These soft gingerbread cookies were my daughter’s favorite in the assortment! I bought Nordic Ware snowflake cookie stamps after seeing them on the beautiful blog The View from Great Island.
The recipe was adapted from Ottolenghi’s dessert cookbook, Sweet, via theviewfromgreatisland.com. I modified the method using another post on the same blog that used cookie stamps.
I also used a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop instead of a 2 tablespoon scoop, resulting in less of the snowflake imprint being transferred. (I need a 2 tablespoon scoop!) I would also thin the glaze even more next time so that it would be more transparent, revealing more of the pattern of the stamp.
Alternatively, instead of the glaze, each cookie could be sprinkled with additional granulated sugar prior to baking.
Yield: 18 cookies (using 1 1/2 T scoop) (6 of each design)
For the Cookies:
6 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 packed cup plus 2 T (7 T) dark brown sugar
1/3 cup (5 T) molasses (do not use blackstrap, which is bitter)
1 large egg yolk
1 3/4 cups plus 2 T all-purpose flour
1 T Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp freshly ground cloves
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
To Roll and Stamp:
small bowl of granulated sugar
For the Glaze:
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 T unsalted butter, melted
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 T warm water, plus more for thinning
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Put your cookie stamps in the freezer to chill.
Cream together the butter, sugar, and molasses in a stand mixer (or with a hand held mixer).
Beat in the egg yolk.
Sift together the dry ingredients.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, beating on low until the dough comes together.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until all the floury crumbles are incorporated. Flatten the dough into a disk. I did not have to chill my dough before rolling, but if yours is very soft, you may want to.
Use a medium (1 1/2 or 2 tablespoon) cookie scoop to portion out the dough.
Roll the dough into balls and coat in granulated sugar.
Stamp the balls of dough with your cookie stamp. Gently pry it off the cookie stamp by just nudging one corner. The cookie should come right off the stamp. (at this point, you can sprinkle the top with additional sugar if not making the glaze)
Place the stamped cookies in the freezer for 15 minutes. (I placed them on a parchment paper-lined cutting board.)
Place the cold cookies onto fresh parchment paper-lined, rimmed baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between cookies.
Bake for 8-10 minutes. You don’t want to over bake these cookies, so do a test cookie or two to figure out the best timing for your oven. The cookies will be soft when you remove them from the oven, but will firm up as they cool.
Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the pan before carefully transferring to a rack to cool completely.
When the cookies are cool, whisk the glaze ingredients together until they become a smooth thin glaze. Add more water if the glaze is too thick, it should have the consistency of maple syrup or a thin honey.
Brush the cooled cookies with the glaze. You want the glaze to be thick enough to settle into the design for a beautiful emphasis. It will become more translucent as it dries.
Let the glaze set up fully before serving or storing.
I cannot resist trying a new Speculoos recipe. I am mildly obsessed with these crispy spice cookies! 😉 I love the spiced sugar sprinkle on this delicious version. They may be my new favorite!
This recipe was adapted from 177milkstreet.com, contributed by Erika Bruce. I modified the method and used a combination of molasses and light corn syrup instead of dark corn syrup. Next year I need to make a double batch!
Yield: about 60 2-inch square cookies
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp ground allspice
2 T granulated sugar
320 g (2 2/3 cups) cake flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp freshly ground cloves
12 T (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, cool room temperature
218 g (1 cup) packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp table salt
1 1/2 T light corn syrup
1/2 T molasses
Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Line 4 baking sheets with kitchen parchment.
In a small bowl, stir together the cinnamon, coriander and allspice. Measure 1 teaspoon of the mixture into another small bowl, then whisk the white sugar into it and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking soda, cloves and the remaining spice mixture.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar and salt on low until combined, about 30 seconds. Increase to medium-high and beat until fluffy and pale, about 5 minutes.
With the mixer running, gradually add the corn syrup, molasses, and 2 tablespoons water.
Using a silicone spatula, scrape the sides of the bowl, then mix for another 30 seconds.
Reduce to low, add the flour mixture and mix until the ingredients just begin to form an evenly moistened dough, about 15 seconds.
