Archive for January, 2013

Cookie Cutter Ginger Cookies

Cakes and Cookies

I’m always looking to keep the kids busy while trying to make sure that whatever they do is potentially productive. So for example, they like washing dishes, fine with me! Whatever keeps them busy 🙂 they like to beat the eggs when I’m baking and to help me out with baking and cooking; so all I did was to enhance their fun. We decided that gingerbread man cookies shouldn’t be shaped as little fat men, but rather that they should be shaped in different shapes and be decorated with stuff that is not necessarily icing or colors; and that’s when we started making ginger cookies. The kids enjoyed decorating and cutting them and I enjoyed the fact that they are enjoying. Also, as a side note, the mess they made wasn’t as big as I thought it would be so YAY for me too!! These cookies turned out amazing. They are not too sweet and crunch perfectly in your mouth. Kids had them with hot cocoa and we enjoyed them with a nice cup of tea – everyone’s happy and I managed to keep them busy with no TV or video games, hurray!

Ginger Cookies

Ginger Cookies
Author: 
 
Crunchy, yummy and not too sweet. Fun to make with the kids and easy to make anytime.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Ground Ginger (Powder)
  • ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp Honey (liquid)
  • 4 tbsp Water
  • 100gr Butter in room temperature
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C)
  2. Place all the ingredients in a mixer bowl and mix together until fully combined and you get a dough ball.
  3. Divide into 2 smaller balls and start with flattening the 1st dough ball with a rolling pin until it is about ½ cm thick.
  4. Use cookie cutters to cut into shapes. You can also use a sharp knife or pizza slicer and cut into squares.
  5. Line shaped dough pieces on baking sheet covered with parchment paper and place in the oven for about 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Once ready, remove from oven and set aside to completely cool.
Notes
Cookies can be decorated with almonds, sprinkles, nuts and dried fruits before placing in the oven.

 

Crunchy Ginger Cookies

 

I’m always looking to keep the kids busy while trying to make sure that whatever they do is potentially productive. So for example, they like washing dishes, fine with me! Whatever keeps them busy 🙂 they like to beat the eggs when I’m baking and to help me out with baking and cooking; so all […]

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Real Hot Cocoa

Sweets

It’s almost the end of January which officially leaves us with one more month of bitter cold winter. I don’t care what everyone else says; as far as I’m concerned winter is almost over! Now, what’s better than a cup of hot cocoa on a cold winter day? I usually just go for the easy fix and make the kids some hot chocolate with the chocolate premix and some warm milk, but when I’m really in the mood I make this hot cocoa and believe me, it is incomparable to the hot chocolate mix. You can actually taste the chocolate in this one. So go, make yourself a cup of hot cocoa, make yourself cozy in front of the TV or a good book, and enjoy winter! When I want to feel really cozy I even add a shot of Bailey’s or Kahlua.

Hot cocoa with marshmallow

Real Hot Cocoa
Author: 
Recipe type: Drink
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 Mug
 
A real Hot Cocoa, the one you can actually taste the chocolate in.
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Cocoa Powder (Unsweetened)
  • 2 tbsp White Sugar
  • ¼ tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Marshmallow
Instructions
  1. Pour the milk into a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until the milk begins to boil (you’ll see tiny bubbles, don’t wait for it to fully boil).
  2. Add the sugar and sprinkle to cocoa powder while mixing to avoid lumps. Stir in the saucepan until no lumps. Add the vanilla extract and stir.
  3. Keep saucepan on stove-top and let boil gently. Once it forms some foam, remove from heat.
  4. Pour into a mg and add some marshmallows.

 

Hot cocoa mug

It’s almost the end of January which officially leaves us with one more month of bitter cold winter. I don’t care what everyone else says; as far as I’m concerned winter is almost over! Now, what’s better than a cup of hot cocoa on a cold winter day? I usually just go for the easy […]

Read More

Sweet and Soft Braided Challah Bread

Baked Goodies

Sweet childhood memories for me are the taste of soft, fresh, sweet challah bread with fresh real cottage cheese. I can swear, it’s like heaven in your mouth.

Ever since we moved to Canada I’ve been trying to find that challah bread that has the sweetness I loved so much. It’s like a sweet roll but bigger 🙂

So I know I have another Challah recipe here in the blog, but this one is much sweeter, bigger and fluffier. It all depends on how you like your challah.

