Molasses Ginger Apricot Cookies and The Coast-to-Coast Cookie Swap

One of the best things about having a blog is making new friends.  There are the kind you meet in real life, that also happen to live down the road from you.  But then there are the online ones.  You have crazy obsession with cookies, doughnuts and the best combination of flavors for that new sandwich you want to try.

I mean who else is going to understand that it’s REALLY important that you try adding herbs to your lemon cookies?  Or how you absolutely NEED to recreate that recipe you tried at some restaurant you went to last weekend?

These things are important. And other food blogger friends can truly appreciate that.  Because sometimes I need to send cookies to people, I teamed up with some bloggers for our very first The Coast-to-Coast Cookie Swap.

Since I was sending cookies to bloggers, I knew they had to be good.  Because of that, I tried to recreate my favorite cookie

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We made cookies and sent them to each other.  It was pretty great!

Who Participated:

Allison from Sweet Potato Bites (aka my crossfit/running buddy) with her Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Natalie from In Natalie’s Shoes with her Amazing Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Coco from Urban Chick’s Foodie Ventures with her Peach Cobbler Cookies <— LOVED

Jazzy with her Lemon Blueberry Cookies (Link to come!)

 

My contribution to the bunch:

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Molasses-Ginger Apricot Cookies

1 stick of butter + 2 tbsp (10 tbsp total)
1 cup sugar (plus extra for rolling)
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp mace
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup turbinado sugar (for rolling)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cream together butter and 1 cup sugar using a stand or hand mixer.  Beat in molasses and egg until fluffy.  In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.  Just before ingredients are combine, fold in apricot pieces.

Form dough into 1 inch balls and roll in turbinado sugar (note: you can use any sugar, but turbinado sugar is thicker so it looks pretty!).  Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes.  Allow to cool  and serve!  Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Clearly, I’m a big fan of ginger and molasses year round, not just for Fall/Winter.

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All the cookies were delicious!  It was cool to see what the other ladies chose to make, and also to make new friends.  And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love getting packages?

Thanks to Jazzy, Natalie, Coco and Allison for participating in the Coast to Coast Cookie Swap!  I can’t wait to do it again!

 

If you were making cookies for your favorite bloggers, what kind would you make?

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Gingerbread Cookies

Let’s let the cookie obsession continue with Gingerbread Cookies!

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As a kid, Christmas cookies weren’t really a tradition during the holidays for us. I think I remember my sister setting out cookies for Santa with me once, but I might be making that up in my head. I know Christmas cookie decorating is a normal thing in most households, but it didn’t really happen in mine. That’s what happens when you have immigrant parents, I guess?

But this year, since cookies are all the rage in my world, I decided to go all out and make Gingerbread cookies.

Allison from Sweet Potato Bites had a cookie party at her house, so I thought that would be the perfect opportunity to make them for.

I baked them in advance and made royal icing at her house for decorating.

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I spent a long time researching Gingerbread recipes, but I found this one from All Recipes to be best.  As usual, I made a few changes to the recipe, so here’s my version:

Gingerbread Cookies

adapted from All Recipes

3 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp mace
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup almond milk (or water)

In a medium bowl, combine flour, spices, baking soda and salt.  In a large bowl (or in a stand mixer bowl), cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy.  Beat in some of the dry ingredients and then some molasses, maple syrup and almond milk, alternating wet and dry ingredients until all combined.   Chill the dough for a few hours (I made this a day in advance and chilled the dough over night).

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Once you’re ready to make cookies, pre-heat oven to 350F.  On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick.  Using your cookie butters of choice, cut out desired shape and place on a parchment paper lined baking dish.  Place a few inches apart on the sheet as they cookies expand a tiny bit when they bake.

Bake 8-10 minutes (this will vary depending on the type of cookie cutter you use and the size.)  Once they’re golden on the edges, they’re ready.  Don’t overbake them or they’ll be hard.  Allow to cool completely, then decorate with royal icing.

Gingerbreadmen1I had never decorated cookies with Royal Icing before.  I’m going to try it a few more times, really perfect it then do a blog post on it.

That means I’ll be making these cookies again.  I really liked these cookies because they weren’t hard.  The ones in an air tight container stayed soft for over 5 days.  However, if you like crunch gingerbread cookies, just leave these out a little longer to harden and you’ll get crunch cookies!

I have some ideas for the next Christmas cookies to make, but if you have a great recipe to share, please share it in the comments!

