Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Gingerbread Men

Some Cookie Secrets

All-purpose Flour: Traditionally, I use to make these cookies with basic all-purpose flour. Then roll 1/4-inch cookies, and bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Lightly brown and crisp on the edges, while still soft in the middle. Cool in pan, 2 minutes, before transferring cookies directly onto a cooling rack.

INSTANT ClearJel®: Long ago, I discovered the secret of adding 2 tsp (per 1 cup all-purpose) for baking and keeping cookies "chewy & soft". ICJ makes rolling out cookie dough, made with gluten, much easier! Plus, ICJ helps keep cookies baked: remain chewy & soft; if you prefer crispier cookies, omit.

Gluten Free Tested: I tested this recipe with "all-purpose" Better Batter Gluten-Free Flour
. Since there's NO gluten, I omitted the ICJ. I preferred the GF cookies rolled thinner, 1/8-inch thick, and baked crispier, than I use to do traditionally. I decided the GF cookies were perfect, when baked in a 300°F preheated oven for 18 minutes. Cool 2 minutes in the pan, before transferring directly to a rack. Fabulous! Even all my non-GF-eaters agreed!

Reduce Sticking:
Roll the dusted dough out onto a dusted Silpat,  slide an off-set spatula underneath dough. This helps to reduce sticking and the amount of (choice of flour) to dust with. The less extra flour, as necessary (any kind), helps improve the crumb texture. Dip cookie cutters in (flour), cut and transfer to parchment-lined half sheets. Bake one sheet at a time.

Freezing: Flash freeze uncooked cookies for 30 minutes, until frozen on covered, baking sheets for. Seal and date in a labeled zip-type freezer bag/s, and use within 3 months. Bake, unthawed cookies a few minutes longer, than directed below.

Gingerbread Men
Makes: 48-60
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Large Mixing Bowl:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg 

1 large egg white
2/3 cup molasses

Dry Ingredients:
4+ cups all-purpose flour, and more for dusting

(Or 4+ cups Better Batter Gluten-Free Flour, and more for dusting)
3 Tbsp spicy gingerbread mix (see recipe below)
1 tsp salt (omit salt, if using SALTED butter)
1/2 tsp baking soda

Royal Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 1/4 tsp meringue powder (cake decorating supplies)
3 Tbsp warm water
1/4 tsp vanilla extract, or to taste
1/4 tsp lemon, (or almond extract) to taste


Large Mixing Bowl: By hand, cream together the butter and sugar together; scrape bottom and sides down, as necessary. Beat in the egg and 1 extra white, one at a time; beat in the molasses. In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Stir in half the flour mixture into the creamed mixture. Then add 1-cup at a time, until flour is incorporated and dough forms a ball. As needed, add 1-Tbsp extra flour, as necessary. The dough will still be very soft. Wrap in a plastic wrap; chill at least 30 minutes, or up to 3 days.

Royal Icing: In a bowl, combine ingredients in a bowl. Using a hand mixer, whip frosting 10-14 minutes, beating until fluffy. Add more water, by teaspoons, if icing is too thick for if too thin to pipe gingerbread men (eyes, smile, cuffs and buttons). Add a bit more powdered sugar, if you find it too thin. Fit a pastry bag with a fine line tip. Spoon icing to the bag, and set aside.

Preheat Oven: (See Baking) to set to temperature. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cookies: Dust your dough and work surface, (I lightly flour it and my Silpat). Divide the dough in half, rewrapping 1/2, which goes back in the fridge. Roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness (for Gluten Free cookies) or 1/4-inch thick, for thicker, chewier cookies. Loosen the dough, from underneath, with an off-set spatula, helps to reduce stickiness and flour. In a small bowl, adding flour to dip cookie cutters, also helps. Cut out shapes. Place cookies onto lined baking sheet/s. Only bake 1 sheet at a time.

For "softer, chewy" cookies, w/ regular flour, bake for 10 minutes at 350°F. Or for "crispier cookies" (preferred for GF flour), baking at 300°F 18 for minutes, makes cookies with a snap! Cool cookies 2 minutes in pans, and then transfer to a cooling rack. Completely cool, before decorating.

Storing: Place baked cookies in tightly covered storage containers. I used cookies tin/s, helps retain freshness. Adding layers of wax paper, helps retain crispy edges, or snap, for "baked crisp" cookies.

*Gingerbread Spice Mix: (ingredients)
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp black pepper, honestly - don't omit
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, even little kids love it

Recipe Linked With: AtThePicketFence

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Ruby Red Beet Juice - Juicer, Juicing Extractor, Breville

One Of My Favorite Combos
~ Ruby Red Beet Juice ~
Using A Juicing Extractor

This Ruby Red Beet Juice is truly one of my favorite versatile combos. There are also so many others too, but it's hard to say which has to be the very best... but with this juice, boy oh boy.

"It's Hard to BEET!" 
(Sorry... yeah, but it begs to be said. Haha!)

Juice a combo of fresh produce for Ruby Red Beet Juice anytime!

My d-i-l have been after me for quite some time to get a juicer, aka juice extractor

I originally thought, "NO, Thank You!" I did not yet need another appliance for my lovely and ALREADY large repertoire!

Plus, back in the mid 70's, a girlfriend and I were sunbathing on her deck. Boy, we so sweltering in the hot sun too! Well, her mom suddenly appears with two tall shimmering, glasses of delicious, "orange cream" sodas, and we squealed with delight. After I took two big slurps from my straw, I never intended for the dramatic GAG REFLEX that overtook me. It was straight "CARROT JUICE"! Needless to say, I fairly embarrassed.

Anyway, Melanie was quite determined to change my mindset on the matter. On their last visit, she came armed with her own juicer and several delicious recipes. Well, she easily WON me over, and now I regularly juice fresh produce with my a juice extractor too.

FRESH Ruby Red Beet Juice

Ruby Red Beet Juice
Adapted from d-i-l, Melanie Hill

4 lg carrots, unpeeled
2 lg ribs celery
1 lg kale leaf
1 lg green apple, cored - unpeeled
1/2 fresh beetroot, unpeeled, add some greens
2 oranges, unpeeled "cutie-size"
1/2 half lime, with rind
Handful cilantro
Pinch of turmeric

2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
1 pineapple spear, rind removed
1/2 lemon, unpeeled
1 chunk fresh ginger
Handful parsley 

Fully wash produce and juice in a HIGH power juicer. Stir, adding a just a pinch of turmeric for good health. Add ice and serve within 15 minutes for best nutritional benefits.

Ahhh, fully ENJOY!

Sharon Anne

Affiliate links are your convenience; you won't pay any more, and I just get small referral amounts - everything helps. 
Thank you! -- Sharon Anne