Tag Archives: ginger

Sugar and Spice Cookies

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Today is a special day… Why? Because today we are having a baby shower for Jamie from My Baking Addiction!

I’ve “known” Jamie for quite a while… I think I probably knew her before she knew me. You see, she is a far more fabulous blogger than I am… She is the authority on all things baking, and I have been reading her site for forever. And, her photographs? They are absolutely gorgeous.

I had the pleasure of meeting Jamie in person at the Big Summer Potluck a few years back. And, as it turns out (and as I always suspected), she is even sweeter and fabulous in person.  She was kind enough to keep me company and hang out with me even though I was rather pregnant and rather cranky. I sincerely hope our paths cross again soon so that we can catch up!

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In addition to a love for all things baking, Jamie and I have something else in common… Our blog names are somewhat similar. We both get the same crazy pitches for TV shows about people who eat laundry detergent and other strange things and emails about rehab facilities. And, on occasion, there are people who think that I am Jamie… I always consider it a huge honor. And, then I promptly correct them and send them on their way to one of Jamie’s fabulous recipes!

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When I started thinking of what to bake for Jamie’s baby shower, the popular rhyme came to mind… “What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice, And everything nice. That’s what little girls are made of.”  Sounds like the start of a lovely recipe, doesn’t it?

I’m hoping Jamie will enjoy these sugar and spice sugar cookies (they’ll be arriving on her doorstep in a day or two!)… I’ve added just a bit of spice to a traditional sugar cookie.  Instead of just using granulated sugar, I’ve also added some brown sugar since I love how the caramel and molasses-y flavor pairs with the warm spices.

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I chose to decorate the cookies for Jamie, but you could also just slather them with a bit of buttercream and sprinkle them with some spiced sugar.  They’d also make an adorable cookie sandwich, too.

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My inspiration for these cookies actually came from a pair of Maddie’s pajamas.  She has a cozy pair of cream colored flannel PJs with a cute pink and brown leopard print pattern.  I decided to try my hand at the leopard print (every little lady needs some leopard print in her life, right?) and then use that color scheme to decorate the rest of the cookies.

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Want to see what other bloggers are baking up for Jamie and her sweet little girl? Don’t miss these great recipes!

Amber from Bluebonnets & Brownies | Lemon Strawberry Cupcakes
Julie from The Little Kitchen | Pistachio Pudding Cupcakes
Shaina from Food for My Family | Vanilla Raspberry Mini Meringue Kisses
Glory from Glorious Treats | Modern decorated cookies
Cheryl from TidyMom | Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Buttercream
Katie from Good Life {Eats} | Raspberry Hibiscus Soda
Aimee from SimpleBites | How to freeze a big batch of homemade waffles
Amanda from I am Baker | Heath Bar Cake
Steph from Steph Chows | PB Oatmeal cookies
Allison from Some the Wiser | Raspberry Chocolate Chip Muffins
Megan from Stetted | Strawberry Jalapeno Palmiers
Shelly from Cookies & Cups | Bacon Cheddar Scones
Emily from Jelly Toast | Meyer Lemon Scones
Kristan from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen | Samoa Layer Cake

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Sugar and Spice Cookies
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground ceylon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Royal icing or frosting of your choice

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Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line your baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom in a small mixing bowl.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar.  Beat on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise.  Scrape the seeds out and add them to the creamed mixture.  Add the egg and vanilla extract and then continue to beat on medium speed for an additional 1 – 2 minutes, until the egg is well incorporated.

While mixing on the lowest setting, gradually add the flour mixture.  Mix just until the flour is incorporated. Gather up the dough and divide it into two sections.  Roll each portion of dough out to 1/4-inch thickness.  Use a cookie cutter to cut cookies out of the dough and transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheet. Gather any scraps and re-roll the dough as necessary.

Bake the cookies for about 14 minutes, until the edges are just starting to turn a golden brown.  Cool the cookies on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting or decorating.

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Spiced Banana Muffins (Munching with Maddie)

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I may still be writing 2013 whenever I write (or type) the date, but the new year is here… I can never decide if I love or hate this time of year.

I love the holidays, and I am always slightly sad that the holiday season is over.  But, in many ways, I really love the “slow stretch” that starts in January.  Taking down the Christmas decorations is bittersweet. While I do love the twinkling lights, I also love the fresh, clean, de-cluttered house that is left once the decorations are packed away.

