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Posts Tagged ‘Gingerbread’

Today is the 1st day of the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies!

And of course, they are chocolate cookies! Hey, I was good- I limited myself on the number of chocolate cookie recipes I am posting during these 12 days. You know with me, it would be so easy to have all 12 days be chocolate cookies! However, I know some of you don’t like chocolate, and some of you just like variety!

Our first cookie is a fun twist on gingerbread cookies. Chocolate Gingerbread cookies!

These are drop cookies, so you don’t have to be worried that I am starting off with a recipe that makes you roll out the dough and cut out the cookies. Those recipes are coming though!

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
Recipe lightly adapted from Martha Stewart

1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup sugar

In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, spices, and cocoa powder. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add in the molasses and mix well.

In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda with 1 1/2 tablespoons boiling water. Add half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Add in the baking soda/water, then add in the remaining flour mixture. Add in the mini chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Place sugar in a shallow bowl. Using a medium-sized ice cream scoop, scoop the dough, then roll it in the sugar*. Place the dough on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, leaving 2 inches between each cookie. Bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, move cookies onto cooling racks and let cool completely. Enjoy!

Note: If the dough is really sticky, refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.

Made with love, not calories!

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November 21st is National Gingerbread Day!

Gingerbread is a sweet food product flavored with ginger and typically using honey or molasses (treacle) rather than just sugar. Gingerbread foods vary, ranging from a soft, moist loaf cake to something close to a ginger biscuit. The different types likely share a common origin.
The first documented trade of gingerbread biscuits dates to the 16th century, where they were sold in monasteries, pharmacies and town square farmers’ markets. One hundred years later the town of Market Drayton in ShropshireUK became known for its gingerbread, as is proudly displayed on their town’s welcome sign. The first recorded mention of gingerbread being baked in the town dates back to 1793; however, it was probably made earlier, as ginger was stocked in high street businesses from the 1640s. Gingerbread became widely available in the 18th century.” (Source)

While my first thought of gingerbread went to gingerbread men and gingerbread houses, I knew I wanted to make a soft gingerbread dessert. Note: I have never made a gingerbread house. I need to make a gingerbread house! I did some searching and found a recipe for gingerbread cupcakes. Ok, now what kind of frosting? I knew a cream cheese frosting would be really good, but that wasn’t thrilling me. I decided on a salted caramel frosting. The combination is wonderful! The cupcakes are a delight- rich with molasses and spices, while the frosting has a little hint of salt that hits your tongue, followed by the sweetness of the caramel. Don’t be too surprised when I post this combination in other recipes!

One Year Ago: Apple Cider Bread Pudding

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting
Cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart
Makes 18 cupcakes

Cupcakes:
1 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup molasses
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Salted Caramel:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup salted caramel sauce
3 tablespoons milk
2 3/4 cups powdered sugar

To make the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line 18 muffin cups with liners. Set aside.

In a small heat-safe bowl, whisk together the boiling water and baking soda. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, spices, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add in the molasses and the water/baking soda mixture, and mix well. With the mixer on low-speed, slowly add in the flour mixture. Add in the eggs and mix until well combined. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 of the way full. Bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the cupcakes from the pan onto cooling racks and let cool completely.

To make the salted caramel sauce:
In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the sugar and water and cook over medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until the mixture reaches 350 degrees on a candy thermometer, or is a medium brown color. Note: you will usually see the color start to change in the center of the pan. Once you see that happening, start to carefully swirl the pan the make sure the sugar mixture doesn’t burn in the center.
Once the mixture has turned medium brown, remove from the heat and add in the butter. Carefully stir until the butter has melted, then add in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble and boil when the cream is added, so be careful and don’t lean directly over the pan. Return the pan to the heat, this time over low, and continue stirring until the mixture is smooth. Once it is smooth, remove from the heat and add in the vanilla bean paste and sea salt. Let cool completely before using it in the frosting. Note: The caramel sauce can be refrigerated until needed. Use any leftover sauce over ice cream or apple pie!

