Tag: Christmas cookie ideas

Gingerbread Man Cookies (eggless, no molasses)

Christmas 🎄✨is so close and all I think about is what all I wish to bake for it😋 There’s plenty to be done…I have already finished doing a fair bit in whatever little time I have between so many things…I almost thought I’d have to skip it this year!

The one thing that was on my mind were these gingerbread man cookies!! ☃️☃️ I’ve had these cookie cutters for ages now and i was itching to put them to good use 😂 I mean, I did bake gingread cookies last year too but just regular round ones and hence didn’t even post them on the blog…not to forget, I had baked them for New Years!! Lol!! Well, there’s a good reason being a bit tardy…..will come to that shortly.

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Don’t they look crisp, all nice and crunchy!? Well that’s precisely why I didn’t mind waiting for an entire year to share the perfect recipe for an egg free, molasses free version of these cuties. I had tried a couple of recipes last year (I had more time then I guess to keep experimenting)…anyways I didn’t enjoy them as they had egg and also called for molasses. I found all the ingredients easily but maybe it was the flavour that wasn’t quite right. Or maybe it was me..I did something…I don’t know! Those cookies looked great even as a typical round, flat version but obviously they lacked the snap and crunch in every bite.

After hunting for another version which would be eggless and molasses free, I did stumble upon a great keeper of a recipe!

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The texture of these gingerbread man cookies is just how it’s supposed to be, crunchy and keeps fresh for upto 2 weeks in an airtight container. They have wonderful snap of them and the aroma…well it’s smells like Holidays in my home 😍 These best part, no electric heater or whisk is needed, no fancy equipments either…just make the dough and roll it out, use a cookie cutter of any shape you like, a star or some Christmas trees or even little mittens if you get hold of them. Bake these and ice them or enjoy them just like that.

Do read the recipe carefully before starting out. Also keep all the ingredients ready on the work surface, it will save you time and you will definitely avoid missing out anything important.

Also note that every oven works differently so please monitor trhe temperature and the baking time as per your oven. 

Yield: 16-18 cookies (I used medium sized cutters and rolled the dough a bit thick)

Equipment: a heavy bottomed saucepan, a wired whisk, measuring cups/ spoons, a large mixing bowl, cling wrap, cookie cutters or knife (if you’re going for simply square or rectangular cookies), baking pan, parchment paper/ baking paper, cooling rack.

Ingredients:

1+1/4 cup all purpose flour (maida)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/8 cup milk (you may need a bit extra)

2 tbsp corn syrup (use honey if you can’t find corn syrup but I have not tried honey in this recipe so far)

a few golden or silver sprinkles to decorate the gingerbread men cookies (I ran out of icing sugar🙄😑)

Method:

In a large mixing bowl, seive together the flour, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger, ground nutmeg and the baking soda. Set these aside.

Now, place butter, corn syrup, milk and sugar in the sauce pan and turn on the heat. Let the butter melt and the sugar dissolve completely on a low flame while stirring it continuously with a wired whisk. Once the sugar has melted, turn off the flame. Let the mixture cool for just 5-7 mins but not more as it thickens because of the corn syrup.

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Next, add this butter and sugar mixture into the sieved flour and spices. Mix well using the whisk. The dough will come together very easily, if not add just 1/2 teaspoon of milk and bring the dough together. If needed only then add a few more drops of milk. If you add too much milk, the dough will turn out to be extremely gluelike and won’t hold a good shape. 

Now, wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for 10-15 mins. Please do not refrigerate the dough for longer as it will become too hard to roll out.

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Preheat the oven @ 180’c.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, place it between two sheets of cling wrap, dust it with very little flour and roll it out to a thickness of 4 mm approx (I like them thick, you can roll them to a thickness of 3 mm too). Use a cookie cutter or knife to cut them out.

