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Molasses Ginger Cookies

Wow. Woah. Hello there! It’s been quite a while since my last post….2 years and 2 months. Yikes. Well let me give you the readers digest of those two years and two months: I went to England for the first time, went to France for the first time, ran two half marathons, moved three times, bought furniture for my apartment, passed four licensing exams, passed a California ethics exam for CPAs, was granted a license to become a Certified Public Accountant in the state of California, lost my Grandfather, went to NYC for the first time, went to Canada for the first time, bopped around Seattle and San Diego a few times, lost my Grandmother (my parents are now the oldest generation. YIKES.),  looked into the LSAT, looked into the GMAT and MBA programs, annnnnd worked a lot.  A lot a lot.

Whew, I’m exhausted just typing all that up.. Upcoming trips, you ask? Well, I have San Diego, Disneyland, NYC, and another trip to England all coming up. And then I go right back into Busy Season. Whooo.

What haven’t I done? Finished unpacking from my last move last June. Now, before you suggest I just throw out the boxes, I would. I’m all for that. Except I still riffle through the boxes because I know what’s in which box. I just lost steam to finish unpacking. At this point, I don’t think I’d be opposed to paying someone to figure out how to organize the last of my stuff. I like packing and moving, it’s like adult tetris, but I don’t like unpacking. It’s too close to cleaning or something.

I finally feel like I’ve recovered from the last two years that have felt like a never ending marathon and have finally gotten the itch to  start cooking and baking again. While studying for my CPA exams I basically lived off of Trader Joe’s frozen meals. Not the healthiest of plans, but not the worst either. My schedule basically consisted of me waking up of 5am, studying or going to work early, working until 6ish, come home and make dinner, start studying, study until 10 or 11, and then go to the gym for an hour or so. And then rinse and repeat the next day. The unsung hero of this plan was my sister who lives in NYC, since she is three hours ahead she’d be on her way to work when I needed to wake up. So every morning she’d call and harass me until I got out of bed. She was also the one on the other end of the phone for my, at least quarterly, panic attacks about not being able to pass all my exams. She was such an amazing support structure for making sure I passed and got up to study for my exams. Hooray for sisters!

But enough of what I have been doing, and on to cookies!

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So a few weeks ago it was still blazing hot in Sacramento, and I figured I’d help autumn come along more quickly and make some molasses ginger cookies. Molasses cookies just scream autumn to me, and I figured Sacramento could get all the help it could to get us away from high 80s low 90s. I stumbled upon this recipe from Julie over at Table for Two on Pinterest.  I decided that I’d make these, and they’d be perfect for my first post back.

The only difference I made between Julie’s recipe and mine is that I’m not a huge fan of overly large cookies so I made them with my one tablespoon disher and left it at that.

I think it has something to do with me not having a huge sweet tooth, so a large cookie just too much. It also gives me more to pass around my office when I bring the cookies in! Win-win solution, I think. _MG_9724

These cookies have a light, but there, molasses taste. The cookie recipe is fairly simple and you probably have most of the spices already sitting in your spice rack: ginger, cloves, and cinnamon. All the flavors are very well proportioned and nothing is overpowering. The cookies are delightful straight out of the oven and are soft and chewy.

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After they cooled on the cooling rack, I put the ones I was bringing to the office into a GladWare container and those ones seemed to get much more crunchy than the half dozen I left out. So I suppose, if you like soft cookies, don’t store these in an air tight container, just let them sit out. They should stay soft.  If you want crunchier cookies, store them in an airtight container. I’m sure there’s some science-y reason to this, but I don’t know it.

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Molasses Ginger Cookies

From Table for Two

Makes about 57 1 inch cookies.

 

  • 2¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup molasses

 

  1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together room temperature butter and dark brown sugar until it’s light and fluffy. Add in egg. Once the egg is fully mixed in add in the molasses. Mix until combined.
  3. While the mixer is creaming the butter and brown sugar, sift together the flour, baking power, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves. [Since I don’t have an actual sifter and I use the Target Brand of strainer I kind do a 1/4 cup of flour, baking soda, and salt. Then a 1/4 cup of flour with the spices. And then just sift the rest of the flour]
  4. Using a 1 inch scooper dish out cookie dough on to the parchment covered cookie sheet. Press down gently on the tops of the balls to flatten.
  5. Bake for 12-14 minutes depending on the level of crunchy you desire. Let cool on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before moving to cooling rack.

 

SRC: Zucchini Bread

I feel like everyone has a favorite, go-to, recipe for things like zucchini and banana bread…except me.  I always have to go searching for a recipe every time I want to make either of those quick breads. Even when I do have a favorite recipe for something, I’m a sucker for anyone’s family recipe so while I was browsing Jenni’s blog The Gingered Whisk for my Secret Recipe Club assignment I saw that this recipe came from her Grandmother and I was sold.

