Browsing the blog archives for December, 2010.

Sugary Citrus Twists

Domestic, Kids, Marriage

9 more sleeps till Christmas!! Which means there is about to be a serious baking explosion going down in my kitchen over the next week during the day, and a whole lot of knitting every night. Thank goodness for online shopping or I’d not have any actual gifts to give out!

I have a soft spot for the Robin Hood flour characters, Elizabeth and Andrew. They’re adorable and remind me, in reverse, of my Wee One #1 and Wee One #2. So I do a lot of their recipes and recently, Robin Hood came out with a new recipe booklet, The Love of Baking. Elizabeth and Andrew are painfully absent from the collection of recipes, but I can forgive them because there are a lot of fun recipes in here.

Citrus fruit and Christmas never really went together in my mind until I married into a family that always puts clementines in the stockings. I will openly admit my parents tucked a ridiculous amount of toys in our stockings as kids, sometimes candy but never clementines – or nuts or anything else like that. I mean, we always had that stuff out on trays and in bowls around the house – but it wasn’t a Christmas thing. So, since we’ve been married (11 years in the spring!), I have developed a connection between Christmas and citrus fruits (my mother-in-law puts clementines in my stocking too!) and my husband now eats clementines year round, though he still calls them Christmas oranges!

In the spirit of adopting this citurs = festive feeling, I made these for my husband and my in laws. Hopefully, they love them. If they do, I’ll make them every year!

Sugary Citrus Twists – from The Love of Baking

1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
2 tbsp freshly grated lemon rind
2 eggs
+ sugar for sprinkling
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt

Beat sugar with butter and rind until fluffy, beat in the eggs, yolks and vanilla until well mixed. Add the flour and salt. Beat until blended.


Flour your counter a bit and knead the dough – but don’t over handle it! Shape the dough into two 10″ long logs. Mine were so long I couldn’t get a decent photo. Slice these into 12 pieces each and I found it worked best to roll each of those pieces into a little ball and set them aside till I was ready for them.

Then, working with one dough ball at a time cut it in half and roll each half into little ropes, about 4″. The Robin Hood recipe says to roll the whole thing into an 8″ rope and cut that in half, but I found this to be a lot easier.


Then make an X with the two ropes and twist them around each other! Simple and cute! Set it on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and do the rest!


Sprinkle with sugar before you pop them in the oven – 8 minutes or so at 350.

*This recipe is great to make the day before decorating sugar or butter cookies, because you have 4 egg whites for the royal icing.*

Now, if you’ll excuse me. I’m off to bake gingerbread cupcakes, craft with the kids and knit my little fingers off. <3

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Work in Progress Wednesday

Crafty, Domestic, Kids, Small Town

In this post, I’m participating in three WIP Wednesdays; Freshly Pieced, Tami’s Amis and Musings from the Fishbowl.

I am aware that it’s already well into the evening on Wednesday, but I really wanted to check in with my Christmas knitting progress and still blog about some tasty creations in the morning. πŸ™‚

This morning was Wee One #2’s last day of school before Christmas vacation, so I packed up her teacher’s Socks of Kindness, that I blogged about earlier. I also packed up a few of the mini stars and tree cookies I made last weekend for her kids (she has three also), but she wasn’t there today! Bummer!! Hopefully she checks in before the school is officially closed for two weeks (kindergarten is only a few days a week out here). Anyhoo, here’s her little package!

Since my last knitting post a few days ago, I’ve finished a stack of facecloths and one mitten. I posted about the first two facecloths here. They’re all knit from the same pattern, Mock Cable Facecloths, in three colours of Shine Worsted. Clementine is pretty obviously the orange pair, Wisteria is the light purple and Green Apple, of course is the green. I really adore this yarn and will be using it for more facecloths for the fam and for gifts!


I’m on a serious Knit Picks bender lately, this time using Wool of the Andes Worsted in Dune Twist. These mitts are for the kids’ school bus driver. He’s a new addition to our list of gift recipients since we have moved out to the woods! He’s a very nice guy and the kids always say that he’s not a yeller! I’ve never taken the school bus to school personally, but I always heard about mean school bus drivers. Glad to know he isn’t one! Also, wee one #2 tends to move slowly in the snow and he never gives her a hard time about waiting for her so he deserves something special. He’ll get a tin of treats too of course!


