Wednesday, January 11, 2012

cookie cookie cookie starts with "p"

hi folks! happy new year. i know the holidays are technically "over" (does anyone else think unnecessary scare quotes are hilarious, by the way?), but my craving for holiday goodies is not, so i thought i'd share my favorite cookie recipe. they're called pfeffernusse, they're swedish, they're hard and peppery, and i always have the ingredients for them. win.

important note: this recipe has been (barely) adapted from this cookbook, which i love

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (i'm making these today, and i'm going to use whole wheat flour, since i ran out of all-purpose. i'll let you know how it goes)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
8 tbs butter (at room temperature)
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar (the recipe calls for light, but i always use medium)
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp finely chopped orange zest (sometime i skip this when i don't have any oranges, but it's definitely better with it)
1/2 cup powdered sugar

1. preheat the oven to 350 degrees. line cookie sheets with parchment paper or a sil-pat.
2. in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and pepper.
3. in a large bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar. beat on medium speed until well blended.
4. add the honey, egg yolk, and zest. mix until well blended. add the flour mixture. mix on low speed until blended.
5. At this point, i would chill the dough in the fridge for half an hour or so. i've found that this recipe works better when the dough is cold.
6. once chilled, place small balls of dough on the cookie sheet (the cookbook calls for a mini ice cream scoop, which would probably work great. i usually use a tablespoon). leave about 2 inches between each one. press gently on each ball to flatten it slightly.
7. bake until the edges are light brown, about 14 minutes. put the cookies on a cooling rack, and sift powdered sugar over the cookies.

these are suuuuuper good dunked in hot chocolate or tea. happy (extended) holidays!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

nailed it

hello cherry amours!

so i, like many others in the interweb world, am slightly addicted to pinterest (this is not a cute way of saying i'm obsessed...i really am only slightly addicted). over the break, i decided i would attempt to make some of the cute and fun things i saw on that website. now that the holiday season is over, i would like to share with you all the pinterest adventures i went on. usually, my crafting adventures are more like this:

which is to say that they're awesome.
let's divide these adventures into baking and not baking. tutorials are linked to each project.
first...not baking!

anna and i tackled these during our crafy day. i started them with the intention of making one for every person on winter camp staff. i made this one and stopped. it was hard. 

somehow theirs just looks so much more crisp! how? tell me your secrets, design sponge.

and now...baking things!

i made these with dear friends jeff and emily. i'm convinced ours would have looked just as good if i had split one in half and let you see all the gooey delicious-ness inside. you'll just have to trust me, though. they were amazing.

candy cane cookies
(i don't have a link for this...let me know if you want the recipe!)

these were delicious, but a little more crumbly than i would have liked. another recipe i found calls for brownie mix instead of cocoa powder, and that sounds way better. if anyone tries that before i get to it, let me know how it goes.

and lastly...

we tried these beauties for new years. as you can see, colleen, illustrious author of running and then blogging about it, approves. there was a little bit of adventure involved - using champagne instead of vodka, putting ice cubes in the jello to set it faster, setting the jello outside because it was colder than a refrigerator. but in the end, with a keen eye and a sharp knife (really important, it worked out very well! we did orange champagne jello in the orange slices and raspberry champagne jello in the lemon slices. let's take a closer look...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. and no disposable cups, so they're eco-friendly too!

kristen was instrumental to the slice-cutting process. without her steady hand, the project might not have been so successful. we had more jello than oranges, so we put the rest in cupcake tins for fun little jello mounds.

if you ask me, these projects were highly fantastic. i pronounce myself (and all of my friends who helped with these projects)...pinterest master! now that school has started i doubt i'll have time for many crafty adventures like this...but if i do, i'll send them along.