Molasses Cranberry Cookies

Christmas season is in full swing!  Normally, I’m not that into holidays. But I’m not sure what’s wrong with me this year, all I want is a living room with a Christmas tree.   If you remember back when I told you about where Foodologie happens, you’ll remember that I live in a studio that is teeny-tiny.  That means I have zero room for a Christmas tree.   So because I can’t be festive in my living space, I have to find other ways to make the most of the holiday season.

First, I bought a Christmas dress. A new dress for Christmas is a tradition in my family for as long as I can remember.     Anyone else do that?

I’m thoroughly excited about it.  I also bought myself another dress, because… well…

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Christmas present to myself?  (P.S. When will I get over sending my friends pics of outfits I’m thinking of buying?)

In addition to my Christmas dress, I’ve also been thoroughly excited about cookies.  So cookie making has been happening, starting with these:

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I don’t know about you, but I love chewy molasses cookies with lots of ginger.  They’re pretty much the best, as are these cookies.

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Molasses Cranberry Cookies

adapted from Blue Ribbon Cookies

1 stick of butter + 2 tbsp (10 tbsp total)1 cup sugar (plus extra for rolling)
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp mace
1 cup dried cranberries

Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy.  Beat in molasses and egg until fluffy.  In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.  Just before ingredients are combine, fold in cranberries.

Chill dough for a few hours.

Once you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350F.

Form dough into 1 inch balls and roll in granulated sugar.  Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes.  Allow to cool  and serve!  Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

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I took these to work, shared with friends and a boyfriend. They were gone pretty quickly.  I’ll definitely be including these in my Christmas Cookie Gift Tins.   I have a few other awesome cookie recipes coming up, because seriously… I’m obsessed with cookies right now.

What about you?  How are you preparing for Christmas?  Do you have a Christmas dress yet?

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Let me just tell you… these pancakes made my day magical.

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I started the day by running with Ms. Allison from Sweet Potato Bites.  That lady is faster than me (check out her running page!), so it’s awesome to keep up with her!

After the run, I wanted a good breakfast.  For the past few months, I’ve had a smoothie for breakfast pretty much everyday, but today I wanted something warm and Fall-like.  And we all know… Fall = Pumpkin.

All season, I’ve been avoiding pumpkin flavored foods, because honestly most of it just tastes fake.  I’m probably the only person in the world that doesn’t love the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks.

So this morning, in my quest for a warm Fall breakfast, I had a bright idea.  Pumpkin pancakes with REAL pumpkin inside and on top.

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Pumpkinpalooza in a pancake.

So I started with an amazing stack of pancakes and then topped them with a mixture of pumpkin puree, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon and mace (with some water to thin it out).  Seriously delicious.  Please try it.  But first to make the pancakes…

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Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

2 tbsp buckwheat flour (spelt or all purpose works too)
2 tbsp almond meal
3 tbsp protein powder (I used Spiru-tein Vanilla Protein)
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of ginger
pinch of mace
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 egg
4 tbsp pumpkin puree (plus extra for topping)
2-3 tbsp almond milk**

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl, stir to combine.  Add dry ingredients and mix together.

Heat a large skillet and grease (with butter or non-stick spray).  Scoop 2 tbsp of batter to form each pancake.  Cook until it starts to bubble, then flip and cook an additional minute.

Serve with a mixture of pumpkin, maple syrup and spices or your favorite pancake topping.  This recipe makes 4 pancakes.

**The amount of almond milk might vary.  Spiru-tein protein powder has some sort of thickening agent in it that makes it thicken up, so if you use a different protein powder you might need less liquid.  Try adding a tbsp of liquid first and if you need more to thin out the batter, add more.  If your batter is too thin/runny, you’ll get flat pancakes so you want the batter to be a little thick.

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I seriously loved these pancakes.  The topping reminded me of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin butter.  Amazing.  But what I really love is that you get all the awesome health benefits of pumpkin, that you definitely don’t get from a Pumpkin Spice Latte (p.s. totally not trying to hate on the PSL! It’s just not for me).

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I’m seriously considering making a few batches of these and having them the next few mornings, reheated.  If they taste great reheated, I’ll let you know.

So tell me, what’s your favorite way to eat pumpkin this season? 

Aside from this healthy version, I love love love this Creamy Pumpkin Pie, but also Pumpkin Pecan Bundt Cake and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.  One day I won’t want to eat sugary things every.single.day…

P.S. 1 week til Peru!!!!

Current Happenings in the World of Foodologie

Hi Guys! Sorry I’ve been MIA.  There so many things I’ve wanted to make but haven’t had time to.  And then, there are some things I made…

Like this orange-chocolate crepe cake, that was slightly underwhelming so I chose not to blog about it.

