Holiday Sugar and Gingerbread Cookies with Eggless Icing

IMG_2846 (2)

In a sudden bought of Holiday Spirit, my cousins and I got together to make Christmas cookies!

I don’t normally do cut-outs, they take too much time and effort. Plus it is amazingly hard to find a delicious sugar cookie recipe. But for the sake of my 6 year old cousin, I scoured the internet for a couple of cut-out recipes.

I found and prepared this gingerbread recipe and this sugar cookie recipe. For the gingerbread, I followed it to a T. The only hitch being not being able to find pre-ground cloves. So I had to grind my own in a bullet.

The sugar cookie recipe I modified according to the comments. Using only 3 cups of flour and a teaspoon of vanilla.

I chilled the sugar cookie dough and let the sugar cookie dough sit out. Until it was time to roll and cut.

 

 

IMG_2806 (2)

 

 

Rolling out the dough was such a pain. I don’t know why the gingerbread said to leave the dough at room temperature. It was much too soft and sticky. I think chilling it would have been much better.

The sugar cookie dough was chilled and very easy to deal with, until it got warmed up by hands and oven heat.

It was sort of fun at first. Though dealing with a rambunctious 6 year old does wear the nerves.

 

 

 

 

IMG_2844 (2)

 

I  must say that frosting the cookies was the best part. I found and prepared this frosting with a few modifications. I used cream cheese, instead of butter, and didn’t have any vanilla so just left it out completely. The milk I added till the consistency I wanted, I didn’t even bother with measurements.

The frosting ended up a thick liquid that I partitioned into 7 parts and let my baby cousin add color to. So with yellow, purple, pink, green, blue, aqua, and orange we spread the icing on the cookies and let the sprinkles flow.

After drying for a few hours the cookies were perfectly prepared for stacking and storing.  The gingerbread cookies were quite delicious! And a perfect texture. The sugar cookies were a bit bland (next time I will add some cinnamon and nutmeg to the dough.) They were nice a fluffy though. I really enjoyed the texture of these sugar cookies. Not overly crunchy, but held their shape nicely!

I won’t be making cut-outs for a long while, but it was a fun adventure and a great memory!

Chocolate Caramel Cookies

Image

I was inspired to make these sumptuous and overly decadent delights by the amazing stop motion video by Sorted and co. Click on this link and watch for yourself. That is the VERY definition of Food Porn. Tell me you didn’t start moaning over the richness of it all.

I dare you.

Needless to say I was so hot and bothered over these cookies I rushed out to the store to pick up the candies and nutella (the only ingredients I didn’t have on hand.)

I got home, washed my hands and commenced assembly immediately.

Only to discover that the ingredient amounts are listed in grams. Oops. Forgot about that whole conversion bit.

I did some quick google searching for the ingredient conversions (it’s important to keep in mind that grams are a WEIGHT measurement and cups are a VOLUME measurement. So it’s no easy formula.)

This is my interpretation:

INGREDIENTS

  • butter (110g) ~ 1 stick
  • light brown sugar (350g) ~ 1 3/4 cups
  • cocoa powder (55g) ~ heaping 1/3 cup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • plain flour (260g) ~ according to calculations 2 1/2 cups, see the explication below for further details.
  • milk or dark chocolate chips (100g) ~ I didn’t look this one up, just add as much as you want! (~1-2 cups)
  • sea salt, for sprinkling
  • 8 tbsp nutella
  • 16 caramel-filled chocolates

RECIPE

line a baking tray with parchment paper.
preheat your oven to 180 degrees C (that’s 350 F for us Americans).
melt the butter in a medium heated pan.
take off the heat and stir in the brown sugar and eggs.
add the cocoa, salt and baking powder and stir until well combined.
add the flour and stir until no floury patches are left.
stir in the chocolate chips.
take 1 heaped tbsp of dough, use your finger make a large indentation the centre of the dough; fill the indentation with a small blob of nutella (like 1/2 tsp ish), and top it up with the caramel-filled chocolate.
top with a flattened tablespoon of dough, and seal the edges.
sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 8-10 minutes

~~~~

So. All was going well despite the frantic search to convert the measurements until I got to the flour. I put in about 1.5 cups fluffed flour (as in I spooned, stirred and fluffed the flour before scooping into the measuring cup) and stirred thoroughly. Only to find the dough was more of a batter. So I added some more. And some more. At this point I was just pouring it out of my almost empty bag so I have no idea how much extra I added. But I kept at it until the batter was DOUGH consistency and would hold a cookie shape.

Unfortunately by this time the chocolate chips had melted.

And I think I added a LITTLE too much flour.

But I was happy just to be able to scoop a blob out and push my finger into the middle! So I wasn’t going to complain.

I filled with Nutella and plopped a Ghiradelli salt caramel chocolate square on top (my cookies were quite a bit bigger than those in the stop motion version.)

Image

I then covered them up using almost all of the dough and popped them in the oven for 10 minutes. I let them cool a bit and broke one open. Before I get into the explicit and mature description I will warn you that they will appear to be undercooked. But do NOT cook for longer than TEN MINUTES. Otherwise they get a bit too crunchy and hard. Unless you are into that kind of thing. No judgement.

Image

I’m not actually sure I can do justice to that picture. It was warm. Gooey Molten Ambrosia. . Rich. Decadent. Satisfying. Overwhelming. Lightly crispy. Creamy. Dense. You know the words ( I really need to get some new vocabulary for cookies. But, I mean, what other trigger words do you need besides dense, chewy and rich?) Sproing! My mouth is salivating.

These are dangerously rich and thoroughly crave-quenching. Bake at your own risk (and glorious tastebud overload!)

 

Conversions found through these lovely links!

http://www.traditionaloven.com/conversions_of_measures/sugar_amounts.html

http://www.pastryscoop.com/category/look-it-up/flour/