Gingerbread Man Cookies

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Ho ho ho! Christmas is finally here and the cookie platter is only complete when you have these delicious Gingerbread Man adorning them. Gingerbread is truly the aroma of the day. These classic cookies fill your house with the aroma of these wonderfully warm spices. The scent of the spice blend of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves entices you to eat these beautiful cookies. These beautiful souls can completely fill your Christmas day much needed love and happiness.

Super fun to make with kids, delicious to eat and definitely a family favorite for the festive season. Yes, if you have very little time to make cute little fancy things for Christmas, here is your answer to all your worries. Bake a colony of these Gingerbread Man because you won’t realize how fast they run (out of stock)! Hope you have a lovely Christmas!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 30 cookies)

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour + extra for dusting
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 100 grams granulated brown sugar (you can use granulated white sugar)
  • 115 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup molasses (or you can use honey)
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 tsp dry ginger powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp clove powder
  • 1/4 nutmeg powder
  • 1/4 star anise powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 100 grams dark chocolate, melted

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METHOD:

  • Cream butter and sugar in a bowl using a beater until pale and smooth. this would take around 90 seconds.
  • Add molasses and egg and beat it until well combined.
  • In a bowl sift all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, buckwheat flour, ginger powdr, cinnamon powder, clove powder, nutmeg powder, baking soda, star anise powder, baking powder, salt and whisk it well.
  • Add the flour mixture slowly to the wet mixture and beat it until just combined. Do not over beat it.
  • Transfer the dough to a slightly floured surface. Divide it into two halves. Roll it out in the shape of a disc, cling wrap it and refrigerate it for a couple of hours.
  • Meanwhile preheat your oven to 180 C for 15 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep aside.
  • Now take the dough of the fridge. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Cut it into different shapes using a cookie cutter and transfer it to a baking sheet.
  • Put it in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking so that the cookies retains it shape.
  • Now allow the cookie to bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown.
  • Once done, take it out and allow the cookie to cool down completely. Dip half or whole cookies into melted dark chocolate and freeze for sometime and bite into these cookies.

 

Boozy Christmas Bundt Cake

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A Christmas tree is dressed up beautifully and my house is looking festive. Those lil shining stars hanging from the tree, those bright red socks hanging all over the house and bright lights all around the tree – what a pretty sight! While my house is ornated beautifully, my food table looks prettier. Latest on my holiday table is this Boozy Christmas Bundt Cake. It has all the Christmas feel that you are looking for.

Christmas week often reignites childhood memories. School closed down for the festve season, some chilling out scenes with friends, lots of bakery hopping to grab the newest dessert in town and then praying to Santa to give the best gift possible. Ah! I miss those days. While official holiday is slightly difficult now, the rest still holds true. Those delicious Christmas puddings and Bundt cakes were always a hit in my family. This recipe is inspired from my childhood memories and I have added a slight Boozy twist to it. Loaded with the goodness of rum soaked dry fruits and the warmth from the spices is surely going to make this cake a hit in the Christmas get together this year. Try it and you won’t be disappointed.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 1 bundt cake)

  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried apricot, finely choppes
  • 1/4 cup raisins, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dates, finely choopes
  • 1 cup rum (or brandy)
  • 2 cup all purpose flour (you can also use whole wheat flour)
  • 3/4 cup granulated brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp dry ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 ts baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp walnut, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp candied orange peels, finely chopped (optional)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted and cooled

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METHOD:

  • Soak cranberries, cherries, apricots, raisins and dates in rum in a glass jar for 2 days to 15 days.
  • Now preheat your oven to 180 C for atleast 15 minutes. Butter your bundt pan with butter properly and keep aside.
  • Now in a bowl mix together oil, water and brown sugar until incorporated well. Now add vanilla extract and whisk it well.
  • In another bowl sieve flour, orange zest, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, dry ginger powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda and keep aside.
  • Now add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold in gently making sure no lumps are formed.
  • Now add walnuts ad candied peels to the mixture and fold the batter gently.
  • Transfer it to the prepared bundt tin and put it to bake at 165C for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Enjoy!

