Gingerbread

There’s nothing like the smell of gingerbread. Yesterday one of my friends came home to the  scent of gingerbread baking and posted a thank you note to her husband on facebook. I thought that was so cute! It really does welcome you in.  We love to make gingerbread in our house and my oldest daughter has taken our gingerbread recipe to new heights.

Here she is baking a batch last Christmas.

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These days she uses a very simple confectioners sugar and water icing and pipes designs on each cookie. If we make them this weekend I’ll try to share some photos. They are simple and delicious!

Here they are a few years ago with lots and lots of buttercream frosting…the younger the kids the more frosting and sprinkles.

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This is last weekend’s creation….

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Piping is big right now, Buddy Valestro does lots of this…
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We love this gingerbread!  Here’s the recipe:

Gingerbread Boys

4 Cups flour

1 Teaspoon ginger

1 Teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 Teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 Teaspoon allspice

1 Cup molasses (or 1/2 cup molasses and 1/2 cup honey, that’s my preference)

1 Cup sugar

1 Cup margarine, softened (we often substitute butter)

2/3 Cup boiling water

1 Teaspoon cream of tarter

1 Tablespoon baking soda

1/2 Teaspoon salt

1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift the flour with the spices, set aside. Blend the molasses, sugar and margarine in a large bowl. Add the boiling water, cream of tarter, baking soda, salt and vanilla.

Add the flour mixture gradually, mixing well after each addition. Add enough additional flour to make a soft dough. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for 8 to 12 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut with a cookie cutter. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until lightly browned; do not overbake.

Remove carefully from the cookie sheet and place on a wire rack to cool.

Combine powdered (confectioners) sugar with a few drops of water to make icing. Then use a plastic bag with a pinhole to pipe decorations if you’d like to. Or eat without icing, or you can go crazy like my younger kids did in the photo above and embellish away!

Enjoy Everything!

Michele

Pineapple Zucchini Bread

I know that there are lots of zucchini recipes out there this week but you really must try this delicious bread. I got this recipe at a Bed and Breakfast called the Ferry Point House while on my honeymoon in New Hampshire  almost 23 years ago. The pineapple makes it so moist and delicious. You can add a cup of chopped walnuts if you’d like to.

Ferry Point House Pineapple Zucchini Bread

3 cups of flour

2 teaspoons of baking soda

½ teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt

1 ½ teaspoon of cinnamon

¼ teaspoon of nutmeg

1 cup of salad oil

3 large eggs

2 cups of sugar

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

2 cups of unpaired, shredded zucchini

1 can (8 1/4 oz) of crushed pineapple, drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and put to the side. Beat eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla until thick and foamy. Stir in zucchini, pineapple and then the flour mixture. Pour into two greased loan pans. Bake at 350 for one hour or until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in pan for ten minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to finish cooling. Enjoy!

I have to write a quick disclaimer about this photo, the “ghost” in the top left corner is not in the original. I can’t figure out how it got there but my little guy loved it and said “you have to post it like that”.. so, here it is. I think it’s kind of amusing. Let me know if it’s something that can be fixed. Maybe it’s the ghost of WordPress?

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day!

Michele

Another Great DC Stop–Georgetown Cupcake!

We visited lots of great museums, monuments and places of historical importance on our trip to Washington DC a few weeks ago. At the end of the day, after seeing all of those amazing places, it was all about the cupcakes for us!  As I mentioned in yesterday’s post it was really, really hot. 108 degrees is hot!  In spite of this, we still found some energy to check out the Georgetown Cupcake shop, home of the hit TLC show DC Cupcake.   As we left the National Mall and drove a mile west the temperature went down eight degrees according to our car thermometer. Suddenly 100 degrees felt like air conditioning! We thought we could do anything! So we found a parking spot right on the Potomac River and took a hike up the hill to find the famous cupcake shop.

It looked just like it does on the TV show. The man in blue is a security guard and I suspect that he would have been very busy if it had been a little cooler.

 
My gang was ready to check things out!

Here’s a view of the inside… many, many boxes and many, many cupcakes! It seemed like a pretty tight space. We wondered if there was a larger kitchen/baking area to the right…


This young man was very patient with us.  It took us awhile to order.

I think that’s because these were the choices. It was just a little bit difficult for anyone to make a decision.

Here’s what we came home with. Yes, there are six cupcakes for seven people. That’s because our oldest daughter is severely allergic to nuts so she had to pass on the cupcake.  She’s a huge fan of the show and was okay with visiting and getting a t-shirt instead of a cupcake.  She loves to bake and uses the recipes from their cookbook all the time.


We did make it back to the hotel eventually and  had a cupcake feast (and a nap if needed)!

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever!!

I’ve been making these chocolate chip cookies for many years and I have to say they really are delicious! Their also extremely easy, no mixer or sifting needed. You can make them anywhere. We often double this since there are so many of us and they go fast.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 ½ Sticks of Butter (melted)

1 Cup of Brown Sugar

½ Cup of Granulated Sugar

1 Egg + 1 Egg Yolk

2 Teaspoons Vanilla

2 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Flour

½ Teaspoon Salt

½ Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 or 2 Cups Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients and put to side.  Melt Butter in large bowl then stir in sugars, eggs and vanilla by hand.  Add dry ingredients mixing until just blended.  Do not overmix! Stir in chips.

Gently form into balls (you can make small, kid sized cookies, or the larger Dunkin Donuts size if you’d like) and place on baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.

Enjoy!!