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Two Peas and Their Pod: December 2009

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Moving Day

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Friday, December 04, 2009

White Chocolate Holiday Bark

I am in full holiday mode now-we bought our Christmas tree last night and did some decorating. This is our first year having our own tree-we usually travel for the holidays, but this year we are staying home. I am excited to start our own traditions. We both have all of our ornaments from when we were kiddies, the tree is random, but in a good way:)

I made a batch of
chocolate bark at Halloween and everyone loved it. It is the perfect quick candy for any holiday. I always make the traditional peppermint bark, but this year I branched out and made a sampler platter. I created: cranberry almond bark, pretzel M&M bark, and the classic peppermint bark. It was fun mixing things up.

The white chocolate base goes nicely with all of the flavors. Cranberry and almond are the perfect holiday combination. The pretzel bark tastes like chocolate dipped pretzels, without all of the work. And of course the peppermint bark is delicious and refreshing-everyone loves this stuff!

If you need an easy treat to make for your neighbors, family, and friends-make my holiday bark. Try all three flavors-they are all wonderful!

My dear friend Gaby, from What’s Gaby Cooking?, created a Winter White Chocolate Mix that looks amazing! It is White Chocolate Friday:) Make this sweet snack to munch on during the holidays!

And some good news-my
Apple Cinnamon Cookie Bars were featured on Saveur-the best of the web! Yahoo!

White Chocolate Holiday Bark

(Printable Recipe)

14 ounces white chocolate
Dried cranberries
Sliced almonds
Crushed pretzels
Mini M&M's-red and green
Holiday sprinkles
Crushed candy canes

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. (I used my Silpat)
2. Place the white chocolate in a metal bowl. Put the metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water. Stir the chocolate frequently with a rubber spatula. When the chocolate is smooth and fully melted, remove the bowl from the heat. Wipe off the bowl if there is any condensation.
3. Let the white chocolate cool for a minute or two. Stir to make sure it doesn't harden. Pour the chocolate onto the baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat. Spread it with a spatula until it is about 3/8 inch thick.
4. Sprinkle the toppings over the white chocolate. I did this in sections-a section for the cranberry almond, a section for the pretzel, M&M, sprinkles, and a section for the candy canes.
5. Let the chocolate cool and harden. I put the pan in the refrigerator. It was ready in about 30-45 minutes.
7. Once the chocolate is set and hard, break bark into pieces.

If you like my holiday bark, you might also like:
Peppermint Bark Chocolate Cookies from Genesis of a Cook
Peppermint Bark Cookies from Two Peas and Their Pod
White Chocolate Bark with Fresh Mint and Berries from Serious Eats

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Soft Gingersnap Cookie Recipe

Happy December! Let the holiday baking begin! I love this time of year! I have a LONG list of things I want to bake this month. I will be making my favorite, classic recipes, but I also have a few new things to experiment with. I will try to post them as fast as I bake them:)

To kick off the holiday baking season, I made a batch of soft gingersnap cookies. I love my gingersnaps SOFT! The key is taking them out at 8 minutes on the dot. They won't look done, but just trust me, they are ready to come out of the oven. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for a minute or two and then transfer them to a cooling rack. If you follow my instructions, you will enjoy soft and tender gingersnaps... and I think that is the best way to enjoy them!

Our house smelled amazing while the cookies were baking. The ginger, cinnamon, and molasses smell filled each room with holiday cheer! Give these classic cookies a try-your friends and family will love them..if you decide to share that is:) And remember, don't over bake!

I am submitting these cookies to Susan at Food Blogga. She is hosting Season 3 of Eat Christmas Cookies. You can submit a cookie too, the last day to participate is Dec. 20th. To view all of the fabulous cookies click here. New cookies will be added all month long, so visit often:) Thanks to Susan for hosting such a fun event. I love cookies!

Soft Gingersnap Cookies

(Printable Recipe)

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
Pinch of fresh nutmeg
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup molasses
White sugar-to roll the cookie dough in

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices in a medium bowl. Whisk the ingredients together.
3. With a mixer, combine the butter and brown sugar until smooth and creamy. This will take a couple of minutes.
4. Add in the egg and vanilla extra. Mix until well combined.
5. Add in the molasses. Mix until the molasses is combined with the other ingredients.
6. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture. Add in a little at a time until all of the flour is mixed in.
7. Form the dough into Tablespoon sized balls. Roll the dough in white sugar.
8. Place the cookie dough balls on a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Make sure they are a couple inches apart.
9. I pressed down on the cookies slightly to help them flatten out. If you like puffy cookies, don't press them down.
10. Bake for 8 minutes and NO longer. You want them to stay soft! Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for a minute or two, then transfer to a cooling rack.
11. Enjoy!

If you like these gingersnap cookies, you might also like:
Gingersnap Lemon Sherbert Sandwiches from Dessert First
Gingersnaps with Orange Ginger Cream Filling from Recipe Girl
Gingersnaps from Baking with Dynamite
Spicy Ginger Crinkle Cookies from The Canadian Baker

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