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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Blogging by Mail & Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies


Well, I am very excited to say that I participated in the Blogging by Mail Event - hosted by Stephanie at Dispensing Happiness. This is an event that looked like a whole lot of fun - and guess what? it really was!! I was lucky enough to be able to send my package off to Erin of Erin Go Blog! (and what a great blog name is that?!). So, to find out what I sent to Erin, you'll have to just keep checking her blog but, I hope she really enjoys it! I sent her some of my favorite things as well as some things I thought she would be a fan of.

A part of what I sent was a dozen of these insanely good cookies - Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies from Martha Stewart's Cookies - these are the cookies on the cover of the book, but mine look a bit smaller and puffier. These are spicy, sweet and chocolately. When I heard that Sugar High Friday, that wonderful event created by Jennifer the Domestic Goddess, this month is all about spice, gingerbread was the first thing that came to my mind - with all the ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves it is a virtual spice lovefest - so I am sending these (sorry, virtually only ;) to Anita, aka Pastrygirl at Dessert First for Sugar High Friday - Spice! Basically, these cookies are perfectly wonderful and totally deceptive - you think, oh it is a yummy chocolate cookie - then you get your first taste and surprise! The flavor is so much more! I hope Erin enjoys them!

I was also really lucky to be sent a wonderful package from Natalie at Natalie's Sentiments. Natalie makes the most darling jewelry and I couldn't have been more excited when she emailed to say she would be sending me a package. Jewelry is one of those things I dearly love (especially earrings - yay!!) but that I rarely get to splurge on for myself. So, I was hoping she would hook me up - and Natalie didn't disappoint! I am now the proud owner of some darling earrings from Paisley Lane (great name!!). Seriously, her jewelry is gorgeous - there are lots of choices for necklaces and earrings too (early holiday shopping anyone!). No Natalie didn't ask me to plug her Etsy Shop - but I'm going to anyway because she is so amazingly crafty and who would want to buy the same earrings that everyone else on the planet ends up with from the department stores and other shops when you could get something hand made!!

Natalie also was darling enough to wrap all my little packages, which really made opening the box a lot of fun (sorry Erin! I wasn't that creative! I am such a dork I didn't even remember to include my letter to Erin! Such. A. Dork.).

So, not to put too fine a point on it, but since I was so darn excited, I can't say much more than, here is the fun list of my loot I received from Natalie including her letter of explanation. Thanks Natalie!!!


My Loot!!

1. Chocolate. Not a lot of explanation needed there. Nope. Not a lot of explanation needed at all. Just give me a minute while I tear this one open right now!
2. Napkin rings - I love Target and entertaining. Target is a pretty great store. I don't get to entertain much lately, but I know these cute rings are going to be making appearances on this blog!
3. Dish towel and recipe cards - I love to cook. I have already used one of my recipe cards. They are so darn cute! Obviously I love to cook too and this towel is so cute!
4. Candles - These are my two favorite Yankee candle scents. Both scents smells so fresh and well, refreshing! Just what I need!
5. Snowman with earrings - I love Christmas and wearing festive jewelry (especially when I make it myself!) Hooray for darling earrings!!! That little snowman is going to be very cute in some upcoming Christmas cookie pictures - I just know it!
6. Cookies - I love the Northwest - especially the mountains. My five year old has confiscated these cookies from me! We got some of these at Yellowstone on vacation last year and he loved them. I would tell you how they are, but I am serious. He has taken them over!
7. Mascara and eye shadow- Eye makeup is my most important beauty item and this brand is fabulous. Now for the sake of honesty... I rarely wear makeup. It is part laziness and part not ever having any. I love to wear makeup and have been wanting to get some fresh makeup so I was SUPER excited to see this!!
8. Eye makeup remover - at night there is nothing I like better than taking that makeup off! Probably part of the reason I don't wear makeup as often is because I never have a good way to remove it or know what to get. I was a bit of a tom-boy growing up and have only enjoyed being a girl more in the past several years - just late enough to feel fashionably stumped most of the time. Having others choose things for me is my favorite thing!
9. Simple scarf mesh - this is my favorite way to make a scarf - but it looks great as thin scarf on its own. (And a bit of my favorite herbal tea to enjoy while making your scarf.) See #8 above. Yay! for someone else picking my accessories! I am excited to try making this scarf, but may have to email Natalie for technical support if I can't figure it out.
10. Glass pumpkin - Something tiny to place somewhere to remind you to be grateful of your blessings this Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving. I love that she included this and loves Thanksgiving too! I am a huge fan of Thanksgiving and have already found a safe place for my darling little pumpkin!

So, there you have it!! Am I one lucky girl or what?! Much thanks to Natalie for my package and especially thanks to Stephanie for letting me play along and for hosting such an extraordinary event!


Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
(Source: Martha Stewart's Cookies)

Makes 2 dozen

1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 Tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Tablespoon freshly grated peeled ginger
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water
7 oz best quality semi-sweet chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch chunks
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and fresh ginger on medium speed until lightened, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined.

In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in boiling water. Beat half of the flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in the baking soda mixture, then add the remaining flour mixture. Mix in chocolate and turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat out to a 1-inch thick disk and wrap in the plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Chill 20 minutes. Roll in granulated sugar. Bake until surfaces just begin to crack, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating halfway through. Let cool 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.



kamailesfood said...

Ginger chewies are my favorite cookie. I've never had them with chocolate though. These look so tasty. Definitely want to try them soon.

Manggy said...

Ooh, I love chewy gingerbread too. Chocolate sounds like an awesome addition. Blogging by mail is such a fantastic blogging tradition-- you're so hard on yourself, I'm sure you did a good job! Congratulations on the great loot!! :)

Erin said...

These cookies look great! I just got the book and they're at the top of my list to make.

Natalie Jane said...

So glad you like everything! Enjoy!!!

Madam Chow said...

Those look phenomenal - I love ginger cookies, and your loot looks wonderful!

Mary Ann said...

My son has been begging me to make these cookies since he saw them on the cover. They look like they turned out deliciously. This blog event looks like it was alot of fun!

Jacque said...

Wow, Lucky... I'll say! What a wonderful assortment of goodies.

The cookies look delish... love the deep dark color.

SiHaN said...

those cookies look so good! and the loot too! *eyeing with a hint of jealousy* .. haha.

Deborah said...

I've never been a big gingerbread fan, but these look sooooo good to me right now!

Judith said...

Love that melty chocolate!

"Maggie" said...

These cookies look so yummy and what a nice twist. I have made them for my children every Christmas since they were born, but have never made them with chocolate, they will love these!

Gandha said...

I find not all recipes of Martha are terrific. But the combo of ginger and chocolate is just tempting.
This will keep me busy in the kitchen.

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