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Icing Cookies

Christmas Sugar Cookies

These soft, chewy, and sprinkle loaded drop style Christmas sugar cookies are made with only 8 ingredients. No rolling pin or cookie cutters required! Make sure you chill the cookie dough for at least 2 hours before baking.

Ingredient List: 

 
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (188g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)

  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp; 113g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg, at room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup (80g) sprinkles, plus more for topping*

    Instructions: 

     

  • Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

  • In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until creamed, about 1 minute. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.

  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Beat in 1/2 cup of sprinkles. Dough will be thick and sticky. Scoop large sections of dough (about 2 Tablespoons of dough each) and roll into balls. For extra sprinkle goodness, lightly dip the tops of the cookie dough balls in more sprinkles. Place dough balls onto a large plate or lined baking sheet.

  • Cover and chill the cookie dough balls in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (and up to 4 days).

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.

  • Arrange chilled cookie dough balls 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 12-13 minutes or until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft.

  • Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Santa Cookies
Image by Karalina S

Ghapama

By: Sofia Akopyan

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Ghapama is a classic Armenian dish that is found very commonly in the fall season. It is essentially rice with nuts and dried fruit cooked in a pumpkin. Definitely one of my favorite traditional dishes and is incredibly delicious. Ghapama is the perfect addition to any table and great for sharing. This dish is very easy and simple to make, while only requiring very few ingredients. It will surely impress people at any gathering. 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pumpkin

  • 1 cup honey

  • 1 cup thinly sliced almonds

  • ½ cup sliced dried apricot

  • ½ cup raisins

  • 2 cups cooked rice

  • 1 and a ½  sticks of butter

 

Procedure

First and foremost, you're going to prepare your two cups of rice in any way you desire. While the rice is cooking you can begin cooking your nuts and dried fruit. In a heated skillet add your nuts and dried fruits and cook them  while occasionally stirring until they are aromatic and browned to perfection. This step ensures that warm and deeper nutty flavor in your ghapama that tastes incredible. Next you are going to cut the top off of your pumpkin and scoop all of the insides out to make room for the components to go inside. In a pot take your butter and your honey and melt until browned and combined.With this mixture you are going to line the pumpkin, but make sure to save about 1⁄2 of the mixture for later. Take a glove, pour the mixture in the pumpkin, and evenly spread it around. Now that you have all of the ingredients ready, you're going to assemble the pumpkin. You're going to put a layer of rice and put a tablespoon of your honey butter mixture on top. Then you're going to add your nuts and dried fruit and repeat until you have run out. Finally top your pumpkin with the part you cut off and cook in the oven at 350 degrees for 2 to 3 hours depending on the size of your pumpkin. After it is done you can serve this incredibly delicious dish to all of your friends and family!

Chocolate Spread

Simple Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients: 

5 1/4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped 

14 ounces cold heavy cream

3 large egg whites

1-ounce sugar

 

Instructions: 

  1. Start by placing the chocolate in a metal bowl, and in a pot smaller than the bowl, begin boiling water. Place the bowl containing the chocolate on top of the pot to form a double boiler, and melt the chocolate. After stirring and allowing all the chocolate to melt, set it aside.

  2. In another bowl, under ice, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form and set it aside. In a third bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Then add the sugar in small increments while whisking.

  3. Take the melted chocolate and quickly fold in all the egg whites. When the whites are almost completely incorporated, fold in the whipped cream. When incorporating the chocolate, egg whites, and whipped heavy cream into each other, do not whisk but rather fold it to retain the air in the whites and cream.

  4. Lastly, let the mousse rest in the fridge for about an hour or until set.

 

Plating:

To plate, use your double boiler to melt some more chocolate. After melting, let it cool until it is warm to the touch. Place the chocolate in a piping bag and pipe the chocolate around the inside of the cup. Then fill the cup with about ¼ to ⅓ of a cup of the mousse and add more chocolate to the top. Let it chill in the fridge for 15 minutes or enjoy it as is.

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Pumpkin Spice

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte 
 

The very popular pumpkin spice latte is back for the fall season, but unfortunately  is a seasonal drink on the menu and cannot be ordered all year round. If you are craving a pumpkin spice latte this simple recipe is great to make at home.These recipes make enough for 8 drinks and can be left in the refrigerator for up to 7 days, which is perfect for every day of the week!

 

Ingredients for a Pumpkin Spice Latte:

  • 1 cup Milk

  • 1 oz Starbucks Espresso Roast 

  • 3 Tbsp Homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup

  • ½ cup whipped cream

  • 1 pinch of pumpkin pie spice

 

Ingredients for homemade pumpkin spice syrup:

  • 1 ½ cups sugar

  • 1 ½ cups water

  • 6 cinnamon sticks

  • 1 tsp ground cloves

  • 1 tsp ground ginger

  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg

  • 4 tbsp pumpkin purée

Instructions: 

Before beginning to make the pumpkin spice latte you need to make your homemade pumpkin spice syrup. Follow this recipe accordingly to prepare a drink as similar as possible to Starbucks' very own. Begin preparing your syrup by adding your sugar and water in a saucepan until it simmers. Once the sugar has fully dissolved add the cinnamon sticks, ground cloves, ground ginger, ground nutmeg and  pumpkin purée into the saucepan and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Once 20 minutes has passed, turn off the heat and strain your syrup through a cheesecloth. After straining the syrup set aside in a container for later use.

 

Once you have all the necessary ingredients needed to make this recipe  you will need to begin by frothing and  heating the milk. Continue by brewing your espresso roast in the appropriate machine. While waiting for the milk and espresso roast, pour your homemade pumpkin spice syrup into your cup of choice. When the espresso has finished brewing, pour into the cup and mix. Once the milk has heated and frothed, pour into the cup about 3⁄4 of the way. Finish off your drink with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice and enjoy your festive drink for the fall season.

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