I’ve been wanting to post a gingerbread cake on here for years, but never got around to it because every recipe I’ve found looked super complicated, and by this point in the year, I do not feel like doing things like folding egg whites or even washing more than one bowl. This time of year calls of dump, dump, dump, and stir. Dump and stir recipes leave more time for important things like spending time with family, or watching Master of None on Netflix.
My default cream cheese frosting is a not too sweet swiss meringue buttercream, but I thought that a simple cream cheese/powdered sugar frosting worked better here. Not only is it easy to make, but the sweetness compliments the spicy gingerbread cake.
The topping was supposed to be a snowy white glaze that dripped down the sides to look like icicles, but I think I added too much milk because it looks like the sun came out and the snow is melting. It’s been in the 70s all week here, so I suppose there was no chance of snow, not even on my cake.
The gingerbread house cake topper is totally optional. I had some leftover dough left from this recipe, which makes a ton. If you want to use it just for a mini gingerbread house, I’d recommend dividing it by 3, and even then you’ll have enough to make at least 8 mini houses. I got my cookie cutters from this store on Etsy. To decorate the house and glue it together, I used this pre-packaged cookie icing
Have you ever used herbs in cookies? I’ve always found the idea intriguing, so when a friend gave me some rosemary from her garden, I thought about using it in shortbread. I suspected that it would be one of those “cool in theory but kind of weird” recipes that at worst would make my kitchen smell nice and at best would make good Christmas gifts, but I never expected them to blog worthy. I like to keep this space for the best of the best and the favoritest of the favorites, and these cookies definitely made the cut.
I originally started by adding rosemary to my usual shortbread base, but when I came across this recipe, I decided to add some honey. The honey not only added flavor, but made a more tender cookie. I was such a fan of this dough that I made a second variation on this recipe. For the thyme raspberry cookie, I used the same shortbread base, but replaced the rosemary with 1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh thyme and 2 tablespoons of coarsely chopped freeze dried raspberries.
I’ve always been cold-natured, but now that I’ve lived in Texas for almost 8 years, any time that it drops below 70 degrees is a reason to put on my fuzzy socks and make a big pot of tea. I’ve been having major scone cravings to go along with the gallons of tea that I’ve been drinking lately, but I didn’t have a good go to recipe.
After some scone research, I decided to go with a British style recipe. It’s less sweet than it’s American counterpart and more cakey than biscuity. You don’t have to have cold ingredients, and you don’t have to fret about overworking the dough. There’s nothing I hate worse than tip-toeing around finicky scone dough and still having the end result come out tough. British scone dough starts out by coating the flour in fat so that it’s harder to overwork the gluten. You can knead it and roll it out without being afraid of impending hockey pucks.
Because I planned to stuff these scones with apples and cinnamon sugar, I wanted a scone recipe that would be a not to sweet vehicle to let the apples shine while still being light and fluffy. Oh, and I also wanted them to be vegan. I don’t ask for much, do I? I found that watching this video from America’s test kitchen put me on the right track. Even though I replaced the butter with coconut oil, the milk with coconut milk, and omitted the eggs all together, I used the same basic mixing method. And then I stuffed it with apple pie filing. I’m not sure if the Brits would approve, but I liked the end result.
I don’t normally do step by step instructions, but I thought it would be helpful this time. Scroll past the recipe for the steps.