I will be baking a whole lotta cakes and cupcakes in the next three weeks to catch up on my self-inflicted cake challenge. Which may prove extra tricky since we’re away for 5 days, but I can do this! I made a little dent tonight with cake #45, Candy Cane Cake. No adult could stomach this. Maybe Andrew. Maybe. Don’t take that as a challenge, I even tried it in milk and the peppermint still knocked me on my butt.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Last Daring Cook Challenge for 2010 – Eggs Benedict


In this post, I’m participating in Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Tuesdays at the Table, Tuesday Night Supper Club, Hearth ‘n Soul, and of course, The Daring Cooks.

Jenn and Jill have challenged The Daring Cooks to learn to perfect the technique of poaching an egg. They chose Eggs Benedict recipe from Alton Brown, Oeufs en Meurette from Cooking with Wine by Anne Willan, and Homemade Sundried Tomato & Pine Nut Seitan Sausages (poached) courtesy of Trudy of Veggie num num.

I have watched Julie and Julia about 1000 times lately, so I was all over poaching a egg! I really wanted to do it, and since I live in the woods now, it’s not hard to find farm fresh eggs! I decided to go with Eggs Benedict for the whole Julie and Julia butter references.

I have been peaking in at the Daring Kitchen message boards, as I always do, and I found that mostly out of necessity a lot of my fellow Daring Cooks had made their own English muffins. Naturally, I had to jump on this bandwagon! The very first blogger, Audax Artifex, to post their finished creation often comments here – how lucky! He included a recipe for English muffins based on Alton Brown’s recipe.

English Muffins – from Alton Brown
1/2 cup non-fat powdered milk (skim milk powder)
1 cup very hot water (you can use 1 cup of very hot evaporated milk instead of the powdered milk and very hot water) <– that’s what I did

1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon dry active yeast
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup warm water
2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour, sifted
Non-stick vegetable spray


Mix your really hot evaporated milk (or your really hot water and milk powder), with 1 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, butter until the sugar and the salt are dissolved. Set aside to cool.

Separately, combine the yeast and 1/8 tbsp sugar in 1/3 cup of warm water. Let it sit until the yeast has dissolved, then add to the milk mixture.

Add the sifted flour and and mix (it says with a wooden spoon), then cover the bowl and let it rest in a warm spot for 15-30 minutes until a few small bubbles form on the top of the batter and it becomes very sticky and thick.


Preheat your griddle to 300, add the leftover 1/2 tsp salt and mix till totally combined. Now the recipe says to put 3″ metal rings onto the griddle and coat them with vegetable spray (4″ for the giant ones). My metal ring is 2.5″, and while I read on Daring Bakers that a tuna can is the perfect size for the huge ones, I went with minis! 1/4 cup of batter per muffin for about 5 minutes each side and they’re so cute!!

Split with a fork to get that nook and cranny goodness!

Now that that’s out of the way, it was time for the Hollandaise sauce and poach the eggs! I had never made Hollandaise sauce before, but I’ve wanted to do forever.

Eggs Benedict w/ Hollandaise Sauce – from Alton Brown
4 eggs
2 English muffins
4 slices of Canadian bacon/back bacon
Chives, for garnish
Splash of vinegar (for poaching)

3 large egg yolks
1 tsp water
1/4 tsp sugar
12 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut in small pieces
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

1. Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a simmer.

2. Cut the chilled butter into small pieces and set aside.

3. Whisk egg yolks and 1 tsp. (5 ml) water in a mixing bowl large enough to sit on the saucepan without touching the water (or in top portion of a double boiler). Whisk for 1–2 minutes, until egg yolks lighten. Add the sugar and whisk 30 seconds more.

4. Place bowl on saucepan over simmering water and whisk steadily 3–5 minutes (it only took about 3 for me) until the yolks thicken to coat the back of a spoon.


5. Remove from heat (but let the water continue to simmer) and whisk in the butter, 1 piece at a time. Move the bowl to the pan again as needed to melt the butter, making sure to whisk constantly.

6. Once all the butter is incorporated, remove from heat and whisk in the salt, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper (if using).

7. Keep the hollandaise warm while you poach your eggs in a thermos, carafe, or bowl that you’ve preheated with warm water.


8. If the water simmering in your pan has gotten too low, add enough so that you have 2–3 inches of water and bring back to a simmer.

9. Add salt and a splash of vinegar (any kind will do). I added about a tablespoon of vinegar to my small saucepan (about 3 cups of water/720 ml of water), but you may need more if you’re using a larger pan with more water.

10. Crack eggs directly into the very gently simmering water (or crack first into a bowl and gently drop into the water), making sure they’re separated. Cook for 3 minutes for a viscous but still runny yolk.