Dust the counter liberally with flour and scrape the dough onto it. Gently knead the dough, giving it 2 or 3 turns, until smooth; it should feel moist and supple but should not be sticky.
Divide the dough in half; wrap 1 piece in plastic and set aside. With your hands, pat the second piece into a rough 8-by-6-inch rectangle.
Using a well-floured rolling pin, or between layers of plastic wrap, roll the dough rectangle to an even 1/8-inch thickness. Wrap well and place in the freezer until firm, about 15 minutes. (I place the dough on a plastic cutting board to keep it flat.)
With a 2-inch rectangular or round cookie cutter (ideally with a fluted edge), cut out cookies as close together as possible. Use an offset spatula to carefully transfer the cutouts to one of the prepared pieces of parchment paper, spacing them about 1/2-inch apart. (I used a square cookie cutter.)
Gently pat the dough scraps together, then re-roll and cut out additional cookies; transfer the cutouts to parchment paper.
If desired, use a slightly smaller cutter of the same shape to imprint a decorative border (do not cut all the way through the dough) and use a toothpick to poke a few holes in the centers. (I put 4 holes in the center of each square.)
Sprinkle the cookies evenly with half of the spiced sugar, then freeze or refrigerate uncovered for 15 minutes. (I place the parchment paper on a plastic cutting board to put it in the freezer.)
Repeat the process with the remaining dough.
Place the first sheet of cookies in the oven. Bake until the cookies are firm and beginning to brown, 14 minutes, on convection, or up to 18 minutes in a standard oven, rotating once halfway through.
Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer them to a wire rack.
Repeat with the remaining cookies. Cool completely before serving.
One more recipe from Sarah Kieffer’s new cookie book!
These wonderful cookies may have tasted even more spectacular because they looked so simple and unassuming. Wow. The extra teaspoon of molasses may have been the secret ingredient. Like her snickerdoodles, they had a crispy edge and soft center.
The recipe was adapted from 100 Cookies: The Baking Book for Every Kitchen with Classic Cookies, Novel Treats, Brownies, Bars and More by Sarah Kieffer. I chilled the dough prior to baking and modified the cookie size. I also reduced the amount of granulated sugar needed for rolling. Great!
Yield: 30 to 32 cookies
364 g (2 1/2 cups plus 1 T) all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt (I used fine sea salt)
1 cup (2 sticks or 227 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
350 g (1 3/4 cups) dark brown sugar
1 tsp molasses
1 large egg plus 1 large yolk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
50 g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar, for rolling
Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). (I did not use the convection setting.)
Line rimmed sheet pans with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute.
Add the brown sugar and the molasses and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla, and beat on medium speed until combined.
Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined.
Place the granulated sugar in a small bowl.
Using a medium-sized cookie scoop, ration the dough into 30g (1 oz or 1 1/2 T) portions. (At this point, I wrapped the scoops with plastic wrap and chilled them. I baked half after 1 hour and the other half after 24 hours.)
Roll each ball in the granulated sugar and place 8 cookies on each sheet pan.
Bake one pan at a time, rotating halfway through baking. Bake until the sides are set and the bottoms are light golden brown, 12 to 13 minutes (for the chilled dough).
Transfer the sheet pan to a wire rack and let the cookies cool for 5 to 10 minutes on the pan, then remove them and let them cool completely on the wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough.
Note: Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
My daughter and I really enjoy watching Queer Eye on Netflix together. It is so positive and full of love. She is particularly a fan of Antoni, the chef. We were excited to check out his cookbook! 🙂
This fabulous chili recipe was adapted from Antoni in the Kitchen by Antoni Porowski. I modified the proportions. It was rich, full-flavored, and hearty. We ate it with lots of toppings, cornbread muffins and green salad. I’m planning to make it again to serve on a really chilly evening. Everyone loved it.
