Archive of ‘Cookies’ category

Personalized Gingerbread Men

breadginger

 It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… (which is only 5 days away!!!!)

Today is a wonderfully white snow day in Metro Vancouver. 

The fluffy white snowflakes began falling late last night and we woke up to roads blanketed in snow. Snow makes everything look beautiful. 

I hope it sticks around for Christmas. We haven’t had a white Christmas in Vancouver for a few years.. oh how lovely it would be. 

However, snow in Vancouver creates chaos. Unlike most people, I actually put on brand new all weather tires a couple months ago so I was pretty prepared for the cold weather and ice. Whereas a lot of people in Vancouver don’t have all weather/snow tires, and if they do they wait until after it is already snowing to put them on….

I’ve been watching Twitter all morning and the list of accidents/cars in the ditch keeps growing.. Stay safe out there people. 

What better way to celebrate a snow day (if you’re lucky enough to be home today and enjoy it!) than to bake. A warm house filled with baked goods while snow falls outside is a perfect winter afternoon to me.

I have a certain love for ginger baked goods (such as these GingerStamp cookies) – the aroma is delicious. These are soft and chewy gingerbread people with a spicy ginger bite. To make them a little more personalized, without using royal icing, I used a small letter cookie cutter to imprint our family members initials on them. They would be great for table setting cards – or on top of presents. 

Stay warm inside on this snow day and bake yourself a gingerbread army. 

ging

The dough itself is easy, and only requires about an hour to chill. Little kids can help with rolling out cutting out the cookies, and even decorating if you want to add frosting. 

Gingerbread Cookies
Yields 24
Soft and chewy personalized Gingerbread Men
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Prep Time
1 hr
Prep Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  2. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  3. 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  5. 2teaspoons ground cinnamon
  6. 1 tsp. nutmeg
  7. 1/2 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  8. 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  9. 1 large egg
  10. 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
Instructions
  1. 1. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. 2. Beat butter and brown sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Mix in eggs and molasses.
  3. 3. Add flour mixture, mixing on low until just combined. Divide dough in half and wrap each in plastic.
  4. 4. Refrigerate until cold and firm, about one hour or up to two days.
  5. 5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4-inch thick. Cut into shapes of your choice, I used smaller gingerbread men cutters. If you want to personalized them, lightly press a small letter cookie cutter into center of the cookie. Place 1 inch apart on baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone baking mat.
  6. 6. Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
Notes
  1. Store in airtight container on counter for up to a week, or freeze.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Adapted from Martha Stewart
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
 

 

An Italian Favourite: Pizzelle

Pizzelle // Bakeaholic.ca

Pizzelle // Bakeaholic.ca

I’ve mentioned before that Christmas Eve is a big tradition for Italians. In many ways Christmas Eve was more important that Christmas growing up. 

For one thing, we opened up all of our gifts on Christmas eve. My brother and I were the first grandchildren on my Father’s side of the family – and we were for a few years until our other cousins came along. So on Christmas Eve Nick and I would have to stay up until midnight before we could open our presents i.e. we would be falling asleep on our Nonna’s couch. ‘Santa’ a.k.a my Nonno or Zio would dress up as Santa and come to my Nonna’s house at midnight to deliver presents.

Earlier in the evening we would eat our Feast of Seven Fishes dinner – Italians do not eat meat on Christmas Eve, only seafood. My brother and I were incredibly lucky to grow up with such amazing food and traditions. It was truly a feast to remember. We would begin with a seafood pasta course (usually tuna sauce my dad or nonna would make), followed by fish, prawns, mussels, clams, baccalĂ  (salted cod), homemade calamari and other amazing dishes. It has always been my favourite memory of Christmas with my dads family.

As a child I remember stealing Pizzelles from the counter before dinner, when Nonna or Nonno weren’t looking. Pizzelles are incredibly thin, delicate waffle like cookies that are crisp and slightly sweet. You can eat about 6 in a minute flat. They were always the elusive holiday cookie that you would only get at Christmas or maybe Easter. Pizzelle makers were not popular so only my Nonna would have one therefore making it an even more treasured dessert that I looked forward to.

pizellea

Now, I have my very own Pizzelle maker by a complete mishap that happened this summer. Long story short, the company Chef’s Choice sent me an e-mail on a completely different subject that lead me to respond and receive a response from a woman in their marketing department. After a few back and forth conversations about her daughter, myself and my family she offered to send me one of their products to make up for the mishap. Of course I chose the Pizzelle maker, as it meant I would not longer have to borrow my Nonnas. Also – that I could now make Pizzelle’s whenever I wanted. 

Pizzelle // Bakeaholic.ca

I am also excited to be hosting my very first Christmas Eve dinner at our house this year. In honour of my Dad I hope everything turns out – though Christmas Eve has never quite been the same since he passed. Christmas makes me feel incredibly nostalgic. Nevertheless I am looking forward to having all of my family over to share a delicious seafood meal together – and Pizzelle’s will definitely be on the dessert counter. This time, I won’t have to sneak them.

