Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Chewy Ginger Cookies

I love ginger cookies.  The older I get the more I lean towards lovely ginger cookies instead of chocolate peppermint cookies for the holidays.  (I still love a chocolate peppermint cookie... make no mistake about it)

These are not ginger snaps.  These are soft and chewy... and delicious.

Chewy Ginger Cookies:
(King Arthur Flour)

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 large eggs
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Sugar for coating: I used regular granulated sugar but sparkling white sugar would be pretty

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until they're light and fluffy.

Add the molasses, baking soda, salt, and spices.  Mix well.  Add the eggs, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated.

Add the flour and scrape down the sides again.

Scoop the soft dough into 1 ½" balls and roll them sugar.

Space the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 ½" between them.

Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes. The centers will look soft and puffy.  Remove the cookies from the oven, and cool them on the pan for 10 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Honey Ginger Chex Mix

It's the time for holiday parties.  I always make a large batch of traditional Chex Mix every year but this year when I was shopping for the ingredients I noticed this recipe printed on the side of the box.  It sounded really good so I picked up everything and tried it.

This is a really good mix.  I gave it out with Christmas gifts this year and everyone thought it was delicious.  It is also gluten-free so you don't have to worry about making something different for those with gluten allergies.

Honey Ginger Chex Mix:
(adapted from Chex)

6 cups Rice Chex and/or Honey Nut Chex cereal
1 cup dried banana chips
1 cup unblanched whole almonds
¼ cup butter or margarine
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup honey
1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon apple pie spice
1 cup flaked coconut
½ cup sweetened dried cranberries
½ cup dried pineapple

In large microwavable bowl, mix cereal, banana chips and almonds.
In 2-cup microwavable measuring cup, microwave butter, brown sugar, honey and ginger uncovered on high for about 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until mixture is boiling; stir.

Pour over cereal mixture, stirring until evenly coated. Microwave uncovered on High 4 minutes, stirring and scraping bowl every minute. Stir in coconut and cranberries; microwave uncovered on high about 3 minutes or until cereal just begins to brown.
Spread on waxed paper or foil to cool. Store in airtight container.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Bourbon Baked Ham

We don't usually make a ham for holiday meals but this Thanksgiving we ended up having more people than turkey so I decided a ham would be the easiest way to fix the problem.

I already had a bottle of bourbon opened from the Derby Pie I made and thought I should find some more ways to use it.  Bourbon Ham was the answer!  This recipe is adapted from my late grandma's ham recipe.  She covered the ham in mustard and brown sugar and let it cook until everything melted together.  I added some bourbon and juice to the mustard and ham mixture and was really happy about how it turned out.

Bourbon Baked Ham:
(adapted from my Grandma's recipe box)

1 ham- precooked, whole or spiral cut
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
4 + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons bourbon
1 cup orange juice
salt and pepper to taste
Whole cloves- depending on how many scores you make in your ham

Preheat the oven to 350.

Take your ham and slice a diamond pattern on the top and put a whole clove at the point of each diamond.  If you have a spiral sliced ham you don't have to do anything here!!

Spread the yellow mustard all over the ham.  If your ham is larger then use more mustard.  This is not exact science.  Spread 4 tablespoons (more or less) of the brown sugar on top of the mustard ham.

In a bowl mix together the rest of the brown sugar, bourbon, orange juice, and salt and pepper together.  Pour a quarter of the mixture over the ham and place in the oven.  Continue to pour the mixture over the ham and cook until everything is warmed through.

Another option is to take the remaining 3/4 orange bourbon mixture and reduce over medium-low heat until nice and thick.  This can be poured over the sliced ham as needed.