This was one of my absolute favorite things as a child, something I'd bake every year around Christmas time. These last few years Mom's been suggesting, somewhat wistfully, that I make it whenever I've been home over the holidays, but somehow it never actually happened. Finally, despite it's not being quite the season, we made this a couple days ago and it was even better than I remembered. Recipe stolen from the Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys & Girls (page 96).
Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Grease & flour 9-inch square pan.
1/2 cup soft shortening (or softened butter)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup dark molasses
1 cup boiling water
2 1/4 cups sifted Gold Medal flour
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger (heaping)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (heaping)
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized and/or fresh ginger
Beat until smooth.
Pour into prepared pan.
Bake 45-50 minutes (or until toothpick comes out clean).
Fire Dog Topping:
Spread over hot gingerbread a mixture of 3/4 cup of confectioner's sugar, 2 tablespoons milk.
Sprinkle brown sugar over top & serve warm, possibly with apple sauce.