Saturday, December 20, 2014

Gingerbread Boy Cookie Recipe

Finished product, hanging from the Christmas tree

Hi friends!  Good to be back! When I had left Blogplanet, it was to take a break while family were here. In the next few days I'll be posting more photos of our time together (quit complaining and indulge me). ;-) For now, I'm giving you my favorite gingerbread boy cookie recipe. Then I'm going to put in a 'Touch of Frost' DVD and take a nap.

Cookie slaves
(daughter and SIL) pressing out some Spritz cookies
Note the backup Walker Shortbread on the counter.

My favorite kitchen appliance,
blood red KitchenAid mixer
(the color in the photo turned out a bit too orange)


Gingerbread boys (and others)
Ready to eat
Also, my mom's vintage cookie cutters
that work so much better than plastic ones.

7 (yes SEVEN) hours later, the cookie harvest


Gingerbread Boys Recipe:

This makes a double batch. We put half the dough into the freezer to use later. (Minnesota grandsons, please remind me when you're here!)

1 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
1 c. dark molasses
1/2 c. water
6 c. flour
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. soda
1 1/2 t. ginger
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. allspice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In electric mixer bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Stir in molasses and water.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, soda, and spices. Gradually add them to the mixer bowl while the mixer is running. Do this on a relatively slow speed so you don't burn out the motor, and so that you don't end up with flour flying everywhere.

Roll dough out 1/8" thick (or a tad thicker) on a floured countertop. Cut out cookie shapes with cookie cutters. Use a drinking straw to make the hole in the top if you want to hang them on the tree.

Place raw cookies on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with a non-stick baking spray. You can put them pretty close together.

Place baking sheet of cookies into the oven on medium rack.

Bake 12 minutes at 325 degrees. Take from oven and let cool on baking sheet before removing.

Note:  This makes a hard, crisp cookie (which I prefer). If you want a soft gingerbread cookie, roll them out 1/4" thick and bake them at 375 degrees F. for 8 minutes. Soft gingerbread cookies do not work as ornaments.

Note 2:  If you have a dog, place these cookie ornaments high up on the tree so your dog doesn't get them and choke on the ornament hanger. If you have a cat, all bets are off.

Cookie? Did you say cookie??




***
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Although I usually forget to do it, there is a chance that this post will be linked to one or more of these great linky parties:  Amaze Me Monday and Inspiration Monday and Mosaic Monday and The Barn Collective and    Treasure Box Tuesday and Vintage Bliss Tuesday and KatheWithAnE and Rubbish Tuesday and Our World Tuesday and Tuesdays at our Home and Tuesday with a Twist and  Knick of Time Tuesday (vintage)  and   Tweak it Tuesday and Vintage Inspiration Wednesday and Ivy and Elephants Wednesday and Adorned From Above  and Artsy Corner Thursday and  All Things With Purpose and Home & Garden Thursday and Good Fences on Thursdays and  Time Travel Thursday and Freedom Fridays and Vintage Inspiration Friday and Saturday's Critters

Monday, December 15, 2014

Taking a Break


Good morning, friends. My visits, comments, and posts will likely be sporadic-to-nonexistent in the next few days. We picked up our Texas daughter and SIL at the airport yesterday and more family will be arriving tomorrow. Today is set aside for Christmas cookie baking. On Wednesday, family will be here, games will be played, too much food will be eaten, gifts will be given to the weeest ones, and I hope to get a few pics to share later.

Have a wonderful week.


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Sunday, December 14, 2014

O Come All Ye Faithful



Birth of Jesus Foretold

 "In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary.  And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.

"And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,  and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

"And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”



 "And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.  And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.  For nothing will be impossible with God.”   

"And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.  - Luke 1:26-38


Gabriel tells Mary:
from desiringgod.org
John Piper


"His name will be Jesus. In Hebrew: Joshua, which means Savior or Deliverer. Gabriel loves to highlight grace. Before he tells Mary of Christ's greatness and dignity and power, he tells her how he is going to use this greatness and dignity and power. He is going to use it as a Savior. So don't be afraid, Mary, your child will be your Savior. He will be Jesus.