Cranberry Jam Shortbread Bars

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What is Christmas without getting your hands dirty in the kitchen and baking some lip smacking desserts for your friends and family. The festive mode is on. Even my social media pages is enjoying the festive cheer. Infact I think my Instagram is on a sugar high! Its loaded with stunning images of some amazing desserts and cookies and I can’t stop drooling over them. Boozy cakes to edible wreathes, gingerbread cookies to cookie boxes, apple pies to cranberry pies – its all there. Yes I feel the sugar overload too but its all about celebration and merry making. In the middle of this cheer, don’t miss out on baking these Cranberry Jam Shortbread Bars.

These bars is everything you would want in your dessert – sweet, tart, earthy and super easy to make. The homemade Cranberry Jam lends a freshness to the whole dessert. Buttery, crumbly, soft and delicious is all what this dessert is about. Perfect for a get together this Christmas. Make sure to make a double batch, because its a guarantee that one batch will not be sufficient. Just when the cookies and pies were getting  commonplace, bake these holiday special Cranberry Jam Shortbread Bars.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 9 bars)

For the shortbread bars:

  • 260 grams whole wheat flour
  • 220 grams unsalted butter, room temperature + extra for brushing the mould
  • 80 grams light brown granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder (optional)
  • pinch of salt

For Cranberry Jam: (Recipe on the blog)

  • 200 gms of cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 120 gms granulated white sugar
  • 3 – 4 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (optional)

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METHOD:

For Cranberry Jam:

  • Wash the cranberries properly. Take the cranberries in a saucepan along with sugar ad water and let it cook on low-medium heat.
  • Keep stirring it occasionally. Once the berries have softened by 60%, take a potato masher and gently mash the entire mixture.
  • Let the berries cook more and it will soften completely and start to thicken.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat, stir in lemon juice if needed and allow the mixture to cool.
  • Once cooled transfer it into a clean, moisture free glass container. Keep it in the fridge until consumption.

For Shortbread bars:

  • Preheat your oven to 170 C for atleast 15 minutes and butter the baking pan and keep aside. (I used an 8 inch baking tin)
  • Meanwhile beat the butter until smooth and pale. Add granulated white sugar and beat for 40 – 50 seconds until creamy.
  • Now add vanilla extract and beat it for 20 – 30 seconds.
  • Add whole wheat flour, salt and nutmeg powder and beat on low speed until it just comes together. Make sure the clumps are still there and it doesn’t form a proper dough.
  • Transfer 2/3 of the dough to the baking tray and press down evenly. Now using a fork prick the bars and allow it to bake for 15 minutes or until the sides are slightly brown.
  • Once done, allow it to cool slightly and evenly spread the cooled down cranberry jam leaving some gap on the edges.
  • Crumble the remaining shortbread dough on top of the jam evenly and gently press the dough down.
  • Allow this to bake for 22 – 25 minutes or until the crumble is golden brown on top.
  • Once done allow it to cool on the wire rack. While it is sightly warm, cut it into 9 bars of equal sizes. Once it cools down completely, remove it from the baking tray and eat!

Christmas Sandwich Cookies – Dulce De Leche Sandwich Cookies

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Which is your favorite holiday cookie? Is it the Christmas special gingerbread cookies, some healthy oatmeal cookies, everyone’s favorite chocolate cookies or these drool worthy Dulce De Leche Christmas Cookies. December is the cookie month and there is so much excitement in my kitchen about it. Simple ingredients coming today everyday to create some new magical cookie. The latest on the block being these Dulce De Leche Christmas Sandwich Cookies. Totally festive and delicious in flavor. Every since I made a batch of these cookies, I think I have a crush on these. It got over from my kitchen in no time and its no exaggeration.

