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Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread cookies are the best. I like to bite their heads off first, then each arm, and then each leg. These are going to be the second cookie I am going to include in my holiday cookie boxes.

I have a few strong opinions on how I like my gingerbread and this recipe fits the bill on every front. These cookies are tasty, classic, spice-flecked and a rich shade of brown – exactly what they were supposed to be.Gingerbread Cookies Recipe with Icing

Let’s Make Strong Gingerbread Cookies

This isn’t the time for chewy, moist, or flaky cookies. When you are making gingerbread men (or women) it’s important to make a cookie that is crisp, sturdy, and a shade on the dry side. This is especially important if you are making large + tall gingerbread men, or using the recipe to create walls for a gingerbread house or structure. You should be able to hold you gingerbread cookies by one leg and not have the leg crumble or bend off. I’m not talking about making a gingerbread cracker here, but hopefully you get my drift. As you can see from the picture my gingerbread cookie is standing tall and straight. That’s what you’re after.

Big Flavor

I love gingerbread cookies with some kick. No skimping on the spices please. This recipe is loaded with a generous dose of ground ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves, and pepper. Every bite should have a spicy tingle to it. As they are baking, people should flock to the oven from the far recesses of the house to have a peek at the source of the wonderful smells. You can’t be shy with the spices.
Classic Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

Appearance

Gingerbread cookies look best when they’re deep ginger in color, and spotted from head to toe with freckles of spices. The molasses in this recipe along with the generous amount of spices made for a nice, classic gingerbread appearance. I’m also picky about the shape and physique of my gingerbread people. I’m always on the lookout for cookie cutters that are just the right shape for them. Too squat or stubby is no good, but my current cutter (the one I used for these pics) is a tad on the lean side.

Decorating Gingerbread Cookies

I tend to opt for simplicity here. Sometimes just two little button dots are enough. I may do a few without the buttons and go for one tiny white heart sprinkled with a touch of sugar sparkles instead. A little variety is nice.  And, although I like a cookie with higher frosting to cookie ratio, more elaborate frosting designs on gingerbread sometimes end up looking a little too krafty for my tastes.

Gingerbread Cookies Recipe with Icing

Baking Tips

Getting the baking time key. Whatever you do, don’t over bake these guys. They will dry right out. If anything, under bake them just a shade. They will continue to bake for another couple of minutes once you pull them from the oven. Big cookies take longer to cook than tiny ones, keep that in mind as well.

A Clever Serving Idea

I was at a holiday part once where gingerbread cookies were baked onto popsicle sticks. They were arranged, bouquet-like, in a container filled with sugar. Kids loved eating them like lollipops.

Use all the Dough

My gingerbread men and women tend to bake alongside tiny gingerbread stars, hearts, and gingerbread candy canes. All made from dough scraps. You can gather your scraps and re-roll a couple of times to use as much of the dough as possible.

Overall, I love this gingerbread recipe, especially for cookies (and beyond!). It’s a classic dough that could easily be adapted for other gingerbread endeavors!

Continue reading Gingerbread Cookies on 101 Cookbooks

Easy Vegan Eggnog

Easy Vegan Eggnog

The holidays are upon us, and we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than with some seriously rich, comforting eggnog.

Let us show you how easy it is to make this 6-ingredient, 1-blender, naturally-sweetened vegan eggnog, perfect for the holidays and beyond!

What is Eggnog?

Eggnog is a rich, seasonal beverage traditionally made with eggs, milk, sugar, nutmeg, and bourbon.

Our version, however, is a little different.

Easy Vegan Eggnog from Minimalist Baker →

Minestrone Soup with Brown Rice and Chickpeas

On a year by year seasonal basis, I go through phases. Some winter seasons, I’m all about pasta. Other seasons I’ve hunkered down and found my way around many different curry recipes. This season? It appears to be all about one-pot stews that warm (and also happen to be good with a solid piece of crusty bread).

Recipe Base: a vegan original

This particular recipe is a lightly tweaked version of minestrone that I developed for Simply Recipes. The version over on that site, however, is vegan. This version is decidedly not. The vegan version is good but when it comes to these tomato stews, I feel like it’s just screaming for cheese.

The Parmesan

I didn’t put this in the recipe but this stew is also good with a parmesan rind thrown in. However, I’ve found it really only works with the non-vegetarian parmesan (which is why I didn’t include it in the recipe). So, just a thought, that if you aren’t going for a full vegetarian recipe- toss the rind in, you won’t be disappointed.

Frozen Vegetables

Also, I’ll give my spiel here about frozen vegetables. I love keeping frozen vegetables on hand because try as a might, my family is not always up for the squash and sweet potato recipes I want every day. Frozen vegetables retain their nutrition and when produce is out of season, I’ll buy frozen. I almost always have green beans, peas, and edamame stashed away.

Rice Versus Pasta

Finally, you could totally switch back over to making this soup with pasta. It would definitely speed up the process. However, there’s something really nice about the rice. It would also be nice with farro, sorghum, or even barley.

[tasty-recipe id=”38639″] continue reading

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5-Ingredient Almond Butter Dark Chocolate Snowballs

5-Ingredient Almond Butter Dark Chocolate Snowballs

Sometimes the best recipes happen by accident. This is certainly one of them!

I had leftover melted chocolate from another recipe, so I did what any logical person would do: I smeared some almond butter on a date, dunked it, and rolled it in shredded coconut. The rest is history!

