{Gingersnaps}

Gingersnaps

Welcome to day 2 of Christmas baking week!

This year, Jeff and I decided to add gingersnaps to the list. Normally gingerbread is not my holiday favorite, but as part of our amazing day at Sunset’s Savor the Central Coast, we were given a goodie bag with Safeway gingersnap crisps. Random, I know, but I have been obsessed with gingerbread ever since–they were that good!

So, like I often do on the blog when trying out new recipes, I turned to Alton Brown for a little advice. Being the excessive person he is, he used 3 types of ginger in his gingersnaps: fresh, ground, and candied. We were a little worried the candied ginger might be a bit gummy, so we decided to eliminate that ingredient and just use the other two. We used our microplane zester to grate the ginger which worked perfectly–I highly suggest getting one if you don’t already have one!

Fresh Grated Ginger

He also uses ounces for his measurements which is a little annoying, but much more accurate.

Dry Ingredients

Overall, this recipe won the ridiculously easy and delicious award of the day!

Gingersnaps

Alton Brown’s Gingersnap Recipe

Makes 4 dozen

Print recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 9 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 7 ounces dark brown sugar
  • 5 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 ounces molasses, by weight
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 4 ounces finely chopped candied ginger

Steps:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cardamom, clove and salt.

Place the brown sugar and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on low speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the molasses, egg and fresh ginger and beat on medium for 1 minute. Add the crystallized ginger and using a rubber spatula, stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until well combined.

With a 2-teaspoon sized scoop, drop the dough onto a parchment lined half sheet pan approximately 2-inches apart. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 12 minutes for slightly chewy cookies or 15 minutes for more crisp cookies. Rotate the pan halfway through cooking.

Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to stay on the sheet pan for 30 seconds before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with all of the dough. Store in an airtight container for up 10 days. If desired, you may scoop and freeze the cookie dough on a sheet pan and once frozen, place in a resealable bag to store. Bake directly from the freezer as above.

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{Pumpkin Walnut Bread}

Pumpkin Walnut Bread

I’ve been seeing so many pumpkin themed recipes around the web in the past few weeks that I figured it was time to me to join in the holiday spirit and share one of my own–pumpkin walnut bread. While the chili simmered on the stove, I grabbed my Kitchen Aid mixer and within a few minutes, had the loaf baking in the oven. It’s been great to have on hand for the past few days–I’ve been having it as snack at work and Jeff’s been toasting it and adding a little butter for breakfast!

Pumpkin Walnut Bread Recipe

Makes 1 loaf

Adapted from Alton Brown

Print recipe!

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 can pumpkin puree

1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

Steps:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.

In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla. Combine both mixtures and add the pumpkin puree and walnuts. Once the ingredients are all incorporated, pour into a non- stick 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a  knife inserted into the middle of the loaf should come out clean. Cool for 15 minutes and turn out onto a cooling rack. Cool completely.

{Homemade Margaritas}

What goes better with fish tacos than homemade margaritas?!

If you’ve never made margaritas from scratch before, be warned that it does take a bit of labor but once you get the hang of it, you’ll never want to make any other kind! The ingredients are really simple: fresh limes, agave nectar, 100% agave tequila, and a little ice. It’s really important to make sure the tequila is 100% agave but after that, a higher price tag doesn’t change the quality.

I think the fresh lime in these makes the margaritas–I love the sourness you never seem to get out of pre-made mixes.

You ready?

Okay, so here’s what you need. For each margarita, you’ll need four limes, 2 tablespoons of agave nectar, 2 ounces of tequila, and 4-5 ice cubes.

Margaritas Ingredients

You’ll also need a cocktail shaker and a muddler. I got mine at cost plus for about $10 and it seems to do the trick just fine.

Tools

Now that you have your ingredients and tools ready to go, here’s what you do:

First, slice two of the limes in half and squeeze the juice into the cocktail shaker. Add the two tablespoons of agave nectar and 2 ounces of tequila.

Next, cut the remaining two limes into quarters and add to the shaker. Muddle the mixture for about 2 minutes, making sure you remove some of the pulp from the extra limes. Strain the mixture through the cocktail strainer into a glass and discard the solid limes.

Return the mixture to the cocktail shaker with the ice and shake continuously for about 30 seconds.

Finally, strain your margarita into a glass and serve immediately.

See that wasn’t too hard, was it?

Margarita

Recipe:
Makes 1 amazingly delicious margarita

*Adapted from Alton Brown

Print recipe!

Ingredients:

4 fresh limes
2 ounces 100% agave tequila
2 tablespoons agave nectar
4-5 pieces of ice

Steps:

Now that you have your ingredients and tools ready to go, here’s what you do:

First, slice two of the limes in  half and squeeze the juice into the cocktail shaker. Add the two tablespoons of agave nectar and 2 ounces of tequila.

Next, cut the remaining two limes into quarters and add to the shaker. Muddle the mixture for about 2 minutes, making sure you remove some of the pulp from the extra limes. Strain the mixture through the cocktail strainer into a glass and discard the solid limes.

Return the mixture to the cocktail shaker with the ice and shake continuously for about 30 seconds.

Finally, strain your margarita into a glass and serve immediately.

Next stop, pina coladas!