I feel the same way about resolutions. Part of me can relate to the desire for a fresh start.  The coming of a new year is a great time to reflect on the past year and set goals for the coming year. At the same time, it can become a time for great extremes and unreasonable expectations.

I tend not to set resolutions each year.  Instead, I try to approach each month, week, and day with the same fresh start that comes with the new year. Instead of a December full of nothing but fudge, cakes, and cookies followed up with a January of smoothies and salads, I try to approach the entire year with an attitude of moderation. There is no reason to wait for a particular date on the calendar to start over or make a change. Sure, there are some days (and probably more of them in December than other months) where I may overindulge in sweets and treats. I’m not perfect. But, I try to balance those days out with days where I enjoy lighter foods.

I don’t really keep score, and I’m certainly not scientific about it. Perhaps the numbers on the scale would be a bit lower if I was. But, it just doesn’t fit my personality or lifestyle these days.  The honest truth is that I’m a mom with a toddler who does her best, regardless of what month it is. Sure, I could probably stand to lose a few more of those “baby pounds” but it’s not my daily focus.Continue Reading

Gingerbread Granola with Cranberries and Pumpkin Seeds

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Most years I try to hold off on getting into a holiday mood until after Thanksgiving… I usually have a very strict “no Christmas music until after Thanksgiving” policy. The Christmas season would start with going shopping with my mom on Black Friday. The house wouldn’t get decorated until later that weekend, or sometimes even the following week.

For some reason, this year I have been ready to get into the Christmas mood a bit early… While we haven’t decorated the house yet (and we won’t until the weekend after Thanksgiving), I confess that I did give in to listening to some Christmas music. I’ve also started playing around with some holiday-inspired flavors in the kitchen.

When it comes to Christmas baking, gingerbread cookies are at the top of my list. I just love the flavor of the dark molasses and the way the warm aroma of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves fills the house while the cookies bake.

Unfortunately, it’s a bit early to get started on the Christmas cookies… I suppose I could freeze some, but I know I would just end up eating them instead.  And, let’s be honest… My waistline can’t handle a whole month of eating Christmas cookies. So, on a whim, I decided to take the flavors of gingerbread and bake them into granola. It was a very successful experiment!

I cannot get enough of the granola… It really does taste like a cookie (though, maybe not quite as sweet), but it’s a whole lot more nutritious.  And, I can eat it for breakfast without feeling any guilt! I eat it plain by the handful, but it’s also quite good on top of some plain yogurt.  I will probably continue to make it all year round to get my gingerbread fix… And, there’s a good chance that some of my friends and family will be receiving some as a Christmas gift this year, too!Continue Reading

Spiced Pumpkin Yeast Bread

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Red Star Yeast.  As always, all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Ahhh, fall…. It’s my favorite time of year! I could wax philosphical about pumpkins, changing leaves, and crisp air. But, one of the things I love most about the fall is that it’s baking season again! Sure, I still do some baking during the summer, but there’s nothing quite like preheating the oven on a chilly fall morning.

When I think of fall baking, the first thing that comes to mind is pumpkin. Pumpkin bread is one of my all-time favorites. I make a giant batch of pumpkin puree as soon as I find pumpkins at the farmers market. After that, pumpkin bread shows upon the menu at our house every week or so.

Most typical pumpkin breads are quick breads (i.e. not made with yeast), but in the last few years, I have fallen in love with pumpkin yeast breads.  The Pumpkin Pull-Apart Pan Rolls I shared two years ago have become one of my favorites. So, when I was perusing the recipes on the Red Star Yeast website, their Spiced Pumpkin Bread caught my eye. I loved the idea of a not-too-sweet pumpkin yeast bread!Continue Reading

Ginger Mint Syrup

I know gin and tonics are all the rage right now… Seriously, all the cool kids are doing it. And, I want to like them. But, I’m really just not into gin. Or tonic.

Sadly, I don’t think I’ll be sitting at the popular table in the cafeteria any time soon… Though, I’m hoping I can bribe my way in with some of this ginger mint syrup.

I’ve always been a fan of mojitos. My taste for alcohol bloomed a while after I was in college (yes, I know… I’m not helping my reputation any by telling you this), and one of the things that won me over was a frozen mojito. Since then, I have become a fan of cocktails (as long as they aren’t too sweet…), especially those made with rum, vodka, and tequila. In that order.Continue Reading