Super Bowl 2021 Update: This chili was absolutely delicious served with beer bread.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
For the Chili:
1/3 to 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips (4-5 slices)
1 3/4 to 2 pounds ground turkey, preferably dark meat
2 T olive oil
2 medium or 1 1/2 large onions, coarsely chopped (about 3 cups)
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into small cubes
3 T tomato paste
5 to 8 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo, seeded (if desired), finely chopped, plus 1 to 2 T adobo sauce (I didn’t seed the chile)
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
2 (15-oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14-oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (12-oz) bottle dark beer (such as Guiness or Negra Modelo)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (scant 1/2 cup) (I used 72% cacao)
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 tsp molasses or dark brown sugar
For the Toppings:
chopped fresh cilantro
diced red or white onion
sour cream or Greek yogurt
In a large Dutch oven or other wide heavy pot with a lid, cook the bacon over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp and golden, 5 to 7 minutes. (I used a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven.) Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a large bowl.
Cook the turkey in the remaining bacon fat over high heat, stirring frequently and breaking up the meat into small bits with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Season turkey with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, then transfer and any juices to the bowl with the bacon.
Heat the oil in the same pot over medium to medium-high heat.
Add the onions and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and the onions are golden, about 8 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste and garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring, then stir in the chipotle and adobo sauce, oregano, cumin, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add the beans, crushed tomatoes, beer, stock, chocolate, and turkey-bacon mixture. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the chili is deeply flavorful, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the vinegar and molasses or brown sugar.
Adjust the seasoning, to taste. Serve hot with toppings, as desired.
I am going to share a couple more breakfast recipes that use sourdough starter. I was in LOVE with these muffins! They are sweetened with pure maple syrup, are loaded with blueberries, and incorporate cornmeal. Delicious.
This recipe was adapted from King Arthur Flour. I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose flour, and added vanilla extract. Wholesome and tasty!
Yield: 12 muffins
Preheat the oven to 425°F, preferably on convection.
Grease the wells of a 12-cup muffin pan, or line with papers and grease the inside of the papers. (I used cooking oil spray.)
Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
In a second bowl, beat together the starter, milk, egg, melted butter, sweetener, and vanilla.
Blend the wet ingredients with the dry, taking about 20 seconds.
Gently stir in the blueberries just until blended.
Fill the cups of the prepared pan two-thirds full; sprinkle the tops of the muffins with sugar.
Bake the muffins for 17 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove the pan from the oven and allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes before removing them from the pan. Don’t let them cool in the pan, or they’ll steam and the outside will become tough.
Note: If using frozen berries, don’t thaw them before adding to the batter; you’ll have fewer blue streaks if they’re added frozen, just before scooping.
I planned to make this Swedish dish after spending the afternoon at IKEA. 🙂 I knew that we could buy the lingonberry preserves for the topping during our shopping spree too.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Sam Sifton. I used a combination of ground pork and ground turkey instead of ground beef. Next time I would double the sauce- loved it. Sifton recommended serving it with boiled potatoes. We ate it with mashed new potatoes (my husband’s request) and roasted asparagus. It was such wonderful comfort food. Great.
Yield: 6 servings
For the Meatloaf:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 head green cabbage, approximately 3 pounds, cored and shredded
3 tablespoons molasses or golden syrup
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 pound ground pork
1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons breadcrumbs
⅓ cup chicken, turkey, beef or vegetable stock, ideally homemade or low-sodium store-bought (or water)
For the Sauce:
⅓ cup lingonberry preserves
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
dash of Worcestershire sauce, or to taste
Shred the cabbage in a food processor.
Heat oven to 350, preferably on convection.
Put a large pan over medium-high heat, and add the butter. When it starts to foam, add the cabbage and molasses, lower the heat to medium and sprinkle with salt. Cook slowly, stirring often, until all the liquid has evaporated and the cabbage is caramelized, approximately 20-25 minutes.
While the cabbage is cooking, lightly mix the meats in a large bowl, then add the onion, cream, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Mix again to combine.
When the cabbage is done, add about a third of it to the meat mixture, and mix to combine.
Grease an 8-inch-square or 8 x 10-inch baking pan, and transfer the meat mixture to it, spreading it out to cover the whole surface evenly.
Spread remaining cabbage over the meat, pour the stock or water over the top and place in the oven, on a parchment-lined baking sheet, to cook for approximately 40 to 45 minutes, or until the cabbage is very, very caramelized, almost dry and crunchy at the edges.
