Monday, December 20, 2010

Orange Soft Gingerbread Cookies

There's a snow storm watch for our part of the world so what better way to stay inside than to bake more cookies! These gingerbread are lovely! Delicious! And the cutter is oh so cute, too. Apparently these are 3D gingerbread... whatever... they look and taste great! They're soft and flavorful. Just perfect.
The rainbow tree background for the cookies is actually from a Care Bears Christmas book (talk about retro!). It was too cute not to include. I love our childhoods. I love Christmas. And I love these gingerbread.

Orange Gingerbread Cookies
Adapted from WCF Courier
Makes 4 dozen cookies
  • 2/3 cup light molasses
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange peel
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger but we forgot to add it and it still tasted amazing
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine molasses, brown sugar, 1/3 cup butter, egg and orangepeel in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until smooth and creamy.Reduce speed to low. Add all remaining cookie ingredients; beatuntil well mixed. Cover; refrigerate until firm (at least 2hours).
Heat oven to 375 F. Roll out dough on well-floured surface, one half at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with 3 to 4-inch cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart onto greased cookie sheets. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until no-indentation remains when touched. Cool completely.
Decorate as you like.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Salted Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

When it snows... bake! We've been busy with Christmas baking these past few weeks and we just can't seem to get enough. With snowy weather, we thought it best to stay in and bake, bake, bake... and that's exactly what we've done! These cookies from Brown Eyed Baker (from Dorie Greenspan) are sooo good. They're definitely something different for your holiday cookie spread.

Salted Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Yield: 3 dozen cookies
Prep: 10 minutes | Chill Time: 3 hours | Bake Time: 12 minutes
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened or dark cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon fleur de sel or ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Whisk together the flour, cocoa and baking soda in a small bowl; set aside.
2. Beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, the salt and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes more.
3. With the mixer off, add the dry ingredients. Turn the mixer on and off low speed (pulse) for a second or two about 5 times so that the flour mixture gets incorporated. Then mix on low speed for about 30 seconds, just until the flour disappears into the dough (the dough will look crumbly).
4. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide it in two. Shape each half into a 9-inch log. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (The dough can be refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. If you’ve frozen the dough, you don’t need to defrost before baking – just slice the logs into cookies and baking the cookies 1 minute longer.)
5. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
6. Using a sharp thin knife, slice the logs into rounds that are ½-inch thick. Arrange the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between them. Sprinkle a small amount of extra salt on top of each round.
7. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes – they won’t look done, and won’t be firm, but that’s how they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies rest until they are only just warm, at which point you can serve them or let them reach room temperature. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Shortbread

More Christmas baking! I am officially done school for the holidays and Riley has just one exam and then it's party time. We couldn't resist doing some baking. We've never made shortbread so we thought it would be nice to make it since we stole some butter from our aunt and it's trans-fat free. Apparently. Anyway, we will believe that these cookies are trans-fat free and eat them blissfully (ignorantly). 

Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from The Sophisticated Gourmet

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar (icing sugar, confectioners sugar)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
Coloured sugar for sprinkling

Preparation: Sift flour and salt together. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. If you’d like, you could cream the butter first, and then cream the sugar in.
Beat in the vanilla extract.
Without your electric mixer, gently stir the sifted flour and salt mixture into the creamed butter and sugar, until well blended. If the mixture seems a bit dry, add a couple teaspoons of milk to the mixture, until everything comes together.
Form the dough into a disk, then wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill it in the refrigerator for about an hour (or until the dough has firmed-up).
Preheat oven to 350ºF (remember to place the oven rack in the middle). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (don’t use waxed paper).
Take the dough out of your refrigerator (if you haven’t done so already) and roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to ¼ of an inch thick. Cut into rectangles, squares, rounds, or any shape that you’d prefer.
Place the cookies on the parchment lined baking sheets and place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, or until the cookies have firmed up. The colder the cookies, the more they’ll keep their shape in the oven.
Sprinkle cookies with turbinado sugar.
Bake cookies for about 10 minutes or until the cookies have lightly browned. Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheets before proceeding to cool the cookies on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Candy Cane Chocolate Chip Cookies

We put up our Christmas tree this past week so it really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas... We thought it should also taste like Christmas, hence these revamped chocolate chip cookies a la Christmas.  