Gingerbread man cookie recipe Eggless no molasses gingerbread cookie recipe How to replace molasses in gingerbread cookie recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas bakingimg_6212

Line a baking pan/ tray with parchment paper or baking paper and place these cookies a little apart from each other on it. Push  the sprinkles in place where you want to make the eyes and smile for the gingerbread man. Or else do an icing later. The sprinkles won’t melt while baking or fall off later.

Tip: roll and cut all the dough at once because this dough gets a bit sticky. If you have a small oven and can bake only 10 cookies at a time, keep the remaining cut out cookies on a plate in the refrigerator until you have to bake them. Please do not freeze the dough, it will become rock hard and will not come to a good texture to roll them later.

Bake the cookies @180’c for 13-14 mins using the lower rod for the first 11 mins and the upper and the lower, both rods for the last 2-3 mins to ensure a good colour. (My cookies cracked a bit as some of the sugar wasn’t melted well , but they still turned out crisp and didn’t spread much).

Keep an eye while baking them. Cool them on a cooling rack. Click here to learn how to make and use eggless royal icing to ice and decorate any cookies.

So it’s the corn syrup that replaces molasses and makes these cookies crisp.

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Making this is a lot of fun and you can also include your kids while rolling the dough or icing the cookies later 😚

Love,

Shreya😍

Adapted from art of dessert.

Chocolate-Dipped Cinnamon Biscotti

Biscotti is a traditional Italian cookie which requires the dough to be shaped as logs, baked until done, then cooled a bit, sliced and baked again until crispy and crunchy! A perfect companion to your coffee. There’s no other way to describe it except – too good! 

Yes, if I may say so myself…this recipe is a keeper. Don’t hunting for other recipes of biscotti because you won’t need one if you try this recipe☺️ This has become my go to recipe for biscotti for the past year or so…and I bake them often!

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You can obviously make out how crunchy these are, but definitely not in a bad way! They are crunchy and yet very enjoyable. I will point a few basics that I learnt from this recipe after failing with a couple other recipes in the past.

Essentially, eggs are the only wet ingredients that are added to any biscotti recipe but adding butter or oil can make them richer with obviously a much better texture. This recipe called for oil too but I somehow didn’t like the after taste and hence skipped it after the first trial.

Eggs, yes I have used 1 and a 1/2 egg here…don’t be surprised. I always make half of what this original recipe specifies and trust me, the 1/2 egg is very essential (I realised that too with some trial and error) so do not miss that. However, if you’ve decided to half my recipe, I am not sure how the egg factor will work out! Or probably, ping me later and I will definitely come up with a way for you to do that too ☺️ Else, just use a really small egg.

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When I talk about my favourite flavour in a biscotti, I will always say Cinnamon! Else, you can even keep it simple by adding adding just vanilla extract, or if you like nuts, add some sliced pistachios or almonds in the dough. However, if you’re using almonds, do toast them slightly to avoid ending up with soggy nuts. The original recipe calls for brown sugar but I have always used regular castor sugar and I am perfectly happy with the flavour! We, my hubby and I love the flavour of dark chocolate hence, I have dunked these biscottis in some melted chocolate once they had cooled off completely. 😋

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Making biscotti takes time, it’s the baking twice that takes time and not making its dough. Getting the dough together is a quick mixing job, then this dough needs to be shaped into logs of deliciousness and then bakedonce…and another time too!! 😉

I have added a lot of step by step pictures as always …so you’re pretty much sorted! I don’t think you’ll have a difficult time going forward with it 😊

Yield: 12 cookies

Equipment: a rolling pin, cooling rack, baking tray, a large mixing bowl, a large serrated knife, parchment paper, measuring cups/ spoons, weighing scales (I have used it to measure everything to the last gram)

Ingredients:

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131 gms all purpose flour (maida)

1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking powder

100 gms castor sugar

30 gms cold and cubed unsalted butter

2 nos. eggs (follow my tip on this)**

1 tbsp milk (for the egg wash)

30 gms dark chocolate (morde) + 1 tsp butter – for dunking

Method: (I am using step numbers, there’s a reason, so follow the steps carefully)

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon powder, salt and sugar.

