Saturday, December 19, 2009

Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

Oh my goodness these are awesome.
These have the perfect blend of spice and sweet, and I MUST have my chocolate chip, sugar, oatmeal, and gingerbread cookies....heck, ANY cookie (but Oreo's) must be SOFT and Chewy.

*Makes about 2 dozen cookies, adapted from My Kitchen Cafe*

3 cups flour
¾ cup packed brown sugar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter softened to room temperature -cut into 12 pieces
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons milk

With an electric mixer, stir together the flour, brown sugar, soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt at low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and add the butter pieces. Mix at medium-low speed 1 to 2 minutes until the mixture is sandy and resembles fine meal.

Reduce the speed to low and with the mixer running, gradually add the molasses and milk; mix until the dough is evenly moistened and thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds.

Scrape the dough onto a non-floured work surface and divide it in half. Working with one portion at a time, roll the dough ¼ inch thick between 2 large sheets of parchment or wax paper. Leaving the dough sandwiched between the parchment or wax paper, stack the dough on a baking sheet and freeze until firm, 15 to 20 minutes. (Or refrigerate the dough for 2 hours or overnight.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or wax paper. Remove one dough sheet from the freezer and place on the counter. Peel off the top parchment or wax paper sheet. Gently cut the dough into 5-inch gingerbread people or 3-inch gingerbread cookies, transferring the shapes to the prepared baking sheets with a wide metal spatula and spacing them ¾ inch apart. You may want to re-freeze in between steps to keep dough easy to work with. Set the scraps aside. Repeat with the remaining dough until the baking sheets are full.

Because flour is not added during rolling, dough scraps can be rolled and cut as many times as necessary.

Bake the cookies until set in the centers and the dough barely retains and imprint when touched very gently with fingertip, 8 to 9 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool the cookies on the sheets 2 minutes, then remove the cookies with a wide metal spatula to a wire rack; cool to room temperature. Frost as desired (I used a ziploc bag filled with simple white icing). Store soft gingerbread in a wide, shallow airtight container or tin with a sheet of parchment paper between the cookie layers. These cookies are best eaten within one week but you can freeze them too!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ham and Cheese Omelet Roll

The Magnificent Omelet Roll

Well, you'll feel pretty magnificent when you do this.

It's EASY, I'm telling you, even the rolling part isn't scary, but it will look very gourmet when you're done!

4 oz cream cheese
3/4 cup milk
2 T Flour
1/4 tsp salt
12 eggs
2 T Dijon mustard
2 1/4 cups cheddar cheese, divided
2 cups finely chopped, fully cooked ham or other
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, mushrooms, green peppers or any veggie you want
I stay pretty boring with the picky eaters around me.

Line the bottom and sides of a greased jelly roll baking pan with parchment paper. Grease the paper and set aside. In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and milk until smooth. Add flour and salt; mix. In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs until blended. Add the cream cheese mixture and mix well. Pour into prepared pan; hold paper down with a clean hand and scrape (drag) across bottom and sides of paper with a spatula to be sure egg mixture and air bubbles are not underneath the paper. Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes or until eggs are puffed and set.

Am I falling out of this chair???

Sorry for the crooked pic folks but this is how it looks when you put it in the oven

This is TWO batches - remember, I'm cooking in bulk now.

When the eggs are set, pull it out of the oven, spread with mustard and sprinkle 2 cups of cheese, ham, and onions.

To Roll: get a hold of the parchment paper, on a short side at one end with both hands. You roll the sucker up using the parchment paper to pull the egg up off the pan at first, then help it roll onto itself with the use of the paper, rolling and tucking the eggs as tight as possible; and pulling the paper away at the same time. Trust me, it's HOT, so use the parchment paper to help you.
When it's all rolled up like so, sprinkle some more cheese on top and return to the oven for 3-4 minutes until the cheese is melted.

Then set the roll on a serving platter, cut in slices and serve!

In my case repeat with the other roll, wrap it up in tinfoil and freeze the sucker till next time you're in the mood for a beautiful egg dish :)
Feel free to add whatever it is you like on omelets instead of ham too. We like things fancy....but not too fancy.