The Perfect Gingerbread

ImageEvery year my mom makes tons of amazing Christmas treats. They’re all delicious, but what stands out as my very favorite, are her gingerbread cookies.  They are AMAZING! Soft and spicy and not too sweet.  I could easily eat an entire tin full of them.

Over the weekend I asked my mom to help me whip up a batch of this old family recipe:

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As you can see from the photo, this recipe has been well used! I especially like that it says “makes lots”

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Of course the best part about gingerbread cookies is decorating them.

For frosting we (my mom) made a royal frosting, she makes this without a recipe, but she estimates the following measurements:

1 egg white

8th of a teaspoon cream of tartar

1.5 cups of icing sugar

splash of lemon juice  (or more depending on how stiff you want it to be)

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I highly recommend adding this recipe to your Christmas baking.  It’s a classic. For me, it wouldn’t feel like Christmas without them!

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Homemade Oreos

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You know what they say; if at first you don’t succeed, open all the windows and doors, air out the smoke, replace the batteries in the smoke detectors (they definitely should have gone off…) apologize to the neighbors, drink a big glass of wine, wait about a week and try again.

I found this recipe here, and thought it looked simple enough. Well, not so much. I really can’t put my finger on where exactly I went wrong, but one of the major mistakes I made was using wax paper, which, I now know, is not the same as parchment paper, there is an important distinction between the two (hence the smoke).

Here is what my first attempt at this recipe looked like:

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so yeah.

The second time I made the following modifications:

1. used parchment paper

2. added an extra half an egg white

3. added the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients slowly (the recipe tells you to do this, but I forgot the first time)

4. Made the cookies by rolling up balls of dough about an inch in diameter (instead of using an ice cream scoop-those were too big)

5. Baked them for only 7 minutes instead of the 10-12 the recipe called for (they burned)

The dough for these cookies is so stiff that my mixer started letting off a weird melting-plastic smell… Probably time to get a new one!

All-in-all they turned out pretty great  (they involve a lot of butter and sugar so they are, of course, delicious)

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They certainly look pretty!

Cookie Monster: Simple Cinnamon Cookies

Cookie Monster: Simple Cinnamon Cookies

Ever since last week’s cake baking success, I’ve become a little obsessed. It suddenly dawned on me, that with a few ingredients, I can just whip up cookies or cakes whenever I want! (This is probably not the best thing for me, since I’m a sucker for anything containing sugar.)

In the midst of a sugar craving last night, I made a batch of these cinnamon cookies.
In my excitement I didn’t let the dough chill as the recipe instructed, I also made only 15 cookies, not the 24 that the measurements were intended to make… I’m not always the best at following instructions when I’m excited about something, but they turned out great anyway! They reminded me a bit of doughnuts.
A tasty, simple and dummy proof recipe! (I promptly ate 6 of them -they’re extra delicious when they’re still warm!)

Dessert for the Queen of Desserts!

In my family, my Mom is the go-to person when it comes to all things baked.  She is a pie/cookie/brownie expert.  I, on the other hand, have very little experience when it comes to baking.  When my Aunt asked for a volunteer to handle dessert for my Mom’s birthday celebration, I saw it as an opportunity to get some baking practice.

I picked this recipe, because it looked amazing and suitably decadent with it’s pumpkin cake and cheesecake layers and cream cheese icing.

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It turned out pretty great, and it took me exactly one entire day to make. My cakes took significantly longer than the recipe called for, I suspect the problem is my oven…

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As a side note, my boyfriend, who is currently in Portland OR for work, suggested the idea of baking cakes together. I texted him the ingredients list and we had a good ol’ fashioned cake-bake-date!

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He opted to replace the cream cheese icing for an almond butter icing which sounds pretty incredible and by all reports it was!

Another side note: my niece who is not yet 3 told me that, “this cake is really delectable” and my sister swears she didn’t feed her that line. ADORABLE!!!!