2. Add cold and cubed butter into the flour and sugar mixture. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the flour mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Set it aside.

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3. Now in a small bowl, whisk one egg. Now remove half of the whisked into another bowl (Save the half whisked egg for egg wash).

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**Add one whole egg to the second bowl in which you have transferred half of a whisked egg. Now whisk this one and a half egg together. Add vanilla extract to the whisked eggs and whisk again.

4. Now add the whisked mixture of eggs and vanilla extract into the flour and butter. Use a large silicon spatula to mix until everything is well moistened but do not over mix.

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5. Now, sprinkle some flour in a large plate or the working surface. Place the dough on this floured surfaced and knead well for a few minutes. But keep enough loose flour around as this dough is super sticky so you’ll continuously need to dust the surface and your palms too.

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Dont worry about the dough even if it looks too sticky, it will all come together in a few minutes.

In the mean while, preheat the oven at 160’c.

6. Shape the dough as shown below and place it on a parchment lined baking tray. I had dusted the parchment paper with some flour too.

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7. We had set aside 1/2 a whisked egg aside, add 1 tbsp of milk to it and whisk again. Use it to Give an egg wash to the shaped dough.

8. Bake this shaped dough at 160’c for 20-25 minutes using the lower heating element. In the last 5 minutes of the baking time, turn on the upper heating elements to give a good colour to the top of the biscotti.

Leave the oven running at 140’c.

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9. Now, let this cool for about 15 minutes but not completely cold. Using a large serrated knife, cut it into 1.5 inch wide slices. Place them on the parchment lined baking tray as shown below.

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10. Bake the sliced biscotti on the first side for 7-8 mins. Then flip them over to bake the other side for another 5 mins. Remove them from the oven and let them cool completely before enjoying these crunchy treats with your favourite cuppa! 🤗

11. If you wish to dip them in chocolate too, melt together 30 gms of dark chocolate with 1 tsp of butter over a double boiler or in a microwave. Once the biscotti has cooled completely, dip one end of each biscotti in the melted chocolate, let them dry and then they are ready to serve! You can dip the entire biscotti in chocolate too, no one will judge you 😁

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These stay crunchy and fresh in an airtight container for about a week or so.

These can be amazing edible gifts this Holiday Season! 🎄🎁☃️

Love,

Shreya💗

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Almond Shortbread Cookies

If you love Almonds, then these cookies will make you swoon! They are crunchy & yet very moist. The nuttiness from the toasted Almonds compliments the butteriness just right. 😍 

At first, when I baked these, I was positive that my hubby may not approve of them…and I will end up eating the entire batch…although it was small one. Later that evening, he takes one tentative bite off a cookie and I see him stalking past me with the entire box!! No complaints there! I was super pleased. I didn’t need to ask him how these cookies tasted…they were finished in 2 days😁🤓

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I will be making these again…maybe around Christmas.

I have followed a very easy recipe that I had bookmarked sometime back. I have made a very small change here, the original recipe called for Amaretto, I replaced it with Vanilla extract as I didn’t have any Amaretto.

All you Nigella Lawson fans out there must already know what Amaretto is…(she uses it generously in her desserts) and for those of you who don’t….well it’s a sweet, almond flavoured liquor from Italy. Saronno to be precise! ☺️

Any ways, coming to the recipe…it’s as easy as it gets but I will share a few pointers on how to measure the flour for that perfect cookie.

Yield: 12-15 cookies

Equipment: a mixing bowl, electric whisk/ manual whisk, baking tray, baking paper, measuring cups/ spoons, cooling rack, rubber spatula, cling wrap.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup softened unsalted butter

1/2 cup castor sugar (adjust as per taste)

1 tsp vanilla extract/ Amaretto

a pinch of salt

1 cup flour (Maida/ APF)

1/4 cup toasted & sliced almonds

Method:

Pre heat the oven @170’C. See tips for baking/ heating oven here. Line the baking tray with baking paper and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk sugar and butter until fluffy. The sugar must dissolve but do not over whisk as the butter may split.

