[Christmas Edition] Ginger All the Way!

It's hard to explain how the Mumbai Attack could really affect my life. The first couple of days after the terror, everything was going normal. Until four days later, when my kids had to go back to school, my heart was loaded with tonnes of worries. I was really scared something bad would happen to them (at school or on the way to school/home). Sometimes it was hard for me to fall asleep at night, their safety was bothering me.
Then I felt relieved, just one-half week after that everything came back to normal. I attended several Christmas events at school; watching my kids' Xmas choir, joining the Xmas assembly and year end party at their class. It really helped me, not only to understand that my kids were happy and safe at their school but at the same time, my heart was full of joy.
On the second week of December, I baked (lots of) brownies, (lots of) cookies and (lots of) muffins for refreshment after the worship in our Church. It brought me lots of happiness to see our friends enjoyed those food. Everything became more beautiful.

Now... I'm back on track!
Christmas wouldn't be completed without the memorable smell of spices. For the last couple of years (not including last year) I have never missed baking gingerbreadman cookies. This is our family favorite cookies during Christmas. This year, I tried to continue this 'gingerbread' baking tradition with some innovative and new recipes. I searched some 'different form' of gingerbread recipes. I found and tried four new different types of gingerbread:
* Gingerbread-White Chocolate Blondies
* Gingerbread Muffins
* Chocolate Gingerbread Drop Cookies
* Gingerbread Cupcakes
The first three gingerbread types, turned to be excellent category of gingerbread variety. The smell and flavor are as good as the gingerbread, but (of course) with different texture, depending on what type. We enjoyed them, since they were still in the oven. The gingerbread appetiting smell flew to every corner of our apartment in Mumbai.
Unfortunatelly, the cupcakes were not as good as others. The smell, flavor and texture were excellent thought but I put to much batter (not butter) in each cup. You can imagine their 'shape' when they just came out 'overloaded' from my oven :(. The good thing is that I have a homework for the Christmas next year, to produce excellent gingerbread cupcakes!

Gingerbread Drop Cookies Gingerbread Muffins Gingerbread-White Chocolate Blondies

Gingerbread Muffins Gingerbread-White Chocolate Blondies Gingerbread Drop Cookies

Now... I'm so glad to be home for Christmas. We arrived in Jakarta three days ago, on Saturday midnight (20/12). Nice to see again my kitchen, I designed it by myself. I love it so much!Everything is still the same since the last time I cooked here. I'm full of joy; meeting my parents, my big family, having lunch together surrounding my parent's dining table, enjoying my mom's homemade food while my kids were busy telling their grandparents about their exciting experiences in Mumbai. They have become more and more talkactive :D. I felt good that they didn't talk about terrorism since they had asked many questions after the Mumbai Attacks.
We just have completed decorating our nine-feet tall Christmas tree today. No baking for me this time, since I've been busy wrapping gifts for our big family. We have plan to enjoy lots of traditional and memorable food here, most of them we can't find in Mumbai.
I really enjoy this special season. We will join our big family Christmas tradition; starting from the Christmas Eve (24/12) until the Christmas Night (25/12), from the Church to our parents houses.
Hopefully I will have time to write the story about our tradition here, especially about the food :). Just to let you know; My Mom and my Mother-in-law are very good cook! They will cook plenty of delicious food during Christmas. Unfortunatelly, they're not really good in food photography (they never take picture of the food) and they're not familiar with 'blogging' even with the computer... psst it's okay, they never read my blog!
I had tried these recipes, took the pictures in Mumbai and editting the pictures in the aeroplane on the way from Mumbai to Jakarta. At the end, I'm posting the recipes from Jakarta. This posting is a special edition.
"Gingerbread, Gingerbread, Ginger All the Way... "

Gingerbread-White Chocolate Blondies

Gingerbread-White Chocolate Blondies

Source: Martha Stewart's Cookies
These moist, relatively thin blondies burst with gingerbread spices and white chocolate chunks
2 3/4 cups plus 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1 3/4 cups coarsely chopped best-quality white chocolate (10 ounces)
Nonstick vegetable oil spray

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a 12 by 17 inch rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. Spray the parchment and set aside.
2. Whisk together flour, soda, salt, and spices in a bowl.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars on medium-high speed until creamy and pale, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and yolk one at a time, scraping down side of bowl as needed. Add vanilla and molasses and mix on medium speed until combined. Add flour mixture on low speed until combined. Stir in white chocolate.
4. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan and bake until golden edge, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely in pan; cut into 2-inch squares.
Blondies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 1 week.