I also made brownie covered oreos for Halloween, but didn’t have time to photograph so alas, no blog post.

But all that said, exciting things are coming.  In 9 days, I’m off to Peru.  I’m so excited to tell you about all the awesome things I see (and eat).

Also Fall is in full swing, and you know you want to make this Fall Cake:

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Trust me, it’s delicious.  Gingerbread cake, pumpkin cheesecake, caramel pecans and a hearty slather of vanilla buttercream.  Amazing.  I want it now.

Or maybe cookies are more your style.pumpkinchocchipcookies1

And if that’s the case, then you need some of these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies.

So make those while I prep for my trip.  I’m having a major desire to bake, but seriously out of ideas.  Any suggestions?

 

As soon as I get back from Peru (the day before Thanksgiving), it’ll be time for Turkey and then Christmas cookies.

So many exciting things to come!

What are you looking forward to most?

Aside from Peru, I’m seriously looking forward to Turducken.  My family has bought one the past two or three years and it’s seriously awesome.

 

Pumpkin Pecan Bundt Cake

It’s National Pumpkin Day.  Woo let’s celebrate!

Ok, I’m really not that excited, but all of a sudden I’m all about food holidays.  What could it be?

So as a result of pumpkin day, I re-examined some of my old pumpkin-y recipes.

I used to be all about the previous pumpkin-y things I’ve made…

Like these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

Pumpkin Pizza

Pumpkin Biscuits

And of course who can forget the Fall Cake with a layer of gingerbread cake and another of pumpkin cheese

But I think I found a new pumpkin love… or maybe just the flavor of the minute since it’s the first pumpkin-y thing I’ve eaten all year?  Regardless, this bundt cake is pretty tasty.

I wish I had a cute little pumpkin or plant to stick in the middle of it, but I’m not that festive.  This cake is about as festive as it’s gonna get, let’s concentrate on the taste.

Moist, pumpkin-y and spicy.  What more could you want?

Pumpkin Pecan Bundt Cake

adapted from Cooks Illustrated’s Pumpkin Bread with Ginger

2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp mace
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 can pumpkin puree
2 cups sugar
2 tbsp dark molasses
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tbsp heavy cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour a bundt pan, set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.

In another large bowl, mix together sugar and vegetable oil.  Beat in egg 1 at a time.  Then beat in sour cream, heavy cream, molasses and pumpkin puree.  Beat in flour mixture until just combined.  Fold in pecans and crystallized ginger.

Pour mixture into prepared bundt pan, bake 50-70 minutes (depending on your oven) or until you insert a knife into it and it comes out clean.

Serve and celebrate pumpkin day!

Double Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s a pretty well-known fact that I’m a nerd, and I totally okay with it.

I like to think I’m at least a cool nerd, but realistically, I’m just a nerd, especially when it comes to food.  I read recipes for fun.  I talk about things I want to try to make (why yes, I do want to make a turducken and roast an entire goat.  No, I don’t usually eat meat.  That totally makes sense.).  I go on solo dates to grocery stores where I walk around looking at random ingredients and imagining what I can make with them.

That happened a few weeks ago when I was walking around my newest favorite grocery store, Sprouts.  (Sorry, Wegmans I couldn’t handle the distance.)

I came across crystallized ginger, and my eyes lit up like Christmas.  I’m almost embarrassed to admit that ginger is exciting, but honesty is the best policy so I’ll go with it.

I spend a lot of time thinking about ginger.

There’s something about crystallized ginger that makes me want to curl into my bed with a blanket, a cup of tea and a cookie.  Specifically this cookie:

These cookies feel like fall.  That seems to be a theme for me, recently.  But it’s November, and my body seems to have forgotten what less than 60F feels like, so let’s embrace the ginger.

Throw it in everything.  Start with these cookies.

Double Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
2 cups flour
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Pre-heat over to 350F.

Cream together butter, sugar, egg and molasses.  Stir in crystallized ginger.  Add in dry ingredients except chocolate chips.  Mix until just combined.  Fold in chocolate chips.

The dough will be sorta dry, but will come together when you form it into balls.  So don’t be discouraged or tempted to add more wet ingredients!

Place golf ball sized balls on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Bake 10-14 minutes or until just golden around the edges.  Allow to cool a few minutes before removing from baking sheet.

Once they’ve cooled enough, put some on a plate, make a cup of tea, get into bed and watch something totally nerdy, like Star Trek… or Twilight… At least this way nerdy is tasty.