Snowflake Sugar Cookies

Continuing with our holiday baking are these snowflake sugar cookies! The thing I love about sugar cookies is that they are so versatile. Sure… they may look and taste plain at first, but they are essentially a blank canvas for you to decorate! This christmas, I decided to make snowflake sugar cookies because quite frankly… my cookie cutter selection is quite limited so I worked with what I had.. I definitely want to stock up on more cookie cutter shapes next year!

Decorating sugar cookies is quite the art – one I have yet to perfect. Just recently did I get the consistency of the royal icing just right so that it doesn’t run all over the cookie upon piping it. What I still currently struggle with is having the right control when piping the outline. In essence, I have trouble staying inside the lines when coloring -_- Luckily, there were enough cookies that by the time I decorated the last few, I finally started to get the hang of it!

This sugar cookie recipe is my go to. It usually makes a pretty large batch but I try to either halve it or just freeze the rest for another occasion. These sugar cookies are not only perfect for the holidays, but can be great for bake sales or any other occasion where you have an excuse to be creative. For instructions, see below.

Snowflake Sugar Cookies

Yield: 15

Snowflake Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Royal icing to decorate

Instructions

  1. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Then, beat in eggs and vanilla.
  2. Stir in the sifted flour, baking powder, and salt and mix until combined.
  3. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
  4. Preheat oven to 400. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or Silpat.
  5. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven until the edges start to brown a little. Make sure not to overbake them or they won't retain their white/creamy color. Cool completely (approximately 15 mins).
  6. Once fully cooled, you can decorate them with royal icing.
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http://cookingwithteamj.com/2017/12/20/snowflake-sugar-cookies/

Gingerbread Cookie Bars

Tis the season for holiday baking! I love to bake all year round regardless of the time of year but I feel extra festive during Christmas πŸ™‚

One of my favourite holiday treats are gingerbread cookies. I love the kick that the spices have to offer and the opportunity to decorate them make it extra fun. While I was browsing Pinterest (my muse and inspirational god), I stumbled across gingerbread bars and thought “Oh how cool is that, I’ve never really made a cookie bar before” and given all the Christmas dinners we have coming up, now is the best time to make them.

These gingerbread cookie bars have the texture of a chewy brownie and the flavour of a gingerbread cookie. They actually taste fine on their own but if you want to be extra festive, the cream cheese frosting serves a a beautiful canvas to your holiday garnishing/decorations. I opted for the christmas-y sprinkles and crushed candy canes.

We have a lot of friends who don’t like cream cheese (or frosting for that matter) so I decided to half the batch of cream cheese frosting so that some bars have it while others don’t. It worked out really well!

I would’ve eaten more bars but today was full of non-stop eating. However, I always have an extra stomach just for dessert and was able to squeeze in a small piece but I just wish I had space to eat more πŸ™

This is going to be a tough month with all the christmas dinners and gatherings – I’ll be busting at the seams 24/7. Does not help that my gym membership is also expiring end of this year…. O_O

To find out how I made these bars, see recipe below which I adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything.Β I increased the amount of ground ginger by 1/2 tsp as I personally like it more gingery. I also halved the cream cheese frosting recipe listed below given a number of our friends don’t like it.

If you don’t want these bars to be too dry, be sure to underbake them a little bit as the residual heat from the pan will cook the rest without drying them out πŸ™‚

Gingerbread Cookie Bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 24

Gingerbread Cookie Bars

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    Cream cheese frosting
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Christmas sprinkles/crushed candy canes to garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with parchment paper for easy removal once you're done baking.
  2. In a Kitchenaid stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and molasses on medium speed until creamy and somewhat pale. Then, add the egg and stir until completely incorporated.
  3. Add baking soda, flour, spices, and salt and mix until well combined. Spread dough evenly into prepared pan using a rubber spatula making sure to press the dough to the edges of the pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, ensuring not to overbake. Once the top starts to flatten I do a quick toothpick test and take it out to cool. The residual heat from the pan usually cooks the rest.
  4. When bars have cooled, you can leave it as is or frost with cream cheese frosting.
  5. Cut into squares and serve.
  6. For the frosting: Cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Slowly mix on low and then beat it on high until fluffy.
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http://cookingwithteamj.com/2017/12/18/gingerbread-cookie-bars/

 

Ginger cookies recipe

This weekend was beautiful in Toronto. For the past month or so, it has been super gloomy and rainy, which sucks because it makes summer less enjoyable. All we want to do is have drinks on the patio or have bbq with friends.

