holiday cookie 2.0

Another week – another holiday cookie.

This time – think chocolate.  And molasses.  And espresso.  Oh … and lemon.  Yep.  No lies.  This is my take on a chocolate-ginger cookie.

You’ll remember that I am addicted to Edgar’s chocolate-ginger cookie.

A thin, chewy, little goodie … seriously addictive.  It can be a problem.  A real problem.

I think I whipped up this batter hoping for an Edgar-type cookie.  I was wrong.  And so my initial reaction – wasn’t a very positive one.

And then I tried the finished product the following day.

Wowzers!  That’s one good cookie.  Completely different from the original inspiration – but worthy of being baked and passed among friends, co-workers, or through a cookie exchange.

The original recipe didn’t have the espresso.  But I figured that it wouldn’t hurt the cookies.  And I am quite pleased with the final result.  Feel free to omit it if you aren’t a coffee person … but really … it’s pretty darn awesome.  Give it a try.

Oh yeah … you should know.  This cookie has a glaze on it.  That’s were the lemon fits into the recipe.  Picture it: chocolate ginger espresso base topped with a lemon glaze.  Sigh.  Not only tasty … but pretty too.

chocolate ginger espresso cookies

ingredients:

3 1/4 c. flour, sifted

1/3 c. cocoa powder, sifted

1 tbsp ground ginger

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp espresso powder

1 tbsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2/3 c. butter, softened

1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 c. dark molasses

1/4 c. chocolate chips, melted and cooled

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, espresso, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler, stirring every once and a while.  Set it aside and allow it to cool.

In the bowl of your stand-mixer, using your paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar.  It’ll become fluffy.  Beat in the egg, molasses and melted chocolate – scraping the sides as needed.

Add the flour in 3 additions – keeping your mixer on its slowest speed.

When fully incorporated, divide the batter in 3 and shape into disks, wrapping each disk in plastic wrap.  Allow to chill for at least 2 hours.

When you’re ready – preheat your oven to 350 F.  Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk at a time.

Grab your cookie cutter – I used a 1-inch round shape, however the original recipe from baked explorations used a 4 or 5-inch round.  Your choice.  Or use a fun shape in honour of the holidays!  The size will determine how many cookies you end up with – I got at least 8 dozen (I stopped counting), but the original recipe yielded 36 cookies…

With your cookie cutter in hand, cut the dough into shapes, and transfer to the cookie sheets.  Re-roll the dough scrapes and cut out more cookies.  Repeat with the remaining two disks.

These cookies do not spread when baking, so you should be able to get about 20 cookies per sheet.  Bake for 6 minutes (if 1-inch round, 7 minutes if bigger).  Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes.  Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Now… if you’re like me, you’ll want to taste one of these cookies while it’s still warm.  You can.  But I don’t recommend it.  You’ll wonder why I like this cookie so much.  So just wait.  I promise … it’s worth the wait.

Make the glaze.

lemon glaze

ingredients:

1 1/4 c. powdered sugar, sifted

1 egg white

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

In a large enough bowl, whisk everything together (large bowl because powdered sugar goes flying when whisked!).  Whisk until smooth.

Dunk the tops of each cookie into the lemon glaze.  Shake any excess glaze off the cookie, then place them on the cookie sheet to allow to harden (about 30 minutes).

Now you can eat one.  And now you’ll taste the goodness.

They’re even better the following day.  Store in an airtight container or freeze.  Now we all have a new recipe for our repertoire.

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lemon and things

Winter feels like it is dragging on. Cold weather followed by snow… followed by some more snow. Sigh. Normally I would be embracing winter and would be skiing… but really, I just want to take my bike out and go for a good solid bike ride. Looking outside my window today my hopes are dashing… yes, it is snowing (again).

I decided to combat these winter blues by baking a loaf; and although banana loaves have been a comfort during the deep cold, I decided that I needed to spruce things up a bit. I needed new flavours that would fill my kitchen with fresh smells and remind me that spring really is just around the corner. And so I grabbed ingredients that brought the following to mind: exotic, hot weather and vacation :0)

The following quick bread filled the bill! My fingertips smelled like lemons after squeezing and zesting a couple of them. That bright, fresh, tart smell was exactly what I needed to bring a smile to my face and alleviate those winter blues. Add a whole lot of coconut and I felt as though I was in Thailand – sitting on the beach and eating fresh fruit while basking in the sun. Who would have thought baking a quick bread could do that?!

Lemon Coconut Quick Bread
ingredients:
2 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 c. white sugar
1 3/4 c. finely shredded unsweetened coconut (don’t use sweetened, it’ll overpower the loaf)
2 eggs
3/4 c. milk
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice (2 lemons)
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c. butter, melted

Heat your oven to 350 F. Grease your 9×5 loaf pan. Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer (using your paddle attachment), mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the sugar and the coconut.

your batter

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla.

Make a well in the centre of your dry ingredients, then pour in the egg mixture. Stir on your lowest speed until all the ingredients are just combined.

Add the melted butter and stir everything until smooth. This shouldn’t take more than 15-20 seconds.

batter before it goes into the oven

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 60 – 70 minutes. At 50 minutes cover the loaf with some tin foil so that it doesn’t dry out.

Let the bread cool on a wire rack for 10 – 15 minutes – then remove it from the pan and allow it to cool – or slice into it. Lasts for almost a week in an airtight container… so you can keep those winter blues at bay for quite some time! ;0)

a differnt kind of loaf

don’t judge a scone by its colour…





I’m back to baking scones… well to be honest, I haven’t stopped making them, but I did try a new recipe last night. I switched up my original lemon scone recipe and added beautiful blueberries to the batter.

Sigh. The result was well…blue. But fresh, tangy and light – a perfect way to start off your day. Oh, and these smell soooooooooooo good while they’re baking. Double sigh. I can’t wait to make another batch. Or 6. They are that good.

Blueberry Lemon Scones
ingreidents:
grated zest of 1 large lemon
3/4 c. brown sugar
3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c. (2 sticks) cold butter, grated
1 c. blueberries (fresh or frozen)
3/4 c. heavy cream
3/4 c. buttermilk
1 egg, beaten for an egg wash
large sugar, to sprinkle on top of each scone

Grate the butter and return it to your freezer to allow it to get really cold.

Preheat your oven to 375 F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.

In your stand mixer bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Add the sugar and lemon zest to the bowl and mix with your paddle attachment at a low speed (STIR)until just combined.

Add the cold butter to the dry mix and combine on your low speed for a few minutes(you’re looking for pea sized clumps). At this point you can toss in your blueberries and just incorporate.

Stop mixing and make a well in the centre of your batter. Add the cream and buttermilk. Mix together (low speed) very briefly; you want everything to come together and gather on your paddle attachment.

Turn the dough out a well floured surface. You’ll want to use your rolling pin to roll out the dough into a rectangle. Cut your scones into triangular shapes. I get 2 rows and 3 columns out of the batter, which I then cut into triangles.

Place your scones onto the prepared pans and then move the pans to the freezer. Allow the dough to chill for 30 minutes (this allows the butter to get really cold again in order to really puff while baking).

Remove from the freezer, add an egg wash to the scones and then sprinkle them with the large sugar. Bake in the middle rack for 30 minutes (until golden brown). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely… although the smell might dry you crazy with anticipation!