Archive for December, 2016

Gingerbread Cookies

INGREDIENTS

This time of year is all about sweet treats and holiday classics. Gingerbread always seems to bring about a little holiday cheer, so why not try out this tasty recipe for a yummy holiday treat?

Makes 24 – 12 cm cookies

– 3cups all-purpose flour

– 1 1⁄2teaspoons baking powder

– 3⁄4teaspoon baking soda

– 1⁄4teaspoon salt

– 1tablespoon ground ginger

– 1 3⁄4teaspoons ground cinnamon

– 1⁄4teaspoon ground cloves

– 6tablespoons unsalted butter

– 3⁄4cup dark brown sugar

– 1large egg

– 1⁄2cup molasses

– 2teaspoons vanilla

– 1teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)

 

DIRECTIONS

1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended.

2. In a large bowl (KitchenAid’s great for this) beat butter, brown sugar, and egg on medium speed until well blended.

3. Add molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest and continue to mix until well blended.

4. Gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth.

5. Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.

6. Preheat oven to 190 deg. Prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper.

7. (Dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, but in this case it should be refrigerated. Return to room temp before using.) Preheat oven to 190°.

8. Grease or line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

9. Place 1 portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface.

10. Sprinkle flour over dough and rolling pin.

11. Roll dough to a scant 1cm thick.

12. Use additional flour to avoid sticking.

13. Cut out cookies with desired cutter – the gingerbread man is our favourite of course.

14. Space cookies 4cm apart.

15. Bake 1 sheet at a time for 7-10 minutes (the lower time will give you softer cookies – very good!).

16. Remove cookie sheet from oven and allow the cookies to stand until the cookies are firm enough to move to a wire rack.

17. After cookies are cool you may decorate them any way you like.

18. I usually brush them with a powdered sugar glaze when I am in a hurry, but they look wonderful decorated with Royal icing.

Ageing Beef

To get the perfect steak, it needs to be well tenderised and aged so that it can be as succulent as possible. Beef should be aged in order to let natural enzymes break down all the fibrous connective tissue that holds the muscles together.

There are two ways to self-tenderise your steak. Either through dry ageing or through wet ageing.

Dry ageing:

Dry ageing can be very expensive and time-consuming. With dry ageing the meat is stored in temperature and humidity controlled coolers for up to six weeks. During this process, the majority of the moisture from the beef evaporates, which improves texture and concentrates all the flavours. Dry ageing is perfect if you are looking for a very flavourful meat.

Wet ageing:

With wet ageing, the beef is stored in vacuumed-sealed plastic, which allows it to tenderise in its own juices. With wet ageing, it means that no moisture is lost, allowing for a much more tenderised piece of meat, but it does also mean that there is less concentrated flavours.

Whichever method you choose, as long as you are ageing your meat, it is sure to be deliciously tender and ready to be devoured.

Enjoy!