11. While waiting for the eggs, quickly fry the Canadian/back bacon and toast your English muffin.

12. Top each half of English muffin with a piece of bacon. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon, draining well, and place on top of the bacon. Top with hollandaise and chopped chives, and enjoy!

That was so fun. We discovered that wee one #1 loves my homemade English muffins with butter and wee one #2 loves them with jam. Our littlest one was snacking on her plain. πŸ™‚

I am so hyped for this month’s Daring Baker challenge. Stay tuned!


Peace on Earth Challenge, Week #2

Churchy, Kids, Marriage, Pretty, Small Town

In this post, I’m participating in Peace on Earth and Marriage Mondays

Last week’s challenge was to read the story of the birth of Jesus in Matthew 1, 2 and Luke 1,2 and to have a serious bubble bath. I opted for a serious pampering night instead, but with the same mission. Time to think about life and love and God and time to reflect on whole reason we celebrate Christmas!

This week’s challenge was amazing timing for me because my husband bought me a big box of goodies from Sephora so I had new gear to pamper myself with. I’m going to go on an unrelated rant for a quick minute here. As you know, we live in the woods, and I rarely leave the house. When I do it’s usually to the post office. My husband actually likes running errands (I know, he should be studied), so I never have to go to the grocery store or Walmart or anything like that unless I want to, which is pretty much never lol. Also, visitors are few and far between, the mail is dropped in the box at the end of our (ridiculously long) street, and the kids take the school bus to school. That’s all to say that for fairly long stretches of time, the only people that see me are my husband and our children. You can stretch that to include the bus driver waving to me as he drops the kids off and the lady at the post office every Tuesday when I pick up and drop off packages. And yet, every day since my Sephora package arrived, I’ve done a full face (with false lashes, no less) and not left the house. In part it is for my husband and kids, sure. I want them to see that their wife/mother hasn’t frumped out because that’s the easier thing to do. More than that though, getting all sparkly and dolled up just feels good. I think it’s wonderful that Courtney has included ‘me’ time in this challenge, of course to read your Bible and think about God and the meaning of Christmas, but also to just shut out the rest of the world and have a moment with yourself. I used my pamper time to blast away sore muscles, do my nails and think about how we can happily mix wish lists and Christmas parties with the birth of our Savior and how I can really instill that in my children.

Ok, rant over. Moving on. I recently came upon a blog that I am instantly in love with, A Holy Experience. They have made a beautiful Advent calendar with prayers and readings to count down to Christmas with – and it’s free. Amazing. Clearly a lot of work went into making it and I adore it. This, in addition to the introspection time I had on my pampering night has led me to look at Christmas a little differently this year and I think honestly, all of this thinking and reading has peppered my outlook on life in general.

I will still keep on baking my 300+ Christmas treats, but I will do so with the spirit of giving in my heart as I knead and roll and bake. My kids play in the kitchen with me quite a bit, but I will be sure to include them even more than I usually do when baking for others. This year, we’re also choosing a gift from the Samaritan’s Purse catalog for a child and their family in a developing country, in additional to our annual Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Generally, when we do shoeboxes we include more ‘hygiene items’ and school supplies than toys. As much as I’m sure they’d adore a little Winnie the Pooh toy set, having pencils, paper, a toothbrush, toothpaste and even underwear is far more treasured, you know?

If the idea of this appeals to you, but you don’t have time to pack a shoebox yourself, you can make a financial donation. Some of that money will go to pack more shoeboxes and some will go to the transportation costs involved in getting all our boxes to the children that need them!

Now, this week’s challenge is to schedule a night when we go to bed early! Take a few minutes to read your Bible and get a connection and then actually go to sleep early. This too is in good timing, as I started feeling sick on Saturday night and actually had a 3 hour nap after the kids were in bed. I woke up to a silent house, did some knitting and put myself back to bed again. I’m was still sick, but much better than if I hadn’t taken the rest when I could get it! I think I will make Thursday night my bed early night this week. What a great challenge!

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Christmas Knitting Update


I wish I could crank out knitting as quickly as baking! Ha! I tend to let baking get in the way of my knitting, which at this time of the year is as hard to avoid as it is necessary to avoid! Between that dilemma and being on Time of Use pricing for our hydro consumption, I only bake on the weekends now, so knitting should pick up. I’m posting these finished objects knowing that the recipients may be reading this so I wont say who they’re for!

