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Grandma's Ginger Crinkles Recipe! A family favorite, these perfectly spiced ginger crinkles are incredibly easy to make – great for the holiday season!  They also have molasses in them, but we’ve always called them ginger crinkles.  Years ago, after my mom inherited grandma’s recipe collection, I spent hours hunting for this one.  She had at least five ginger/molasses cookie recipes in her box.  I knew it was this one when I saw the recipe card, complete with molasses drippings and doughy finger smudges! This is a great recipe to try with the littles – my nearly 3-yo nephew rolled all the balls in sugar himself!  I wasn’t sure if he’d like the taste of a cookie with so many spices – but he loved them – great flavor that’s not overpowering. Soft and chewy, old-fashioned crinkles, and dusted with sugar – yum!  They can also be made thinner/crunchier if that’s your thing – simply flatten the dough balls a little with the palm of your hand and bake a few minutes longer.  Since they use shortening, they are also lactose-free (assuming you use Crisco, which qualified at last check).  Here we go!

Grandma Marie's Ginger/Molasses Crinkles Cookie Recipe | happyandsimple.wordpress.com

-click on above image to save or print recipe-

Grandma's Ginger Crinkles Recipe!

Thinking ahead tip:  freeze some dough balls after you’ve rolled them in sugar – then bake later!

Happy Weekend!

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Easy Raspberry Turnovers Recipe - this dough is magic!

It’s been a while, AGAIN.  I have so many projects I want to share and so little time.  Today’s baking project turned out so well that I had to make time.  I baked these for a neighborhood get-together and there was so much food that I was left with a bunch of these (I may or may not have eaten three over the course of 10 minutes).  So, I spent my evening trying to convince people to take them – I think I need more sweet-toothed friends!  I almost volunteered some to a stranger walking down the street, but he already had this hands full.

This blitz puff dough is like magic and I am so excited to share it with you!  It’s seriously easy and seriously delicious.  Looks like it took 18 hours to make, but really only claimed about an hour.  Resist all future urges to buy frozen puff pastry dough and make this – you will be so glad you did!  I have an insane amount of raspberries on my bushes this year, so I made fresh filling – but, you could very easily substitute with a fruit jam, apples, a blob of chocolate, or even something savory like spinach and feta.

Easy Raspberry Turnovers Recipe - this dough is magic!

I have made croissants and turnovers from scratch many times before and these taste just as flaky and just as buttery, in only a tiny fraction of the time.  The recipe is from the King Arthur Flour website:  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/raspberry-puff-turnovers-recipe

King Arthur also has a blog posting for this particular recipe – it walks through the whole thing picture-by-picture: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2009/07/02/love-flaky-turnovers-dont-love-fussing-blitz-puff-to-the-rescue/

Simple Raspberry Turnover Recipe - this dough is magic!

Rather than posting the recipe here, I’ll let you read through it at the above link – but, here is a list of tips that may make things even more simple when you make these:

-For the dough, use a food processor if you have one!  Speeds things up a lot.  A hand pastry blender or hand mixer will also work.

-The dough can get soft/sticky.  Once you’ve done the final roll-out and cut it with a pizza cutter – stick it back in the fridge for a couple minutes before adding your filling and brushing on the egg wash edging.  It will make it easier to seal your seams so that they look nice.

-If you are making the raspberry filling from the recipe and use cornstarch rather than ClearJel: keeping adding water, slowly, until the cornstarch dissolves – you might curse when it stirs like cement at first, and then, all of a sudden, when you add just the right amount of water it immediately dissolves!

-Whatever filling you choose:  make sure it is cold (or at least firm) – if it’s soft or runny, it is hard to cleanly seal the dough edges.

-You can freeze these!  Fill and seal them, then straight to the freezer instead of baking.  Just pop them in the oven from frozen and allow a few extra minutes of bake time.

Raspberry Turnover Recipe

Raspberry Turnover Recipe

-I brushed the tops with an egg wash and then sprinkled ‘Sugar in the Raw’ (a coarse sugar you can buy at your local grocery store – very inexpensive).

