Tagged dessert

Gingerbread cookie recipe

Vintage Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

Make these gingerbread cookies a few days ahead then invite friends to a decorating party during the Christmas holiday. These spicy gingerbread cookies are a vintage 1970’s gingerbread cookie recipe my sister Alisa and I have been making since we were young teenagers. It’s a family tradition we would love to pass to you. These cookies taste great when they are fresh and soft and also age well. They make great shaped cookies, but because they rise a teeny bit they won’t work for a gingerbread house.

These cookies age very well, lasting for weeks if well wrapped.

Time:  To mix: approx 15 min. To roll out and cut: about 5-10 minutes per tray.
To cook: approx 10 – 13 minutes at 350 F

Tools: Large mixer or very strong arms, a whisk and stout spoon. Rolling pin,
Cookie sheets, Oven. Cookie cutters or a cup to create shaped cookies.

Yield: Depends on the size of your cutters. With 4”-5” tall gingerbread people cutters makes about 4 – 5 dozen.

Cookie Ingredients:
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 ¼ Cup dark molasses
3 large eggs
1 cup butter, softened
1 T. baking soda
1 t. sea salt
2 Tablespoons ground Ginger
½ Cup finely chopped dried crystallized ginger pieces (I put chunks in a blender with 1/4 C. flour and grind till  pieces are between the size of a rice grain and a petite green pea)
1 t. ground allspice
3 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground cloves
7 to 8 Cups approx. white unbleached flour

Mixing:
1.    In the mixing bowl combine butter and sugar until whipped.
2.    Add the molasses and eggs. Beat until smooth.
3.    Mix the dry ingredients together with 3 cups of the flour. Add to the wet mixture until mixed. Use a mixer on medium for 2 minutes or so.
4.    Add in flour a 1/2 cup at a time until the dough is stiff.
5.    This may become too much for your mixer and you’ll have to add the last cup by hand. Don’t add the last 1/2 cup if mixture feels dry.
6.    Dough is stiff. Use immediately, or wrap tightly and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Rolling and Baking:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 12 minutes
1.    Lightly flour your work surface and with a rolling pin roll a baseball-sized chunk of dough until it’s about 1/8” thick. Cut with cookie cutters or the rim of a cup dipped in flour.
2.    Spray pans with non-stick spray or smear them with a thin layer of butter
3.    With a pancake spatula put cookies on pan and cook.
4.    Re-roll scraps and cut more cookies while the others bake. Cool on wire racks.

Frosting:

With a mixer beat the following ingredients till stiff. Spread frosting across cool cookies with a knife. While it’s still wet add candy decorations to each cookie.

Ingredients:

4 C. confectioners sugar
3 large egg whites
¼ t. cream of tartar

Candy Decorations: Chocolate drops, colored sugars, raisins nuts, etc.

By Cristina Acosta ©2007 – 2015

Hot Mexican Chocolate Cookies

I  warn people about the chili pepper in these cookies before I serve them. Mostly because I hate watching people gag while eating something I cooked for them. If you decide to eliminate the cayenne in these cookies, they’ll still taste great, they just won’t be as “interesting”.
Inspired by the Mexican version of hot chocolate this recipe has a well rounded chocolate flavor with an after-bite of heat. These thin cookies are wonderful with ice cream or coffee or my Creamsicle Flan.

Tools: Mixer or by hand, oven

Yield: aprox. 4 doz. thin cookies

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup rounded unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1 rounded t. dry instant coffee granules
  • Optional:  >1 to 2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper (adjust for desired “hotness”). I use 1 teaspoon.
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • ½  cup (1 stick) real butter, softened to room temp. (Use a little extra butter if you prefer butter on your baking pan.)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2  eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour (rounded is OK) or slightly more*
  • ½   t. sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (180 Centigrade).  Butter or non-stick spray pans or put baking parchment on cookie sheets.
  2. In a mixer at medium speed; combine cocoa, cinnamon, coffee, ground peppers, butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Beat for approximately one minute or until mixture changes texture and appears “whipped”. No more than 3 minutes.
  3. Gently stir in flour and salt combination until fully integrated.  No more than 1 minute.  *If you want the cookie to be a bit higher, add approx. 1/3 cup more flour.
  4. Arrange by small teaspoonfuls on the cookie sheets and bake for 8-11 minutes.  If using the convection feature on your oven, bake for 8 minutes and check immediately.
  5. OPTIONAL: You can roll the small teaspoonfuls of dough in granulated sugar before putting them on the pan. The baked cookie will sparkle with the sugar granules (and you won’t drip powdered sugar on yourself when you eat them.)