First up are these Wickerware Socks. They’re knit in Knit Picks Palette in Delta, two skeins and a bit and while my official time on them is November 9 to November 15, if I hadn’t taken two nights off for sketching up Christmas lists and baking brownies they would have come together even faster. Lovely!


The person I made them for had commented on my knitted socks last time we hung out and I know he really wants a pair. He’s the sort of person knitters love to knit for. He’ll be careful with them, he’ll wear them often and when he does, he’ll tell people I made them for him. I know they wont end up at the back of his closet. I never knit for people like that anymore, that’s one of the forces behind the sweater curse, dontcha know. πŸ˜‰

Now, I couldn’t possibly knit up a paid of socks for this man and not knit up a pair for his wife, who is equally delightful. Really. We are so lucky to have these people in our life. This sounds like Gill and Andrew doesn’t it (minus the wife part)? It’s not you guys, even though you are delightful! Just FYI, I’m not knitting anyone a second pair of socks until everyone I love has a single pair – they got socks for Christmas last year!

These lovelies were knit in Knit Picks Stroll in Sprinkle Heather and I adore them. When Talea saw how fast they were coming together for me (I did the entire leg of the first one in a single day), she casted on immediately too! The pattern is called Duckies, and according to my Ravelry queue, I’ve wanted to knit them since Christmas two years ago!


My official time on these socks was horrible (November 16 – December 8) because I hosted a Gothy Tea Party for my sister’s 22nd birthday, and then I got obsessed with Christmas baking. Ahem. This yarn is delicious. Delicious. I loooooooved knitting with it and I will buy more in as many colours as possible this coming year. It’s my new go-to sock yarn. Ok, maybe Lorna’s Laces is still my top, but this is right up there.

Then this week, I’ve been dividing my time between Christmas crafts with the kids, baking, knitting and the usual to do’s of daily life. Facecloths are the perfect way to feel like you’re accomplishing a whole lot in a short time! Hooray!

I wanted to get as much as I could out of the yarn I bought from Knit Picks, so instead of the size 6s the pattern calls for, I used size 4s and squeezed out two facecloths from a single skein of Knit Picks Shine in Worsted – these green ones in Green Apple. I was feeling pretty pleased with myself until my husband pointed out that they look ‘mini’. Hmm. I can either block them and pray they’ll grow a little OR I can leave them as is and call them makeup remover cloths. Yes? You don’t need a whole facecloth to do the job, but you do need more than those little pads from the drug store. I haven’t decided yet, but they are lovely and fast and look great in green! Four more to go! Two in Clementine and two in Wisteria!


I will, at least, be posting my knitting on Wednesdays and just found these WIP Wednesday link ups at – Freshly Pieced, Tami Amis and Musings From The Fishbowl. Fun!




Oh my goodness more ginger cookies! I know! I can’t help it – it’s December. This is the third ginger-themed cookie this week and I could not possibly be happier. Don’t worry, I’ll let up after Christmas. πŸ˜›

It depends entirely on who you learn the recipe from, or which way you prefer them yourself, but gingersnaps tend to fall into one of two categories; so hard they’re essentially a dunking cookie or so soft they’re totally meant for Santa and a glass of milk. (On that note, can we leave Santa a mug of Starbucks coffee, btw? Is that socially acceptable?) This recipe can be either. That’s less magic and more in baking time and dough placement.

Gingersnaps – from Christmas Cookies Magazine (Better Homes And Gardens, 2009)

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening*
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/3 cup molasses
2 cups flour
1/4 cup coarse white or coloured sugar

Beat butter and shortening (if you even use both, lol, I just sub Becel for both and it always turns out just fine), till combined. Add both sugars, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Don’t forget to scrape the sides of your bowl!


Beat in the egg and molasses. If you’ve got a stand up mixer you can probably add all of the flour, if not add as much as you can and then move on to mixing the rest by hand with a wooden spoon. Pop this into some tupperware and let it chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Use a spoon to scoop out the dough and shape into balls, then roll the balls in sugar. Crisper, dunking-style gingersnaps should be rolled into (heaping) teaspoon sized balls and mashed down with a glass. Softer, chewier gingersnaps should be more like tablespoon, and not squished as much as the small ones. To be on the safe side, put them about 2″ apart on your parchment paper lined baking sheet.


Bake them for about 8 minutes at 350. More for crispier cookies and less for softer ones, naturally.

I love the crackle on the top of these cookies and as you’re so painfully aware this week, I adore the smell too!!

