Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Oh Baby It's Christmas, all over again: Gingerdoodles and other holiday recipes

It never fails.  The week before Christmas, on that drive home from school (the moment when Christmas break has begun) I turn the radio up, sing whatever Christmas song happens to be on the radio and feel purely giddy cause it's Christmas, all over again.    I am really excited this year, because most of the family will be back together for the first time in while.  Because I am REALLY feeling the Christmas Spirit this year, I will even forgive Don Schwenneker, my abc11 weatherman, for telling me it is going to be close to 70 degrees on Christmas.  uggghh.
My Christmas baking topped an all time high this year.  My grandmother asked me to do up some goodies for her to give as gifts.  I decided to go all out and do plenty for her to give, as well as me.  O.M.G.  I was sure my best friend, the yellow Kitchen-Aid, would shut down and never speak to me again.  To my surprise, that good buddy pulled through and is still going strong.  On the menu?

These are AMAZING!  This recipe is my new Christmas staple.  You can find the original recipe here.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, for rolling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Stir in egg, vanilla, and molasses. Whip 1-2 minutes, or until it turns a light brown color. Stir in remaining ingredients and mix until dry ingredients are just combined.
Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a ball and coat in granulated sugar. Place on silicone baking mat, lightly greased cookie sheet, or parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
Bake 7-9 minutes or until outside looks cooked but inside is still soft and gooey. Don't overcook! Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to cooling rack.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
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Peanut Butter Cups
I adapted the recipe from this.

Makes about 30 mini cups

3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cups creamy peanut butter
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
12 ounces milk chocolate chips
mini muffin liners

In a large mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, peanut butter, and butter and beat until well combined.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate on 50% power for 1 minute.  Stir, and repeat until chocolate is melted.

Drop a teaspoon of chocolate into each muffin liner.  Top with a HEAPING teaspoon (maybe close to two) of peanut butter mixture on top of chocolate.  Cover the peanut butter with another teaspoon of chocolate.  Let chocolate solidify, and store in an airtight container.

Sugar Cookies

This recipe came from a cookbook called Christmas Cookies.

This recipe makes about 12-20 large sized cookies.

Sugar Cookies
Keywords: cookies dessert
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of an electric mixer at medium speed, cream together the butter and sugar. Add and thoroughly incorporate the eggs and vanilla.
On a piece of wax paper, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the sugar mixture and mix until dry ingredients have been completely combined.
On a lightly floured board, roll the dough out 1/4 inch thick. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Arrange the cookies 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets. Put trays in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to firm up before baking.
Bake for about 13 minutes, or until lightly colored. Let the cookies cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Royal Icing
This recipe came from  This is my favorite resource for cookies.  She has excellent video tutorials and some other great recipes.  Check out this link to find out more about the marbling technique I used on my cookies.

6 oz (3/4 cup) of warm water
5 Tablespoons Meringue Powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 kilogram (2.25 lbs.) powdered icing sugar
*** Note; if your meringue powder has no vanilla flavour (vanillin powder) in it, add a teaspoon of clear vanilla to this recipe.
In mixer bowl, pour in the warm water and the meringue powder. Mix it with a whisk by hand until it is frothy and thickened…about 30 seconds.
Add the cream of tartar and mix for 30 seconds more.
Pour in all the icing sugar at once and place the bowl on the mixer.
Using the paddle attachment on the LOWEST speed, mix slowly for a full 10 minutes. Icing will get thick and creamy.
Cover the bowl with a dampened tea-towel to prevent crusting and drying.
Tint with food colourings or thin the icing with small amounts of warm water to reach the desired consistency.

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