When the weather turns as dreary as it did this weekend, few things make me as happy as the aroma of gingerbread wafting from the oven and warming my apartment. This afternoon was particularly wet and gray, so I decided to spice things up yet again. I did some searching online, just to get some inspiration and came across some great sounding recipes, but ultimately settled on one I've made dozens of times, the gingerbread cake recipe from Emily Luchetti's Stars Dessert Book. This cake always comes out moist and bursting with deep molasses and ginger flavors. The recipe recommends serving the cake with an apple compote, but I decided instead, to add caramelized apple chunks right to the batter along with some freshly grated ginger. The result was an extra zingy cake with a burst of apple in every few bite.

The next time the urge hits me (and from what I understand another storm front moves in this weekend), I am excited to try this gingerbread apple upside down cake from Smitten Kitchen. I am a sucker for any type of upside down cake and the idea of having dark, caramel apple slices nestled into the top of the cake sounds impossibly good.

While I'm at it, I also would like to try Regan Daley's black, sticky gingerbread recipe sometime, because it just sounds like pure decadence.

The delicious, spicy flavor of gingerbread also lends itself beautifully to cookies and one recipe that I am particularly fond of is Martha Stewart’s Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies. These sugar dusted delights are crispy on the outside and soft and rich with molasses and spice on the inside, and the surprise addition of chocolate chunks brings these cookies to a whole new level.

As sad as I am to see the end of the summer fruit season, I am equally excited to get busy welcoming the flavors of fall.