Saturday, 24 December 2016

Eggnog Cake with Mascarpone Frosting


Eggnog is a favourite holiday treat of mine, but Simon and Anna are not fans. I bought So Delicious coconut milk eggnog instead, and they both tried it and liked it. We also buy coconut milk ice cream from the same brand, so I figured it was worth a shot. It's Gluten free, dairy free, and doesn't contain eggs.

I used spelt flour in this recipe, but that can be swapped in equal amounts for whole wheat flour if you don't have it on hand. The applesauce and eggnog keep this cake moist, so it needs a dense flour.

Ingredients 

Dry ingredients:
1 cup spelt flour 
1/2 tsp salt 
2 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda 
1 tbsp cinnamon 
1/2 tsp nutmeg 
1/4 tsp ground cloves 
2 tsp ground ginger 

Wet ingredients:
1/4 cup coconut oil 
1/4 cup brown sugar 
3 tbsp pure maple syrup 
2 tsp pure vanilla extract 
1/2 cup eggnog
1 cup unsweetened applesauce 
2 eggs

Directions 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, and mix until uniform. Set aside.

Combine coconut oil and brown sugar in either stand mixer or a second bowl. Cream the sugar, then add remaining wet ingredients. Mix well.

Pour the wet into the dry ingredients, or pour the dry ingredients into the stand mixer bowl. Mix until uniform.

Pour the batter into a greased 8 inch round cake pan. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Mascarpone Frosting 

Combine 1 cup (227g) mascarpone cheese, 1/4 cup icing sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and 1 tbsp of eggnog. Mix until uniform. When cake is fully cooled, coat evenly with frosting and refrigerate before serving.


Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Vanilla Chai Spiced Cookies

I drink a lot of tea, and I mean a lot...about 3 litres of it per day. My favourite is chai, specifically Double Spice Chai because it's even spicier than regular chai tea. I found a recipe for chai spiced cookies from the Whole Foods Market site that sounded awesome, but there were many comments left from others who had tried out the recipe that it was too dry. I followed the original recipe at first. I wasn't happy with the crumbly texture of the dough, so I adjusted the balance of dry and wet ingredients and balanced the spices to my liking. The cloves were overpowering in the Whole Foods recipe.

I adjusted the recipe to make it more like my Gingerbread cookie dough, so it can be cut with cookie cutters instead of rolled into balls. Also, I wasn't feeling the sugar coating, I'd rather have royal icing with added vanilla!

So here it is, perfect for the holidays...my version of Vanilla Chai Spiced Cookies. They're like a chai latte in cookie form!

Yield: 24 medium/large cookie cutters

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup water
Canola oil spray, for greasing baking sheets

Directions

Cream the butter, granulated sugar and vanilla extract in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer. Add maple syrup, spices, and salt and mix again. Add flour, baking soda and water and mix until well combined.

The dough should be just firm enough to knead into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, flour the work surface. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil. Lightly grease with canola oil spray.

Roll the dough out 1/4 inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut dough and space evenly on baking sheets with room to expand. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet with a spatula and place on cooling rack. Allow to fully cool before icing.

Royal icing

Combine 3/4 cup icing sugar, 2 tbsp of egg whites, and 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Blend together with hand mixer. Scoop icing into piping bag, push down into point, and snip off a small piece of the corner. Start decorating!

Enjoy!

My new cookie jar: