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Saturday, December 29, 2012

It's a Tip About Dishes

Do you have any baking pans or dishes that are stoneware and say microwave safe?

Well, they are, but they aren't.

If they have unglazed feet-or a section that is plain pottery- you could have problems with them cracking.

The reason is because water absorbs into the unglazed stoneware and when you put it in the microwave, the moisture heats up and pops and possibly causes cracks or breaking.

The best way to solve this problem is to make sure you don't soak the pan or dishes in water.

If it needs soaked, pour water into it.
Don't set the whole dish into the water.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Gingerbread Cookies

Making gingerbread cookies is a tradition in my house. Usually my nieces and sister come down and if they can't, it is just me and my daughter.
We have a lot of fun.

I usually mix the dough up a day or two before baking and stick in the fridge, but you can just make it a couple hours before and it still works out.

Ingredients:

3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon  cloves
3/4 cup brown sugar
12 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg

Soften the butter in a large mixing bowl.
Add the brown sugar and cream.
Add the molasses and egg and beat until well blended.
Add the baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and mix in.
Gradually add the flour and mix on low speed until well blended.
Take the dough out the the bowl and pat into a disk. This makes it easier to roll without cracking.
Cover with plastic wrap or put into a covered container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

To bake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/175 Celsius.
Take the dough out of the fridge and let rest for ten minutes. You might want to just roll out half the dough at a time.
Flour your counter and roll out the dough. If you want thinner, crisper cookies you need 1/8 inch thick. If you want thicker, softer cookies you want to roll out to 1/4 inch.
Cut into whatever shapes you want.
Bake for about 10 minutes. A little less for smaller cookies, a little more for larger cookies.
If you want them crip, the cookies need to be firm to the touch.
If you are wanting softer cookies, take them out a little before that and they will finish cooking after removing from oven and they will still be soft. 
Let cool and decorate as you want.

Depending on size and thickness, you may get up to 19 dozen.
If you make them larger and thicker you will get about 3-4 dozen.

If you roll them too fat, they have a tendency to poof out and lose some of their shape.
Use unsalted butter. If you use salted, don't use the salt.