I just brought a book 'the essential baking cookbook,' and it's more of a british cookbook which is what I was looking for since they have alot of recipes I missed from when I grew up in NZ. Anyways, I got the gingerbread men recipe outta there and it turned out amazing. Not overly powered by the taste of molasses but still distintively there and SO incredibly easily to make.
4 oz unsalted butter, softened
1/3 C soft brown sugar
1/4 C golden syrup
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 1/4 C all purpose flour
1 tbs ground ginger
1 ts baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking trays with parchment.
Cream butter, sugar & syrup in bowl with mixer till light and fluffy. Add egg gradually, beating well after each addition. Transfer to large bowl.
Sift dry ingredients into butter mixture and mix with knife till combined. Then use floured hands to combine further. Turn onto well-floured surgace and kneed 1-2 minutes until smooth. Roll out dough to 1/4 in thick between 2 pieces of parchment and chill for 15 minutes.
Cut dough with gingerbread cookie cutter, reroll scraps and cut also. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely before icing.
*I just used squeezable fondont from Micheals Craft store to decorate*
CHRISTMAS LIP SMACKIN FINGERFOOD AND MORE...
Christmas came by like a flash - literally and with it being just Brandon and I, it was only appropriate not to cook alot. We got up early that day and opened up our pressies and to my surprise I recieved wayyyyy more than I expected or even deserved to say the least. Pictures will follow on Wednesday (fingers crossed if my day off is not filled with other monotamous errands). Just from Brandon alone, I got a pair of prada sunglasses, a cookie wire rack with a cookie pan, a pastry bag and accessories from williams and sonoma that is reuseable, a hair straightener. To the dismay of others and to me personally, Brandon talked me out of not going on a run, which was different and made me quite anxious for some time since it was the official day of food consumption, but I let it go and just tried to not complain. hahahahaha.
I had made mini cinnamon rolls the night before and let them rise overnight in the fridge.
This recipe is definitely a no-fail recipe as I have made it many times and it turns out beautiful no matter what, even if the weather is wayyyyyy too cold to give a good rise to the yeast, since it is given all night to rise. This recipe is from http://www.joyofbaking.com I seriously believe people need to visit this website. Their recipes are so foolproof, it's ridiculous.
4 1/2 - 5 cups (630 - 700 grams) all-purpose flour
1 package (1/4 ounce) (7 grams) active dry yeast
1 cup (240 ml) milk
1/3 cup (75 grams) unsalted butter
1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 grams) salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup (160 grams) packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (35 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, cold (cut into pieces)
1/2 cup light raisins (optional)
1 tablespoon half-and-half (light cream)
Powdered (Confectioners or Icing) Sugar Glaze:
In a medium-sized bowl stir together:
1/2 cup (58 grams) powdered (confectioners or icing) sugar
1 tablespoons half-and-half (light cream)
Make the glaze thin enough to drizzle over cinnamon rolls.
Using the paddle attachment on mixer, combine 2/14 C flour & the yeast.
Heat milk, butter, sugar and salt in saucepan till butter is almost all melted.
Gradually pour milk mixture into flour mixture on low speed adding eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl. Beat for 3 minutes, then using the dough hook knead in between 2 1/4 C - 2 3/4 C flour till a soft dough forms and is smooth and elastic 3-5 minutes. Dough should not be sticky at this point.
Shape into a ball and place in greased bowl, turning dough once and cover and let rise for 1-1 1/2 hours.
When dough has doubled in size, punch down and place on floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
Combine filling ingredients, stir to combine. Cut in cold butter with with 2 knives till crumbly.
Roll dough into 12 inch square and sprinkle evenly with filling. Roll up dough into log (I cut the square into two since I wanted to make mini cinn. rolls) and pinch to seal edges. Slice logs into desired size and arrange in greased 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan.
Cover loosely with saran wrap and refrigerate between 2-24 hours. If overnight, let rolls sit in room temp for 30 minutes prior to baking. Brush with milk lightly and baking in 375 degree oven for 25 - 30 minutes or till lightly browned.
We ate that baby up at around 10am or so then by 1pm, we settled down to watch a movie while we snacked on these:
Simply put, we went to Dorothy Lane market, snagged some salami ( emmmm...), herb mixed cheese log, a slab of brie cheese, and a wedge of blue cheese - to die for. For the crackers, I basically put smoked gouda cheese onto of whole wheat ritz crackers and topped it off with sour cream mixed with diced tomatos and cucumbers. The other is just a cheese platter accompanied with sliced pears and these amazing crackers that are light and are especially made for eating with cheese since it doesn't have any strong tastes, it really allows you to taste the cheese you're eating. I also had a platter with sweet pickles, mixed nuts, caramel and apples to dip them in. So it was by no means, a small snack. Tasty, but not small. hahahaha. I'd say we put a dent in our food.
After that I put the ham in the oven and started to heat that, glazing with a honey, brown sugar glaze for around about 3 hours. I tried making "stuffing" but let's just say that did not turn out remotely to even make it on my camera. I also made a green bean casserole.
We finally finished off the Christmas celebration with my new york cheesecake recipe which I also got from Http://www.joyofbaking.com That too, is one of the simplest recipes I have even made. It came out beautiful the first time I made it and even better the second time. It could not be simpler and the aroma of cheesecake baking in the oven, is SOOOOO wonderful. Just remember to make it a day ahead since it needs to chill for it to set.