Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Gingery Christmas Goodies for 2010

2009 X'Mas Goodie Box

That above was what I gave to my friends & work colleagues for christmas last year, 4 type of cookies and a mini loaf of Earl Grey pound cake.
At that time, I was home sick pretty much the whole week leading up to christmas so I did have a lot of free time at home (don't worry, no one was reported coming down with a flu after they ate them lol).

This year however, due to my lack of planning, the X'Mas Goodie Box has been downgraded to this :

A Pack of Cookies

I felt really slack T___T
I almost resorted to just buying instead of baking - but decided last minute that I must keep the tradition up (and they did ask beginning of the month if they are gonna get baked goods again this year - the word  "modest" is not in my colleagues vocabulary ROFL).

So, decided to make something that is easy to bake with the taste and smell of christmas :)
The smell of warm spices wafting from the oven was heavenly. It was definitely worth the time spent rolling 276 x 20g ( plus minus 2g) into a ball, rolling them in raw sugar then icing sugar before baking them a dozen at a time.

A dozen baking ; Cookies cooling

The recipe is from the "Gingerbread" cookbook by Jennifer Lindner McGlinn. If you like gingerbread, you must get this book.
I've only tried 2 recipes from this book and both of them worked perfectly and tasted good !
Didn't have to do much adjustment except just reducing the amount of sugar added as American recipes tends to be a tad too sweet for me.
The best part is the dough does need to sit in the fridge for a couple of hours and preferably overnight, so you can make the dough ahead of time.

Chocolate - Ginger Crinkle Cookies (recipes from Gingerbread by Jennifer Lindner McGlinn)
Makes about 35 x 20g cookies

  • 3/4 cup Plain Flour
  • 1/4 cup Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 115g Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
  • 215g Bittersweet Chocolate ( I used Lindt Piccolli Bittersweet Couverture Chocolate, 58% Cocoa)
  • 2/4 cup Caster Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 Eggs, Jumbo
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Crystallized Ginger 
  • Raw Sugar & Icing Sugar for rolling

How To :
  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients EXCEPT the sugars, set aside.
  2. Roughly chop 130g of the bittersweet chocolate, set aside.
  3. Combine the butter and the remaining un-chopped chocolate (85g) in a heatproof bowl over simmering water (make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl) - stir occasionally until all has melted and the mixture is smooth. (Alternatively, you can melt them in the microwave with 20seconds intervals and stir in between). Set aside for 10minutes to cool slightly.
  4. Into the chocolate/butter bowl, stir in the caster sugar and brown sugar - just use a wooden spoon or spatula , not a whisk.
  5. Add in the eggs, one at a time, whisk briskly until smooth.
  6. Stir in the vanilla extract and gradually incorporate the flour and spices mixture.
  7. Fold in the chopped chocolate and crystallized ginger.
  8. Leave the dough in the bowl and cover with a cling wrap. Set in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight (the dough is ready when it has firmed up and you can roll it into a ball).
  9. Pre-heat oven to 180 C and line baking sheets with baking paper.
  10. Shape the chilled dough into walnut - size balls (about 20g), roll in raw sugar then a generous rolling in icing sugar (make sure the balls are well covered with the icing sugar to get the pretty white snow effects :D).
  11. Place in the baking tray about 2 - 3cm apart, they will expand quite a bit during baking.
  12. Bake for about 12minutes, rotating the tray halfway.
  13. Let cool completely on cooling rack before storing them in airtight containers. 
Note : If the dough becomes too sticky to roll, return them to the refrigerator to firm up. What I did was roll up as many dough as possible before they start to turn sticky and return them to the fridge to keep them chilled until ready for baking.

Chocolate - Ginger Crinkle Cookies

These snow capped cookies are slightly cakey, with rich chocolate flavours, warm spices and bits of sugary ginger. Quite addictive actually, had to resist trying more than one in fear I won't have enough to pack away :P
I must say, packing 23 dozens of cookies in the middle of the night is quite fun !! Thanks to my cousin who helped (read : forced to help) :D

Marbled Gingerbread - Almond Loaf Cake & Cupcakes

One of my colleague have an even more sad allergy than my story with alcohol - he's allergic to CHOCOLATE !! How depressing would that be ???
Since I'm not planning to give him a big migraine during christmas, I baked him something else - a chocolate free super delicious gingerbread.
It may have a strong spice taste but my almost 4 years old nephew didn't mind it at all :) 
(Then again, he loves eating pickled ginger lol)

Marbled Gingerbread - Almond Loaf Cake ( recipe from Gingerbread by Jennifer Lindner McGlinn)

  • 1 1/4 cup Cake Flour
  • 3/4 cup Almond Meal
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 115g Unsalted Butter (at room temperature)
  • 2/4 cup Caster Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 Eggs, Jumbo
  • 3/4 cup Whole Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Almond Extract
  • 1/4 cup Molasses
  • 1 1/2tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves

How To :
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C , butter and flour your loaf tin (or cupcake liners)
  2. Whisk together the cake flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Put the softened butter in a standing mixer attached with a paddle attachment and beat on med-high speed until smooth.
  4. Add the caster and brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Add in the eggs, one at a time and beat for about 2 minutes (scrape the sides of the bowl occasionaly).
  6. Reduce the mixing speed to low and alternately add in the flour mixture and milk. Always begins with flour mixture and ending with it.
  7. Remove half of the batter into a bowl and stir in the almond extract.
  8. To the remaining half of the batter, stir in the molasses and spices. 
  9. Drop large dollops of each batter into the prepared tin ( cupcake liners, not as large of a dollop of course, and only fill to 2/3 up, the batter expands).
  10. Using a wooden skewer or a cake tester, swirl the batters together to produce a marbled effect.
  11. Tap the pan lightly on a hard surface to remove any trapped air pockets. 
  12. Bake in the oven for about 50 - 55 minutes or until a skewer came out clean when inserted in the centre ( less baking time for cupcakes).
This gingerbread almond loaf has a soft fluffy texture and moist due to the use of almond meal. The combination of almond and the spices worked surprisingly well. 

Hopefully I'll get to write up a few more posts before the year ends, although it is not looking promising as this stage LOL
My parents came over from overseas to spend time with us kiddies here this holiday season, so I will be pre-occupied (with lots of eating) for the next 3 weeks !

So, wishing all of you a safe and joyful Christmas, eat lots and hope you get lots of presents too !!!


  1. Downgraded? Wow! I'd be jumping out of my skin if someone handed me a pack of handmade Chocolate Ginger Crinkle Cookies! They're so amazing!

  2. Must me something in the air. I've been craving ginger in every form I can get it. Love the idea of almond and ginger together. I will be trying this. Thank you!

  3. Marvin : don't jump out of your skin, you'll die !! lol

    Tracy : must be the festive season, still craving something warm eventhough it's summer here ! Hope you like them too ^_^

  4. aw i wish i worked with you! so many baked treats! merry xmas dude!

  5. suze : if you like freshly churned ice cream and fresh yoghurts, come work in my office lol Merry Xmas to you too !!!