Gingerbread Bunnies.

January 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

I have had my heart set on making some gingerbread men lately. I decided to enlist Avery for some help as he was solemnly driving “loud” Thomas around the kitchen floor. Pretty quickly he impressed his own personal tastes on the process and we were suddenly making gingerbread bunnies instead. Fine by me!

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I have always struggled with my gingerbread recipes in the past, I have always found them too bready, too sticky, too bland, or they just rise too much. Very frustrating. This time I was determined to get it right and ended up combining a few different recipes (mostly this one) and sometimes just winging it. I am really happy with the results (and Matt and Avery instantly ate three each, so I must be getting something right). I have put together the basics on what I did, mostly so I don’t forget and find myself back at square one next time!

Avery’s Gingerbread Bunnies

What you’ll need:

1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup molasses (not black-strap…I’ve tried both…)

1 egg yolk

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 & 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

For the frosting

1 egg white (perfect, right?!)

1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

Make cookies. Go!

Cream together the butter and sugar until soft and creamy. Add in the egg yolk and molasses and keep mixing.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices, make sure they are well mixed and then slowly add them to the wet mixture. At this point I switch my KitchenAid from the whisk attachment to the paddle, it made it a lot easier to mix the dough enough to make it less sticky.

Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and sit in the fridge to chill for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 and flour a work surface to roll out the dough. Cut the dough with the cookie cutter of choice (bunnies!!) and place on a baking sheet. I like to just place a layer of parchment paper over my sheet to save on cleaning and greasing. Give a little bit of room between each bunny, around an inch, these guys shouldn’t rise too much but you want to give them a bit of breathing room. Bake for 9 minutes! Let sit for 1 or 2 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

While the cookies are cooling, it’s time to make the icing!

Whisk the egg white until frothy, then add the lemon juice and whisk until it forms soft peaks. Slowly add the sugar and keep whisking until thick and lump free.

ICE THOSE BUNNIES!

I have discovered a nice trick for handling the bags of icing while working. I use ziplock sandwich bags with a small hole cut in one corner to do my icing. To set this up with minimum mess, I take a couple of rocks glasses and place the uncut bags inside them, rolling the ziplock over the edge.

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One glass and bag for each color you want to use (Avery specified green and white). Then fill the bag, as much as you like, take the bag out of the glass, squoosh the air out and zip up the ziplock (this stops the icing from accidentally smooshing out all over you….not that that’s ever happened to me…of course…). Cut the hole in a corner, always start with a hole that you think it too small, chances are, it isn’t.

Enjoy! YUMMY!

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Keiko would really like me to make her those dog biscuits.

March 24, 2008 § Leave a comment

Recipe to come.

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Nature’s Candy Bars

March 15, 2008 § Leave a comment

Matt and I are both attempting to up our levels of healthy for the summer. We do OK as is, I suppose, both mainly vegetarians who eat fish and I cook pretty much every meal. We’re organic conscious and try to keep up a varied diet. But there are always naughty things that sneak in and all we’re trying to do is replace bad naughty with good naughty…as there’s not a whole lot of point to a life with no naughty at all! So this morning I baked up some snacks too keep around for healthy munching. They’re a made up version of what could best be described as Granola Bars.

Here’s what I had in the cupboards:

  • 2 cups of oats
  • 1/2 cup Irish Oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup chopped raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 of a stick unsalted butter
  • 2 cups of mixed dried fruit (I used prunes, apple, apricots, pears, cranberries and raisins, all chopped up)

What to do:

  1. I spread out all the oats, oatmeal, nuts, seeds and flour on a tray and baked them at 350 F for about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Whilst this is toasting nicely, combine the honey, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract, salt and butter in a pan and heat gently until it makes a big, runny, goopy mess. Delish.
  3. When the oats are done, remove the pan from the heat and quickly add the oats into the syrup (TIP: I found the best way to do this was to put a piece of foil down under the oat mixture, then I was able to fold it and pour the oats out without tipping them all over my stove top).
  4. Stir in the chopped, dried fruit and quickly smoosh into a greased brownie pan.
  5. Squoosh it down really well and then pop it back in the oven at 300 for about 30 minutes.
  6. When it’s done, let it cool almost completely in the pan, tipping it out just before it’s totally cold. You might just need to leave it sat upside down on a chopping board for a minute or two, but it should slide out nicely. Then chop it up into bars, you can choose the size depending on how large of a snack you like to nibble on.
  7. Relax. Enjoy!

My Grandad would probably refer to these as bird food. In that case, I’m a very happy little bird. With some yummy granola bars in my tummy.

bird food

bird food

Always a treat.

March 14, 2008 § Leave a comment

I made some more muffins this morning and I thought that at last I would actually share! They are pretty delicious and not too unhealthy either! I based my recipe on this one, mostly because it was called To Die For Muffins. Yum. Who could say no to that?! So, here’s my adapted recipe for you:

Stuffs you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • tiny pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence! (mmm)
  • 1/3 cup soy milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

For the topping:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

What to doooo:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners. (personally I’m a fan of liners, I can never stop muffins from sticking for the bottom of the pans!)
  2. Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg, vanilla and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together sugar, flour, butter, and cinnamon. Mix until it’s powdery/chunky/crumby, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done. (mine took about 25 mins)
  5. Serve to hungry husband whilst keeping away from snuffling puppy!

Here is a slightly out of focus shot for you:

Blueberry Oat Smuffins.
I also want to play around with using apple juice as a sweetener and not so much sugar. Maybe some yogurt in there too? Although next on my agenda are; granola bars, vegan red velvet cake, sloppy joes (apparently something Matt has been craving) and then I think I want to do a cranberry and orange bran muffin. Although Cristalle managed to make me want to create my own butter by linking me to this gorgeous blog…all i need is some local fresh milk…hrmph.

In fact, my next blog will be very much Old Red Barn Co. related, but I think it deserves its own posting!

Also, I should apologize for the lack of recent blogging. I’m back on the wagon. Promise.

xxx’s

I am back!

February 28, 2008 § Leave a comment

I have been away for a week-or-so. Bit of an emergency trip to London.

Lots of things to catch up on here and then LOTS of things to blog about! Eeee!

Something for now…a gratuitous shot of fresh malt loaf, baked by my gran, smothered in butter. England does somethings so perfectly right.

Grans Baking

Mouthfuls of Muffins.

February 15, 2008 § Leave a comment

I woke up this morning with a bit of a headache. It might have been the red wine last night, or it might be my insane craving for a regular job! Eitherway, I decided that the best cure was probably to bake some muffins. I dug around through some recipes and combined different things and this is what I came up with:

Blueberry Oat Muffins

They’re sort of a blueberry oat, cinnamon crumble muffin. I’m pretty excited about them. I’ll be posting the recipe on ready-un-made later today, if you wanted to try them for yourselves.

Bread, bread and a bit more bread.

February 6, 2008 § Leave a comment

The results for the Hungarian Cheese Bread were mixed. It apparently had similarities to the original product but wasn’t spot on. It was however, disgustingly delicious, considering just how much cheese and butter went into it. Urgh. It honestly made me consider upping my vegetarian-who-eats-sushi grade to vegan-who-eats-sushi (because, let’s face it, I’m not giving up sushi). Anyway, I will be trying again, but I’m going to wait a little while and let my thighs work off this loaf.

Hungarian Cheese Bread - take one

I did also make some more rolls however. This time I made the decision  stick entirely to the KitchenAid recipe, which I regret. Far, far too salty. I’ll be sure to cut that out next time. But still, making bread and having it actually rise and puff and golden, is beyond satisfying!

Rolls!

Rolls!

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