Gingerbread Madeleines Recipe

If you are ever in the mood to try something delicious and fancy, you can always rely upon the French. While this spongecake traces its heritage back to northern France, its origin story is somewhat muddied.

  • Most stories converge on a “Madeleine” who served someone important to the Lorraine region. Some of these stories attribute the VIP to Paul de Gondi, a cardinal during the 17th Century who lived in Commerce.
  • Other stories claim the inventor as Madeleine Paulmier, a cook to Duke Stanislaus I. These tales mention how Louis XV, Stanislaus’ son-in-law, was so taken by the little cakes Paulmier baked that he chose to christen them in her name. After the French aristocracy fell in love with these little shell-shaped sweets, they soon proliferated through all of France.
  • Other stories tether the cake to pilgrimage to Compostela, Spain. These tales frame the eponymous Madeleine as having returned from her trip with the recipe.
  • One final version suggests that the carapace-contoured cakes were given to pilgrims that passed through the region.

No matter how fuzzy this cake’s history may be, this gingerbread take on the classic pastry is truly delicious.

Ingredients for Gingerbread Madeleines

  • Sugar, granulated, 1/3 cup
  • Eggs, two
  • Salt, 1/8 tsp
  • Vanilla extract, 1 tsp
  • Molasses, 2 tbsp
  • Ginger, ground, 1/4 tsp
  • Pumpkin pie spice, 1/4 tsp
  • Butter, unsalted, 1/4 cup, melted and cooked
  • Flour, AP, 1/2 cup
  • Sugar, powdered, for dusting

Equipment and Tools for Making Gingerbread Madeleines

  • Madeleine pan
  • Pastry brush
  • Mixer, either handheld or freestanding.
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring spoon, 1 tbsp size
  • Knife
  • Wire cooling rack

Instructions for Gingerbread Madeleines

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Brush some softened butter, not taken from the 1/4 cup amount, onto a 12-mold madeleine pan. Follow the butter with a sprinkling of flour into each mold and then tap out any excess.
  3. Use your mixer to beat the sugar, salt, and eggs into a pale yellow substance; this should take no more than two minutes. Add the vanilla, molasses, and spices, and then mix everything to combine. Scrape the bottom of the bowl and mix everything up a second time.
  4. Pour a third of the melted butter into the bowl and mix at a low speed. Follow this by adding half of your AP flour, continuing to mix on low.
  5. Add another third of the butter to the bowl, mix it in, add the rest of your AP flour, mix again and finish by adding the last of the butter and performing one final mixing.
  6. Use your measuring spoon to scoop and deposit 1 tablespoon of batter into each mold in your pan.
  7. Transfer the madeleine pan to your oven and bake for 9-10 minutes; just long enough for the dough to spring back when touched over the top.
  8. Use your knife to facilitate removing the finished madeleines from the pan, transferring them to your cooling rack.
  9. Give the madeleines time to cool, no more than 10 minutes at most, before transferring them to a platter.
  10. Finish the cakes off with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Note that while a madeleine pan is traditional, the end result is just as tasty if you must resort to small loaf pans or cupcake liners.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Recipe (From Scratch)

There is nothing that shouts “Hello, Winter!” quite as loudly as peppermint-enhanced anything. However, the peppermint-chocolate combination, in all its many forms, has long been a perennial favorite for satisfying a wintertime sweet tooth. There is no doubt that while candies, cakes, and cookies that employ this famous duo are all scrumptious, there is absolutely NOTHING that tops a steaming hot cup of peppermint hot chocolate (well, except a tower of whipped cream or a mountain of marshmallows, of course!).

There are several ways to go about crafting the perfect cup of thick, creamy, mint-chocolaty perfection. The great thing is that you can make it whenever the mood strikes or create a batch in advance for all of your holiday merrymaking. It is just as simple to make a whole pot as it is to make one cup! Have a slow-cooker full on your countertop that your family can enjoy with cookies on a snow day. If you’re entertaining a crowd, consider presenting a hot chocolate bar with a variety of minty garnishes that will be sure to please all your guests! Offer up some crushed candy canes or peppermint sticks for stirring. Shaved chocolate is always delicious and children would most certainly enjoy showering their cups with winter-themed sprinkles.

