicken. Mmmm. As I say in the video, this is one of my favorite recipes, not only to make, but for everyone I cook for. It’s the kind of recipe that people get addicted to. Seriously. Before I filmed this back in November, I had the producer and director over for a demo meal and this chicken is what I fed to them (along with a couple other things). A few days later I get a call from the producer. I answer the phone and she says: “DAVE. I can’t stop thinking about that f*****g chicken!” I’m telling you, it’s the real deal.

As promised, here’s the recipe:
Crispy Baked Panko Chicken (Recipe PDF)

A few small notes from my video. First, since our budget was so low I used the aluminum pans I had sitting in my cabinet that I bought for Thanksgiving to mariante the chicken. It definitely works, but if you have a heavy duty plastic container with a lid, that will work even better and in fact is probably way easier to handle. Also, you should plan on 50-55 minutes for the chicken, not 45. This is all reflected in the recipe PDF.

Now you may be asking why I decided to make this.¬†Well, first and foremost: because I wanted to. I found myself watching Food Network saying “I could totally do this”. Rather than just sitting around hoping Food Network would suddenly call me, I decided I needed to take action. Through friends of friends I found a producer/director team that was making cooking shows, so I pitched my idea and they went for it. We actually made a handful of episodes, so depending on how this one is received, I may be releasing more in the near future. It’s by no means a perfect product, but I think it’s a damn good start. Fingers crossed a big production company will take notice and scoop me up. Or perhaps just a nice tall man….

With that, hope you enjoy both the recipe and the video. Feedback is definitely welcome. Happy Friday!!