Sunday, December 27, 2015

Granny's Modern Gingersanps

We called my Great-Grandmother, Granny. She raised three kids on a farm way up north in a small town called Sedro-Woolley. I have a lot of small memories of Granny. But what stands out to me most is when my family and I moved to a new house that was right around the corner from her. I remember walking down to see her before school in the mornings. We would sit at her round kitchen table and she would tell me about days past on the farm and what my Grandpa and Aunt Deanie were like when they were little. She would also revel in stories about when she was my age. No question of mine was left unanswered and I always felt special when she told me a funny story that none of the other grandkids knew yet.

At that time, I was writing a short story. It was just a hobby of mine, but she was convinced I should publish it. I was 10, and trust me the story was silly. But that's what I really loved about Granny. I knew that she loved me very much and thought I was good enough to do anything that I wanted to do. 

Granny passed away when I was a freshman in college. I wrote that reflection above right after she died. I found it the other day in my email when I was looking for her gingersnap recipe. She didn't cook much for us while when I was growing up, but this cookie recipe of hers was always my favorite. The recipe below is written in her handwriting....

Per usual, I'm taking a recipe and making a twist on it. This time, I'm updating Granny's recipe a little. Today's research recommends that Crisco is not very good for you. And I'm not saying this new recipe is GOOD for you .... but butter is not as likely to mess up your body as much. I took down the flour and the sugar a little too. So while this isn't quite true to what you see above, it is an homage to my Granny Bernice. I hope you like them!


The dry (in a medium bowl)

  • 3.5 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ginger (have some extra to roll the dough in)
  • 1 [even] teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
The wet (in a large bowl)
  • 1 cup butter, @ room temperature  
  • 1 cup white sugar (have some extra to roll the dough in)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, @ room temperature 
  • Scant 1/2 cup molasses 
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and the sugars.
    The mixture should look fluffy. 
  4. Then, beat in the eggs, vanilla, and molasses to the butter-sugar mixture.
    Stir until just combined. 
  5. Next, slowly add in the dry ingredients to the wet. 
  6. This optional, but I would suggest chilling the dough for at least 20 minutes. 
  7. Finally, using a cookie scoop, shape the dough and roll it in a sugar + ground ginger mixture. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 11-12 minutes.
  8. Cool completely. Serve with some green tea :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Ethan's Favorite Cut Out Cookies + Matcha

Ethan isn't a man with much of a sugar tooth. I think I make up for both of us in that category. So it makes making baked goods disappear pretty tough around this house. He's a man of mild taste when it comes to sweets, and no other cookie can top his favorite list than his mom's famous cream cheese cut out cookie recipe. 

But who can resist trying to one-up a classic?
I can't.  

I thought Santa would appreciate some caffeine with his cookies to boost his energy during that long flight. So I added some green tea matcha powder* to the Diana's popular batter...and maybe some cinnamon too. (Surprised? Me neither.) Forgive me, Ethan! I know this one had you skeptical... but your sister sure did love the idea :)

*You remember matcha, right? If not, check out my recipe for Chocolate Matcha Energy Balls. You can find matcha at PCC or Whole Foods. It's not only AWESOME for naturally dying things, but it's also pretty awesome to drink and bake with. You really can't taste the green tea, but it sure makes the cookie turn a beautiful new color without using frosting.

Looking for a twist on an old classic? These mild, green-tea sugar cookies are surely the ticket amidst the sugar blizzard we call December. 

Let's get on with the recipe, shall we?

THE WET (cream together using electric mixer):

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1.5 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 ounces cream cheese 
  • 4 tablespoons yogurt 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla 
THE DRY (whisk together or sift):
  • 4 cups flour 
  • 2 heaping teaspoons matcha (optional)
  • 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon (optional)
  • 0.25 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 0.75 teaspoon salt
  • Raw sugar for topping
  • In a large bowl or mixer, blend the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs. Stir until just combined. 
  • Mix in the cream cheese, yogurt and vanilla. 
  • Next, slowly add the dry ingredients you have already whisked together in a medium bowl to your wet ingredients. 
  • Chill the dough for at least an hour
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheet with parchment
  • Then, roll out the dough and cut it into shapes using a cookie cutter. Top with raw sugar (optional)
  • Place on cookie sheet and bake for 11-12 minutes

Eat well! 
Be well!
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Merry Christmas :)

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies

This foodie road of mine began with one specific recipe. Today, I share it with you. Just in time for the holiday season. 

Enter the extra cinnamony, chocolate chippity, cookie. When I was in college, cookies were the only thing in the kitchen I felt really confident making. And growing up, if I was stressed out or sad my mom would make me some cookies to feel better. Looking back, it may have not been the best way to deal with tough times, but nonetheless, cookies are my always go to comfort food. SO, as may be able to deduce, I made a lot of cookies in college, especially for my friends.

One night, I decided to make my own recipe. And that is when I discovered I am in LOVE with cinnamon. Trust me everyone, double what the recipe tells you when it comes to cinnamon from now on. You'll be surprised at how much more flavor you'll start to notice....

Also, cinnamon is super good to have in your life. Check out these sources:
Authority Nutrition

HA! I just convinced you that these cookies are good for you.... Reality check, there's still a butt ton of sugar and butter in these babies ...  because I love you.
Let's get on with the recipe, shall we?

  • 2 cups flour (quinoa flour works great too!)
  • 3 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk (how to separate a yolk)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1.5 cups chocolate chips (add in white chocolate chips for different texture and taste)

  • Dump all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk with a fork to combine. 
  • In a large bowl or your Kitchen Aid, whisk together the butter and sugars. Stop when the mixture looks fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla. Stir to combine. 
  • Then, slowly start adding your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients. 
  • Once combined, grab a spatula and stir in the chocolate chips. 
  • Refrigerate your dough for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or slip mat. 
  • Now, the reason why these cookies are to die for is because of this next step. Put your cookie scoop down and grab a 1/4 cup measure. 
  • Use a 1/4 cup measure to scoop the dough out onto the baking sheet. 
  • Bake for 17-18 minutes. Cool completely before enjoying. Unless you like a gooey mess...then go for it. 

And there you go! That is my most secret, most favorite recipe. I hope you enjoy the cinnamon! Merry Holiday Season, everyone!

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