Gingerbread and Apple Spice Trifles for Christmas!

Moist molasses gingerbread with wheat | by fit for the soul
Apples for gingerbread trifles | by fit for the soul

It's time to celebrate!

As with every Christmas I'm having a pretty difficult time getting into the 'spirit' of the holidays. In my heart I know its true meaning and love it for what it is, but sadly the festivities are a whole different story.  Usually the anticipation comes and goes at the start of Christmas day instead of leading up to it, which can be utterly discouraging to such holiday loving souls like my husband.  *cue the violins* I'm trying this year, though not as hard as the last because the demands of life can sometimes become too...demanding, shall I say?  As a result, this Christmas I let go of the idea that I have to be the perfect homemaker and decorator--even if it means cramming everything in the last minute--and hopefully next Christmas I'll do things differently.  For me personally, right from the place I'm found at this very moment, the attempt to fit in the mold of expectations can easily rob me of the goodness that Christmas is.  And so I'm hoping to learn as I go on to the next year.  Then hopefully! I will have learned how to do everything way ahead of time and bless my loved ones in that regard. Some things just take practice.

I guess that's why grace on ourselves is so important.  Learning, trying, and being resilient are such a treasure to discover and uphold in all aspects of life. 

But then again, so are these trifles.

Super moist molasses and gingerbread and spice trifle recipe | by fit for the soul

I hope you're being a better celebrant than me this year.  In case you are struggling with creative and yum-tastic ideas, here I have possibly the most magical dessert to appear on your Christmas gathering.  At least that's what Greg implied as he went on to say, "this is ummm quite different from what I expected (isn't anything I make, though?)" as he proceeded to take one bite then two and then three on a few different occasions.

I'm even tempted to say he enjoyed these trifles much like the Cookie Monster does his cookies, but that's probably wishful thinking. ;)  He then concluded that this is probably the best dessert I have ever created in this little kitchen of ours.  A statement that I have long been awaiting from my traditional dessert loving husband.  Success!

These trifles are extremely satisfying without making you feel like you just broke your dietary resolutions.  The gingerbread moistened with molasses and sprinkled with fresh ginger make this one heck of a bread to bring to a party.  As if that wasn't excellent enough, the icing on the cake (or should I say trifle) is this most fantastic homemade whipped cream!  It holds together perfectly thanks to the egg white, and although the small addition of honey seems insignificant, I highly recommend to stick with it because it rends a powerfully rich and aromatic flavor to the cream. 

The recipe asks for whole wheat pastry flour but if that's not accessible, you can use 100% whole wheat by decreasing it as you add a bit more liquid.  It is optional to use egg whites if you're wary of raw eggs in general, but it's good to note that it's an amazing stabilizer.  Cornstarch or confectioner sugar can be used as an alternative, but the taste may vary just a bit.

Gingerbread and spice trifle cup recipe | by fit for the soul
Best Christmas dessert-gingerbread apple spice trifles | by fit for the soul

Gingerbread and Apple Spice Trifles

Makes for a medium trifle bowl {or many cups}

Ingredients for molasses gingerbread

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt (or regular)

6 tbsp unsalted softened butter

1 large egg

1 cup sour milk (1 cup milk+1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice)

1/3 cup molasses

3/4 cup sugar of choice

2 tsp fresh grated ginger

1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

It's easiest to make the bread one day or night ahead of time.  This way the work and time put into it is mostly done by the next day!  Preheat oven to 375 F degrees (191 C).  In a large mixing bowl, stir the flours, baking soda+powder, salt.  In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and egg.  Add sour milk, molasses, sugar, ginger, and vanilla and whisk thoroughly.  Add the wet mixture into the dry and gently fold in the mixtures until there are no clumps, just don't over mix.  Pour batter into a lightly oil sprayed pan (I used 12x18" pan as it makes a thinner cake, therefore cooking it faster).  Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes depending on thickness of your cake and pan height and size.

Ingredients for spiced apples

6 medium fuji apples, sliced (or other kind)

3 tbsp unsalted butter

1/3 cup milk

1/4 cup maple syrup (or brown sugar)

1 tsp ginger (powder or fresh)

1 tsp ground cinnamon (or 1 stick)

2 star anise (optional)

Directions

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter and add in the apples.  Cook and stir for about 3 minutes.  Pour milk, add maple syrup or sugar, ginger, cinnamon and anise, and cook for another 4 minutes as it simmers and liquid reduces a bit.  Set aside.

Ingredients for honey whipped cream

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 large egg white

1/3 cup white sugar

2 tbsp honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

Combine cream, sugar, and egg white and beat with a beater or stand mixer on high speed, until soft peaks almost form.  Turn device off and add sugar, honey, and vanilla and mix again until it becomes uniform and the texture is like soft, foamy cream.  It should stick to the beating whisk. 

Assembling

Cut gingerbread in squares or rectangles and place them on the bottom of the bowl (or cup).  Next layer on the cream, followed by apples.  Repeat the steps one or two more times depending on the size of the container you're using.



What are your favorite Christmas recipes?

How do you plan and work with holiday preparations?

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