 This is a simple way to Christmas-ify (new word!) your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. We added some crushed candy cane to the tops of our chocolate chip cookies before putting them in the oven. Christmas magic! Super easy and the peppermint flavor is really nice.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Vegan Christmas Baking

Ah, Christmas Baking! I thought I would start off with some Vegan Molasses Ginger Cookies. Why? Well, one of my Women and Gender Studies classes is having a potluck on the last day of class before the holidays so I thought vegan was a rather fitting choice. I used Kathy's recipe from Happy Health Life. They turned out super yummy. I actually prefer them while they are still soft so we will see how I like them once they've hardened properly.
The O.C. Christmukkah Mix is amazing. I'm listening to it right now and it's perfection. I know it's like 6 years old but who cares! Check it out - click Mix 3.
Molasses Ginger Cookies
Adapted From Happy Healthy Life
vegan, makes 20 cookies
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp ginger powder
1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Soften the vegan butter spread in the microwave. Set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, ginger powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda/powder. Mix well.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the softened buttery spread, molasses, vanilla extract, grated ginger and water.
5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir by hand well until all the ingredients are blended into a moist ball of dough. The dough will seem dry at first, but keep stirring and folding and it will come together. If needed add in extra water one spoonful at a time until the dough consistency is reached.
6. If you want perfectly shaped ginger cookies, you can freeze the dough for 1/2 hour then roll out the dough to cookie cutter circle shapes for baking. Or you can simply roll the dough into moist balls, dip in a coating of sugar and bake. I tried both versions and was pleased with both. (If you want crunchier, thinner Gingersnaps - roll the dough out thin, cut into thin circle shapes and bake.)
7. Bake at 375 for 9 minutes.
8. Allow the cookies to cook at least 15 minutes before serving. They will harden as they cool as well as overnight.
Ginger on Foodista

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Yummy, delicious brownies. You are my favorite species of dessert. I tried to make you fancy with a beer caramel sauce but my rudimentary caramel-making skills insulted you with a thin, strange, definitely burnt caramel sauce. Oh well, I was doing my best and hope I didn't insult you. You are very pretty and tasty without the caramel sauce and I won't do that again... or at least not until my skills improve.

Bittersweet Brownies
Adapted from Slow Like Honey
● 1 cup 70% bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
● 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
● 3 large eggs
● 1 cup sugar
● Scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
● 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
● 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (1.2 ounces) all-purpose flour
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350˚F. Line bottom and sides of 8-inch square baking pan with foil.
Place chocolate and butter in heatproof bowl and set in wide skillet of almost-simmering water. Stir frequently until mixture is melted and smooth and quite warm. Remove from the pan and set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla with a hand-held mixer on high speed until the eggs are thick and light colored, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the warm chocolate. Fold in the flour.
Scrape the batter into the lined pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack.
Invert the brownies on rack and peel off the foil. Turn right side up on cutting board and cut into sixteen 2-inch squares.
With caramel sauce

Here is the caramel sauce recipe if you want to give it a try. Let me know if you have better luck than I did.

Beer Caramel Sauce

1 can dark spiced ale beer (preferably Hockley Dark)
1.5 cups light brown sugar2 tbsp butter
Pinch of salt

1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Bring beer to a boil over medium heat and reduce to about ½ cup (takes about 15


Add light brown sugar, butter, and salt to the beer reduction and cook 8-10

minutes until mixture is thick and bubbling. Slowly add heavy cream (may

sputter so be careful). Stir to incorporate cream, then add vanilla extract.

Bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat to slowly bring the caramel to a

simmer and then cook 6-8 minutes longer until the sauce thickens up.

Beer on Foodista
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