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Parade of Frosted Sugar Cookies

Domestic, Kids

In this post, I’m participating in Foodie Friday, Friday Potluck, and Food on Fridays

Sugar cookies are amazing because they have got to be the most versatile treat when it comes to being festive with themes. You can cut them into any shape you can imagine and then decorate them however you want. The only trouble is, unlike tasty drop cookies, you can’t just mix them, bake them and walk away!

I’m repeating this recipe for the eleventy billionth time here, but at least it’s organized, right? Really, this post is all about the dramatic photos.


Basic Sugar Cookies

1/2 cup + 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups + 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup caster sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla. DO NOT OVERMIX. Beat in egg till well combined and not a second longer. πŸ˜›

Add flour and mix till a sticky dough forms. Kneed into a ball and divide into 2 or 3 balls. Roll out each ball between two sheets of parchment paper for about half an hour. Preheat to 350, then take it out, peel off the first layer or parchment paper and slice it into strips like french fries!

Basic Royal Icing
2 tsp lemon juice
2 egg whites
3 cups icing sugar

Beat your lemon juice and egg whites together for a little bit before adding your icing sugar. You’ll want to thin it out a little for spreading (add drops of water till it’s the consistency you’re after), or add a little more icing sugar to make it that seriously thick stuff you typically find on gignerbread people in bakeries. I find this recipe just needs the smallest little touch of water and it’s perfect for spreading. It hardens just right and has a lovely shine.


The fun thing about this icing really is the colours! I used paste food colouring for vibrant colours (and because it’s all I know – I grew up with a cake decorator)!

I first made these trees about a week ago, and tucked them away in tupperware for my massive decorating weekend. That weekend turned into another sugar cookie extravaganza so by Tuesday I had over 200 cookies to frost. Thankfully, frosting the cookies is one of my fave cookie activities!

Grand total sugar cookies to package up with the others; 22 stars, 22 trees, 44 small stars, 33 small trees and 11 mittens. Honestly? I loved every second of them. There were even more, but every time one broke, I had to give the kids the broken one – and the rest of the set lol!



Snickerdoodle Cookies and Cupcakes

Domestic, Kids

I’m backtracking a little here, because while I do have a stash of mini snickerdoodle cupcakes in the freezer for Christmas, I made this for my sister’s birthday party two weeks ago.

I first read about snickerdoodle cookies in Great Cookies: Secrets to Sensational Sweets in 2003 when I picked up the book (amazing book, by the way – full of fun cookies) and I knew I had to try them based on the name! They’re essentially a cinnamon sugar cookie, then rolled in cinnamon and sugar before they’re baked. We all liked them and made themfrom time time to time. Then in 2008, one of my kids discovered A Barbie Christmas Carol, and the main Barbie’s favorite cookies are snickerdoodles! Since then, it’s become a household staple and Martha’s snickerdoodles, are hands down the best.

Martha Stewart’s Snickerdoodles – from Martha Stewart Holiday Magazine 2005, Cookies Special Issue

2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
8 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup shortening (I used more butter)
1 3/4 cups sugar + more
2 tbsp cinnamon + more
2 large eggs


Sift your flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl with your mixer, cream together the butter, shortening and 1 1/2 cups of the sugar. Beat for about 2 minutes, until fluffy. Scrap down the sides of the bowl and mix in your eggs, one at a time. Then slowly add your flour mixture and beat until it’s totally mixed in. I also add about 1 tsp of cinnamon to my dough.


Mix the leftover 1/4 cup of sugar and the 2 tbsp of cinnamon in a small bowl. Use a tablespoon to scoop out regular sized cookies or a teaspoon for mini cookies. Shape them into little balls with (slightly) wet hands and then drop them in the cinnamon sugar. Roll them around so they’re covered and then put them on your parchment paper lined cookie sheet and flatten them with a glass. It helps a little of the glass is dipped in the cinnamon sugar as well.


Bake for 10 minutes at 400. Martha recommends rotating your baking sheets after 10 minutes, but I have found that it really doesn’t change anything. These cookies crack on top, but they do not brown – so don’t wait for them to or they’ll burn.

These cookies are alarmingly good for dunking in either coffee, milk, soy milk or, my biggest weakness, vanilla chai smoothies.