He will be great. (v. 32). Jesus is great. He is very great.

 "A Christian who feels ashamed of Jesus 
is like a candle feeling ashamed of the sun."

A Christian who feels ashamed of Jesus Christ is like a candle feeling ashamed of the sun. Our Lord Jesus has been "appointed the heir of all things. Through him God created the world. He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe with the word of his power." 



***
 
God of God
Light of Light
Lo! He abhors not the virgin's womb;
Very God,
Begotten, not created...
 
Glory to God
In the Highest
 
O come let us adore Him!

***
 
 
Have a blessed Lord's Day!


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Friday, December 12, 2014

Florentines Christmas Cookie Recipe and a Christmas Cat


 Florentines, ready to serve

This is a repeat of a recipe I posted in December of 2011. These are crisp, light, and delicious, a good enough reason to repeat the recipe today.

***

I don't know why I'd never made these before. They're mostly almond, something I eat a lot! And then you add dark chocolate to the top. What a spectacular combination!


Florentines: Recipe
This recipe is from www.foodnetwork.com

5 oz. finely ground almonds (You can buy them that way, and they're a lot cheaper than whole or sliced almonds)
3 T. all-purpose flour
Finely grated zest of 1 orange (Appx. 2 T.)
1/4 t. fine salt
3/4 c. sugar
2 T. heavy cream (I used heavy whipping cream)
2 T. light corn syrup
5 T. butter
1/2 t. vanilla extract

Chocolate Topping, optional. (Optional??)
2-4 oz. semisweet chocolate (I used 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
I think that silicone baking mats work just as well.

Combine almonds, flour, zest and salt in a large bowl.

Put the sugar, cream, corn syrup, and butter in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally (I didn't take any chances. I stirred it constantly) until mixture comes to a rolling boil and sugar is completely dissolved. Continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour mixture into almond mixture and stir just to combine. Set aside until cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes.

Scoop rounded teaspoons (I made dough balls that were the size of shooter marbles and got a dozen balls on each large baking sheet. They will spread out, so leave plenty of space around each dough ball.)

Just out of the oven

I had a dozen cookies on each of two baking sheets. It worked well to place one on the middle shelf and one of the shelf above that. I baked them for 5 minutes, switched pans to the opposite oven racks, and baked another 6 minutes. I let them completely cool on the pans before spreading chocolate on top.

In a double boiler, melt the semi-sweet chocolate pieces. I couldn't manage to drizzle this, but spread a spoonful onto each cookie, then sprinkled additional ground almonds on top.

These cookies need to be chilled to help the chocolate set up. Then they're ready to serve or store. Right now, I have a box of them sitting outdoors on the deck where it's -5 degrees F. (That was in 2011. This weekend we're supposed to see temperatures in the mid to upper 40s!)


EASY and DELICIOUS
FLORENTINES

on one of my mom's Christmas plates. :-)

I think that another time I would try a little harder to get the chocolate thin enough to drizzle a zigzag pattern on the cookies, rather than have chocolate on the entire top. They would look prettier that way. So then we have to decide if we're going for pretty or for more chocolate. It's a tough one, isn't it.

One more thing:
Guess who came downstairs to check out the Christmas tree. Later, I found her lying under the tree next to the Santa Lucia doll. 


Tuppence - 
Snoopin' around the Christmas Tree

***

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Although I usually forget to do it, there is a chance that this post will be linked to one or more of these great linky parties:  Amaze Me Monday and Inspiration Monday and Mosaic Monday and The Barn Collective and    Treasure Box Tuesday and Vintage Bliss Tuesday and KatheWithAnE and Rubbish Tuesday and Our World Tuesday and Tuesdays at our Home and Tuesday with a Twist and  Knick of Time Tuesday (vintage)  and   Tweak it Tuesday and Vintage Inspiration Wednesday and Ivy and Elephants Wednesday and Adorned From Above  and Artsy Corner Thursday and  All Things With Purpose and Home & Garden Thursday and Good Fences on Thursdays and  Time Travel Thursday and Freedom Fridays and Vintage Inspiration Friday and Saturday's Critters

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