12/12/14

Decorated Sugar Cookie for Holidays!


If you're looking for sugar cookie recipe that won't lose their shape while baking, try this one. These sugar cookies are amazing. They are soft, buttery and delicious.  I flavor the dough with cardamom and orange blossom extract. You can definitely flavor it with anything you like, for example extract, spice or herb. I'm going to flavor it with earl grey leaves next time.

I use fondant for all the cookies, except the wreath cookies that I use royal icing. I think using fondant is much more easier than using royal icing. You just cut it out and put on top of the cookie.

Ingredients:

- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. cardamom powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp. orange blossom extract

Preparation :

1. Sift all dry ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
2. In a standard mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.
3. Add the egg and extract, beat until fully combine.
4. Lower the speed to low, add dry ingredients. Beating until just combine.
5. Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Refrigerate for an hour.
6. Peel off the top parchment paper and leave the dough on the bottom parchment paper. Stamp cookies out of the chilled dough. Place cookies on baking sheet. Freeze for 10 minutes.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, depending on the size. The cookies should feel firm, but they should not color much.
8. Cool completely before decoration.









11/20/14

Meyer Lemon Curd


I woke up this morning to lots of Meyer lemons from the tree in the backyard. I didn't want to make marmalade due to time consuming. End up making curd from all the juice I squeezed for an hour.  My neighbors will be happy to see this in front of their front door tomorrow. 

This recipe is not too sweet and slightly thicker in texture. If you prefer runny texture, omit the gelatin.

Ingredients:
makes 6 (8 oz. jar)

- 21 yolks
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 3/4 cups Meyer lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. Meyer lemon zest
- 1 3/4 cups unsalted butter, softened and cut into small cubes
- 1/2 tbsp powdered gelatin
- 2 tbsp. water, room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preparation:

1. Whisk yolks and sugar together over a bain-marie until sugar has dissolved.
2. Whisk in juice and zest. Stir occasionally until the curd reaches 195 degrees.
3. Remove from a bain-marie, stir in butter.
4. Bloom gelatin with water for 5 minutes, add to the warm curd and stir until dissolved.
5. Strain the curd into a bowl that sits over an ice-bath. Stir in extract.

Note : Fresh curd should be eaten within 2 weeks, and you need to refrigerate it. It you make too many, freeze them.





10/31/14

Happy Halloween!


Gingerbread Man for Trick-or-Treat...


I know the best part of Halloween for kids is Trick-or-Treat. Me too, every year I try to create something good for kid to eat. Nothing wrong with a bit of candy, but too much candy is no good. This year I made this gingerbread man mummy cookie, wrapped in a thin white cloth made from fondant. I hope kids will like it. 

Check out : Trick-or-Treat 2013
Check out : Trick-or-Treat 2012

Ingredients:
makes 12 (6" gingerbread man)

- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cup molasses

Preparation:

1. Sift all dry. Set aside.
2. Cream butter and sugar together until light. 
3. Add egg and molasses, beat until combined.
4. Gradually add dry ingredients, beat until incorporated.
5. Wrap and refrigerate until firm.
6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4" thick. Use a gingerbread cutter to cut the cookies. Transfer to a baking sheet. Freeze for 10 minutes.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies. They are done when they are firm.







10/10/14

Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwich


Ingredients:

Pumpkin Ice Cream
- 2 cups half & half
- 1 tsp. pumpkin spice
- 4 yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup pumpkin puree

Gingerbread Cookies
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, soften
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cup molasses

Preparations:

Pumpkin Ice Cream
1. In a medium pot, bring half & half and pumpkin spice to a boil over medium heat.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk yolks and sugar to blend. Gradually whisk in hot cream mixture.
3. Return custard to a pot, stir over medium-low heat until it reaches 165 degrees.
4. Remove from heat, strain into a bowl that sit over an ice-bath.
5. Whisk in pumpkin puree.
6. Let cool completely, cover and chill overnight.
7. Churn.

Gingerbread Cookies
1. Sift all dry together. Set aside.
2. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy.
3. Add egg and molasses. Beat until well combined.
4. Gradually add dry ingredients, beating until incorporated.
5. Divide the dough into half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Chill overnight.
6. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into 1/4" thick. Use a 3" circle cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. With an offset spatula lift the cookies onto the baking sheet. Chill for 10 minutes.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until they are firm.








10/1/14

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