Remove from cookie sheets immediately and cool on racks.

Decorating options:
•    Dredge in 1 cup powdered sugar  OR
•    Frost with Kahlua glaze – 1 cup powdered sugar with 2-3 T. Kahlua.  Mix well and drizzle on the cooled cookies.

by Cristina Acosta ©2005-2015

Creamsicle Orange Flan

Creamy orange custard with a caramel topping is my variation of the traditional flan.

Oranges are one of my favorite fruits and like the citrus flavors of lemon and lime, oranges are great with dense creamy dairy flavors. Read this recipe through before you make it, so you have an idea of what to expect. It’s not difficult, it just has some steps that can be intimidating the first time (like making the caramel).

Growing up in Southern California there was always someone we knew who had an orange tree growing in their yard. I remember traveling through Redlands along roads bordering orchards of orange trees in full blossom. The fragrance seemed to brighten every molecule of air. This flan tastes like the scent of orange blossoms early in morning when the air is fresh.

Tools:  1 ½ qt. saucepan. Ramekins – 4 soup (10 oz) size or 8 small (5 oz) dishes; OR a 9″ glass or ceramic pie pan; blender /Vitamix or food processor (or by hand with a whisk); stovetop; oven; large pan to hold water bath for ramekins or pie pan.

Time: About 15 minutes to assemble. 25-30 minutes to cook and 4 to 6 hours to cool. (Cool in refrigerator.)

Ingredients:

Caramel:

  • 3 T. water
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • Apx. 1 T of fresh orange zest*

Custard:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup orange juice concentrate (from the frozen cans)
  • 1 to 2 heaping T. of orange zest * (You’ll need 2 to 3 oranges to get enough zest for this recipe.)

Directions:
Caramel:

  1. Sprinkle orange zest on the bottom of each ramekin
  2. Combine sugar and water in saucepan.
  3. Over medium-high heat cook mixture, swirling occasionally until mixture is a clear, light to medium amber color.

Tips to Make Caramel:

  • Don’t stir it. When I stir it I more easily burn the mixture.
  • The mixture will go through stages of being foamy, then crusty. Keep swirling pan. (Swirl – Pick up pan off the stove and gently swirl mixture side to side and in circles)
  • When the sugar mixture flattens down and becomes clear amber immediately pour into the ramekins. Swirl the mixture around the bottom and ½ way up the sides of the dishes.
  • Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350. Put in a large pan for the water bath. Start a pot of water boiling that will fill the pan with enough water so that when you set the ramekins in the pan the water is ½ way up the sides of the ramekin.

Custard: (I use a blender, adjust these directions for your tool of choice)

  1. Crack eggs into blender and turn on low to mix well (15-30 seconds). Don’t get them frothy.
  2. Add all other ingredients. Mix till well blended, but not foamy.
  3. Pour into the caramel coated ramekins and put them in the water-filled baking pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. With smaller size ramekins cook for lesser time. Note: custard will appear loose in the center when the time is up. Don’t worry it will be solid by the time the dessert is completely chilled. Don’t overcook or the final result will be rubbery.

Remove from oven and cool for 4 to 6 (or more) hours.

To un-mold the dessert:

  1. Set chilled ramikens in a shallow dish of warm water for a few minutes. The idea is to have the warmth of the water re-liquefy the caramel. Loosen the edge of the flan with a knife and flip the flan onto a dessert plate. Pour the caramel on top.
  2. Return the ramiken to warm water to re-liquefy as much of the topping as you can and pour over the flan.

Serve alone or with Hot Chocolate Cookies for a delicious contrast in flavors.

*Note: Fresh orange zest is essential to the flavor of this flan. If you don’t have a zest tool, use a cheese grater on the small-hole side. Be very careful to only get the orange part of the peel. The white part is bitter and will ruin your flan.