Gingerbread Hearts

Credit goes to my 12 year old daughter, Charley, for finding this recipe and baking up some amazingly incredible gingerbread cookies.

She was in the holiday mood and desperately wanted to make a traditional sweet treat.  She found this cookie recipe in one of her favorite cookbooks but sadly did not find a gingerbread man cutter anywhere in the house.  So we settled on heart shapes and we are all very pleased with the results.

These cookies , if eaten warm, have a wonderful moist and chewy center.  They pretty much melt in your mouth.  Once they cool they are crisp and crunchy, resembling a gingersnap in both texture and taste.

WARNING:  Let them cool at least 5 minutes in the pan before transferring them via spatula to a cooling rack or they will fall apart en-route.

Feel free to eat as-is or decorate with royal icing. Next time around my daughter has decided that using them as sandwich cookies and filling the middle with cream cheese frosting is the way to go.  I agree !!!

Thank-you, Charley :)

So get baking, people !

adapted source recipe: Gingerbread Kids, Williams-Sonoma, Kids Baking


2 3/4 CUPS all purpose flour
2 1/2 TSP baking powder
1 TABLESPOON ground ginger
1 1/2 TSP ground cinnamon
1/2 TSP ground nutmeg
1/4 TSP salt
1/2 CUP unsalted butter at room temperature
2/3 CUP firmly packed light brown sugar
1 TSP pure vanilla extract
1 LARGE egg at room temperature
1/3 CUP molasses


IN MEDIUM BOWL, combine first 6 dry ingredient and stir with wooden spoon
IN BOWL OF STAND MIXER, combine butter, brown sugar and vanilla.
BEAT on MEDIUM speed for 3 minutes
SCRAPE down sides of bowl with spatula
ADD dry ingredients to butter mixture on low speed just until blended
PLACE dough onto lightly floured work surface
DIVIDE into 2 pieces, shape into a somewhat flat disc, cover in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 1 hour

PREHEAT oven to 350F
LINE 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper

ON lightly floured work surface, roll out chilled dough to 1/4 " thickness
CUT into shapes and with a spatula, transfer cookies to baking sheet
BAKE 10-12 minutes or until edges start to brown slightly
LET COOL on cookies sheets for 5 minutes
TRANSFER cookies to cooling rack
FROST as desired


I Am Back !!! Or Am I ?

Seriously, I don't even know where to begin. I have been absent from both of my blogs for what seems like decades; actually several months. Why? The list is long. Lots of it's the typical stuff: work, home life, health.... So let's start in that very order:

A threat of possible layoffs (which thankfully didn't happen to me !) and then more changes at work resulted in lots of stress, more time spent after work hours worrying about this, that and everything else.  We have all been there.

Gluten Free Raisin Bread

Can you really enjoy bread while on a gluten and dairy free diet?  Absolutely!  And thanks to Elana at Elana's Pantry, you can indulge in a heavenly slice of cinnamon raisin bread any time your heart (and tummy) desires.

The base ingredient of this recipe may surprise you.  It is none other than roasted almond butter. That's right, a nut butter is the main flour replacement in this recipe.  Add in some almond flour and arrowroot powder as binding agents and the result is spectacular.

Nutella Pretzel Brownies

Salty and sweet, packed with chocolate and a wickedly delicious crunchy crust, these brownies ROCK!

I was surfing the web for foodie ideas, as I usually do, when I stumbled across this amazing recipe for Nutella Pretzel Brownies. Seriously?  Does it get any better than this?  I don't think so.

The crust is made with a mixture of salty pretzels, brown sugar and butter.  Ummm, yes please!   Then the pre-baked crust is topped off with a rich chocolate and nutella brownie batter.  The icing on the cake, no pun intended, is the finishing touch :  Nutella spread over the semi-cooled brownies and topped with more salted pretzels.

I have always been a tremendous fan of salty and sweet - chocolate dipped pretzels have been a longtime love of mine.  But throw in Nutella and things just get crazy; in a good way!

Somerset Apple Cider Cake

With fall fast approaching, what better way to celebrate early than with a sweet apple cake?  This recipe comes from across the pond - all the way from merry old England.   Somerset Apple Cake is moist, rich, and screaming out for a side of warm custard or a dollop of freshly whipped cream.

This cake requires tart apples, ones that will still have a "bite" both in taste and texture after baking.  I used Granny Smith and they worked perfectly.

If you don't have apple cider, don't panic.  You can easily switch it up with apple juice. It won't have the same depth of flavor as the cider brings to the baked treat but it works nonetheless.

This cake bakes in a springform pan and needs a good hour in a 325F oven.  You can eat it warm or cool and it is best eaten the same day. 

S'mores Cupcakes

Call them Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting, call them S'more doesn't matter.  In the end,  you will call them DELICIOUS!  No, these are not gluten-free or dairy free but so be it.  They are heaven wrapped up in a sweet cupcake topped off with a swirl of marshmallow cloud.  And I love them.  Plus they gave me an excuse to use a kitchen torch and I am all for it !

I found this recipe while meandering through Martha Stewart's website. The photo lured me in initially.  They looked so pretty and so fun too.  I especially adore the layers of goodies that create this luscious treat: a crunchy graham cracker crust, a layer of chocolate, the devil-food cake like cupcake itself and lastly, a browned 7 minute frosting finishes the deal.

Blueberry Boy Bait

I have been meaning to make this cake for ages but every time I about to I realize I am missing one key ingredient...usually blueberries.  Today was different.  I planned for this day and with all ingredients on hand I made the best gluten-free blueberry coffee cake I have ever eaten.

It is light, buttery, fluffy, studded with blueberries and the crunchy cinnamon sugar topping is amazing.

Of course I once again have Cybele Pascal to thank for an incredible GF recipe.  Her cookbook never fails to amaze me.   Each recipe is nothing short of perfection.

This time around I only switched things up a bit.  I added 3 eggs instead of egg replacer and used almond milk instead of rice milk.  Other than that, I stuck to her recipe and it turned out brilliantly.

Get this book - seriously, GET IT!