Gingerbread Cookies

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

Gingerbreadcookies
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.

Gingerbreadmen2
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).

gingerbreaddough1

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!

Guide: Holiday Season 2012

‘Tis the season of ugly sweater parties, white elephant gift exchanges and other ridiculous holiday traditions.  It can be a little bit overwhelming.  I don’t know about you but sometimes I’m racking my brain to prepare for all these gatherings.

I’ve been to 4 parties in the last week.  So let me share a thing or two with you before the holiday season is over.

1.  How to Conquer the Ugly Sweater Party.

I heard on the news that there’s a guy who sells ugly sweaters online for $50 bucks a pop.  That’s just plain nuts (but super smart of him).  In real life, you shouldn’t spend more than $2 on an ugly sweater.  After all, it’s an ugly sweater.  If I’m going to spend $50 on a sweater it better be amazing (in a good way). So don’t do that.  Instead… The first idea is to go to a thrift store (Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc).

That’s one option:

Can yield a good sweater, especially if you live in Central NY.  If you live in Southern California, life’s more complicated…

So your other option is to make your own.  That’s what I went with this year.

Find a sweater you have at home (why yes my mother likes to give me sparkly sweaters.  Perfect. ).  Go to Michael’s and spend $2 on Christmas foam stickers and put them all over your sweater.

It works.

You’ll also want to take an ugly dessert to your ugly sweater party.  That’s where Avocado Pie comes in.

Done deal, and you’ll probably only spend about $5 total.

2.  How to Conquer the White Elephant Gift Exchange

1 route is to find something old laying around the house.  A fine option.  If you want to have a more coveted gift, go with food.

Yesterday, I received a box of 48 moon pies.  Amazing.

My contribution was Pies in Jars

Decorated with the same foam stickers from the ugly sweater party (…recycle, reduce, reuse?)

Throw them in a bag with some tissue paper and ta-da! I put some chopsticks from China in the bag, just for good measure.

I (and I think most people in the world) hate getting pieces of crap at white elephant gift exchanges.  I figure with this gift at least they can eat it and when they’re done they have a great receptacle for salad dressing.

Just saying.

3.  How to Conquer the Daunting Task of Choosing What to Wear

Make it simple.  Pick two outfits.  1 casual and 1 fancy.   Rinse and repeat 🙂  (or in my case, steam and repeat… is that gross?)

Obviously be sure to take crappy pictures of yourself in front of the mirror and get them approved by your friends via text message.

image

Casual Outfit

photo-6

Fancy Outfit

After all, these will be the outfits of Holiday Season 2012.

IMG_1068

You can’t mess around with that.

With these tips, you should be able to make it through the new year.

Happy Holidays from Foodologie!!

200 Cookies and Some Tips

Want to know what 200 cookies looks like?

That’s what.

Tip #1: When you’re baking for a crowd, don’t experiment.  Use tried and true recipes.  Like these…

Double Chocolate Coconut Cookies

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tip #2:  It’s okay to make small changes to recipes.  But only if they’re idiot-proof.  Example: those Peanut Butter cookies.  I used the same recipe for Almond Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies, replaced almond butter with peanut butter and voila! Whole new cookie!  No brainer, can’t really mess that up.

Regular Chocolate Chip and Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies

*
*
(Oh hey, imagine pretty cookies here because I totally forgot to take pictures of these)
*
*

Tip #3: Don’t over-mix your cookie dough.  It yields flat cookies.  True story.

Tip #4: Cookies keep well for a long time (or at least a few days).  Store them in air tight containers or zip loc bags.

It’s cookie season.  So get baking!