Posts Tagged 'baking'



Deep Dark Honey Molasses Ginger Unsnaps

After lots of other disappointments trying to substitute honey for the sugar in recipes, I’ve finally hit upon a success!

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My little  helper and I set out to bake some ginger snaps using my mom’s recipe (a spicy family favorite).  The recipe  calls for 1 c. brown sugar, so I used 3/4 c. local raw honey.  I ended up adding a few tablespoons of flour in after all the ingredients were mixed together, but only until it didn’t feel so wet. Here is a photo of the dough at the right consistency:

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You may be tempted to add more flour, and you will end up with a more puffy, cakey cookie if you do. At this point, you MUST chill the dough, or you won’t be able to roll it into balls. You must also lick the beaters and the spatula.

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Note to self: NO SUGAR for this kid. Even honey. He was so cranky for the next hour, and couldn’t fall asleep for another hour after that.

I won’t be winning any foodie bloggy awards for these pictures, but you can trust that these cookies are delicious straight out of the oven and stay moist all day.

Deep Dark Honey Molasses Ginger Unsnaps

350 degrees, 9-12 minutes

In your kitchenaid (with paddle attachment), CREAM:

  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 c. raw honey
  • 3/4 c. softened butter
  • 1/3 c. molasses

In another bowl, SIFT:

  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • a dash of nutmeg

Add flour mixture to honey mixture, mix well, then add a few spoonfuls of flour as needed, just until dough is no longer wet. CHILL well. Roll into 1-inch balls, cookies will flatten as they cook.

These cookies are so dark that you must tell doneness by texture rather than color. When they progress from spongy to firm-spongy, they’re done!

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Easter Recap

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Forgot to post these pics earlier…

On Easter Sunday I got up and made a lemon cake with cream cheese frosting, coconut flakes, whopper eggs, and some kind of gross edible easter grass. This was more sugary and less “whole food” than I usually do (especially considering I used box mixes), but the end result sure was pretty!

I went early to my sister’s house to play Liar’s Dice (Perudo) with my niece and nephews. I did some trash-talking about how I was going to kick some butt and take no prisoners, etc. But I wasn’t there for the warm up rounds and my family is merciless:

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I lost all my dice and was completely out of the game on my second turn.

So, I gave up and put the Boogedy down for a nap, fell asleep myself, and didn’t wake up until the lasagna came out of the oven and the garlic bread needed cutting. A yummy meal!

I will have to whollop those nephews at dice another time. mwah ha ha. One can’t be a dice-shark without a humiliating loss to make your naivete more believable!

Snakes and Frogs Birthday

The Boogedy’s 2nd birthday was actually in February, but the house was in shambles under construction, so we opted to wait and hold the party once the house was decent again. It was part birthday, part grand re-opening of the house party. The theme was snakes and frogs, inspired by this great hat I made for the Boogedy and a cute froggy invitation we sent to everyone.

Here is the awesome coral snake I made using two chocolate bundt cakes and cream cheese frosting. This was ideal for our family, most of whom do not care much for frosting. The dark sections are unfrosted. This snake is enjoying his frog dinner.

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We played a great balloon stomping game where everyone tied a small balloon to their ankle and took off their shoes. Then, they tried to pop everyone else’s balloon while keeping their own balloon safe. The last person to remain unpopped is the winner. This was really fun, but the little kids in attendance were a bit overwhelmed.

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Then, we played pin the fly on the frog, using a frog face modeled on the invitation we’d sent out and using hand-drawn flies.

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We had visited the wine store the day before and picked out wines based on their labels (the wine specialists on-site do not approve of picking wine by our criteria). Here were some of the possibilities:

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We couldn’t find any with snakes on the label! Lots of bicycles and kangaroos. Lots of estates and abstract color blocks. Lots of hoofed animals. But no snakes. So we went with the Nathanson Creek because they had white and red wines for a good price.