When considering how to go about flavoring your hot chocolate, you have a few options. For example, crushed and melted candy canes will absolutely do the trick, although it may be slightly more difficult to gauge how minty the finished product will turn out. Also, it is a little more time-consuming. If you want to be fully in control of your peppermint-to-chocolate ratio, choose an extract. Pure peppermint extract is best. You can also use peppermint oil, although you will need far less of it, so be careful! If you’re looking to indulge in a cozy nightcap, peppermint schnapps is an ideal choice.  

The Ultimate Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 1-2 small mugs

(Or one large mug if you don’t feel like sharing!)

What You Will Need:

• 1 cup whole or 2% milk

• ¼ cup heavy whipping cream

• Sweeten to taste with sugar, 1-2 Tbsp.

• 3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate or ½ cup chocolate chips

• ¼ tsp. vanilla extract

• 1/8 tsp. peppermint extract, or your choice of peppermint flavoring to taste

• Pinch of kosher salt, to cut the sweetness

• Your favorite garnishes (whipped cream, marshmallows, etc.)

The How-To:

1. In a large saucepot over medium-low heat, whisk together the milk, cream, sugar, and salt.

2. When bubbles begin to form around the side of the pot, reduce heat to low and add chocolate and extracts. Whisk for 1-2 minutes, or until the chocolate is melted and glossy. It will also be slightly thickened.

3. Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy with as much whipped cream or as many marshmallows as your heart desires! Don’t forget the candy cane stirring stick!

Notes:

If you would rather your hot chocolate not be quite so rich, you can decrease the amount of chocolate you add to 2 ounces or 1/3 cup. Also, feel free to replace the heavy cream with an additional 1 ¼ cups of whole or 2% milk.

If you are a white chocolate aficionado, don’t worry, you were not forgotten here! To create your perfect cup, leave out the sugar and substitute 2 ounces, or 1/3 cup, of white chocolate that has been finely chopped or white chocolate chips in lieu of the semi-sweet.

Thanksgiving Egg Rolls Recipe

The only thing more daunting than all of the work involved in cooking Thanksgiving dinner is dealing with all of the leftovers. While most people immediately jump to sandwiches as a solution for dealing with leftover turkey, there are other, more interesting, and less rote things you can do with leftover turkey meat. This particular recipe also serves as a way of putting any leftover stuffing you may have in your fridge. Furthermore, we have provided a really tasty cranberry dipping sauce if you favor sweet over savory gravy.

Ingredients for Thanksgiving Egg Rolls

  • Potatoes, mashed, 2.5 cups
  • Stuffing, 1.5 cups
  • Turkey, chopped, 1.5 cups
  • Egg roll wraps, 20
  • Egg, one
  • Water, 1 tbsp

Directions for Thanksgiving Egg Rolls

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Place 2 tablespoons of mashed potatoes into the center of an egg roll wrapper.
  3. Place 1 tablespoon each of the stuffing and chopped turkey meat on top of the mashed potatoes.
  4. Roll up your egg roll like you are finishing an envelope. Start by pulling the bottom corner up to the middle, fold the two sides in, and then roll the rest up.
  5. Once you have made all your egg rolls, whisk an egg with the water and brush the water-egg wash over each egg roll.
  6. Transfer the egg rolls to a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, flipping them all over 12 minutes into the baking process.
  7. Serve with either your leftover gravy or a cranberry sauce to be used as a dip.

Ingredients for Cranberry Dipping Sauce

  • Cranberries, fresh, 1 lb
  • Juice concentrate, orange, 1/2 cup, defrosted
  • Cinnamon, 1 tsp
  • Syrup, maple, 2 tbsp
  • Optional: Zest, orange, 1 tsp

Directions for Cranberry Dipping Sauce

  1. Place everything into a saucepan and bring it up to a boil. Reduce the heat and leave it to simmer for half an hour, just until your berries burst open and the juice thickens up. Watch to ensure it does not evaporate; you can add a 1/4 cup of water in the unfortunate event that evaporation occurs.
  2. Stir in the orange zest if you are using it.

A Note on Storage

Allow the sauce to cool off and then store it either in the fridge for no longer than five days, within an airtight container, or in the freezer for up to two months. When you decide to use the frozen sauce, give it an overnight thawing session the night before you plan on serving it.

