Homemade Holidays #3: Triple-Ginger-Bread Cookies

Here is the second cookies recipe from last year to make it into the baking spree this year.  These soft, gingerbread cookies were an absolute fluke.  But a glorious fluke, for sure.  They are the ones that M requested specifically, a slightly cake-y cookie that is (again) not-too-sweet, even with the frosting.  The frosting adds just enough sugar and moisture to these cookies, but feel free to try them without it if you feel so inclined.  I also tried to save time and not roll these cookies in loose sugar before baking, but they look much more unfinished without the hint of sparkle from the coating.

The dough for these cookies doesn’t look “right”.  It seems too sticky, to loose.  But trust me, it’ll be okay.  Cover the top with saran wrap and leave the dough overnight in fridge.  After a night of chilling, it will be much easier to work with and will come together just fine.  Believe in the dough!

Gingerbread Cookies

  • 2  1/4 c.  White Rice Flour
  • 1  1/2 c.Tapioca Starch
  • 2  tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground (dry) ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 sticks of butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 1/2 c. molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, finely minced.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c. crystallized ginger, finely chopped

Whisk together all dry ingredients in medium bowl.  Cream butter and sugar in large bowl.  Add molasses, then fresh ginger, then eggs, one at a time; taking the time to fully incorporate each addition. Slowly add in dry ingredient mix, again, taking time to fully incorporate each portion of dry ingredients.  Fold in crystallized ginger.  Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Roll dough into 1″- 2″ balls and roll in loose granulated sugar until completely coated.  Press onto cookie sheet with palm to flatten slightly.  Bake for 12-14 minutes, until cookies are turning golden and tops are cracking.  Remove from oven and use the bottom of a solid spatula to re-flatten to about 1/2 inch thickness.  Allow to cool for five minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

Mix 1/2 c. powdered sugar with 2-4 Tbsp milk and 1 tsp vanilla extract to make frosting.  The frosting should be soft enough to puddle after it is spread on top of the cooled cookies, but thick enough not to drip down the edges.  It should dry stiff, but not too hard, on top of the cookies.

Makes 2-3 dozen, depending on size of cookies.

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Homemade Holidays #2: Spicy Almond Slices

Somewhere in the midst of the madness that is my life at the holidays (Children’s holiday shows are a serious business), I had an evening of utter abandon and made six dozen cookies.  Should I really  be so surprised, after last year?  Anyways, I did, thankfully, make all of these sweets before my 8-performances-in-48-hours-weekend that brought on a nasty virus.  I’m still trying to shake this sickness and trying to churn out all of my holiday posts and recipes within the next couple of days, because M and I are leaving for the UK on Sunday!  AH!

Confession: I haven’t packed at all.  I do have a list of what needs to be packed…that is a step in the right direction, isn’t it?  Packing for a wedding/meeting the entire family/traveling all up and down the country is hard enough, but when it has to be done with bulky, warm winter clothes, it is even worse.  I’m hoping I can stay under 51 lbs for my one free checked bag!  Hahaha.  (But seriously, I’m taking 5 pairs of shoes!  While I have a lot at home, I have never been a crazy packer… until now, I suppose).  Sometime (probably Friday) I will force myself to sit down, sort things out and pack away, but, in the meantime, I can procrastinate by sharing my Christmas recipes with you, right!

These Spicy Almond Slices were posted with last year’s batch of Christmas cookies, but as one of the two repeat recipes who made the cut in this year’s mad-dash baking spree, I thought they deserved they’re own post with pictures.  These cookies are a wonderful break from the normal deluge of Christmas cookies: crisp, crunchy, and not-too-sweet.  They are also the perfect icebox cookie.  Simply double-wrap after forming the unbaked dough into a log and store in your freezer for up to six months.  I bake them straight from frozen (you may have to add a minute or two to the baking time, keep an eye on them).  Though it does seem like a lot of spices (well, the normal amount to me, which can seem a little extreme), the cinnamon and nutmeg and clove come through as a warm undertones, supporting the nuttiness of the double almond flavor.  And, as a special bonus, this recipe is pretty easy to halve or to double!

Spicy Almond Slice Cookies

I used almond flour in these cookies to up the nut flavor.  You can replace the almond flour with an additional 3/4 c. + 1 Tbsp of the GF Flour blend.

  • 1 c. (112 g.) almond flour
  • 1 1/2 c + 1 Tsbp White Rice Flour
  • 1 c. Tapioca Flour
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 c. butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 2 c. sliced almonds.

In  medium bowl, whisk almond flour with GF flour blend.  In large bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, vanilla, nutmeg, salt, eggs, and 2 cups of flour mix until well-mixed.  With wooden spoon, stir in remaining 1 1/2 (+ 1 Tsbp) flour and sliced almonds.  Dough will be very stiff, use hands to mix if necessary.

Divide dough in half.  Shape each half into 10″x3″x1″ log, wrap each in wax paper or plastic wrap.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 1 week.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cut brick into 1/4″ slices.  Place slices 2″ apart on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes until browned around edges.  Cool on wire rack.  Store tightly covered.

Makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies.