Thursday, December 10, 2015

Another Baltic Christmas - Day 10, ginger and white chocolate cookies

This year 24 Days of a Baltic Christmas is almost entirely coming to you from Greenville, with the exception of a few guest posts. The series is an enormous undertaking, and the 2015 edition wouldn’t be possible without a few key people. First of all, there is Roberts; not only do you have him to thank for fewer sentence fragments and grammatical errors, he also takes charge of the boys in the evenings, giving me a few hours to pull everything together. Then of course the boys, who serve as work elves & tasters, and who pass rather severe judgement on which projects are suitable for the blog as kids’ projects.

But there are also the friends who have been instrumental in bringing you 24 days of Christmas (as opposed to two or three!), such as Holden and his mom. This duo not only cooked up a storm & crafted their way through a half dozen projects, but were also an invaluable source for pine cones & acorns, a sounding board for project ideas, photographers for several posts, and finally test subjects for a few of the craft projects. A sincere thank you for all the hours spent making a Baltic Christmas a success this year! PS Holden’s dad deserves a thank you as well; at the very least I know he participated in one or two craft store visits – no easy task this time of year!

Photo credit: Katie

One recipe that was cooked in Holden’s test kitchen was for ginger and white chocolate cookies. According to the cookbook “The Food and Cooking of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania" (Igauņu, latviešu, lietuviešu ēdieni is the version I have), these gingerbread cookies are traditional holiday cookies in the Baltics. Truly, ginger and chocolate tend to be holiday staples not only in the Baltics but also here in the US, and as we’ve already tasted the ginger in the Latvian piparkūkas and the Estonian Pehme piparkook we can consider this a good candidate for a Baltic holiday favorite.

Photo credit: Katie

Ginger & white chocolate cookies
(makes 45-50 cookies)

200 mL corn syrup*
185 g sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground pepper
225 g melted butter
2 eggs, beaten
~500 g flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
2 tsp baking soda
200 g finely grated white chocolate

1. Heat syrup and sugar over medium heat until sugar has dissolved, constantly stirring to avoid the sugar burning. Add in the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger and pepper.

2. Mix in the melted butter. Set aside until fully cooled.

3. Transfer to a large bowl and add eggs, mixing well. Gradually incorporate flour and baking soda. Fold in ground chocolate. The dough should be rather thick.

Photo credit: Katie

4. Lightly flour work surface and knead dough, adding flour if needed. Wrap tightly in seran wrap and refrigerate overnight.

5. Preheat oven to 355˚F and fit a piece of parchment paper to your baking sheet. Allow 15 minutes for the dough to reach room temperature.

6. Roll out the dough very thinly (3 mm), and using cookie forms cut out shapes of your choosing. Bake 6-8 minutes or until golden-brown. Let cool.

Photo credit: Katie

Notes: Molasses was substituted for the corn syrup. The dough can be frozen to use at a later date, and the cookies will keep in an airtight container for one week. 

Thank you, Holden, for testing this recipe. Always more fun when there are delicious results!! Please join us again tomorrow for natural decorations from Inese on Day 11 of 24 Days of a Baltic Christmas!

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