Tips and Substitutions

  • If you want a thinner sauce, add half a cup of water.
  • If you want a sweeter sauce, add another 2 tablespoons of maple syrup.
  • If you do not have access to maple syrup, you can use either honey or granulated sugar.
  • Be mindful of your sauce as it starts to boil. The high amount of sugar within the orange juice concentrate and maple syrup can quickly go from boiling to burning. Bring things to a low simmer the moment the sauce boils.
  • If you would prefer fresh orange juice over concentrate, just zest the oranges and squeeze at least 1/4 cup of juice. You will also need to add another 1/4 cup of water and 2-4 tablespoons of a sweetener, based on how sweet you want your sauce to be.

Green Tea Brownies Recipe

Everyone knows about chocolate brownies and some people may have heard of “blondies,” a vanilla-based counterpart to the heavy chocolate focus of a traditional brownie, but have you ever considered that there was more to brownies than vanilla or chocolate? Provided below is a recipe for a type of brownie that focuses on the flavor profile of matcha green tea. Feel free to think of these baked goods as white chocolate “greenies.”

Ingredients for Brown Butter Green Tea Brownies

  • Butter, unsalted, 1/2 cup, browned
  • Chocolate, white, 4 oz
  • Matcha green tea powder, 2 tbsp
  • Sugar, granulated, 1 cup
  • Sugar, brown, light, 1/4 cup
  • Eggs, three
  • Vanilla extract, 1 tsp
  • Salt, 1/2 tsp
  • Flour, AP, 1 cup
  • Optional: Salt, flaky, 1/4 tsp

Tools and Equipment for Brown Butter Green Tea Brownies

  • Oven
  • Cake pan, 8″ square
  • Parchment paper
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Mixer, either handheld or freestanding

Directions for Making Brown Butter Green Tea Brownies

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. While the oven is warming up, grease up your baking pan and lines it with parchment paper. Set the readied baking pan aside for now.
  3. Heat your butter over high heat until it completely melts. Instead of taking the melted butter off the heat, change your heat to the low setting. Continue applying heat to the butter until you begin to see small, brown-colored bits of matter appearing. This is the moment when you need to remove the butter from the heat as you have sufficiently browned it.
  4. Add your white chocolate and matcha into a small bowl, followed by pouring brown butter over the top of the mixture and stirring everything up until the chocolate has melted. Give the chocolate/butter/matcha blend two minutes to cool off.
  5. In a large bowl, bring the sugars, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt together. Apply your mixer to it all until such time that it becomes a thick, creamy, and uniform mass; this should take somewhere between five and 10 minutes.
  6. While you are mixing, stream in the ganache (the chocolate, butter, and matcha), using a whisk until you have a nice, uniform green-colored mass.
  7. Sift your flour into the large mixing bowl and use a spatula to gently fold it into the batter until you have something resembling a green cake batter.
  8. Spoon the batter into the baking pan you greased and lined back in step 2.
  9. Bake for an amount of time between 20 and 30 minutes. Feel free to stab it with a toothpick to test if it is done; you will know your brownies are ready if the toothpick is free of batter when you pull it out.
  10. Remove the brownies from the oven and give them a good slam on the counter to free up any air held within.
  11. If you feel like being a little extra, give them all a sprinkle of flaky sea salt and return the brownies to the oven for another 10 minutes of baking.
  12. When you are all done baking these deliciously fudgy green tea brownies, give them 20 minutes to cool before letting anyone have a bite.

When everything is said and done, you will have nine delicious brownies imbued with the goodness of matcha green tea and white chocolate.

Green Tea Cookies Recipe

Matcha green tea is a delicious and healthy substance that has more uses than as a drink. Provided below is an amazing recipe for white chocolate chip cookies that incorporate matcha green tea into the dough, resulting in cookies with unique coloration and some additional health benefits you won’t find in a normal cookie.

Ingredients

  • Flour, AP, 2 cups
  • Tea, green, matcha, powder, 2.5 tbsp
  • Butter, unsalted, 3/4 cup, softened
  • Sugar, powdered, 1 cup and 2 tsp
  • Salt, kosher, or sea, pinch
  • Egg yolks, 2 large
  • Chocolate chips, white, 1/4 cup

