Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread

Wow! I can't believe it- I am actually posting this on Tuesday, just like I am supposed to! Can't say it will happen again, but once is better than nothing. In any case, the recipe for this week on TWD was a Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread, chosen by Heather of Sherry Trifle . Great choice Heather! Easy to make once you get all the ingredients gathered up. The smell as it was baking was lucious. I made it first thing in the morning before going off to work and when I came home I frosted it. Tomorrow I will be going to visit my daughter in the army, so of course, the gingerbread is coming with me! We are all fond lovers of anything ginger so I'm sure this will be a hit.

Valentine's Day is approaching, as well as my husband's b-day on the 7th. I'm going to cheat a bit and move around some of this month's choices, since the Devil's Food White Out Cake is just too perfect for his birthday.
I've also been busy starting to bake and decorate cookies for Valentine's Day. How can you pass that holiday without a yummy heart-shaped and decorated sugar cookie?! Pictures of the cookies to follow.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I have been buying these amazing South American "dulche de leche" cookies for years. I finally decided it was time to try them myself. After much searching and tasting (!) I found the recipe that is the taste of the real thing. I started baking these cookies for my daughter to take back to the army with her and it has now become a weekly request from all the girls in her unit. I am thrilled to be able to make their days sweeter as they go through basic training and I just enjoy making them!
The dough can be a bit crumbly, but just persevere. The cookie gets its creamy texture from the large amount of cornflour in the dough and that is what also make it drier in the working stages. I promise-if you persevere, it all works out and the results are heavenly. These cookies have been called "day after" cookies by some, since they need to sit overnight to come to their true texture and flavor. They store wonderfully for a week in a covered container( if they last that long!). I have suggested these cookies for the February Cookie Carnival - keep posted to that site if indeed they are the choice. In any case, I highly recommend trying them- they will surely become a favorite.

adapted from a recipe by Carin Goren
Ingredients for the cookie
200 grams soft unsalted butter
200 grams powdered sugar
3 egg yolks
1/2 package instant vanilla pudding ( 40 grams)
200 grams cornflour
200 grams all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Filling-Dulce de leche ( easier to buy it, though it's not hard to make it on your own)
Coating- flaked coconut

Cream butter and confectioer's sugar in mixer with the paddle attachment until it is smooth and airy. Add the yolks and mix in until incorporated. Sift all remaing ingredients together and and to the mix. MIx only unitl combined. Gather the dough together and form a ball, then pat into a large flat oval shape. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
Heat oven to 350 F. ( 170 C).
Roll dough to a thickness of about 1/2 cm. They should be fairly thick- they puff up in the oven , then shrink a bit after. Cut out circles af approx. 5 cm in diameter. A small to medium size round cookie cutter will do the trick. Transfer the cookies to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes, unitl the cookies just begin a slightly golden color. Do not overbake them. THey need to be light colored on top. Let rest for a few minutes on the baking tray , then transfer them to racks to cool completely.
Spread a teaspoon or so of dulche de leche on the flat side of one cookie ( you can be generous- they should be loaded with the cream, so it queezes out the sides). Cover with another cookie- flat side in to form a sandwich. I like to use a spreading knife to smooth the oozing cream around the edges, then roll the cookies in coconut flakes. They look great and taste even better!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I won!

How exciting! I won the December Cookie Carnival contest! Just the recognition was a joy and I enjoy decorating cookies so much, it's nice to be noticed.

While I'm on the subject, here are a few random pics of cookies I've decorated in the past.

little bear


baby shower basket


I've missed a few weeks baking on Tuesdays with Dorie. I sometimes find it hard to post on Tuesdays , but I promise I will get back into the swing of things. Actually I did make last week's French Pear Tart. It was very rich but very yummie. Easy to make and lovely to serve. The recipe can be found on pages 368-369 in Dorie's book "Baking". Next week's choice is again something I will bow out of- "Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins". I love to try new things, even when I'm not sure anyone will like them, but this - I know no one in my immediate vicinity will even be interested in.
Until next time.....