From the Gundersen family right-brained recipe file. No cookie cutters required!

Christmas Morning Plum Bread

2 c. self-rising flour
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 c. oil
3 eggs
2 jars baby food plums

Dump everything in a bowl and beat with mixer. Pour batter into oiled and floured pans. Makes 2 medium loaves, 4 mini loaves or one bundt pan. Bake at 325-350 for 50 min. to 1 hour.

Intensely Flavored, Moist Gingerbread

I adapted this from the Splendid Table website. I cannot tell a lie–I simplified it, increased the sugar and added the candied ginger and cayenne pepper. It’s pretty much the best gingerbread ever.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup chopped candied ginger
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup molasses (dark corn syrup works, too)
  • 3/4 cup very hot water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg

Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with waxed paper (you can also use 2 loaf pans or 4 mini loaf pans), coat with nonstick spray and dust with flour. Beat together the butter, molasses, hot water and brown sugar. Beat in the egg and quickly add the rest of the ingredients, stirring until blended. Pour into pans. Bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool on a rack in the pan.