Twas two weeks til Christmas and all through the house, Christmas carnage reigned as decorations were unpacked.
|My angel is totally appalled at the sight of Clyde the bison's head and my MIL's angel's head breaking off.|
There was a fight in the kitchen between Martha Stewart and Julia Child, each trying to outdo the other. Baking and candy making stuff on the counters. Christmas tinsel and glass balls and glue guns on the table. Needless to say, it got pretty heated as evidenced below:
|Martha threw a gold ball ornament in Julia's white chocolate. Julia threw white chocolate back. Chaos!|
And then I was wrapping presents and discovered I had one less present for one of the grandchildren. Well, that just wouldn't do. So back into the shopping fray I had to go.
Question of the Moment: Does anyone else think on-line shopping is a blessing when you really don't want to fight the traffic at the mall?
Just as I had recovered, my birthday appeared. Gotta stop and celebrate the day you're born. I love my friends who don't give me combined Christmas and birthday presents but separate the day. My friend Renee sent me a lovely floral birthday cake I wasn't allergic to!
AND it was baking my ginger cookie tradition time. I love baking these around my birthday because these cookies are SO special, I don't even miss birthday cake. But I got it in my head, after mulling my vegan marshmallow post, that I needed to fancy them up by making s'mores. Pinterest was a big help. Yes, entire boards are dedicated to the treat.
Hmmmmm. What to do? I didn't like my daughter's suggestion of Nutella, even though I am a Nutella fan. I don't like chocolate in my pumpkin pie, pecan pie or gingerbread. I made my cookies (see recipe below), topping one with my daughter's homemade apple butter and melted caramels and the other with melted white chocolate with a sprinkle of dried cranberries and pistachios. Top both with broiled marshmallows and another cookie. And it is a dessert worthy of special occasion like birthdays and daughter's boyfriend coming for dinner.
|The granddaughter told me these are "tasty." Where does a three year old learn the word "tasty"?|
Gluten-free Ginger Cookies
Note: I've adapted this recipe over time, basically using what I have on hand. The texture is more crisp and melt-in-your mouth than it is bready like some gingerbread recipes. Store the cookies in the refrigerator until ready to assemble in order to make them easier to handle. Also store in the fridge until ready to eat.
2 and 1/4 cups Pamela's or other gluten free baking mix.
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 and 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (you may wish to add less. Cloves are pretty powerful.)
3/4 cup brown or turbanido sugar, plus extra to roll cookies in
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
1) Blend all dry ingredients in a bowl except sugar.
2) Mix softened butter and sugar in separate bowl.
3) Add egg and molasses to butter/sugar mixture and blend well.
4) Slowly fold in the dry ingredients and then use the hand mixer only to make sure things are thoroughly blended. This batter is not as stiff so a hand mixer should be able to handle it. Make sure you blend thoroughly.
5) Refrigerate for at least one hour but no more than two hours in covered bowl.
6) When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375.
7) Cover baking sheets with parchment paper.
8) Using a small cookie scoop, scoop up dough and roll each scoop into a ball. Put remaining dough back in refrigerator until ready to use.
9) Roll each ball in a bowl of sugar. Place on parchment covered cookie sheet.
10) Smoosh each ball gently with the bottom of a glass to make a circle. Just press enough to flatten.
11) Place in middle rack of oven and bake for 8-10 minutes. Make sure you watch the first time to gauge the temp of your oven.
12) Remove from oven and let and sit for two to five minutes, then slide entire parchment sheet over cooling rack and let cool until firm. Do not try to lift with spatula.
13) When cookies are totally cooled, place in airtight container, layer cookies with wax paper. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
S'more Creation: Let your own imagination go wild but here is what I did. You may also want to use whipped cream cheese for a less sweet taste as in the third recipe below.
White Chocolate Christmas version: Melt white chocolate chips in double boiler to keep things melted and workable. Spread a spoonful of white chocolate on cold cookie, sprinkle with dried cranberries and pistachios. Top with a melted marshmallow or marshmallow fluff and then with another cookie.
Apple Butter Caramel: Melt caramels in microwave at 50% power until melted. Spread a spoonful on a cold cookie. Top with a spoonful of apple butter. Add marshmallow and top with a cookie.
Candied ginger Cream Cheese: Spread whipped cream cheese on cookie and sprinkle with chopped candied ginger. Add marshmallow and another cookie!
Note: You can also make the smores the day before and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Let sit out for at least 15 minutes. I serve mine in halves and quarters so everyone can try the different flavors.
So, do you have a favorite holiday cookie you could use as the cookie base of a s'more or ice cream sandwich?