Showing posts with label molases. Show all posts
Showing posts with label molases. Show all posts

Friday, December 4, 2009

Gingerbread Cookies

If I had to choose one favorite Christmas cookie, well, I couldn’t do it. But, if I could have a top ten, this gingerbread cookie would definitely be in it. The cookies and bars and treats that I call Christmas cookies are certainly just as delicious for any other occasion, but when the weather is cooler and the holidays are fast approaching, gingerbread somehow becomes a little bit even more delicious. How does it do that? The flavor just seems right at this time of year. This recipe comes from the Martha Stewart Cookbook, and the ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and molasses combine in a wonderful way. In the book, the recipe is called gingerbread cupids, and there’s a similar recipe available on the Martha web site called gingerbread snowflakes. The recipe online includes ground pepper, but it’s not part of the recipe in the book and I’ve never added it.

This dough is a little sticky even though I always chill it overnight before rolling, and I use a generous amount of flour on the board and rolling pin. On the bright side, once baked, the cookies retain their flavor and texture for several days if they last that long. I’ve also baked them in advance, frozen them, and then let them thaw before decorating. The cookies are fairly sturdy if stored carefully, but the sturdiness really depends on the shapes of the cookies. I made some reindeer, and I’m worried those slender legs could snap off easily.

I made a big batch this time, and I enjoy making the dough, rolling it out, deciding which shapes to make the cookies, and smelling the gingerbread as the cookies bake. Then, my energy seems to dwindle when it comes time to decorate them. When I was little, my favorite thing about cookies was decorating them. These days, I may have lost my cookie decorating creativity, but that’s where my nieces enter the picture. I’m going to send them a box of these cookies to decorate and see what cute ideas they come up with for all the different shapes.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Gingerbread White Chocolate Blondies

Back in May, I baked a couple of things from Martha Stewart's Cookies and realized that I wanted to try every cookie in the book. They all look delectable, are simple enough to create, and all together form a great cookie baking reference. Also, my co-workers have gotten accustomed to my habit of bringing treats into the office, so it was time to grab this book again. This time, I chose the gingerbread white chocolate blondies. Because they are bar cookies, the baking time is minimized. Beyond the time required, I didn’t think too much about this choice and had no idea what I would be unleashing by making them.

Seeing molasses in the ingredient list may have somewhat influenced my decision as I think I’m developing a molasses dependency. The homemade graham crackers made with molasses started it. Then, while making these blondies, I realized that molasses and salt causes a swirling in my brain just like the effect of caramel and salt. This recipe didn’t require an inordinate amount of salt, but it was somehow more noticeable than usual as it played with the molasses flavor. And, then, there’s the white chocolate. White chocolate has always held a special place in my appetite. I used a block of Callebaut which was chopped into chunks. So, molasses, gingerbread, and white chocolate all sounded good.

Apparently, they were, in fact, freakishly good. Everyone who tried one got that jaw-dropped look of wonder. After having a sample, Kurt is searching our kitchen for more, is sure there must be some hidden somewhere, and can’t believe I took them all to work. He might be right. I definitely recommend the book, but if you need some of these cookies before you can get a copy, the recipe is also online.

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