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Next, add the flour, salt, vanilla extract. Whisk again for a minute to mix the butter & the flour well. Then add the almond slivers and mix gently using a spatula.

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Place the dough on the cling wrap. Gently shape the dough into a log. Wrap it in the cling well. Place it in the refrigerator for 40-45 mins.

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Once the dough has chilled well for 45 mins, remove it from the refrigerator and let it sit out for a few mins. Then cut the log of dough into 1/4 inch slices.

Place them an inch apart on the prepped baking tray and bake @ 170’c for 12-15 mins or just until the edges turn slightly golden. Once baked, cool on the cooling rack for about 15-20 mins. They will crisp up.

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Then store them in an airtight container. They stay fresh for about 3-4 days.☺️

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Tips on measuring the flour correctly: Never dip the measuring cup in the flour and remove a cupful of flour. You will end up with a lot more flour than required. Always fluff the flour well with a spoon. Then use the spoon to fill the measuring cup to the top and level it off using a knife. This way you will always have the exact amount of flour needed and the dough won’t turn too dry because of excess flour.

Enjoy!!

Love,

Shreya💞

Adapted from Julia’s Album

Sugar Cookies/ Frosted Sugar Cookies/ Iced Sugar cookies/ Halloween Ideas/ Spider Infested Sugar Cookies for Halloween/ Easy Sugar Cookie Recipe with Frosting

I have always been fascinated by colourful, decorated Sugar Cookies! They are so cute and eye-catching…you’d almost never want to eat them! But then again, they are so delicious..that I can’t think of anyone who’d resist these cuties 😛💕 

Look at these! I am so proud of myself! I finally pulled it off…and it was my very first attempt💃💃💃👏

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It’s a cake walk for many…I know that, but it was a daunting task that I had set for myself. I was adamant that I had to do it before Halloween anyhow!! Although, I have made plain, no frost sugar cookies many times before following this same, exact recipe…I always kept putting off frosting to the next time! I was lazy and scared that I’d make a mess of the entire thing. Well, now that I have actually done it, I’d say…it’s pretty easy. Just a pair of steady hands and a whole lots of patience! 😉😄

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Yes…I have some itsy, bitsy spiders who seem to have taken a liking for my cookies and are crawling all over it!! 🍇LoL! Nah…it’s just a bit of Halloween fever going on in my house with these cookies. I decorated them to look like spiders (Idea taken from Pinterest).

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These cookies aren’t too unhealthy…as I have used a mixture of wholewheat flour (atta) and all purpose flour (Maida). Besides, if you don’t liking too much of sugar in your food, skip the icing. These cookies taste yummy and buttery even without all the icing. And if you avoid artificial colours in your food, simply skip the colour and make plain white icing and then decorate it with some sprinkles, etc. They will still be as delicious as they could ever be!

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Let’s get started with the recipe… Please note that I made the cookies the previous day, cooled it overnight and then frosted them the next day so that the frosting sets well.

Yield: 21 small cookies/ 10 large cookies (depends on the size of the cookie cutter)

Equipment: a large mixing bowl, a wired whisk, a rolling board, a rolling pin, cookie cutters if making shapes, a flat spatula, baking tray, aluminium foil/parchment sheets, cling wrap, cooling rack, a few small bowls, extra spoons, measuring cups/ spoons, parchment paper to make the cones for icing.

