Sunday, November 13, 2011

Brown Sugar Cookies

This weekend rolled around, and once again, we were in the mood for something sweet! I didn't want to make the usual (since I'd just made them earlier this week...wait, I mean...earlier this month...I didn't make cookies twice this week...). With a little searching, I stumbled upon these gems from Joy the Baker. Chewy and carmel-y, with hints of cinnamon and ginger. These babies hit the spot and they are some of my new favorites! They're almost a cross between sugar cookies and a gingersnaps. Or like a flavorful chocolate chip cookie without chocolate chips. Just make them.

Brown Sugar Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 sticks (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar*
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Set aside.
Place butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat on medium speed for one minute more.
Add the dry ingredients, all at once, to the butter and sugar mixture. Beat on low speed until the dough begins to come together and the flour disappears. Stop the mixture and finish incorporating the ingredients with a spatula. Once all the flour is thoroughly mixed in, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone liner. Dollop tablespoon size balls of dough onto baking sheet. Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies will last in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days...good luck getting them to last that long. ;)

* If you only have light brown sugar like me, just add 1 Tbsp of molasses.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pumpkin Waffles

If you don't already know, I go on a major pumpkin kick the last three months of the year. When I saw these pumpkin waffles from You're Gonna Bake It After All, I knew it was just a matter of time before I consumed them.

I made a couple small changes to make them a tad healthier, and they were so delicious! Think pumpkin pie in waffle form. When the smell of pumpkin and spices had filled our house, Stew said to me, "The smell of pumpkin and spices in the kitchen at this time of year means there's someone in the kitchen who loves me!" :) He was so glad I convinced him to have these waffles for dinner. Make them soon!

Pumpkin Waffles
Adapted from this recipe

Makes 5 full traditional (not Belgian) waffles (20 squares)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup wheat flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

2 1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cloves

4 large eggs, separated

2 cups buttermilk*

1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin

6 Tbsp canola oil

Cooking spray for waffle iron

*Or use 2 cups milk with 2 tablespoons vinegar and allow to curdle for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 250°F and preheat waffle iron.
Sift together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Whisk egg yolks in a large bowl with buttermilk, pumpkin, and oil until smooth. Whisk in dry ingredients just until combined. In a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Fold them gently into the waffle batter until just combined.
Spray waffle iron with cooking spray. Pour or spoon batter into waffle iron, spreading quickly. Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.
If serving many people, transfer waffles to rack in oven to keep warm and crisp.
Repeat with remaining batter.
I just cool my extra waffles on a cooling rack, break up the squares, wrap them in waxed paper, and pack them up in freezer bags. Then they are ready to pop in the toaster from frozen.
Serve topped with butter and maple syrup and enjoy the flavors of fall!