To make the frosting:
In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, cream together the butter and salted caramel sauce. Add in the powdered sugar, alternating it with the milk. Mix until you have the frosting consistency you like (adding more powdered sugar or milk to get the consistency you prefer).

To finish the cupcakes:
Once the cupcakes are cool, frost the cupcakes. Note: I used a pastry bag with a star tip. Once the cupcakes are frosted, drizzle on additional salted caramel sauce, if desired. Enjoy!

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I buy my pumpkin in the large cans (29 oz.), so sometimes I have pumpkin left over from a recipe. I was able to use this can of pumpkin for 3 recipes! That means lots of yummy pumpkin treats!

I found this recipe for Pumpkin Apple Gingerbread Cake and I thought it sounded like a nice Fall dessert. However, I made a few changes. I don’t have pumpkin pie spice, so I added the individual spices (yeah, I would much rather have 4 jars of spices, instead of 1!!). Also, I was too lazy to peel and grate an apple, so I left that out. And I changed the hard sauce for a ginger glaze. (Just a few changes!)

I really enjoyed the taste of this. I think the pumpkin and gingerbread works well together- neither one over-powered the other. This would be great for dessert or at a brunch. You can serve this while it is still warm, or serve it after it has cooled completely. I let it cool just long enough to take pictures, then I dove right in (breakfast!)!!

Pumpkin Gingerbread Bundt Cake
Adapted from Very Best Baking
Prep time: 12 minutes     Bake time: 55-60 minutes

Cake:
3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
15 oz. can of pumpkin (not quite 2 cups)
4 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
1/4 cup whipping cream

Ginger Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 1/2 – 3 tablespoons whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 or 12 cup bundt pan*. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry cake ingredients. Add in the pumpkin, eggs, molasses, butter, and whipping cream. Stir until everything is well combined. Pour into the prepared bundt pan and bake for 55-60 minutes, or until the toothpick test comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

To make the ginger glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and ginger. Slowly stir in the heavy cream, starting with 2 tablespoons. Add additional heavy cream to get the spreading/pouring consistency you prefer (I left mine a little thick and spread it on the cake before it cooled).

After 10 minutes, invert the cake onto a serving plate and spread/pour on the ginger glaze. Serve while warm or let cool completely. Enjoy!

*Note: the original recipe calls for a 12 cup bundt pan. Mine is a 10 cup- it works, the baked cake will just dome up a little instead of having a flat bottom. If you have a 10 cup bundt pan and want a flat bottom to the cake, I suggest filling it only two-thirds of the way full and use the extra batter for cupcakes (just make sure to adjust your baking time- both for the bundt cake and the cupcakes!).

 

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I mentioned before that I don’t really care for spicy foods. However, I really like the tastes of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. And that is a good thing too, as this recipe includes all 4 of those spices, plus molasses!

Gingerbread really makes an appearance at this time of year. Oh, you always see gingersnaps in the cookie aisle, but gingerbread men and gingerbread houses? They come out in droves during Christmas (though honestly? At the store I shop at, they were out the day after Halloween).

Gingerbread bars have a little thicker texture than a gingerbread cake. And slathered with cream cheese frosting! Yum! The gingerbread and frosting balance each other nicely. These are perfect for that after dinner dessert with coffee. Actually, they would be perfect anytime!

Gingerbread Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 1 pan

Gingerbread bars:

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teapsoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 3/4 cups flour

Cream Cheese frosting:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 11 x 15 pan (or line with aluminum foil & grease). Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar. Add in the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, and molasses, and mix well. Stir in the baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Add in the flour and mix until just combined .
Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

To make the frosting, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter. Add in the vanilla, then slowly add in the powdered sugar. Mix until everything comes together and the frosting is smooth.
Once the bars have completely cooled, spread on the cream cheese frosting. You can cut and serve the bars now if you want, or you can refrigerate them and let the frosting set.

Note: I used a 13×9 inch pan, and baked it just shy of 35 minutes. They were really thick…so I think an 11×15 inch pan would work better. If you only have a 13×9, by all means use it- just know the baking time will be longer and they will be thicker.

What dessert do you enjoy with coffee?

Made with love, not calories!

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