Buttery and loaded with the goodness of Dulce De Leche, these wonders are the prettiest things to gift this Christmas to your near and dear ones. The enticing smell of the freshly baked shortbreads wafting from the oven to the lip smacking Dulce De Leche, what a winning combo! The beautifully carved out stars, christmas trees in these cookies is surely to take you to Christmas cookie heaven. The fun day is just a week away and it’s time to make these beauties right away.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (makes 12 sandwich cookies

  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour + extra for dusting
  • 60 gms icing sugar
  • 220 gms unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup store bought Dulce De Leche (I used store bought Dulce De Leche)
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar, for dusting (optional)

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METHOD:

  • In a bowl, beat the unsalted butter until its smooth and pale. Now add the icing sugar and beat it for 40 – 50 seconds until its smooth and creamy.
  • Now add vanilla extract and beat for 10 – 20 seconds.
  • Add all purpose flour, whole wheat flour and lemon zest and beat it until just combined. There may be crumbs which is completely fine. Do not over beat it.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and bring the entire dough together and flatten it in the form of a disk, cling wrap it and put it in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to an hour.
  • meanwhile line a baking tray with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 180 C for atleast 15 minutes.
  • Once the dough its slightly firm, roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Using a cookie cutter cut out round cookies of 1/4 inch to 1/3 inch height. Transfer it to the baking tray.
  • Now take smaller cookie cutter of different shapes and cut out the center of half of the cookies.
  • Put this baking tray into the freezer for 10 minutes. Once done put it to bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
  • Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool completely on the wire rack.
  • Now take a whole cookie and spread 1 tsp (or slightly more) amount of Dulce De Leche evenly, keeping some gaps on the edges.
  • Take a cookie with some shape carved on it and place it gently on the above cookie.
  • Repeat the same with the remaining cookies and enjoy!

4-Ingredient Homemade Cranberry Jam

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Jams often reminds me of my childhood days. It transports me back it in time when mum used to generously slather store bought jam on a piece of bread and then tummy was happy! The fridge door was usually adorned with a plethora of beautiful and colorful jars of jams – berry, orange and lots more. To me jam making always seemed like a difficult process, until I tried to give it a shot. My first homemade jam was a strawberry chia jam and believe me it was darn delicious! I realized how very few ingredients can be turned into something so wonderful and addictive. With Christmas approaching, I have already begun the multitude of baking sessions in my kitchen. This Cranberry Jam is a must try. Layer it on your toast, swirl it in your festive loaf cakes, fill it in your cookies – it tastes delicious.

A quick, 4 ingredient recipe is sure to win everyone’s heart. Planning to gift homemade goodies this Christmas to friends and family or planning to make some dessert for the party, this Jam is the answer to all your needs.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 1 cup)

  • 200 gms of cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 120 gms granulated white sugar
  • 3 – 4 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (optional)

METHOD:

  • Wash the cranberries properly. Take the cranberries in a saucepan along with sugar ad water and let it cook on low-medium heat.
  • Keep stirring it occasionally. Once the berries have softened by 60%, take a potato masher and gently mash the entire mixture.
  • Let the berries cook more and it will soften completely and start to thicken.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat, stir in lemon juice if needed and allow the mixture to cool.
  • Once cooled transfer it into a clean, moisture free glass container. Keep it in the fridge until consumption.

 

Chocolate and Peppermint Crinkle Cookies

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Chocolate, peppermint and sugar – a match made in heaven! These are my favorite holiday cookies and oh so addictive. The decadent chocolate cookies encased in sugar is nothing short of blissfulness. So if you haven’t yet started baking your holiday cookies, it’s Happy Christmas Cookie Baking Friday!

The melt in your mouth center and the crispiness towards the edges of these cookies with a generous coating of sugar makes it look simple and darn pretty. Though I don’t live in that part of the world where it snows, but looking at the pictures in the books since childhood (and now Facebook and Google) these crinkle cookies are just everything I have envisioned about Christmas – snowy wonderland that tastes delicious. The cracking of the cookies while its baking in the oven is so satisfying that it make you want to eat the cookies right away.

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So if you need some quick and easy to make cookies to adorn your Christmas dessert tray then these crinkle cookies is your resort. It’s Christmas, it’s time to indulge and it’s time to bake these chocolate and peppermint crinkle cookies for your friends and family now.

Merry Christmas!

