gingerdoodles

Today I wore long sleeves on my morning run, and leaves crinkled under my feet. It’s getting cooler around here. When it starts to get chilly, nothing warms the heart quite like ginger and cinnamon.

Ginger has that nice, sharp bite that reminds me of crisp, fall air.
Cinnamon has that warm, homey quality that reminds me of thick, woolen blankets.
When put together in the form of a cookie, they become an unbelievable hybrid of pricklygingersnaps and doughy snickerdoodles. Behold the gingerdoodle. 

The strong flavor of a molasses ginger cookie is countered by the soft, sugary flavor of the snickerdoodle. After being rolled in cinnamon sugar, they are baked until crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. All I want to do is cuddle up in some blanckets, brew a pot of tea and devour some of these soft, chewy cookies for a while.

With love,
Erica

P.S. These would be great cookies to make for the holiday season! They are festive and stay chewy for days!

Snickerdoodle Dough
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon cinnamon + 3 tablespoons granulated sugar for rolling cookies in
Cream
together shortening and sugar. Add egg and vanilla and mix well, until
creamy. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar and mix until
combined. Dough will be a little of crumbly, but it’ll come together
when you roll it into balls.
Combine cinnamon and 3 tablespoons of sugar in a small bowl and set aside for rolling dough in.

Gingersnap Dough

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 cup granulated sugar for rolling cookies in
Cream
together shortening and sugar. Add molasses and egg and continue
beating. Add flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger and
mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Put 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl and set aside for rolling dough in.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease baking sheets with no-stick cooking spray and set aside.
Roll
a small amount of gingersnap dough into a ball and toss in granulated
sugar. Roll a small amount of snickerdoodle dough in a ball and toss in
cinnamon-sugar.
Place both doughs together and gently roll or squeeze together (it
worked best if I kneaded the snickerdoodle dough in my hand a few times
before rolling both doughs together since it’s a  thicker consistency
).
Place
on baking sheets and bake for 9-11 minutes. Remove from oven and allow
to cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes before moving to cooling racks.
Source: A Year of Cookies.

peach ginger muffins

If you look carefully, you can see peaches rolling around in the back of most of my recent photos. These peaches led to this, this, this, and two peachy banana breads. These peaches also led to these cute little peach ginger muffins… and we still have a bunch rolling around on the counter.

These soft, fragrant muffins have the most amazing ginger streusel that packs a delicious crunch into every bite. The sharp, spicy ginger contrasts so nicely against the sweet, plump peach chunks. What makes these muffins even more delectable is the addition of brown butter. Just like in my peach shortbread bars, I browned the butter before adding it to the batter — giving the muffins a rich, dark, nutty flavor.

These are perfect for breakfasts, snacks, and (my favorite) eating standing up over the oven. These peaches are ripening by the second — if any of you have any other peachy recipe ideas, shoot them my way!

With love,
Erica

Ingredients

  • 6T unsalted butter
  • 1/3c milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1t vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2c  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2c sugar
  • 1 1/2t baking powder
  • 3/4t salt
  • 2 cups diced peaches (about 2 peaches)
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, diced
  • 1t ground ginger
  • dash of cinnamon

Crumb topping:

  • 3T cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2c all purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 Tbs sugar
  • 1t ground ginger
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Line or butter 12 muffin tins.
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium
    heat. Once the butter melts, let it continue to cook, watching carefully
    all the while. It will start to slowly (then very quickly!) brown. When
    you see dark solids starting to fall to the bottom of the pan and
    notice a rich, almost caramel-like aroma rising from the butter, remove
    it from the heat. (You may need to transfer it to a new container to
    cool so that it does not continue to cook in the residual heat of the
    pan. Be careful as once it’s properly browned it can burn very quickly).
    Don’t worry about the darker brown grains at the bottom; they are part
    of what gives the butter the distinctive flavor. Allow the browned
    butter to cool somewhat. (It does not need to completely cool, but
    should be cool enough that it does not cook the eggs when you mix the
    wet ingredients together).
  3. Stir the dry ingredients together (except for
    the peaches and ground ginger). Stir the wet ingredients together, and
    add to the dry. When mixed, gently fold in the peaches and chopped
    candied ginger. Fill 12 muffin tins.
  4. Make the crumb topping: Mix the flour, sugar,
    and ginger together and then rub the butter pieces into this mixture
    with your fingers. Sprinkle evenly on top of the filled muffin tins.
  5. Bake 25 minutes if using fresh peaches. Remove from oven, and cool slightly
    before removing from muffin tin. Enjoy!

From Honest Cooking

banana bread with dark chocolate and ginger

I know the combination sounds weird, but that’s why I love this banana bread.
You take the first bite, expecting to taste sweet walnuts, or milky chocolate. Instead, you bite into sharp, spicy, crystallized ginger, mellowed by the sweet bananas and bittersweet chocolate. It is an amazing sensation.

As banana breads go, this is a nice, dense loaf with a fine crumb — and (dare I say), it would be delicious even without the filling. {but please add the ginger and chocolate! You will not regret it!}

I told myself I would wait for the bananas in the kitchen to get all brown and splotchy before making this banana bread (the uglier the bananas, the better the bread). But those bananas must have have been eternally yellow — I couldn’t stand to wait any longer! Here is a trick for all of you impatient ones like me who want splotchy-banana-banana-bread without splotchy bananas.

  1. Peel the bananas and put them in a microwave safe bowl
  2. Microwave for 2-3 minutes
  3. Take out of the microwave and mash
  4. When you pour them in the batter, be sure to also pour in the liquidy stuff that they leave behind — that is the best part! (I got this trick from Katie, it is also delicious over oatmeal or yogurt)

As Molly suggested in A Homemade Life, I popped mine in the freezer. Since, I have stood up from my desk about a dozen times, cutting off little slivers. Personally, I like it even better straight from the freezer than fresh from the oven, when it is cold it literally melts in my mouth. I now leave a knife in the freezer for easy access. I think more than half of the loaf is gone already.

With love,
Erica

From “A Homemade Life” p. 26 by Molly Wizenberg

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or a chopped up bar)
1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup well-stirred whole-milk plain yogurt (I used peach, because that is all I had)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Set a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350F. Grease a 9 by 5 loaf pan with cooking spray or butter.
In a small bowl, microwave the butter until just melted. (Be careful
and do this over medium power in short burst because it can explode or
splatter and that is a big mess.) Or melt it in the preheating oven.
Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and
salt. Add the chocolate chips and crystallized ginger and whisk well to
combine. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork. Add the mashed
banana, yogurt, melted butter, and vanilla and stir to mix well. Pour
the banana mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir gently with a
rubber spatula, scraping down the sides as needed, until just combined.
Do not overmix. The batter with be thick and somewhat lumpy, just make
sure all the flour has been incorporated. Scrape the batter into the
loaf pan and smooth the top.
Bake into the loaf is a deep shade of golden brown and a toothpick
inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 mins to an hour. If the
loaf seems to be browning too quickly, tent with foil.
Cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 5 mins. Then tip out
onto the rack, and let it cool completely before slicing (if you can
wait that long).
The loaf freezes well wrapped in plastic wrap and again in foil to
protect from freezer burn. Try it cold, sliced fresh out of the freezer.