Ingredients for Sugar Cookies:

1/4 cup wholewheat flour & APF each

1/4 cup + 1 tbsp icing sugar

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

2 +1/2 tbsp soft unsalted butter at room temperature

1/4 tsp baking pwd

4 tbsp milk at room temperature

Method:

In a mixing bowl, sieve together the flours, baking powder & icing sugar. Give them a stir. Now add the butter and the vanilla extract. Use your whisk to mix these ingredients, they will resemble a bread crumb like texture. Now, add milk one tbsp at a time, and use your hands to bring together the dough. Don’t over knead the dough. Also, please don’t be tempted to add more milk. I used just 4 tbsp and it was enough. Now wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for 30 mins.

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In the meantime, line the baking tray with aluminium sheet or parchment paper and keep it ready.

After 30 mins, take the dough out of the refrigerator. Dust some APF on the rolling board and the rolling pin too. Start rolling the dough gently to a thickness of 3 or 4 mm. Not more than this. Use any cookies cutters to give fancy shapes or just use a circular cap with a sharp edge of any bottle to cut round shapes. Use a flat spatula to carefully pick the cookies and place them on the lined baking tray. Do the same with the entire dough. Now, refrigerate these it cookies for 30 mins before baking to avoid speaking out and loosing the shapes.

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In the meantime, pre heat the oven to 180’c for 10 mins. (Please note that each oven works differently, so you will have to adjust the cooking time accordingly).

Now that the cookies are chilled for 30 mins, bake them for about 15 mins or until the edges just begin to turn golden. My oven took 15 mins to turn the edges golden & I used the smaller cookie cutter, depending on the size of the cookies and your oven, you will have to keep an eye on them to prevent them from turning too dark. You can see in the above picture that the bottom of the cookies too were evenly golden ☺️ That’s the perfect colour. When you snap this cookie into two, it will be crispy without many crumbs.

Next, let these cookies cool on a cooling rack for minimum 5-6 hours or overnight in a container Before you frost them. Don’t let them cool on the cooling rack for more than 2 hours else they will turn soggy due to the humidity and the frosting won’t set well. But do not refrigerate either. 

Ingredients for Icing/ Frosting:

1/4 cup icing sugar

1 + 1/2 tbsp cornflour

1 tsp lemon juice

2-3 tsp milk

a few drops of food colours of your choice (optional)

Method:

First, make cones for icing using parchment paper (sorry do not have pictures as I was doing this but alone and hubby wasn’t around to help with clicking). If you wish, u can use ziplock bags too for icing. Just cut the tip of the bag once you fill the frosting in it.

Keep the cookies ready on a plate.

In a bowl, add icing sugar, cornflour, lemon juice. Stir well. Now add in a little milk and mix well. Don’t add all the milk at one go. Make a smooth paste of a dropping consistency but it should NOT be runny. If you need to thicken the mixture, add some more icing sugar. To loosen the mixture, if needed, add a few drops of milk.

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If you want to skip the colours, then just fill the plain white icing in a cone/ bag, make a small cut at the tip of the piping cone/ bag. Carefully draw the outline of the cookies first and then fill the centre too or not. As you like. Decorate with some sprinkles or chocolate chips and chocolate vermicelli to make small spiders…or keep it plain.

If you wish to add colour, then divide the plain icing in equal parts depending on how many colours you want to incorporate and add a few drops of food colour. You can add 1 drop and make a lighter shade or add 2-3 drops and make it a darker shade like I have done. Now fill the icing in the piping cone/ bags, make a small cut at the tip of the cone/ bag. And follow the same way as I have explained above for plain icing. Go ahead and decorate them!

Let these frosted cookies set at room temperature for at least 1-2 hours before you grab them! 😋😋 they will dry and the frosting will become very thick and hard.

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Have them plain…have them frosted..decorate it or just keep it simple! It’s up to you. You can frost it in any pattern or design of your choice…I did a basic frosting but it’s bright and eye-catching!! 💃💃💃 Hope you like these!

They keep well in a air tight container for about 3-4 days.Do not refrigerate, the frosting won’t melt.

Love,

Shreya 💞

Adapted from Sharmis Passions.

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