Lemon Glazed Ginger Cookies

If you’re ready for your home to have that “holiday aroma,” then it’s time to make these yummy lemon glazed ginger cookies.

I found this recipe several years ago in a magazine (Sunset, I think) and it was love at first bite. They are just the right mix of spiced chewiness. Of course, the lemon glaze also balances out the sweetness.

The spices in them permeate as they cook, making the tasty scent spread far past the kitchen. And they are so easy! I’ve made them at least a dozen times and each time they turn out perfectly – gotta love a recipe that’s consistent!  Of course they’re good any time of year, but right now, this will remind you that holidays are not far off.

Enjoy!

Lemon Glazed Ginger Cookies
Lemon Glazed Ginger Cookies
 Ingredients
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, at room temp
1 egg
3 TB molasses
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp each salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 TB lemon juice
1 cup powdered sugar
Directions
Preheat oven to 350.  Cream sugar with butter and beat til flufffy.  Add egg and molasses and beat again.  Mix flour, baking soda, and spices and add to butter mixture.  mix well.  Scoop small balls of dough, roll into balls and roll in sugar.  Arrange on baking stone/cookie sheet and bake until golden, about 10 min.  Make the glaze while cookies cool, mixing lemon juice with powdered sugar. Drizzle over the cookies – Yum!
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Coconut Banana Bread

I have a confession to make: I used to hate banana bread.

I mean I refused to eat it (or anything else involving bananas!) for the first fifteen years of my life. This is especially disappointing considering that I lived with the banana bread extraordinaire (aka my mom).  So really – my loss right?

Luckily, I eventually came to my senses and now am obsessed with not only eating it, but baking it. Although my banana bread variations typically include chocolate chips, I grudgingly left out the chocolate to try this coconut variation… because if there’s anything I’m obsessed with more than banana bread, it’s coconut. (Side note: You have to try this dried coconut from Costco).

So anyway, the combination of coconut and banana bread is just as amazing as it sounds. For those who are a little hesitant, it’s not overwhelmingly coconut tasting – the coconut oil and milk in the bread make it creamy and moist, while the coconut in the topping is complemented (and slightly tempered) by the brown sugar.

Plus, unlike pumpkin bread, there really isn’t a season for banana bread. It’s good year-round, at any and every time of day (or night!). Make it now to celebrate fall, and don’t feel bad when you continue to make it monthly for… like ever.

Enjoy!

banana bread 3

Coconut Banana Bread

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
  • 3 or  4 bananas, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract

Streusel Topping:

  • 2/3 cups brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 F. Spray your loaf pans (which can be one big 9×5 loaf pan or 4 to 5 smaller loaf pans) with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, whisking thoroughly. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and brown sugar until smooth. Add in coconut milk and coconut oil, whisking until combined. Stir in mashed bananas, vanilla and coconut extracts until mixed. Stir in dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour batter in the greased loaf pan, but do not put in the oven.

Combine all the streusel ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands until butter is thoroughly dispersed. Sprinkle on top of the banana bread batter. Place the loaf pans into the oven until browned and springy to the touch.

banana bread 2

P.S. This is the best brand we’ve found for both the unsweetened shredded and flaked coconut:

banana bread 1

Simple Pesto Sauce

This famous pesto recipe is from “Mama C,” my mom’s college roommates mother. She was first-generation Italian and an awesome cook. Her pesto recipe is yummy and super easy (especially if you keep Trader Joe’s basil plants in your pots at home!). You can also mix up the nuts in the recipe to use what you have . For instance, we just made it with walnuts and loved it.

It stays fresh in the fridge for several weeks if you top it with olive oil. Mama C used to make the most of fresh summer basil by making batches of this and freezing it in little containers too.

Enjoy!

Pesto sauce

Pesto Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil, preferably extra virgin
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (or 4 tablespoons dried basil)
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese

Directions

Place oil and nuts, garlic and salt in a blender or food processor. Process until nuts and garlic are finely chopped. Add basil and process until finely chopped. Stir in parmesan and Romano cheese.

Serve with your favorite pasta (gnocchi shown above). Or, spread it on a pizza!

 

Classic Apple Crisp

Going apple picking is one of those lofty goals you put on your fall “To Do” list – but if you’re anything like me, it doesn’t always happen. Yet this year, I actually made it to a little orchard at a state park by Sedona with my family. We paid a few dollars for a bag and climbed trees to reach the best of the Red Delicious apples! It was well worth it and will definitely top my list in the future as a necessary activity.

Even though Red Delicious apples aren’t the typical baking apple, we knew we wanted to make something with our freshly picked produce. Apple crisp is a classic dessert with simple preparation. It’s the perfect sweet foray into fall, mixing ice cream with seasonal fruit. We couldn’t find one recipe we loved, so we mixed a few and doubled the topping for a more substantial crisp!

Enjoy!

apple crisp

Classic Apple Crisp

This amazing apple crisp recipe is adapted from Barefoot Contessa and How Sweets It Is

Apple Filling:

  • 6-8 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Juice of 1 large lemon

Topping:

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. After prepping the apples, place them in a large mixing bowl and toss them with the brown sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon and lemon juice. Pour this mixture into a buttered 9 x 9 or 9 x 13 baking dish.

Combine all of the ingredients for the topping in a mixing bowl or food processor. Once it’s mixed together, you’ll have a thick, crumbly topping to pour evenly over the apples.

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, taking it out when the crisp is browned and bubbly.