Triple Ginger Cookies with Lemon Icing

The weather here in Minnesota has been really cold/snowy/windy on and off since the beginning of the year (and we’ve had multiple days of school cancelled because of it). Today is one of those cold/snowy/windy days, and I wasn’t too thrilled by the idea of venturing out to the grocery store to pick up a few items for the recipe I had in mind. So, I scoured the pantry cabinet for things I needed to use up – and came upon some crystallized ginger from the sugarplums I made last December.

Triple Ginger Cookies with Lemon Icing

Triple Ginger Cookies 2

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup shortening (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
  • Icing: powdered sugar and lemon juice

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, brown sugar, and salt.
  • In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the sugar and shortening until fluffy. Mix in the honey, egg, and fresh ginger. Add the crystallized ginger and the dry ingredients and combine well.
  • Roll the mixture into about 1-inch balls and place on the parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 15 to 17  minutes until they start to brown and crack on the top.
  • Remove the cookies from the pan to cool on wire cooling racks. Meanwhile, mix together powdered sugar and lemon juice until you have the consistency and flavor you like for the icing. Once the cookies have cooled, drizzle them with icing and let sit until the icing has firmed up.

Note: I was a bit short on the 1/4 cup of crystallized ginger, so I added a little bit more fresh ginger. These cookies are pretty light on the ginger flavor – I like A LOT of ginger and will likely add more crystallized next time, but that hasn’t stopped me from eating three of them already today. ; )

Source: Adapted from Bon Appetit

Blueberry Cardamom Chia Seed Pudding

I got a coffee/spice blender for Christmas and have been waiting for an opportunity to use it. I had leftover cardamom and chia seeds from a couple recipes so I decided to give the recipe below a shot. The spice grinder worked really well, though it did take a while to get the cardamom ground as finely as I wanted. This was my first time using chia seeds in a recipe like this, and the result, though a bit odd looking, was quite tasty.

Blueberry Cardamom Chia Seed Pudding

Pudding 1

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 2 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Note: I had a little bit less than 1/2 cup of chia seeds, so I reduced the rest of the recipe accordingly.

Instructions

  1. Throw everything in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour mixture into a container and stir thoroughly with a whisk or fork. Let rest for about five minutes and stir again. Wait ten minutes and stir one last time, before placing in the refrigerator overnight.

Some comments on the original recipe indicated that the cardamom flavor was a bit strong, but I really like it.

Source: Slightly adapted from Food 52.

Grapefruit Honey Ginger Soda

I love long weekends and school breaks because I get some extra time to get things done. Unfortunately, I’m not always great at checking things off my to do list because I often get distracted by other things.  Having a cooking blog is a really good way to ensure that I cook at least once a week – it’s a way of holding myself accountable, especially when such distractions arise.

Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which means that I get a few extra hours of free time in the morning – I’m going to brunch and to a service site with my VISTA co-hort later in the day. Tuesday is our mid-year VISTA retreat, and then we’re back to our school sites on Wednesday. I wanted to take advantage of the tiny bit of extra time I have because of the holiday and post two recipes, the first of which is below.

Grapefruit Honey Ginger Soda

Soda 1

Ingredients

  • Zest of one large pink or red grapefruit (Note: I found zesting the grapefruit to be more work than I wanted to do, so I just threw half of a juiced grapefruit, peel side down, into the pan and made sure to squeeze all the liquid out before discarding it)
  • 1 cup freshly-squeezed pink or red grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup honey, depending on how sweet you like your soda
  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
  • Club soda, for serving

Instructions

  1. Combine grapefruit zest (or half), grapefruit juice, honey, and ginger in a small saucepan over medium heat. Boil for two minutes, stirring until the honey is dissolved.
  2. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Strain through a sieve into a container and discard the solids.
  3. When you’re ready to make your soda, pour two tablespoons of syrup into an 8-ounce glass, top with club soda, and stir to mix it all together. Add more syrup if desired.

This is one of those recipes that you have to make and taste, and then make changes if you want more or less of a certain flavor. If I make this again I will probably grate the ginger because I couldn’t taste it hardly at all in the syrup.

Source: Adapted from theKitchn

Vegan Whole Wheat English Muffins

Greetings and Happy New Year! I’ve been sick with some sort of upper respiratory thing since Christmas Eve, so I haven’t been cooking as much as usual. It’s not super fun to cook (for myself or others) when I have random, unpredictable coughing fits from time to time. I’m hoping whatever it is that I have is finally on the way out.

I started a (mostly) dairy-free diet over a year ago, which has forced me to pay far closer attention to food labels than I did before. While limited amounts of dairy in baked goods is usually fine, I try to avoid it if I can. Many store-bought baked goods have some sort of dairy product in them (often whey), so I’m always grateful when I can find a product or a recipe that does not contain dairy.

Vegan Whole Wheat English Muffins

English muffins

Yield: 16-20 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup warm almond milk or other non-dairy milk (regular, unsweetened is best)
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 packet of instant yeast
  • 3 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free butter substitute (I used Earth Balance), melted
  • Cornmeal for dusting

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the warm water, almond milk, sugar, and yeast. Let stand until frothy. Meanwhile, whisk the flours and salt together in another large bowl.
  2. Whisk the melted butter substitute into the yeast mixture. Add the flour and salt mixture one or two cups at a time and mix well. I started with the whisk and eventually just used my hands as the dough became sticky and tougher to work with. Knead the dough for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Let sit 1 to 1 1/2 hours until it has about doubled in bulk.
  3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with cornmeal.
  4. Once dough has risen, punch it down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out until it’s about 1 inch thick. If you have a biscuit cutter you can use that to cut out the muffins, otherwise use something round (with sharp enough edges to cut the dough), about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. I used a plastic kitchen funnel.
  5. Place muffins on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. I turned the muffins over a few times to make sure both sides had cornmeal on them. Cover with a towel and let sit 30 to 40 minutes to rise some more.
  6. Preheat oven to 325°F, and heat a lightly oiled griddle to 300°F. Place the muffins on the griddle and cook each side until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the muffins to a baking sheet and finish in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool briefly on the pan, then transfer to wire cooling racks.

While these are a little less light and fluffy than store-bought english muffins, they taste pretty good. This recipe makes a lot of muffins; you can toss them in the freezer if you’re not going to eat them right away.

Source: Adapted from About.com, with a few tidbits from SavorySimple