merry christmas and another gingerbread cookie recipe

magical gingerbread

Sometimes, you just gotta make a magical Christmas scene out of gingerbread. Sometimes, cookies are the only answer. Sometimes, 22 types of cookies just isn’t enough. Sometimes, gingerbread is all you need.

to start with

most important

Sometimes, Christmas is about these kinds of things. Of gingerbread, and ninjabread, of shortbread and yoyos and taking over someone else’s oven because yours stopped inexplicably stopped working in the middle of making a batch of the above biscuits. Or cookies, if you’re American. You know the word cookie most likely came from the Dutch koekje meaning “little cake”? This is especially cool for me since I have Dutch heritage.

flour

molasses

But sometimes, Christmas needs us to find its roots again amongst all the commercialism and competition. And not only that, but we need to find the de-sentimentalised Christmas. The Christmas that isn’t just about family and togetherness, lovejoypeaceJesus. Christmas is about more than that. Continue reading

life happens

When does one become an adult?

When can a young man or woman stand in front of their peers and older adults and declare themselves to be officially grown up?

What are the markers that show the world that you have left  that middle space between complete dependence and complete independence behind? And why the heck do we have to go through it in the first place?

What happens when we get to adulthood, and how do we deal with leaving our safety net behind?

Life happens to all of us, but only some people happen to life.

Continue reading

rosewater lemon cookies

NERDFIGHTERS!

I was one of those people in school who didn’t have many friends. For some of the years I was at school the most prominent memory I have is reading in the library (or some other enclosed space if the library was closed) during lunchtimes.

Big time nerd, guys. But that’s ok. I survived school (barely) and am now fairly confident in my nerd-dom. Recently I discovered the Brotherhood 2.0 project (follow here) and started watching. Basically, John Green (author of Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines and Paper Towns and co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson) and his brother Hank Green (creator of EcoGeek) decided to embark on 365 days of textless communication, and vlogged back  and forth every weekday for a year. Through that project they coined the term “Nerdfighter” and got me hooked. If I’d discovered this project in its duration, the year of 2007 (when I was in year 10) I feel like my entire school experience would have been different.

Now I feel like it’s partially my responsibility to spread awesome wherever I go, because, hey, I’m a nerdfighter. Definition here (among other info):

So, when I finished studying the other night, I rewarded myself with making these cookies. They don’t look like they’re meant to because I have a smaller tip than was suggested, but that’s ok because you can make words out of them! Like this:

And this:

It’s pretty cool. That there at the bottom is a blob of cookies that stuck together that my housemate decided looked like a person. Seeing as it was a certain person’s birthday, it worked.

Don’t forget to be awesome.

Rosewater, Lemon and Polenta Alphabet Cookies

So originally these were Orange Polenta Crescents, because instead of rosewater you use orange flower water and instead of lemon zest you use orange zest. And you pipe them into crescents using a 3/4″ star tip. I didn’t have orange flower water, oranges or a 3/4″ star tip, so I improvised. They’re still really good. They’re pretty addictive, actually.

 

125g (1/2 cup) butter

80g (1/3 cup) caster sugar

1 teaspoon rosewater (or orange flower water)

finely grated zest from one lemon (or orange – probably could have used more)

2 eggs

165g (1 1/3 cups) plain flour

80g (1/2 cup) polenta

 

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Line two baking trays with baking paper.

Place butter, sugar, rosewater and zest into a food processor and process light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time while processing. Add flour and polenta and pulse until a smooth dough forms. This might not quite happen at first – stick with it.

Put the mix in a piping bag with a 2cm (3/4”) star tip and pipe 7cm crescents onto the trays. Alternatively, use a smaller tip (this will really work your wrists) and pipe alphabet letters or lines and curvy bits so you can form them later.

Bake about 15 minutes, until pale brown around the edges. Cool on trays and then on a wire rack. They’ll keep for about three days in an airtight container.