The bread was delightful; crunchy top,  very moist and tender insides. I forgot the nuts in half of them and then remembered to add them before the next batch went into the oven and I think the nuts really added flavor to the bread.

Instead of making loaves, I made them into muffins. I like muffins better because they’re much more portable and easier to transport. Also, when I bring them into work people can just grab one and wander away rather than having to slice the bread.

So if you have an abundance of zucchini coming out of your garden, or your neighbor is leaving bushels of them on your doorstep, or you’re just a sucker for zucchini bread try out this version. You won’t be disappointed, because Grandmother’s always have the best recipes :).

The recipe was quick and easy, especially if you use a food processor to shred the zucchinis. One batch will yield about a dozen muffins and you only need 1-2 medium zucchinis to get two shredded cups.

Zucchini Bread

From The Gingered Whisk

Makes 1 loaf or 12 muffins

Zucchini Bread

3 whole eggs
2 cups sugar
½ cup veggie oil
½ cup applesauce
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup chopped walnut

 

Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake/muffin tin with liners.

In a large bowl beat eggs until frothy. Add in sugar, oil, applesauce, and vanilla and mix until everything is combined.

Then mix in zucchini, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Fold in walnuts.

Evenly fill cupcake/muffin tin to just about full and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of each muffin.



SRC: Homemade Palmiers

Secret Recipe Club

For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, which is like a monthly secret Santa blog hop, I was assigned More than an Occasional Baker by Ros from England (Hi! I’m going to be visiting Britain in the fall! Suuuper excited!) I knew once I saw homemade Elephant Ears I had to make them.

My office this morning is going to alternatively love me for bringing in free cookies and hate me for bringing in cookies.

My mother, on the other hand, is probably going to send me a strongly worded email after she reads this post. You see, Palmiers, or Elephant Ears as I grew up calling them, are probably one of my mother’s favorite cookies. And I was supposed to go home this weekend to watch the Olympics since I don’t own a tv. Even though she didn’t know then I was going to make these cookies…she does now and I’m fairly certain that she’s going to be miffed about missing out.

Why didn’t I go home this weekend you ask?

Better plans with friends in Sacramento, perhaps?

Nope. I got lazy half way through packing and decided to go shopping. Which leads me to hating Target. I go in to Target for a $10 plastic bowl and leave $63 later. Stupid Target. They should employ an anti-personal shopper whose sole job is for me to tell them what I’m there to buy and then not allow me to buy anything else. Forcibly if needed.

Anyway, back to cookies. These were SUPER quick to make. Seriously. The longest part was allowing the cookies to chill after rolling. I totally used store bought pastry dough though. I was just too lazy this weekend to make my own. If you want to go the store bought route, find a brand of puff pastry that uses only butter! It’s soooo much better! I used Dufour which can be found at Whole Foods, and I’m sure at restaurant supply stores. There’s only one sheet of puff pastry per box though – so plan accordingly!

I got about 30 Ears out of one box and boy are they delicious and bake quickly! They only need 10-15 minutes in a 400 degree oven and they burn quickly. Although those are still delicious. I may have burnt the last batch of 6….and may or may not eaten them all…someone had to right?

The cookies are overly simple to make and like Ros, I also did a cinnamon sugar version of them. I was kinda hoping they’d taste like baked churros but no dice. Oh well. Disneyland will still have to be my churro dealer.

I’m seriously going to have to keep a box or two of puff pastry in my freezer now to make these up for when I go to party or bbq and don’t have time to make anything involved! I wonder if you could make these up and then pop them back in the freezer and then just bake them as you need them?

These were so much better than store bought Elephant Ears, I think I’d rather make them then buy them in the future! Go, try them! You won’t be disappointed! Thank you Ros for the recipe!

Homemade Palmiers (Elephant Ears)

From More than an Occasional Baker

1 box all butter store bought puff pastry, thawed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Mix together sugar and cinnamon.

Sprinkle half the cinnamon sugar onto a clean work surface. Unfold the puff pastry and roll out to about 8 (or 10)x12. So a little bit larger than a piece of paper. If you’re using Dufour, your puff pastry is just about this size. It only needs a little bit of rolling.

Once the puff pastry is rolled, sprinkle the other half of the cinnamon sugar onto the puff pastry. Starting at the longest edge, roll towards the middle. Once you hit the center point stop rolling. Repeat this process for the other edge. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for about an hour or until the puff pastry is chilled.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prep your cookie sheet: silicon mat, parchment paper, or greased and floured. Slice the now chilled puff pastry into half inch slices. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Check after 10 minutes every minute or so! The go from delicious to burnt in a blink of an eye! The bottoms should be golden brown.

If you greased your pan remove your cookies immediately from the pan and place on cooling rack. If you’re using parchment paper or a silicon mat, you can let them cool on the pan.