-I chose to squiggle some chocolate ganache on top of each after baking.  Ganache is very simple to make:  use heavy cream or a soy creamer and a chocolate of your choice.  In a microwave-safe bowl, heat your cream until the edges bubble (you want to ‘scald’ it, in other words, you’ll see a thin layer of’ skin on the surface).  Immediately place a nearly equal amount of chocolate into the hot cream (i.e. 6 oz. cream, 6 oz. chocolate), and let it sit a few minutes.  If you are in a hurry, using less cream will help it to thicken more quickly.  Stir until smooth.  Chill in the refrigerator until it’s thickened enough to pipe or spoon on top of your turnovers (don’t over stir it, or it may become too thick – if this happens, just reheat for a short time).

Easy Raspberry Turnover Recipe - this dough is magic!

Happy Eating!

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sugarcookiehappyholidaysSugar Cookie Recipe

(hint:  I used a margarine/shortening combo to keep them lactose-free – worked great!)

Icing/Glaze Recipe 

(hint: using a ziploc bag with a tiny piece cut off one corner, squeeze/pipe a border around your cookie, then thin some of your icing and “flood” the rest of the cookie for base coverage – or you could skip the border and just brush on some thinned icing using a silicone pastry brush.)

mintcakeslice mintcakeChocolate Peppermint Cake

Chocolate Cake Recipe

Vanilla Buttercream Icing Recipe (hint:  Scroll to bottom of linked posting for recipe.  For this particular cake, I only added about 5 cups of powdered sugar.  Remove enough icing to place between the two layers and add ~1/4 tsp peppermint extract – add slowly and taste as you go.  Make sure you leave enough of the plain vanilla icing to cover the exterior of the cake. Crush candy canes and press lightly into side of icing.  The result is a moist and pleasantly (but not overwhelmingly) mint chocolate cake.

strawberrychocolatecandy strawberrychocolatecandy2 freezedriedstrawberriesDark Chocolate Strawberry Crunch Candy

This was a spur of the moment creation – and it’s super easy!  You’ll need:

  • A couple bars of dark chocolate (I grabbed one of the big blocks of 72% from Trader Joe’s)
  • Freeze-dried strawberries (also from Trader Joe’s)
  • ‘Sugar in the Raw’ (or some sort of similar coarse granular sugar)

Keep in mind that this recipe doesn’t necessarily require exact ingredient quantities – it’s pretty forgiving.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper.

Melt whatever quantity chocolate you have (I melt it in the microwave, and stir occasionally to prevent scorching) – use a spoon or spatula to spread a solid layer of chocolate around (whatever thickness you desire, though make sure that it’s not so thin you can see through it).  Make sure to leave about 1/3 of your chocolate to drizzle on top.

Lightly press pieces of freeze-dried strawberries into the chocolate, then using a spoon, drizzle the remainder of your chocolate on top of the strawberries.

Immediately sprinkle coarse sugar on top (this is optional, though the freeze-dried strawberries I had were fairly tart, so this helped even things out a bit).

Place in refrigerator or freezer for a short time (until chocolate is solid).  Break into pieces.  Store remainder in refrigerator.

squashrolls squashrollSquash Dinner Roll Recipe

(I have posted this recipe before, but it’s worth the repeat!   Hints:  I use frozen cubed butternut squash, boil until tender, drain, and mash.  I always make mine in a bread machine – so easy.  Just throw in the dry ingredients first, followed by wet ingredients – adding yeast last.  Set on dough cycle and then roll into balls and freeze for later or raise and bake .  Keep in mind that the recipe may need to be halved to fit in your bread machine.  Easily made in advance, these freeze great – just roll into balls and toss into a muffin tin, day before you’re ready to use, set in fridge overnight and then rise in a warm spot until well-risen.)

snowdogOk, so it’s not food-related, but I had to post a photo of my goofy pup – he loves to lay in a snow pile right outside the window (gazing inside)… enjoying the best of both worlds.  Hope you all are enjoying the holiday season!

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