In this case, you can either braid it or you can just make rolls, both will come out tasting heavenly! The recipe, by the way, is originally by Carine Goren who is a sweet cook from Israel. Here’s the link if you know Hebrew 🙂 http://www.carine.co.il/htmls/page_202.aspx?c0=13148&bsp=13097

Sweet Challah Bread Slice

 
Ingredients
  • 500 grams All purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp Dry yeast
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • ¾ – 1 cup lukewarm water
  • ¼ cup Vegetable Oil
  • ½ tbsp Salt
  • 1 Beaten egg for brushing
  • Sesame Seeds
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a mixer bowl; use only ¾ cup water to start with. Mix on medium speed until fully combined. If you see that the dough is dry, gradually start adding the extra ¼ cup water you have until you get soft and smooth dough that slightly sticks to the bottom.
  2. Spread a bit of oil over the dough ball inside the bowl, cover with towel and let stand until dough rises and doubles its size (about 40-45 minutes).
  3. Preheat oven to 180C/ 350F and prepare a baking pan covered with parchment paper.
  4. Once the dough doubled its size, divide into 3 balls and roll each ball into a “sausage” to braid. You can also make rolls and take a tennis size ball from the dough for each roll and form a small ball.
  5. Place on baking sheet and let stand for additional 30-40 minutes.
  6. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds; Place inside the preheated oven for about 35 minutes or until golden brown and brown on the bottom.

Sweet Challah Bread

Sweet childhood memories for me are the taste of soft, fresh, sweet challah bread with fresh real cottage cheese. I can swear, it’s like heaven in your mouth. Ever since we moved to Canada I’ve been trying to find that challah bread that has the sweetness I loved so much. It’s like a sweet roll […]

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Homemade Spelt Bread

Baked Goodies

It’s been a crazy couple of months but hopefully I’m back on track now. I know, I haven’t posted anything in quite a while now, but t doesn’t mean I didn’t cook 🙂

In fact, I’ve found some pretty amazing things to bake lately. One of them is this delicious spelt bread. We noticed that we get much less stomach aches when we eat food that is low in gluten and since spelt is very low on gluten, I decided to try and make bread. Something I can use for the kids’ sandwiches at school. I used spelt flour in the past and really liked the texture it gives to baked goods. It’s fluffy, soft and has a hint of sweetness. So this bread is not your typical “mix it all up” recipe but it’s really close to that. It came out very tasty, soft yet not too soft and was gone at the end of the day. The important thing when making bread with spelt flour is that you don’t want to mix it too long or it won’t rise as it should and also, you will need to bake it in a Loaf Pan (Clickable link) or any other suitable pan you have, just because otherwise the dough will spread all over and you’ll get a baked splat. The lack of high gluten values makes it softer and that’s why it needs “special care” 🙂 but it’s not too special or too hard, otherwise, you wouldn’t have seen me making it 🙂

Spelt Bread after baking

Spelt Bread before baking

Homemade Spelt Bread
 
Ingredients
  • 370 grams Spelt Flour
  • 1 tsp Dry Yeast
  • 1 Cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tbsp White Sugar
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 4 tbsp Vegetable Oil (you can also use olive oil)
  • Sesame
  • 1 Beaten egg
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix yeast with ½ cup water and 1 tsp sugar (from the quantities in the ingredients). Set aside for about 10 minutes, you’ll see bubbles forming which means the yeast is working.
  2. In a mixer bowl, mix the flour, remaining sugar, remaining water, oil, salt and the yeast mix. Mix on slow speed for 2-3 minutes only until everything is well incorporated. Mix until you get soft, smooth and just a little bit sticky dough. Careful not to over mix it.
  3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let stand for 30-35 minutes until the dough doubles its size (and it will). Again, a word of caution, don’t let it stand too long!
  4. After 30-35 minutes, knead the dough lightly between your hands, only until there is no more air in the dough (you’ll feel the difference).
  5. Braid or roll in bread pan or English cake pan or any other pan you have that is not too big and can hold the bread (I used bread pan). The pan needs to be greased and covered with parchment paper.
  6. Let stand in the pan for another 30-35 minutes. In the meantime, preheat oven to 180C/350F.
  7. Gently brush the bread with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame and place in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Remove from oven and after a few minutes remove bread from pan and place on oven rack to cool.

Sliced Spelt Bread

Spelt Bread Breakfast

 

It’s been a crazy couple of months but hopefully I’m back on track now. I know, I haven’t posted anything in quite a while now, but t doesn’t mean I didn’t cook 🙂 In fact, I’ve found some pretty amazing things to bake lately. One of them is this delicious spelt bread. We noticed that […]

Read More