It actually worked out really well that our friend decided to have us over for a bbq this weekend since we haven’t really hung out in a long time. It was like 30 degrees celcius, super sunny, no cloud in the sky – just perfect summer weather. We were tasked to bring some desserts so first thing Saturday morning, I opened up my Bobbette & Belle cookbook to get inspiration on what recipes to make. It also gave me an opportunity to try new recipes as well. I decided to make these ginger cookies as well as my Apple Cinnnamon Coffee Cake.

These cookies actually turned out really well. The first time I made it, the cookies were too crunchy because I cooked it for 15 minutes as per the original recipe. The second time round, I undercooked it a bit for about 12 minutes, and let the dough rest for about 3 more hours in the fridge and it was perfect. Β These cookies were a bit strong in the ginger/clove flavour in my opinion but you can adjust accordingly.

Overall, I got good feedback on my coffee cake and cookies at the bbq and had lots of fun catching up with friends. Now I have extra cookies leftover so I guess i’ll be bringing them to work πŸ™‚

Ginger cookies recipe

Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 27 minutes

Yield: 30 cookies

Ginger cookies recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar to coat the cookies

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
  2. In a separate stand mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy (approximately 3 minutes). Add the egg and beat to combine. Slowly dad the molasses and mix until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl at least once.
  3. On low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter mixture, mixing until combined. Do not overmix as it will make the cookies dense. Put the cookie dough in saran wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour, the longer the better.
  4. When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silpat
  5. Scoop small pieces of cookie dough and roll it into a small ball (approximately 1-2 inches) and roll it around in the granulated sugar. Press it out flat slightly on the silpat/parchment paper to give it its cookie shape.
  6. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes if you want softer, chewier cookies. If you like them a bit crunchier, bake it for 15 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before you dig in. Store in airtight container.
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http://cookingwithteamj.com/2017/07/30/ginger-cookies-recipe/

Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s been a long hiatus and it’s good to be back. Ever since we moved downtown I feel as though I haven’t had as much time to bake as I used to. I kept coming up with excuses such as not having time after work or being too busy during the weekends to do so. Ultimately I think I just got lazy. That’s when I decided to get back to the blog as that was when I was most motivated to bake because I enjoyed taking pictures of my creations and sharing it with others.

The last creation I made was chocolate chip cookies and it was quite the hit! I remember having an itch to bake something sweet and seeing as what I already had in the pantry, one of the things I could easily make was chocolate chip cookies. It took me less than 30 mins to make and the result was chewy but soft cookies as that is how we prefer them.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The recipe I’m about to share with you is a personal favourite. You can adjust the baking time depending on whether you want your cookies to be on the crispier side or the softer/chewier side. The thickness of the cookies will affect the cooking time as well so if you make thinner cookies, they will cook faster and likely be more crispy. If you make them thicker, they’ll be chewier but also take longer as well.

Here’s how it’s done:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 12

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon hot water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and stir in the vanilla.
  3. Dissolve the baking soda in hot water and add it to the batter along with salt.
  4. Stir in flour in thirds to ensure even mixing and that you don't have dry pockets of flour. When all combined slowly stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Drop the cookie batter by lhe spoonful onto a silpat or some parchment paper
  6. Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned. Adjust baking time according to how soft you want the cookies to be. It's always best to undercook than overcook.
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http://cookingwithteamj.com/2015/11/29/chocolate-chip-cookies/

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Delicious Lemon Bars

The weather is getting warmer and the sun is finally coming out! I swear I haven’t seen it in 3 months… Best of all, it’s an indication that Spring is around the corner πŸ™‚ In order to celebrate, I decided to make a really bright and citrusy dessert to reflect the spring colors that are popping up everywhere — Lemon Bars!

lemon bars

I was first introduced to these yummy lemon bars at a Christmas dinner I had with my friends last year. One of them brought these lemon bars that their mom made and everyone was raving about them. Of course we hounded them for the recipe but despite getting the recipe, I just never got around to making it.. until today!

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