Let us show you how easy this recipe is!

Made with just 5-ingredients and ready in just 15 minutes, these satisfying, delicious treats are a must-try.

5-Ingredient Almond Butter Dark Chocolate Snowballs from Minimalist Baker →

1-Bowl Snickerdoodle Cookies (Vegan + GF)

1-Bowl Snickerdoodle Cookies (Vegan + GF)

Do these cookies look like little pillows of cinnamon-spiked goodness coated in magical crystal dust? Oh, that’s weird, because that’s exactly what they are.

Say hello to our new favorite holiday cookie: 1-Bowl Snickerdoodle Cookies that are vegan, gluten-free, and naturally-sweetened. Let’s bake!

The base of these 1-bowl cookies — like most sugar cookies — is butter and sugar. However, we did some extensive testing with this recipe and discovered several things:

  1. Both vegan and dairy butter work well, with dairy butter yielding slightly fluffier results.

1-Bowl Snickerdoodle Cookies (Vegan + GF) from Minimalist Baker →

Quick Crispy Cauliflower

Quick Crispy Cauliflower

If you’ve ever fallen out of love with cauliflower, this dish will help rekindle that fire.

It’s crispy, fast, flavorful, and incredibly versatile — think holiday side dish or a topper for salads, bowls, and more.

Let us show you how it’s done!

This recipe is simple, requiring just 30 minutes and 4 ingredients to prepare!

How to Make Crispy Cauliflower

While there are many methods for making crispy cauliflower, this method is fast and effective.

Quick Crispy Cauliflower from Minimalist Baker →

Rye Crepes with Maple Butter Pears

Close-up of rye crepes on a maroon plate topped with pears, whipped crepe, and walnuts.

I’ll preface this recipe by saying if you’ve never made crepes, now is the time to start. I think it’s one of the best recipes to master because not only are they fun to make (my opinion) there are many different uses for these thin pancakes.

I have a base recipe that I’ve found works well for many different flour varieties but the best thing you can do is pay attention to consistency. If the batter is too thick, the crepe is too thick. The crepe should be really light and thin. If the batter is too thin, it won’t properly cook/adhere to the pan for solid swirling. It might take a few tries but it’s worth it.

So what can you do with a crepe? Well, for starters, you can eat them like you would pancakes (as in the recipe below). You can fill them with something sweet (ice cream is my husband’s preference) or you can load them up with vegetables (like here or in this GF version!) Top them with an egg or a big wedge of cheese. I’ve also been known to roll them up and pack them in my kids lunch.

[tasty-recipe id=”38624″]

Image of two plates of crepes with pears and hands cutting into one of the crepes.continue reading

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1-Bowl Pumpkin Pie (Vegan + GF)

1-Bowl Pumpkin Pie (Vegan + GF)

We celebrated Friendsgiving early this year, and I offered to bring the main (Roasted Chicken), vegetables (1-Pan Garlicky Green Beans with Slivered Almonds), and dessert.

In an effort to try something new (although I do love this classic vegan pumpkin pie), I remembered earmarking a gorgeous pumpkin tartlet recipe from Amy Chaplin’s book At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen. I gave it another glance and knew it was the one.

1-Bowl Pumpkin Pie (Vegan + GF) from Minimalist Baker →

1-Pot Chicken Soup with White Beans & Kale

1-Pot Chicken Soup with White Beans & Kale

If you’ve ever wondered how to make a nourishing chicken soup for those days when nothing else sounds good, when you’re under the weather, or when you’ve moved out and your mom doesn’t cook for you anymore — this is the soup for you.

Behold: The easiest, tastiest chicken soup recipe on the block, complete with white beans and kale. Mom would be so proud! Let’s do this.

This recipe is simple, requiring just 1 pot, 8 ingredients, and 30 minutes to make.

1-Pot Chicken Soup with White Beans & Kale from Minimalist Baker →

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with California Fig Compote and Pecans

This post is a paid post with California Figs. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

With holiday celebrations fast approaching, it’s always good to have delicious sides in your pocket. These Brussels Sprouts are a riff on my favorite maple-hazelnut Brussels. In this recipe, I use a fig compote (made with the help of California Dried Figs) and toasted pecans.

California Figs

I’m excited to team up with California Figs because figs are one commodity I didn’t grow up with in the Midwest. Since moving to California, however, I’ve fallen for this beautiful fruit. There’s nothing quite like fig season!

We also eat a lot of dried fruit and figs are a big part of that. California supplies 100% of the dried figs grown in the United States. One of the reasons I’m excited about this recipe: it showcases how wonderful dried figs are as a nice sweet boost!

California Figs just released a cookbook full of recipe inspiration for dried and fresh figs. There’s so many inventive ways to use figs that you’ll be cooking with them year round. You can purchase the book here.

Note about figs/being vegan

One note since I do a lot of information on vegan items. I’ve heard for years that figs are not vegan because each fig must be pollinated by a wasp that dies in the fruit. In California, 99% are self-pollinating (with the final variety being switched over).

Brussels Sprout Alternatives

I really love the earthy Brussels with the sweetness of the figs. However, roasted carrots, cabbage, or even sweet potatoes would work. If you go the sweet potato route, I’d recommend adding a pinch of crushed red pepper to help balance the sweet from the figs and sweet potatoes.

Make it vegan

It’s easy to keep this vegan, swap out the honey for maple syrup.

[tasty-recipe id=”38617″]

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