Directions

  1. Mix the flour and matcha together in a large bowl.
  2. Sift the flour and matcha.
  3. Using either a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or a large bowl and a hand mixer, beat the unsalted butter until it takes on a smooth, creamy texture.
  4. Add a pinch of salt to the butter and blend it in.
  5. Add all of the powdered sugar and blend everything until you have a soft, light sugar-butter blend. Feel free to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
  6. Add 130 g (1 cup + 2 tsp) powdered sugar and blend until soft and light. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  7. Add the egg yolks and mix everything until you have a thorough blend.
  8. Add the flour-matcha mixture in increments while continuing to mix until you have used it all and everything is a thoroughly homogeneous mass.
  9. Add the white chocolate chips until everything is fully mixed in.
  10. Slice the dough in half and shape each half into a cylinder that is roughly 1.5 inches wide and 7 inches long.
  11. Wrap your dough logs in plastic wrap and transfer them to your fridge until they firm up. This should take at least 2 hours.
  12. Protip: You can lay the logs out over a bed of uncooked rice to preserve the cylindrical shape.
  13. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with either parchment paper or silicone, remove the plastic from your dough and use a sharp knife to slice the logs into 1/4″ thick discs. If your dough is too hard, give it 5 minutes. Place the cookies on the sheet, giving each one roughly an inch of space.
  14. Bake at 350ºF for roughly 15 minutes, just until the edges start to turn golden brown.
  15. Take the cookies out of the oven and leave them to rest for five minutes.
  16. Move the cookies to a cooling rack to finish cooling off.

A note on storage

  • Dough: If you do not have the time to bake your matcha cookie dough and want to save it for another time, you can wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in your freezer for up to two months. When the time comes to bake, give the dough at least 10 minutes of time resting at room temperature before cutting and baking. Do not let the dough completely defrost!
  • Cookies: You can place your cookies within an airtight container and then leave them at room temperature for up to four days before you need to start worrying about them getting stale.

So there you have it, one humdinger of a simple recipe that offers several health benefits in one tasty snack. Try this recipe yourself and see how many more batches you crave after one bite.

Banana Cream Cupcakes Recipe

When it comes to fruits that go wonderfully with baking, bananas are in like the top five options. This sort of potassium-rich produce gives a wonderful sweetness and creaminess to baked goods, provided you can hold off on devouring them long enough to properly ripen them up. This is one of my favorite recipes involving bananas because it gives me a way of satisfying a craving for banana pudding while being able to move about.

Before you go preparing this recipe, or any other recipe involving bananas, one excellent trick you may want to bear in mind is how to expedite the ripening process. The only thing you will need to speed up the time it takes for your bananas to go from green to lots of black spots is a paper bag. By placing the bananas you plan to work with inside of a paper bag and tightly closing up the bag, you trap the natural ethylene gases released as part of the ripening process. Because the ethylene has nowhere to go, it continually cycles through the limited space of the bag, resulting in perfectly ripened bananas over a span of time between 12 and 24 hours instead of the natural rate of several days.

Ingredients for Banana Cream Cupcakes with Banana Whipped Cream

  • Bananas, medium-ripeness, two, mashed up
  • One box of yellow cake mix
  • Eggs, three
  • Oil, 1/4 cup
  • Milk, 1/2 cup
  • Sour cream, 1/2 cup
  • Vanilla extract, 2 tsp
  • Banana slices
  • Nilla wafers

Whipped Cream Component

  • Cream, whipping, heavy, 1 pint
  • Pudding mix, instant, banana flavor, 2 tbsp

Necessary Equipment

  • Oven
  • Baking pan
  • Cupcake liners
  • Mixing bowl
  • Fork
  • Toothpicks
  • Stand mixer
  • Whipping attachment for the stand mixer
  • Piping bag

Directions for Making Banana Cream Cupcakes with Banana Whipped Cream

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and line your baking pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Use a large bowl and a fork to mash your two bananas. Add everything but the slices of banana and Nilla wafers to this bowl and stir everything until you reach a smooth consistency.
  3. Fill each liner 3/4 to the top and transfer them to the oven.
  4. Bake at 350°F anywhere from 15 to 18 minutes; just long enough for a toothpick to come out clean when inserted into one of the cupcakes.
  5. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and give them time to cool off.
  6. Make the banana whipped cream by whisking the two ingredients together with a stand mixer until you have a thick and creamy frosting.
  7. Transfer the whipped cream to a piping bag and give each cupcake a generous amount of cream.
  8. Finish the cupcakes by placing the Nilla wafers and banana slices on top, orienting them vertically. Feel free to even make little “sandwiches” with two wafers and a banana slice in the middle.

So there you have it! One tasty treat has all the elements of a bowl of banana pudding without needing any utensils or working the whipping cream into the stiff peaks of a proper meringue. I guarantee that by knowing how to make these, you will run out of them far sooner than you anticipated because they are just that good. Two batches may be necessary to satisfy all parties.