Sunday, 23 December 2012

Gingerbread Cookies

Tried this recipe for the first time et voila! Awesome cookies! The empty tuperware container in my kitchen speaks for itself. On top of pulling off some extra awesome, perfect looking gingerbread cookies, I also pulled off royal icing quite well. First attempt! I must admit, it was time consuming. AND my arms may have hurt a tad the next day from all the muscle involved in piping the icing onto these babies. But I think you'll agree that they are well worth it.

Recipe I used:

Yields 2-3 dozen cookies

8 tablespoons (115 grams) butter
1/3 cup (65 grams) dark brown sugar
2/3 cup (155 ml) dark molasses
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour


1. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar. Add in the molasses and egg and continue mixing. Mix in the baking soda, spices, and salt. Gradually add the flour, stirring until well combined.

2. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour to firm up the dough.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. Roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thick and cut out the cookies using cookie cutters. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of the cookie. Remove and allow to rest on the baking sheet for a couple minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.


**Note! This recipe uses raw eggs. Meringue powder is used in a lot of royal icing recipes, however I did not have any at my disposal, so I opted for a recipe using egg whites instead. If you feel uncomfortable using raw eggs, I suggest travelling to Bulk Barn or Michaels to pick up some meringue powder. As another alternative, you can buy egg whites in a carton that have been pasteurized.

Further, if you want to make designs like in the pictures, you will need pastry bags & tips. Only a simple, small round tip is needed for these. Disposable Wilton bags are easily found in baking/craft stores along with the tips and couplers. I know Bulk Barn sells them individually, instead of within large packs.

3 egg whites
~4 cups icing sugar (depending on desired consistency)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp cream of tartar
Any desired colour

1. Beat the egg whites until you reach the soft peak stage. Add in the sugar & cream of tartar and continue to beat until there are stiff peaks.
2. Add in the icing sugar, a bit at a time, until desired consistency is reached.  
    ***This is important: To make beautiful royal icing designs, you need to have two      consistencies of icing, 1) stiff, that will pipe well to outline the cookies, and 2) runny (think the consistency of honey), to flood the cookies within the stiffer, piped outline.
3. Divide the icing up into however many batches you want for different colours.

To make the designs, fill one pastry bag with the stiff icing. Using precision, pipe an outline around the outside of each cookie.

Now, with a second pastry bag filled with the runnier icing, pipe a bunch in and watch it spread around the cookie until the surface within the outline is totally covered and smooth! (you may have to tweak it a bit, depending on how stubborn it chooses to be)

Add any desired sprinkles :)

Allow these to dry overnight before serving.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Birthday Cake Cookies

You read right. Cake...turned into cookies. What could be better?? This is honestly the easiest, fastest cookie recipe I've ever seen. I timed myself on these... 15 minutes from beginning of prep to baked goodness. Need a quick fix? Whip these up.

Birthday party? Make 'em birthday style: rainbow sprinkles.
Christmas cookies? Use green & red sprinkles.
Into spices? Use chocolate cake mix and add cinnamon & cayenne.
Thanksgiving? Use carrot cake cake mix. Dip in cream cheese frosting.

The list goes on!

So, this is what you do.

1 box cake mix (ANY kind- but I recommend funfetti for birthdays and white for christmas)
1 tsp baking power
2 large eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla


1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
2. Mix together cake mix and baking powder well.
3. Add eggs, oil and vanilla. Mix until all incorporated.
4. Add sprinkles, if desired.
5. Drop 1" balls onto parchment paper covered baking sheet.
6. Bake for 8-9 minutes.


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Sunday, 9 December 2012

Luscious Lemon Cheesecake

Happy December, 9th.

Today was my work pot-luck party! Can you say food baby? There were sooo many good dishes there, I ate way too much (couldn't help myself).... and we also exchanged secret santa presents! Emily, my GEM partner in crime, got me and obviously bought me some beautiful ornaments that match my "christmas tree scheme" I've been ranting about to her for weeks. They're these pretty glass balls with white feathers inside and silver snowflakes on the outside. SO. PERFECT.

But back to the food. After careful contemplation, and changing my mind about eight times, I decided on cheesecake as the best plate to bring. What kind of cheesecake? Lemon. The sweetness of the custardy cheese filling with the tart lemon curd are a match made in heaven. Believe me.... I had two pieces, and am STILL eating it (there's not much left) so if anyone wants a fail-proof perfect cheesecake recipe for the holidays, this is it.


1 1/3 cup graham crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
6 tbsp butter, melted
1/8 tsp salt

3 eight-oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
about 1 cup lemon curd (this you can make homemade or buy it in the store- i bought it this time)


1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Mix crumbs, sugar, salt, and melted butter in a bowl, and press into a 9-inch spring-form pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and set on a wire rack to cool, and lower the oven temperature to 300*F.

2. Beat cream cheese and sugar together in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, until all are incorporated into the cream cheese mixture.
4. Mix in sour cream and vanilla.
5. Pour filling into the pan on top of the prepared crust.
6. Using a spoon, dollop the lemon curd all over the top of the filling, and use a knife to swirl it around until its spread out well.
7. Bake (in oven which has been turned down to 300*F) for 50-60 minutes. The centre may still be a bit wobbly when you take it out, but it will firm up.
8. Set on cooling rack to cool for 30 minutes before placing in the fridge. Serve cool.

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