Lemon Iced Ginger Cookies

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I used to think sugar cookies were the ultimate iced Christmas cookie. They are certainly a classic but let’s be honest, they are really just sugar on sugar no matter how beautifully they are decorated. Why not add some flavor to the sweetness? Over the last few years I have developed a love for ginger bread. That spice blended with a bit of sweet icing is absolutely delicious. Add in a hint of lemon and I’m hooked; you’re going to have to hold me back from eating the entire batch of cookies!

Tips:

  • If you prefer a thin glaze instead of icing, add extra milk to the icing until it is the consistency you desire.
  • If you need to approach this recipe in steps, tackle the cookies one day and ice them the next day.

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Lemon Iced Ginger Cookies

Ingredients:

3 ½  cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons  ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

4 tablespoons butter (softened)

3 large eggs

¾ cup molasses

 

Icing:

Zest of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons milk (I used unflavored almond milk but you can use whatever type of milk you prefer.)

1 ½ cups powdered sugar

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, ginger, cloves, salt and baking soda.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat brown sugar with granulated sugar and butter. Add eggs and molasses. Mix in dry ingredients 1 cup at a time.

Scoop tablespoon-sized mounds of cookie dough and place on the parchment paper. Leave 2-inches between the cookies. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and transfer the cookies from the parchment to cooling racks.

Once cookies are cooled completely, add icing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until powdered sugar fully mixed into milk (there should not be any lumps). Spread icing over cookies as desired.

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Pumpkin Pecan Pie

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Admittedly, I am a relatively recent pumpkin convert. It is only in the last few years that I have been able to enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread. I still can’t handle pumpkin spice flavored beverages though.  Pecan pie, on the other hand, was my absolute favorite when I was growing up. I would have gladly suffered through the consequences if my parents had let me eat an entire pie myself.  I don’t recall my grandmother ever making this recipe for pumpkin pecan pie but if she had, maybe I would have embraced pumpkin earlier in life. It is the perfect balance of pumpkin and pecan pie. For those of you who can’t decide between the two flavors, this is your solution!!!

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Grandma gets bonus points for this recipe because it is so amazingly easy. The hardest part was getting it into the oven without spilling the filling. Check out the tips below for help with that.

Tips

  • If you are using pre-made pie crust that is in an aluminum tin, place it on a baking sheet before pouring the filling in and keep it on the baking sheet even while baking it. The tin is flimsy enough that it is easy to spill the filling while transferring it to the oven if you don’t have the support of the baking sheet.
  • If you are using a roll-out pre-made pie crust and placing it in your own glass/metal pie dish, go ahead and put a baking sheet in the oven on the bottom shelf. If you happen to have any filling bubble over the edge of the crust the baking sheet will catch it and save you from a mess in your oven.

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Makes 1 pie

Ingredients:

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 cup dark corn syrup

2 tablespoons butter (melted)

1 cup chopped pecans

1  9” unbaked pie shell

 

Heat oven to 350°F. If using a roll out pie crust, unroll it and place it in a pie dish. In a bowl, mix all ingredients except pecans. Pour mixture into pie shell. Top with chopped pecans. Bake for about 40 minutes or until done (filling should not be jiggly). Once cooled, serve topped with whipped cream.

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*Original source of this recipe is unknown. Directions are slightly modified from my grandmother’s recipe card.

Fruit Bruschetta

I love hitting up my local farmer’s market for seasonal produce and I love hosting friends at my house for tasty eats. The best is when these two loves come together with an easy recipe that is dressed to impress. When hitting up the farmer’s market, I often browse for what looks enticing and create a dish from the ingredients found rather than coming in with specific ingredients to find. This has resulted in me being more creative in the kitchen but has also expanded my palette. When you find a golden baguette and perfectly ripe berries you can’t walk away empty handed. For this recipe, I ultimately combined fresh finds with what I already had in my kitchen – goat cheese, mint, plums and honey. Listen, I like fresh but I also hate to waste so I’m all about using what is already on hand too.

This fruit bruschetta is light and flavorful but it is also so easy to make. It is ideal for entertaining and could be used as an appetizer, a dessert or even a snack.

 

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Tips:

  • This recipe highlights using seasonal fruit. If you can’t find plums, substitute them for blueberries, pomegranate seeds, or whatever seasonal berry you can find.
  • Watch the bread slices closely in the oven, it is all too easy to accidently burn them. The goal is for the bread slices to be lightly toasted on each side.

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Fruit Bruschetta

Ingredients:

Ciabatta baguette

8oz goat cheese (softened)

1 Tablespoon fresh mint, chopped

1 cup raspberries, washed

1 cup blackberries, washed

1 cup plums, washed and sliced

Honey for drizzling

 

Directions:

Set your oven to Broil.

Slice baguette diagonally into ½” thick slices. Lay out the slices of bread on a cookie sheet and place in the oven for 1 minute or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven, flip each slice of bread over and place back in oven for 1 minute or until lightly golden. Remove cookie sheet from oven and let bread slices cool completely.

In a bowl, combine goat cheese and chopped mint leaves. Spread goat cheese onto bread slices (be generous, it’s delicious!). Top with fruit as desired then drizzle with honey.