RECIPE

INGREDIENT: (Makes 15 cookies)

  • 30 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 130 grams dark chocolate or semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped (I used 55% dark chocolate)
  • 1 large egg
  • 50 grams granulated sugar
  • 90 grams all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp peppermint essence
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar, for coating

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METHOD:

  • Using double boiler method, melt roughly chopped chocolate and unsalted butter until the chocolate has completely melted.
  • Keep the melted chocolate and butter mixture aside and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  • Meanwhile, beat granulated sugar and egg using a electric beater until light and fluffy.
  • Now add vanilla extract, peppermint essence and room temperature melted chocolate mixture and beat it just incorporated.
  • Now in a separate bowl, whisk all purpose flour, baking powder and salt using a wire whisk and keep aside.
  • Now all the flour mixture to the egg-chocolate mixture and beat until it forms a dough and is well mixed.
  • Cling wrap the dough and refrigerate atleast for 4 hours or preferably overnight.
  • Preheat your oven to 160C for atleast 15 minutes. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Take a tablespoon of the dough and make a ball out of it. (You can choose to flatten it a little).
  • Generously coat the chocolate ball with icing sugar. Repeat it with the remaining dough and place it on the baking sheet with each ball being 2 inches apart.
  • Bake the cookie for 7 – 8 minutes. Please do not over bake it since the cookie will become dry.
  • Allow the cookies to cool slightly and indulge! These cookies are best when eaten the day its baked. However you can store these cookies in an airtight container for 2 – 3 days.

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Happy holidays and Merry Xmas!

 

Linzer Cookies with Strawberry Chia Seed Jam

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The countdown to Christmas has begun and its time stock up all the holiday baking wonders! With the dawn of December, comes in a month of baking sprees. The baking of cookies, gingerbread cakes or cranberry tarts just fills the entire house with beautiful aroma each day. The concoction of the different spices being infused in each dessert is so enticing that it is difficult to wait till the dessert is baked.

Linzer cookies is a perfect example of the flavorsome festive cookies that you can’t stop with just one of the cookie sandwiches. It’s addictive, period! I was scared of making these cookies since it involved some crucial pressure points (only in my head), however once I decided to make these, I completely enjoyed it especially when they turned out yummy.

The nutty buttery cookies with the aromatic spices comforts you amidst the nip in the air. These tender cookies are just perfectly sweet and the tartness from the jam makes the whole sandwich look and taste lovely! So why wait, just crank up the oven temperature, whisk up the list of ingredients mentioned below and enjoy this Christmas with these beautiful cookies.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (makes 10 cookies sandwich)

  • 75 grams whole almonds
  • 140 grams all purpose flour
  • 80 grams caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  • pinch of star anise powder
  • 113 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
  • yolk of 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup strawberry jam (I used store bought 24 Mantra Organic)
  • 1 tsp black Chia Seeds
  • 40 grams icing sugar, for dusting

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METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 170C for atleast 15 minutes.
  • Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the whole almonds on the baking tray and put it to toast for 7 – 8 minutes until slightly brown and the aroma of the toasted almonds starts coming.
  • Once toasted, allow it to cool completely. Once cooled put it in the grinder with 20 grams of caster sugar and grind it until it forms a fine powder.
  • In a bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add in egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat until well incorporated.
  • Add in almond meal in the mixture and mix in until mixed properly.
  • Now add in salt, nutmeg powder, cinnamon powder, star anise powder, lemon zest, all purpose flour and beat it until just combined.
  • Now cover the cookie mixture in cling film and refrigerate for 30 – 45 minutes or until firm.
  • Once it is firm, roll the cookie dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut it with the cookie cutter as shown in the pic. (You could use other shape cookie cutters too)
  • Using a small cookie cutter, cut the center and place the cookies on the baking sheet.
  • Refrigerate the cookies on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.
  • Now place it in the middle rack of the oven to bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden.
  • Allow the cookies to cool and then transfer it to the wire rack to cool completely.
  • While the cookies are baking, mix chia seeds and jam in bowl and whisk it until its lump free.
  • Place the cookies with the cut out on a baking sheet and dust it with icing sugar.
  • To assemble the cookies, put a spoon of jam on the whole cookie and then place the cookie on top with the icing sugar. Now you are ready to take a bite!

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Enjoy and Merry Christmas 🙂