We put out some decorations:

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And I made a baked potato bar with lots and lots of toppings. About halfway through the evening, Zach lit a bonfire in the backyard firepit and sent someone to the store for s’mores fixins. The weather was just right for sitting outside at night, just nippy enough to appreciate a fire.

It was the nicest (and biggest) party we’ve ever held, and the Boogedy received so many adorable presents. Thanks everybody!!

Lemon Heart Tart

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Here’s a photo of the lemon tart I made using this great-sounding recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I’m sure the recipe is wonderful…but since I used a mixture of powdered sugar and honey on hand (no regular sugar), I’m equally certain that whatever went wrong was my fault. Plus, I don’t like it when people complain about recipes when they made all sorts of modifications.

I used meyer lemons. Turns out I am of the camp that should have used a regular lemon, I would have preferred more tartness.

The crust I did exactly as instructed and it was ok, a bit stiff, so I think if I do this crust again, I will press it in, rather than roll it out.

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It was pretty though! I’ll say that. And actually, improved with age. Two days later the leftovers are Yummy.

Ginger-Pumpkin Spice Chiffon Pie

This really should be better than it is. It was a three-day process to make these pies.

Monday, I baked two sugar pie pumpkins that I got at the farmer’s market.

Tuesday, I scraped them out and pureed the flesh with a hand-blender. I also made the pie crust…by Sort Of following this Cooks Illustrated recipe for vodka pie crust (meaning I altered so much that it was absurd to think it would work). I’ve tasted this crust before; my sister-in-law Natalie made a peach pie last year that was the best I’ve ever had.

I tried to make a 1.5 recipe (not a straight double), and my math may have been off. I substituted half of the flour with homeground whole wheat that I made that day using the kitchenaid attachment. I used coconut oil (solid at cool room temp). I failed to chill it. The dough was sticky wet and I ended up adding lots more white flour. Wet and pasty before I ever added the vodka.

Wednesday, I added the vodka/water to the chilled crumbles. I rolled out a sample and baked it up with cinnamon sugar and it was yummy. Nice and crisp. So I formed my crusts (the dough didn’t hold together great and I had a few tears) and put them in the freezer.

Then I stirred up the pie filling Kind Of following this “old-fashioned” recipe (we’re trying to cut out canned stuff, so I was avoiding evap. milk). I substituted the sugar for honey and molasses, mixed. I cut some of the milk to account for this extra moisture. I used too much molasses. I used eggs from our chickens, and milk from a local dairy. I baked them forever in order for that light custard to gel.

This pie should be GREAT. It was more like a fluffy-light, OVERLY spiced gingerbread souffle in a crust. But Pretty. It IS pretty. and tasty enough when served with a whole pile of lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Here you can see it’s homely stepsister in the background.

Homemade Bread

Silver Butter Dish

My second anniversary was in February, and Zach gave me a new Kitchenaid Mixer. Since then, HE has made homemade bread three times. When we were invited to a potluck a few days ago, he made up his own recipe which used kefir (that we culture at home) and honey and molasses. We took butter, jam, and honey and a nice cutting board to the party.

He put the loaf in a paper bag. I grabbed it from his hand and cut a heart into the bag then immediately started posing it. At his look of confusion, I said frantically “I have a blog to maintain!”

Bread bag

Unfortunate Cookies

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I had a group of friends over on Saturday for our monthly Crafty Afternoon. We celebrated Chinese New Year and made fortune cookies with custom messages…

A few of my favorites…

“NO, those pants look great!”

“You knew what I was when you picked me up”

“You’re kind of boring…you should get a hobby”

We used this recipe and these tips, and they turned out just right, but they were tricky! After this photo was taken, we refined our technique and subsequent cookies looked nicer. Then we drizzled them with melted callebaut semi-sweet chocolate. We called these “hand-crafted” and “lace-edged” and “rustic”.

But, definitely the tastiest fortune cookies I’ve had. Happy Year of the Rat!


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