By Request: Recipes!

Thin and Crisp Gingerbread-(This recipe is from Cooks Illustrated) 

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t table salt
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • 1 T ground ginger
  • 1/2 t ground cloves
  • 12 T unsalted butter, softened slightly
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 2 T milk 
    1. In a food processor, process flour, sugar, soda, salt and spices until combined, about 10 seconds. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture, and process until mixture is sandy and resembles bread crumbs, about 15 seconds. With machine running, gradually add the molasses and milk; process until dough is moistened and forms a soft mass, about 15 seconds. (you can do this in your stand-mixer too, using the paddle attachment)
    2. Scrape dough to work surface (it will be very soft) divide in quarters, and pat each quarter into a disk shape and sandwich between two sheets of parchment paper. refrigerate overnight, or for a minimum of 2 hours.
    3. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Line baking sheets with parchment. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
    4. Remove dough from fridge, peel off wrapped parchment, and lay disk between two clean sheets of parchment. Roll dough to 1/8” thick. Use your favorite cookie cutters and have a ball.
    5. Before baking, put cut cookies in the freezer for 10 minutes before you pop them in the oven- this will keep their shape from spreading too much and help give you firm, crisp cookies.
    6. Bake 15-20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
    7. Repeat with the other three disks of dough.

For my cookies, I love ginger, so I actually up the powdered ginger to 1/4 cup. Yes, seriously, and they are fabulous! Spicy and sweet and so yummy- so you have latitude in your spice level, just so you know.  Also, these cookies are great for decorating with royal icing, and also for making tree ornaments. Just poke a hole in them with a drinking straw before baking.  


Pecan English Toffee(From the kitchen of Tracy M) 

  • 1 pound real butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips 

  1. Chop nuts to whatever consistency you find pleasing. Spread nuts out in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan (any baking sheet with a lip) and toast nuts in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, just until fragrant. Set aside.
  2. In a thick-bottomed, large pot (it will burn otherwise) bring butter, sugar and water to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Do not stop stirring! Once mixture is at a rolling boil, set timer and boil for exactly 7 minutes, stirring the whole time. The color will change to an amber shade around minutes 5-6. Keep stirring.
  3. When timer beeps, carefully carry your scalding hot pot of liquid lava to your pan of toasted pecans, and pour the goodness over your nuts. Be super careful- sugar burns suck.
  4. It will self-level. After about 10 minutes, sprinkle chocolate chips over the top of the toffee, wait 10 more minutes, then use an off-set spatula to spread the melted chips evenly over the top of the toffee. Let cool overnight.
  5. This is NOT a good recipe to make with kids. I always do it after they are in bed at night- seriously, boiling sugar = bad thing for kids.
  6. The next morning, the toffee-fairy will have come, and your kids can help you break it into bite-sized pieces. That’s it. Have fun!

5 thoughts on “By Request: Recipes!

  1. Thank You! Thank You! My pregnant (scattered) brain has been trying to find a good recipe ever since I saw the picture of the toffee you made. I’m making homemade chocolates for my husband’s family for christmas and that is the perfect addition. That toffee is beautiful just to look at so I can only imagine how good it tastes. I’m so excited now!

  2. I tried the toffee recipe over the weekend and my husband has declared it a new christmas tradition! I was just wondering if you have any suggestions for how to break up the toffee without it separating from the chocolate. I seemed to have some difficulties with that, but it could just be me. ;o)

  3. EK- You know, I’ve never had any issues with the chocolate breaking off- hmmm…. anyone else? I just break it up with clean hands the morning after I make it. Make sure you spread the chocolate while the toffee is still really hot– other than that, I’m at a loss. Glad you liked it nontheless!

  4. Must just be me! I’ll try putting on the chocolate a little sooner this time. I seemed to have technical difficulties, but it could just be because it was my first time making it. I couldn’t get it to self level either….had to help it along a little. But it’s still the best toffee I’ve ever had, with or without the chocolate! Thanks for posting the recipe!

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