Hello and Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe that not only are the holidays behind us, nearly half of the first month is gone. My Christmas tree, droopy and wilted now, is still up with few remaining presents yet to be delivered. I am shamelessly using our recent vacation and an impromptu get-together with friends this weekend as an excuse for the delay in getting my home in new-year order. The time spent away was worth it, though.
My husband and I spent our third Christmas and New Year in Maui. It always takes me a few days to adjust to a tropical Christmas but inevitably the warm weather and clear water have me saying to myself, “I’m crazy to be missing my California Christmas!” We settled into such a nice routine of swimming, walking, reading and watching the sunset each day that we were reluctant to leave after our two-week stay. Over the last few days since we’ve been home, my husband and I have jokingly complained about the “cold” 50 degree mornings, neglecting to appreciate that we missed an actual cold wave here in the Bay Area.
One thing I did miss quite a lot while I was gone was my kitchen. While I had use of quite a nice one in Maui (hello ocean-view kitchen!), there’s nothing like using your own appliances and using ingredients from your own well-stocked pantry. Putting together simple but tasty meals was easy but it didn’t make sense to bake sweets when I would have had to buy all the ingredients and use only a small portion of everything. It’s a good thing I found a reason to bake the very next day following our return home.
This month’s Blogger C.L.U.E. Society theme (learn more about this fun group on last month’s post) was something sparkly. I was paired with Christiane of The Mom Chef: Taking on Magazines. Christiane started her blog in 2009 with the intention of recreating recipes from magazines to see if the results would be as advertised when prepared in her kitchen (as opposed to a professional test kitchen). Since then, she’s kept busy sharing countless beautiful dishes with her readers–what a treasure trove of recipes I found! I’ve also spent years collecting food magazines but my stack of recipes-still-to-try is much, much taller than those I’ve actually tested in my kitchen.
For this month’s something-that-sparkles theme I initially considered this Cranberry-Lime Shrub from Christiane’s archives. Cranberries with champagne seemed so perfect for this month but with the strong desire to bake I couldn’t resist these Ginger Crinkles. These cookies had several things going for them: 1. they’re cookies 2. they’re loaded with ginger and spices 3. this is a one-bowl recipe and 4. the turbinado sugar coating meets the sparkly requirement.
I stuck with the recipe with just two minor tweaks. I added a lemon component as a nod to citrus season and I reduced the turbinado sugar by 1/4 cup to account for the candied ginger pieces I added, upping the sparkly factor in the cookies. Lastly, I followed Christiane’s recommendation to use half all-purpose and half whole wheat flour in place of the original recipe’s use of 100% whole wheat pastry flour. This worked out well; the cookies had great texture without being dense. The lemon component here yielded very subtle results. More than adding lemony flavor, the addition of citrus just softened the peppery kick of the double dose of ginger. I’ve also never used turbinado sugar as the main sweetener in a cookie and here, I found that it added a pleasant crunch throughout. Afternoon tea with our friends was much more enjoyable the next day with these delightful little treats. Thanks, Christiane, for this wonderful recipe!
Check out all the other “sparkly” recipes my fellow C.L.U.E. bloggers have cooked up for you below.
- ⅔ cup vegetable oil
- 1¼ cups turbinado sugar, divided
- 1 large egg
- 4 tablespoons molasses
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1¼ teaspoons ground ginger
- ¼ cup candied ginger pieces
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Mix the vegetable oil and ¾ cup of the turbinado sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the egg until well-combined. Stir in the molasses and lemon juice, again, until well-combined. Sift the flours, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger and salt over the wet ingredients and add the ginger pieces and lemon zest. Stir until just combined.
- Put the remaining ½ cup turbinado sugar in a small bowl. Roll the dough into roughly 1 to 1½ inch balls and roll in the sugar before placing on an ungreased baking sheet. Don't flatten the balls and set them two inches apart on the baking sheet.
- Bake the cookies until just set and still soft inside, about 10-12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before enjoying.
- Sparkly Shortbread Cookies from Lisa of Authentic Suburban Gourmet
- Cherry and Cream Pavlova from Ramona of Curry and Comfort
- Pomegranate Champagne from Christy of Confessions of a Culinary Diva
- Rosemary Peach Sparkling Cocktail from Alice of A Mama, Baby and Shar-pei in the Kitchen
- Baked Ziti from Azmina of Lawyer Loves Lunch
- Maple, Caramel, Golden Sugar Blondies from Kelli of Kelli’s Kitchen
- Strawberry Champagne Cocktail from Stacy of Food Lust People Love
- Milky Way Martini from Aly of Cooking in Stilettos
- Cornish Game Hens with Whisky Herb Citrus Glaze Lea Ann of Cooking on the Ranch
- Peach Buckle from Anna of Anna Dishes
- Potato Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette from Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Lemon-Ginger Crinkle Cookies from Jean of Lemons and Anchovies
- Soft Pretzel Sticks with Spicy Mustard Sauce from Heather of girlichef
- Sparkling Mojitos from Heather of girlichef
- Salted Toffee Chocolate Chunk Cookies from Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Blood Orange Margaritas from Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Mini Cinnamon Rolls from Kate of Kate’s Kitchen
- Brown Butter, Brown Sugar Banana Bread from Christiane of Taking on Magazines
- Savory Clafoutis from Christiane of Taking on Magazines
- Cardamom White Chocolate Panna Cotta from Debra of Eliot’s Eats