5 c. of raw mixed nuts
5 c. of raw mixed nuts
ginger snaps are a necessity this time of year in my opinion. dont get me wrong, they are delicious year round, but now when it is cold (for some) and you have a cup of hot tea or coffee that is just begging to have a little something dunked in it, this is everywhere you want to be. these gingersnaps are thin and crisp, sweet and spicy and just that darn good. eliot and i shared a few during our afternoon fika last week, and then i had a few more (five...) that evening. ok, so they are dangerously addictive. but dont worry because this recipe makes the kind of dough that you keep in the freezer. if you have weak self control like myself, only slice off three or four and bake them. they are also perfect for that unexpected visitor. warm the oven, put on the kettle for tea, slice a few of these and in twelve minutes you sit down for a lovely visit over tea and cookies. i found this recipe last year on marikos blog and have been using it ever since. i promise dear readers, that soon i will give you more than cookie and dessert recipes. just bear with me, i have been having so much fun baking that it is hard not to share. ok, here you go. enjoy.
Chez Panisse Gingersnaps
8 ounces unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 small eggs or 1 1/2 large eggs
1/3 cup molasses
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
Cream butter until soft. Add sugar, and beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, and beat until fluffy. Add molasses and beat until well-incorporated. Sift the dry ingredients, and add to the mixture. On low speed, mix until it all just comes together. Line a 9" x 5" loaf pan with plastic wrap, so that some hangs over the outsides. Press the dough into the bottom of the pan. Pack it tightly, and try to make the top as level as possible. Cover the dough with the plastic overhangs. Freeze until very firm, preferably overnight. Unwrap and remove dough from the pan. Slice brick into thin slices, no more than 1/8". Place on a parchment-lined sheetpan and bake at 350 degrees until the edges turn dark brown, about 12 minutes.
in my book, soup is definitely a meal. i think i could eat soup everyday from now until march, and then switch to gazpacho. mmm. lately my favorite has been to take a heap of sweet potato and through magic of the culinary type turn it into a satisfying bowl of thick, silky soup. all you need is a hunk of crusty bread and a small bowl of salad and there you have it. a meal.
this recipe was adapted from i think october's cookie magazine.
chunky sweet potato soup
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 medium onion, diced
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced crosswise
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried sage (less if it is ground or to taste)
2 large sweet potatoes (about 1½ pounds), peeled and cubed
6* cups chicken or vegetable broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan***
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, fennel, and garlic and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften and begin to caramelize, about 10 minutes**. Stir in the sage and cook 1 minute more. Add the sweet potatoes to the pot and stir. Pour in the broth and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until the potatoes are fork-tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper. Transfer half of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the pot and stir to combine. Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle with more olive oil. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve.
* the original recipe called for 4 cups but i used a 6 cup can, which was nice because it tends to thicken after a day or two. but believe me it is still way yummy.
** i usually use this time to peel and cube the sweet potatoes, making the whole process much easier.
*** i like to keep a block of decent to good parmesan cheese in my fridge, and find it easier and prettier to shave slices with a vegetable peeler. so professional...
**** (getting ridiculous i know, but also satisfying to see that many astrics lined up) the first time i made this soup i only had one sweet potato on hand but happened to have a small butternut squash on my counter. threw that in along with the s.p. and it was just fine.
there you have it folks. so easy that when i made this monday night, i also made a pot of broccoli cheese soup for eliot and a batch of chili. the sweet potato goodness was all mine as the rest of my family is crazy and doesnt eat them, except arlo of course. if you are big fan of sweet potato/pumpkin/butternut squash (or anything else orange for that matter) like i am, then you should also take a look at mollys puree. to die for. i just said that.
1 cup butter or marg softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts
Heat oven to 400. Mix butter, sugar and vanilla.
Work in rest until dough holds together. Shape
into 1" balls--on ungreased baking sheet. Bake
10-12 min. until set but not brown. While warm
roll in powdered sugar. Cool and roll in sugar again.
how easy is that? so easy. oh and one last bit of cookie talk, did you see abby's post for persimmon cookies??? i was so excited when i saw it because i have never ever heard of such a cookie, and very rarely do i meet a cookie i dont like. time to make a new acquaintance...
2 cups self-raising flour
3/4 cup castor sugar
zest of 1 orange
juice of 1/2 an orange (approx 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup milk
1 cup choc chips
Mix the flour, sugar and zest in a medium
bowl. Mix (whisk with a fork) the juice,
olive oil, milk and eggs. Make a well in the
centre of the dry ingredients. Pour in the wet ingredients and chocolate chips.
Mix until just combined. Spoon into lavishly buttered muffin pans and
bake for about 20 min in a moderate oven (180C or 350F degrees).
this recipe was sent to me from melissa at melmo's world. i thought it sounded like a
great way to start off the week. while i havent tried this out just yet i already know
that i will love it. i have a crush on quick breads and muffins, especially if they have
chocolate chips in them! yum. i am so ready for this time of year, all the baking and
stewing and roasting makes the house smell so good and puts a smile on my face.
what is your favorite holiday fare?
more to come soon, i have some good things up my sleeves. and did you see
mavs recipe? go check it out...