I’ve been trying to keep my posts down to just one recipe at a time to make things easier to find later, but this second recipe really goes with the first! I first saw on Bakerella the teaming of snickerdoodle cookies with snickerdoodle cupcakes. For Valentine’s Day 2009, I made heart shaped cocoa brownies and stacked them on top of chocolate cupcakes with a layer of buttercream, which decedent as it is made perfect sense to me. So the idea of stacking cookies on cupcakes with layers of buttercream is totally logical.

For consistency’s sake, I used Martha Stewart’s snickerdoodle cupcakes.

Martha Stewart’s Snickerdoodle Cupcakes – from Martha Stewart Online

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp cinnamon + 1/2 tsp for dusting
1 cup butter, room temp
1 3/4 cups sugar + 2 tbsp for dusting
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk


First, sift together both flours, baking powder, salt and 1 tbsp cinnamon. In another bowl, with your mixer, cream butter and sugar until they’re ‘pale and fluffy’. Then add the eggs one at a time, and beat in the vanilla. Don’t forget to scrape down the sides of your bowl.


Alternate between adding the milk and the flour mixture until it’s all combined. Now pour the batter into lined muffin cups, about 3/4 full. Bake for about 15-20 minutes at 350.

Now, if you need to (I needed to and then we ate them all), whip up a batch of buttercream, pipe a bit on your cupcake, top with a cookie and then top that with another bit of buttercream.

Divine. Snap photos while you can – this pile of treats wont last long!!


More Christmas Cookies – Chocolate Gingerbread Drops


So I mentioned yesterday that I’m all about the gingerbread, and I meant it. It just makes the house smell so Christmasy and, at least to me, it takes like Christmas – second only to peppermint. What smells and tastes like Christmas in your house?

After rolling out and cutting about 50 gingerbread men and reindeer and over 150 sugar cookie shapes this weekend (post coming after I’ve decorated them at some point this week) it was a great relief to make some drop cookies. Just mix, drop and bake? Yes please!

Chocolate-Gingerbread Drops – from Christmas Cookies Magazine (Better Homes And Gardens, 2009)

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 cups flour
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped


Beat the butter for about 30 seconds, then add the brown sugar, baking soda, ginger, allspice and salt. Mix until this is well combined before adding in the molasses and egg.


Now if you have a serious stand up mixer (thanks Mom!), you can add all of the flour, but if not use your mixer for as much of the flour as you can before you mix the rest of it by hand. Then stir in the chocolate chunks. The original recipe called for 1/2 cup of dried cherries to be added now, but I’m not big on dried fruit in cookies.

Drop the dough by rounded teaspoons onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes at 350. Make sure to cool them on a wire rack before you try to move them because the chocolate chunks are going to be melty.


To avoid eating them, I wrap them in tin foil, tuck that in a freezer bag and pop them in the deep freeze till just before Christmas. I only leave enough out for my husband and the kids. πŸ˜›

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It’s Gingerbread Time!

Domestic, Kids

In this post, I’m participating in Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Tuesdays at the Table, Tuesday Night Supper Club, and Hearth ‘n Soul

Christmas in our kitchen means a lot of things, it means sugar cookies and almond crescents, and my mother’s truffles and white chocolate snowmen. Above all else though, it means gingerbread! I love making classic gingerbread, and as you’ll see in recipes over this week, I love making other forms of gingerbread-style cookies and treats because of the way it makes the house smell. I also feel like a serious baker when I use this many spices in a single recipe!

First, mix these ingredients in a big bowl:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
Then mix these separately:
1 egg
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup dark molasses
6 tbsp butter


Add the dry to the wet and voila! The original recipe says to cover the dough and refrigerate it for an hour. I learned from a Daring Baker challenge in September (sugar cookie recipe) to roll out portions of the dough between pieces of parchment paper and refrigerate that – it takes not even a quarter of the time, so by the time you’ve rolled out the last of it, the first is ready to come out.

People are the most traditional shapes to make, but I also adore the reindeer shapes. This batch was made for the kids to decorate and eat, for the next batch I’ll also make some Santa boots and teddy bears. Painfully cute. I’ll post more pics as I bake them.


Royal icing is the best for decorating these, of course! Mix 2 egg whites with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and 2 1/2 to 3 cups of icing sugar. The more icing sugar you add, the thicker it’ll be, and I have found that to get those childhood memories of the serious gingerbread cookies you’ll want a thick batch of icing. If you find it too thick, just add a touch of water – tiny drops at a time.

More festive recipes this week! Chocolate-Gingerbread Drops, Milk Chocolate Fudge Crinkles, Sugary Citrus Twists, Sugar Cookies and Gingersnaps!

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