Tuesday, December 31, 2013


I may be posting this a little later than I intended, but I believe that even though it may traditionally be a Christmas treat, lebkuchen is delicious any time of year. My mother's family descends from Germany, and I love making German pastries as a way to connect to my heritage. Lebkuchen is a traditional German Christmas cookie, similar to gingerbread. While gingerbread is usually sweetened with molasses, lebkuchen is usually made with honey, which gives the cookies a distinct sweetness and flavor. These cookies are soft and flavorful, with spices that remind me of the holidays, and a sweet, sugary glaze. 

Melt together brown sugar, butter and honey.

Add spices, baking soda, flour, almond flour, and egg to form dough.

Chill dough overnight in a plastic bag.

Roll dough out between 2 layers of parchment paper.

Use cookie cutters to cut dough.

Bake cookies and brush with sugar glaze.

Guten Appetit!

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

85 mL honey
115 g dark brown sugar
30 g butter
225 g all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
50 g almond flour

25 g powdered sugar
2 tsp water

1. Place honey, brown sugar, and butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until sugar melts, and remove from heat.

2. Sift together flour, spices, and baking soda.

3. Add half of the flour mixture and half of the beaten egg to the saucepan and mix well. Add remaining egg and flour mixture, and mix until completely combined. Mix in almond flour.

4. Pour batter into a plastic bag and refrigerate overnight, or up to 3 days.

5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 320 F/ 160 C. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

6. Roll dough out between two sheets of parchment paper to about 5 mm thick.

7. Cut dough with cookie cutters. It is best to use shapes that are approximately 1 inch wide.

8. Bake cookies for 8-9 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool on pan for about 5 minutes, before placing on cooling rack.

9. Whisk together powdered sugar and water to make a glaze.

10. Brush cookies with sugar glaze twice, then allow to dry. Cookies will keep fresh for at least one week in an airtight container.

-Posted by Jennifer

Friday, December 27, 2013

Daring Bakers' Challenge: Whoopie Pies

Blog checking lines: The December Daring Bakers' Challenge had us all cheering- the lovely and talented Bourbonnatrix of Bourbonnatrix Bakes was our hostess and challenged us to make fun, delicious, and creative whoopie pies! Delicious little cake-like cookies sandwiching luscious filling in any flavor we chose... What is there to say but "Whoopie!"

I remember seeing recipes for whoopie pies everywhere a few years ago, but never had an opportunity to try them myself. Therefore, I was excited to finally try these cookies for this challenge. I decided to stick with the traditional chocolate flavor for the cookie, but filled them with a mint cream cheese frosting to give them a holiday touch. I rolled the whoopie pies in Andes peppermint baking chips for an added crunch and flavor. The result was rich and delicious!

Getting ingredients together for the cookies

Scooping cookies out in tablespoon-sized balls.

Baked cookies

Filling the cookies with mint cream cheese frosting

Rolling whoopie pies in peppermint pieces


Whoopie Pies
Makes about 16 small pies

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Beat together butter, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla in a large bowl. Once batter is smooth, beat in egg.

3. Sift in cocoa powder and stir until combined.

4. Beat in about a third of the flour, and then 1/3 cup of the milk. Continue alternating between beating in the flour and the milk, scraping the bowl occasionally, until all has been mixed in.

5. Drop the dough in tablespoon-sized balls on the prepared baking sheets. Leave room between the cookies for them to spread.

6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are set. Remove from oven and allow to cool on pans before carefully separating them from the parchment paper to cool on racks.

7. Sandwich cookies with cream cheese filling (recipe below) and roll in crushed peppermint pieces for garnish.

Mint Cream Cheese Filling

8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tbsp butter, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp mint extract
Peppermint baking chips/crushed peppermint candy (optional)

1. Beat together cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar, milk and mint extract until well combined. If filling is too thick, add a little more milk.

-Chocolate whoopie pie recipe adapted from recipe by King Arthur Flour, available at http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/classic-chocolate-whoopie-pies-recipe. Mint cream cheese filling recipe adapted from recipe for YourCupofCake's mint buttercream, available at http://www.yourcupofcake.com/2011/05/andes-mint-cupcakes.html.
-Posted by Jennifer