Pumpkin Gingerbread with Maple Toffee Sauce

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What makes a happy Thanksgiving into an ecstatic Thanksgiving? This:

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Pumpkin Gingerbread with Maple Toffee Sauce!

I bought a pumpkin pie yesterday to have for dessert today. Then I woke up this morning at 7:30 and thought…nah, I’ll make gingerbread. Impulse Baker strikes again!

I used a Martha Stewart recipe for the cake, with a few changes: 1) I substituted the 4 Tbsps of butter for 2 Tbsps of Becel and 2 Tbsps of unsweetened applesauce, 2) I used 2 egg whites plus a teaspoon of canola oil in place of the egg (realizing I don’t have eggs in the middle of baking is not uncommon for the Impulse Baker), 3) I cut the brown sugar by a couple of Tbsps, 4) I didn’t do the suggested topping, and 5) I baked it as one 8″ round cake as opposed to mini bundts (not my choice…every time I shop for bakeware I see a plethora of mini bundt pans, but now that I wanted to buy one, and went to 3 different stores looking for one, there were none to be had!) Note: baking time was about the same…maybe add 3 mins.

The Maple Toffee Sauce was largely an experiment. Basic principles of sauce making combined with my guesswork.
In a small saucepan, combine 1/3 cup maple syrup and 3 Tbsp of brown sugar. Simmer until foamy. Whisk in 1Tbsp butter and 1Tbsp heavy cream. Continue to whisk until very slightly thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in a small splash of vanilla extract. Serve warm over gingerbread. (If it sits for a while before you use it and it gets too thick or starts to crystallize, just reheat it briefly and give it another whisk)

PS- a scoop of vanilla ice cream really puts it over the edge!

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