Holidays are for Baking

For the holidays this year, Lauren and I are baking a small item for each member of our family as part of their Christmas gift.

Here are two delicious recipes that we have recently used.

The first is the recipe for the Molasses-Gingerbread cookies we are making for a cookie swap and our friends. It’s a little time consuming, but they taste amazing! The picture of this recipe is in the previous post!

Ingredients

Makes about 6 dozen men/women

  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups unsulfured molasses

Directions

  1. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a medium bowl.
  2. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in molasses. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Divide dough into 3 portions, and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a generously floured piece of parchment, roll dough to a scant 1/4 inch thick. Brush off excess flour. Slide dough and parchment onto baking sheets, and freeze for 15 minutes.
  4. Cut out desired shapes. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, and freeze for 15 minutes.
  5. Bake cookies for 6 minutes. Remove sheets from oven, and tap them firmly on counter to flatten cookies. Return to oven, rotating sheets, and bake until crisp but not darkened, 6 to 8 minutes more. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in airtight containers for up to 1 week.

Lemon Coconut Cake with Lemon Rum Glaze

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) sweetened flaked coconut
  • Coconut-Lemon Glaze (optional)

 

Directions

  1. Line a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan with waxed or parchment paper (or grease and flour it), then set it aside. Heat the oven to 350º.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, melted butter, oil, lemon zest, lemon extract, vanilla extract, and milk.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and the buttermilk until evenly blended. Set the bowl aside.
  4. In a medium-size bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. With a wooden spoon, stir about a third of the flour mixture into the sugar mixture, then alternately add half of the remaining egg mixture and half of the flour mixture, stirring after each addition just enough to blend. Stir in the coconut.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spoon. Bake on the center oven rack until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and put it on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes, then remove the loaf and place it on the rack to finish cooling. When the loaf is completely cooled, in about two hours, apply the Lemon Rum Glaze (recipe below).

Lemon Rum Glaze:   1 c. of sugar, 1/4 c. of white rum, a few squeezes of a fresh lemon, 2 tbsp of butter.  Melt all together in a pan. Allow to boil while stirring. Glaze will thicken. Pour over cake when thickened. Delicious!

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