Gingerbread Cookies

Nothing says winter more than candy canes, gingerbread and if you live in NYC, the appearance of the Union Square holiday market. The flavors of winter are definitely some of my favorite. Nothing makes me feel cozier than a mug of freshly made hot chocolate (possibly spiked with some bailey’s) and a fresh gingerbread cookie right out of the oven. What makes it even better? Watching the snow fall as I cuddle up with my treats. What else do I like in the winter? Ice skating, christmas songs, starbucks holiday drinks, and of course making sure all my friends know how much I love them through my food and gifts. So, without further ado, let’s kick off the holiday season with one of my favorites! Gingerbread Cookies!

Ingredients:

-1 1/2 cups of AP flour
-3/4 cup of firmly packed dark brown sugar
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-1/2 cup of unsalted butter
-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1 1/2 tablespoon milk
-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
-1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
-1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F or 190 C.
  2.  Mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt in a medium mixing bowl
  3. Mix together the brown sugar and the butter until well blended (Use a large mixing bowl). Add the milk and mix until blended. Gradually add in the flour. When the dough starts to come together, use your hands to mix until the dough is smooth and well blended.
  4. Roll out the dough (about 1/4 inch thick) and using a cookie cutter (or a knife when you want to make your own shapes). Lay them on a well greased baking sheet and bake until the cookies are lightly browned (about 10 minutes). Let the cookies cool for two minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.
  5. While the cookies cool, make the decorating icing. I made royal icing, which simply calls for powdered sugar and one egg white. Beat the egg white until it forms soft peaks and then gradually add in sifted powdered sugar (you don’t have to sift it, but I find that the icing comes our smoother if you sift it).
  6. Add some color to your icing and decorate the cookies.

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

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Pumpkin Pie

So two sundays ago, my friends and I celebrated Thanksgiving a bit early. It was a potluck style Thanksgiving dinner, so every one was in charge of something. I decided to make pumpkin pie, an apple tart and some whipped cream to go with it. It was my first pie, so I was a little nervous. I got the pumpkin pie recipe from this iphone app called Food52. It’s called Meta Given’s Pumpkin Pie, but you know me, I had to add some other spices and such. I also made the pie crust from scratch using Sweet Pea’s recipe. I’m a huge fan of pumpkin pie even though I never really eat a lot of it. Being Japanese and living in Japan all my life, my family didn’t really celebrate Thanksgiving, which makes sense. I just know about it because I went to an American School and I currently attend NYU. Anyway, I hope everyone enjoys my pies and I really hope that my first ever pumpkin pie tastes delicious!

Now let’s get started!

Ingredients:

Pie Crust:
-1 1/4 cups unbleached AP flour
-1 tbsp sugar
-1/4 tbsp salt
-8 tbsp (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
-3 tbsp very cold water
Filling:
-1 3/4 cups canned or fresh cooked pumpkin puree
-3/4 cup sugar
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp ginger
– 1/2 tsp allspice
-1/2 tsp nutmeg
-2 eggs
-1 cup cream
-1/2 cup milk

Directions:

  1. Prepare the pie dough: mix the flour, sugar and salt. Add in the butter and cut them with a pastry cutter or a fork until the butter chunks are about the size of peas. Add the water and mix until the dough comes together. Roll out the dough until it’s slightly bigger than your pie pan and gently transfer it into the pan. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Heat the pumpkin in a saucepan for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add in the sugar, salt and spices and remove the pumpkin from the heat.
  4. Beat in the eggs, milk and cream. Beat until smooth
  5. Pour into the prepared pie crust (unbaked and unpricked) and  bake for 25 to 30 minutes. It may take a little longer, in that case, bake until the crust is golden and only an inch circle in the center of the pie is liquid.
  6. Let it cool, top with fresh whipped cream and serve!

Hugs and Puppies!

Mimi

P.s I’m sorry there aren’t photos, we ate them before we could take a photo 😦

Long time no see :)

Sorry that I haven’t been updating as frequently as the summer. Unfortunately being a college student means most of your time is spent studying or running activities and little of it goes to relaxing. Hurricane Sandy didn’t really make things so easy especially since it pushed a paper back to the same week as my bio midterm as well as added a lot of  catch up work to my already big list of things to do.

 

On the bright side, it’s Thanksgiving next week, so I’ll hopefully have more time to relax and bake 🙂 I’ve already got a big list of things to bake which includes french macarons, pumpkin pie, apple tart (different from last time) and with the holidays coming up (I bought a Food Network magazine based on Holiday cookies! Ohhh man, there are TOO many recipes I want to try) as well as all my other recipes that I’ve been dying to try. So hopefully I can make a pretty size-able dent in this list of things to bake and have a bunch of posts for you 🙂

 

Stay tuned!