Pizzelle // Bakeaholic.ca

Italian Pizzelles
Yields 36
Thin crisp waffle cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 3 Eggs
  2. 1 3/4 cups Flour
  3. 1/2 tsp. Anise seeds (optional)
  4. 1/2 cup Butter or oil, melted
  5. 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  6. 3/4 cup Sugar
  7. 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1. 1. Turn on Pizzelle Maker. In a medium sized bowl beat together the eggs and sugar until frothy.
  2. 2. Add the cooled melted butter or oil, vanilla and anise seeds (optional) and beat again.
  3. 3. In small bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Add to the egg mixture stirring with wooden spoon.
  4. 4. Stir batter until well combined, it will be slightly stiff and dough-like. The dough should be stiff enough to drop by rounded spoonfuls.
  5. 5. Drop by spoonfuls in the centre of the Pizzelle maker. Be careful not to place too much dough, otherwise it will spill out over the sides. You want them to have delicate 'fingers' like lace.
  6. 6. Bake according to your Pizzelle Maker's instructions, usually only 20-30 seconds per batch. Carefully lift off using a fork. Place on cooling rack to crisp.
Notes
  1. Special Equipment Needed: Pizzelle Maker
  2. Pizzelle cookies last quite well. Place in airtight container (my nonna would always place paper towel over them) and store on counter for up to 2 weeks. You can also easily freeze them for ice cream sundaes, or ice cream sandwiches.
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
 

 

 

Almond Butter Buttons

Almond Butter Button // bakeaholic.ca

Almond Butter Button // bakeaholic.caIt didn’t really feel like ‘Christmas time’ until today. We received our first Christmas card in the mail the other day and we’re going to our first Christmas party tonight! We’re also co-hosting a christmas party at our place Monday night for our neighbours. 

We even have some more lights on our tree after every hardware store seemed to sell out of lights before December 6th this year. Luckily Adam was able to find some more yesterday so our rather large tree could really be lit up. So now all our decorations are up now and we’re ready to go. 

I spent about 6 hours in the kitchen yesterday baking, as well as a few nights last week. I wanted to get it all done and put away so I could just pull out the treats when I needed to. Also, I tend to make a rather large mess when baking so my philosophy is do it all now, make one big mess and then it’s done. Makes sense – right?

These are one of my favourite cookies to make. Since I have a slight peanut allergy, along with many other people, I switched these traditional peanut butter blossoms to almond butter and swapped the hershey’s kisses out for extra large dark chocolate chips. I still made a few with the Hershey’s milk chocolate kisses, although they were so melted that they lost their shape. They still taste delicious, and that’s what really matters. 

This recipes makes a large batch because I like to make the cookies smaller than usual. I find that when I’m at a party I like to taste everything – and having a full size cookie or treat limits how many you can try. Plus when they are really decadent or sweet a big piece can send you over the edge. WIth the large dark chocolate chips the cookie itself can be smaller, and the chips are the perfect size. 

I always make smaller versions of desserts or cookies for when I’m making a platter or bringing them somewhere so that people can have a little bit of everything. Or you can go ahead and eat 4 or 5, it’s the holidays!

I’ll be posting a new holiday recipe each day until Christmas. These are one of my favourites – really anything with nut butter and chocolate. What about you??

Almond Butter Button // bakeaholic.ca

Almond Butter Buttons
Yields 36
Soft almond butter cookies studded with dark chocolate chips - like the peanut butter blossoms, but peanut-free.
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Cook Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup butter
  2. 1 cup almond butter
  3. 1 cup packed brown sugar
  4. 1/2 cup white sugar
  5. 2 eggs
  6. Splash of Almond milk
  7. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  8. 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (Gluten-Free All purpose, regular All-purpose or Whole Wheat will do)
  9. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  10. Jumbo Dark Chocolate Chips/Hershey's Kissess
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. 2. In stand mixer cream together butter, almond butter, brown sugar, and sugar until smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating until fully incorporated. Mix in a couple splashes of Almond milk and 2 tsp vanilla.
  3. 3. On low speed add in flour one cup at a time, and baking soda. Mix until incorporated. Dough should come together, and be a little bit sticky but easily able to shape. Add more flour a tablespoon at a time if too thin.
  4. 4. Shape spoonfuls of dough into balls in the palm of your hand. Place cookies 1 inches apart on un-greased cookie sheet. *To make them extra fancy, roll the balls in sugar before placing them on the cookie sheet*
  5. 5. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to12 minutes. Remove from oven, and immediately press a jumbo chocolate chip or chocolate kiss into each cookie. Allow to cool completely, so the chocolate hardens before storing.
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
 

 

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