What are you up to this weekend?
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I've been menu planning .. one of my favorite things.
Christmas day .. we're having my parents over for soup .. wine .. cookies .. and maybe a game or two of Scrabble. The next night .. a party with friends. So it's been fun to scour cooking magazines for new recipes
Also on the agenda? Starting a big batch of bone broth.
After stopping at the meat locker this morning .. The Chef came home with a bag filled with beef bones. Oh my .. what a treasure(!)
I hope you have a wonderful and peaceful Sunday. In the meantime .. a few fun links from around the web
Uncovering the connections between personality .. archetypes .. and weight gain .. Beliefs, Behaviors & Body Fat [via Dana James]
The most Instagrammed spot in every state [via Cool Material]
As if we needed another reason to love Julia .. 5 More Things to learn from Julia Child's Kitchen (hint: In the kitchen minimalism need not apply) [via The Kitchn]
The surprising secret of being a good boss [via First Round Review]
I've always wondered .. Why is it so hard to get the first slice of pie to look nice? [via Bon Appetit]
5 Wine Myths .. put to rest [via Food52]
How the White House's Pastry Chef built this year's 475 pound(!) Gingerbread House (absolutely incredible!) [via Bon Appetit]
The $4 Tool Every Wellness Maven should keep in the kitchen [via The Chalkboard]
What does it really mean to save something on the Internet? A 34-part Pulitzer Prize-nominated series vanished when its host site (Rocky Mountain News) went too long without maintenance [via The Atlantic]
A seismic shift in how people eat [via The New York Times]
A look into the origin of the world's favorite spice delivery system (the chili pepper!) .. and it's spread across the globe [via Legal Nomads]
An article to change the way we look at soul food. 200 Years of African-American Cookbooks reveal how much we stereotype food [via The Smithsonian Magazine]
Is Holiday stress getting you down? An instantly relaxing site [via Yahoo Health]
Guests coming over? Here's how to fake a clean house [via NYMag]
Along with so many other holiday bakers this time of year .. I inevitably end up making a few dozen gingerbread cookies. They'll bake alongside a handful of tiny gingerbread stars .. hearts .. or candy canes made from the scraps.
I have fairly strong opinions when it comes to gingerbread mean .. and until this year I haven't altered my approach or recipe all that much. After seeing a number of vegan recipes floating around I decided to try something new this time around.
When making gingerbread men .. it isn't the time for oozy-gooey or flakey cookies. Instead, they need to stand crisp .. tall and sturdy. Too chewy and their posture will be compromised.
Gingerbread cookies should have a spicy kick to them .. and you can't be shy with the spices. As they're baking .. your family should gravitate to the oven from the far reaches of your house .. to have a peek at the origins of the wonderful smells
In the past, I've decorated my cookies with icing .. sprinkles .. and candies. Although over the years I've come to enjoy them in their simplicity. I've done some with a sheen of big sugar crystals .. or a dot or two of icing for buttons. I've also strung thread and hung them on the tree .. and put them on sticks in a container (a bouquet of sorts)
ps: Whatever you do .. don't over bake your men .. as they'll dry out. If anything .. under-bake them just a bit (they'll continue to bake for another couple of minutes once they've come out of the oven). Big cookies take longer to cook than tiny ones .. something to keep in mind as well
pps: The secret to a really good cookie? Let the dough rest 72 hours before baking your cookies .. here
~ Adapted from Food52
Vegan Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies
- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour + extra for rolling
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup coconut oil melted but not hot
- 1/2 cup dark natural cane sugar i.e. muscovado, or alternatively use a dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup almond milk or non-dairy milk of choice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pre-heat oven to 350° F.
- Sift dry ingredients together into a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk together the oil, molasses, sugar, milk, and vanilla extract.
- Mix wet ingredients into dry, using a whisk, an electric hand mixer, or your hands, until uniform.
- Flatten the dough into a disk and refrigerate, wrapped in saran, for 30 minutes (or overnight).
- Dust a clean surface with flour. Roll the dough out till it's a scant 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes.
- Bake cookies for 8 minutes, or until the edges are just browning. Let cool before serving.