Gingerbread Muffins

Gingerbread Muffins

Adapted from : Muffin Bible
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup currants
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, for dusting

1. In large bowl mix together flours, sugar, baking soda, salt and spices.
2. In seperate bowl mix together buttermilk, oil, eggs and molasses.
3. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and add buttermilk mixture. Stir to combine, then fold in currants.
4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pans and bake at 200C for 15-20 minutes.
5. To serve, dust with confectioners' sugar and serve.

Chocolate Gingerbread Drops

Gingerbread Drop Cookies

Source: Better Homes and Gardens India magazine (December 2008)
These moist morsels are a twist on two all-time favorites-gingerbread and chocolate chip cookies.
1/2 cup shortening (I used 1/2 cup butter)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a large mixing bowl, beat shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for about 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar, baking soda, ginger, allspice, and salt and beat until combined. Beat in molasses and egg. Beat in as much flour as you can with mixer; stir in remaining flour with wooden spoon. Stir in chocolate chips.
2. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons onto ungrased cookie sheets. Bake 8 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
Store them at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can freeze them up to 3 months.

Last; for all my family and friends,

We wish you a Joyful Christmas,
Happy New Year and a Swinging Holiday!
Updated : January 30, 2009
The Gingerbread Blondies Picture (above) is my entry for January Click Monthly Event (RED).


Anonymous said…
Merry Christmas juga untuk Vania & kel,,
tiap hari buka blog nya Vania,, berharap2 bisa dapet xmas recipes,, hehehehe,,
Happy Holidays in Jakarta,,,
God Bless You All,,,,
Dwiana P said…
Merry Christmas to Vania and family. I can smell of lovely spices on your baking! Oh ... this is my favorit time of the year.
Enjoy your holiday in Jakarta and keep posting of your lovely pictures.

Anonymous said…
oh, cantik2 warnanya & propnya! merry christmas ya kalian berempat, have a safe holiday!
lisa said…
hallo Vania... in this specal occasion when it's time to make cookies, time to wrap the gifts, time to decorate your house with your favourite and special things.and time for me to give hug for you. Hope you have a happy and fun surprises this holiday season. Cheers
Deby Suwito said…
Dear Vania,
Been a silent reader of yours. Senang liat P&P growing up so well and they always look happy!
Merry Christmas to you and fam! Can feel the joy of yours from here...
Foni said…
they all looks nice
merry xmas to u& family
and happy new year
happy holidays...
Anonymous said…
Mbak Vania dan kel, selamat natal dan tahun baru yaaa. Pluk sayang tuk Patricia dan Patrick! :))
Elsye said…
met natal Va...:D, buat sekeluarga :D..sekalian met tahun baru juga liburan :D
Nisa-mom said…
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year buat mba Vania sekeluarga.. :-)

**sst..toples kuker nya kereeen..
Anonymous said…
mbak vania,
merry christmas and happy new year!

tambah bagus aja foto2nya, serasa ngeliat majalah dari luar negeri :D
Epilicious said…
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year ya mba... and welcome back to Jakarta :)
Anonymous said…
mbak vania,
masih di jakarta? resep muffinnya asyik. tadinya saya pengen minjem difotokopi atau nitip saudara yang mau jalan ke europe. tapi dipikir lagi, lebih asyik nyontek resep dari buku yang sama tapi yang sudah dicoba mbak vania. thank you for encouraging me to -blend- in with my limited kitchen.
novia-mamanya okta-cilegon
Unknown said…
suka banget ama foto-nya Van. so christmasy! selamat Natal dan tahun baru jeng.
Desy said…
telat to say Merry X'Mas ya mbak hehehe aku suka banget blognya mbak Vania, fotonya keren abis resepnya okeh....ijin contek resep gingernya semua ya mbak pengen nyobain nieh
sefa firdaus said…
happy new year Van...
aduh, itu yg ginger drop cookiesnya minta dicomot kayaknya :)

apa kabar Van?
Shreya said…
love those pictures..
Anonymous said…
Merry X-mas
Anonymous said…
hi r u in india or thailand?