Allow it to sit for 10 minutes or so before serving.
While the meat and cabbage cooks, make the sauce. Heat lingonberry preserves, vinegar and butter in a small pot set over medium heat, then add Worcestershire sauce to taste. Serve alongside the kalpudding.
I receive a LOT of baby bok choy in my CSA share. Every time my husband spots it, he requests his favorite Thai dish, Pad See Ew. I do have a favorite version that I typically prepare, but, by chance I received a new recipe (email 😉 ) for his special dish when I received my recent bounty of bok choy.
The goal of this recipe was to recreate a high-heat wok cooked dish on a stove top by altering the stir fry technique. By cooking the ingredients in batches and combining all of the ingredients just prior to serving, the high-heat char typical of this dish was achieved. This version was indeed the closest I’ve come to reproducing my husband’s favorite take out dish.
This recipe was adapted from Cook’s Illustrated. I used baby bok choy instead of broccolini, chicken thighs instead of breasts, Thai chiles instead of serrano, and fresh rice noodles. I reduced the oil and doubled the recipe as well. Great!
Yield: Serves 8
For the Chile-Vinegar:
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 Thai chiles or 1 serrano chile, stemmed and sliced into thin rings
For the Stir-Fry:
5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut against grain into ¼-inch thick slices
2 tsp baking soda
24 oz fresh wide rice noodles (can substitute 16 oz 1/4-inch wide dried rice noodles)
5-6 T vegetable oil (I used sunflower seed oil)
1/2 cup oyster sauce
3 T soy sauce
4 T packed dark brown sugar
2 T white vinegar
2 tsp molasses
2 tsp fish sauce
8 garlic cloves, sliced thin
6 large eggs
2 pounds baby bok choy (about 10), sliced into 1/2-inch pieces, separated into leaves and stems (broccolini or broccoli are good substitutes)
additional greens, if desired (I added 1/2 head of my CSA Sugarloaf Chicory as well)
For the Chile Vinegar:
Combine vinegar and serrano in bowl. Let stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.
For the Stir Fry:
Combine chicken with 4 tablespoons water and baking soda in bowl. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Rinse chicken in cold water and drain well.
If using fresh rice noodles: Place noodles in very hot tap water until they can be separated into large pieces. (If using dried rice noodles: Bring 6 cups water to boil. Place noodles in large bowl. Pour boiling water over noodles. Stir, then soak until noodles are almost tender, about 8 minutes, stirring once halfway through soak. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain well and toss with 2 teaspoons oil.)
Whisk oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, molasses, and fish sauce together in bowl.
Heat 1 T oil and garlic in 12-inch (nonstick) skillet over high heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic is deep golden brown, about minute.
Add chicken and 4 tablespoons sauce mixture, toss to coat, and spread chicken into even layer. Cook, without stirring, until chicken begins to brown, 1 to 1½ minutes.
Using tongs, flip chicken and cook, without stirring, until second side begins to brown, 1 to 1½ minutes.
Push chicken to 1 side of skillet. Add 1 T oil to cleared side of skillet.
Add eggs to clearing. Using rubber spatula, stir eggs gently and cook until set but still wet. Stir eggs into chicken and continue to cook, breaking up large pieces of egg, until eggs are fully cooked, 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer chicken mixture to bowl.
Heat 1 T oil in now-empty skillet until smoking. Add bok choy stems and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the remaining bok choy leaves and 4 tablespoons sauce and toss to coat.
Cover skillet and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking.
Remove lid and continue to cook until broccolini is crisp and very brown in spots, 2 to 3 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking. Transfer broccolini to bowl with chicken mixture.
Sauce any additional greens in the remaining cooking liquid, if desired.
Heat 1 T oil in now-empty skillet until smoking. Add half of noodles and 4 tablespoons sauce and toss to coat. Cook until noodles are starting to brown in spots, about 2 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking. Transfer noodles to bowl with chicken mixture.
Repeat with remaining 1 T oil, noodles, and sauce. When second batch of noodles is cooked, add contents of bowl back to skillet and toss to combine. Cook, without stirring, until everything is warmed through, 1 to 1½ minutes.
Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately, passing chile vinegar separately.