Tag Archives: christmas

Chocolate Dipped Double Ginger Cookies

18 Feb

Happy President’s Day and Valentine’s Day weekend! The past few days we have had a bit of a thaw here…if you can call 30 degrees a thaw ­čÖé but unfortunately it sounds like we are in for another cold snap the rest of the week. There is not much to do other than stay inside and make the best of it when it’s practically below zero out. Just another excuse to make something sweet and indulge.

Double Ginger Cookies 1

If you like ginger cookies these are positively addicting! The dark chocolate compliments the crystalized ginger perfectly and they stay chewy long after they come out of the oven. I start making these around the holidays and usually don’t stop until the spring. They are a versatile cookie recipe that is sure to please. In December alone I made four batches of them for various get togethers and gifts. These are a fantastic sweet treat to enjoy while waiting for the weather to warm up.

Double Ginger Cookies 2

Chocolate Dipped Double Ginger Cookies (adapted from a William Sonoma recipe)

Makes 3-4 dozen

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 – 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hr. 15 min.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ┬Ż cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ┬Ż tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ┬Ż tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ┬╝ tsp. ground cloves
  • ┬╝ tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark molasses
  • 1 whole extra-large egg, lightly beaten, plus 1 egg white
  • ┬Ż┬á – ┬ż cup chopped crystallized ginger
  • ┬Ż cup coarse sugar crystals
  • 1 bag of dark chocolate baking chips (I used Ghirardelli 60% cocoa)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325┬░F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.

Over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Set aside. (Not imperative that the dry ingredients are sifted)

In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, stir together the oil, brown sugar and molasses until well blended. Add the whole egg and stir until blended. Stir in the flour mixture and the crystallized ginger.

In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg white (you may need more than one egg white). Spread the sugar crystals in a shallow bowl.

With dampened hands, shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Brush each ball lightly with egg white and roll in the sugar to coat. Place the cookies about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake until the tops of the cookies are set and crackled, 15 to 18 minutes.

*NOTE* I check them at 12 min and go from there. I like them chewy as opposed to crispy so I usually take them out a little before 15 minutes is up.

Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely. The cookies will firm up slightly as they cool.

While the cookies are baking (and then cooling) melt 1 package of dark chocolate baking chips in a double boiler. When fully melted, remove from heat. After cookies have cooled, dip half of each ginger snap in the melted chocolate and place on wax paper to allow chocolate to set. They will set quicker if you put them in the fridge. Makes about 3-4 dozen cookies.

Make-Ahead Tip: These cookies keep well. Store between layers of waxed paper in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

Gl├╝hwein

31 Dec

The holidays are such a wonderful time to spend time with family and friends keeping up old traditions or making new ones. As you might suspect most of my family traditions revolve around food or a special drink of some sort. For us the holiday gatherings start in November with a few Thanksgiving dinners and then onwards into December with holiday parties, Christmas & Christmas Eve dinners and then comes to an end with Epiphany dinner on January 6th.

Gl├╝whein 1

This holiday season I decided to try my hand at mulled wine since last year at this time my family and I were lucky enough to be traveling in Germany and Austria. My sister and I traveled together before we met up with our parents in Munich and stayed with a good friend of mine and her husband in Ingolstadt (45 minutes outside of Munich) where we got to experience the German Christmas Markets for the first time. They were so wonderful! Filled with beautiful decorations, huge Christmas tress, unique gifts, awesome German food and mulled wine: Gl├╝hwein! This was my first encounter with Gl├╝hwein and I loved it! To me it was Christmas in a mug…red wine, cinnamon, cloves, all spice, oranges. YUM ­čÖé Every Christmas Market had its own version of Gl├╝hwein and it was fun to try them all as we visited Ingolstadt, Munich and Salzburg. To me, Gl├╝hwein became the drink of the season.

Gl├╝hwein 2

The recipe below takes me back to the Christmas markets and beautiful snowy landscape with each sip. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do and Happy New Year’s Eve!!

Makes about 3 liters and serves 10 – 12

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 4 hours & 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 box of red wine or the equivalent to about 3 liters (I used Black Box Merlot which worked great. I would stick to a Merlot, Syrah or Spanish Garnacha – advice thanks to Amus├ęe)
  • 3 – 4 four fresh oranges
  • 1 tbls allspice (NOT ground)
  • 1 tbls cloves
  • 1 tbls cassia buds (cinnamon buds) or four cinnamon sticks
  • 1 – 2 tbls sugar (the worse the wine the more sugar you will have to add)

Directions

Pour wine into a slow cooker or very large heavy bottomed stock pot. Start to warm the wine. DO NOT BOIL. Add the slices of one orange and the freshly squeezed juice of two. Place the allspice, cloves and cassis buds or cinnamon sticks in a cheese cloth and tie into a small bag. Drop that into the wine. Let the wine warm for at least 2-4 hours before serving so the flavors come together.

Before serving take the cheese cloth with the spices out, add the sugar and stir to dissolve. If necessary add juice from the last orange as well.

Serve warm in fun holiday mugs.

Enjoy!