Thursday, December 12, 2019

Lebkuchen (German Gingerbread) Plus a Treat Box

Recipe for a soft German gingerbread cookie with almonds and orange zest plus a holiday treat box.

This month is turning out to be a busy one for me with lots of social events. I love it, though, but it does mean the cookie baking is going full force in my kitchen. In addition, my cookbook club is doing a cookie swap this week and I've got treat bags lined up for all the goodies.

Recipe for a soft German gingerbread cookie with almonds and orange zest plus a holiday treat box.
Lebkuchen

Most of my friends and I don't really exchange holiday gifts except the ones baked with love in our kitchens. So I decided to put together a treat box with a few of my favorite cookie recipes plus some store bought items to make it even more festive. Who wouldn't love to receive something like this?

Recipe for a soft German gingerbread cookie with almonds and orange zest plus a holiday treat box.
Gingerbread Whoopie Pies

The star of the box is a cookie I've been meaning to try to make for so many years that I've lost count. Lebkuchen is a soft German gingerbread that I grew up with and still search for during the holidays. It took a few tries to replicate the flavor but I think I've nailed it.

Recipe for a soft German gingerbread cookie with almonds and orange zest plus a holiday treat box.
Gingerbread Shortbread and Almond Shortbread

If you've seen bags of mini shaped gingerbread cookies, called pfeffernusse, in the store, they are similar but not exactly the same as lebkuchen. Actual lebkuchen are made with the addition of ground nuts and citrus zest and are often baked onto an edible wafer called oblaten. I don't like the texture of the wafer so I prefer the recipe without it. Sometimes lebkuchen are also dipped in chocolate which is wonderful.

Recipe for a soft German gingerbread cookie with almonds and orange zest plus a holiday treat box.
Milk Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies

Below is my recipe for the lebkuchen as well as links to the other cookies I've included. Enjoy!
Yield: 12 Servings
Author:

Recipe for a soft German gingerbread cookie with almonds and orange zest plus a holiday treat box.

Lebkuchen (German Gingerbread) Plus a Treat Box

prep time: 25 Mcook time: 15 Mtotal time: 40 M
Recipe for a soft German gingerbread cookie with almonds and orange zest plus a holiday treat box.

ingredients:

  • For the Cookies:
  • 1 Stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 Cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 Cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 Cup molasses
  • 2 Eggs
  • Zest of 1 large orange
  • 1/4 Cup ground almonds
  • 2 3/4 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 Teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon baking soda

  • For the Glaze:
  • 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 Cup water
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt

instructions:

How to cook Lebkuchen (German Gingerbread) Plus a Treat Box

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using a hand or stand mixer, cream together the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until lightened in color. Beat in the honey, molasses, eggs and orange zest.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the ground almonds, flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and baking soda. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet and scoop onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I used a 1 1/2 oz. scoop and got 1 dozen cookies. Bake for 15 minutes and cool on a rack.
  4. Add the granulated sugar and water to a pot and heat until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the vanilla and salt, remove from the heat and whisk in the powdered sugar until smooth. Pour over the cooled cookies.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Additional Cookie Recipes:

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Gingerbread Whoopie Pies

Recipe for spiced gingerbread whoopie pies filled with vanilla marshmallow cream.

My obsession with whoopie pies began the first summer I ever spent in Maine. Since they're not a New York thing, I'd never tasted one before but they were for sale at every bakery we walked into so clearly I had to try them.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Holiday Gift Guide 2019

OK, boys and girls, it's gift guide time. And when I say gift, I mean stuff you probably want for yourself and can just print this out, circle the items and leave the list around for the people who might want to buy them for you. Or, if those people are unreliable, just buy them for yourself. This is not a sponsored guide since most of these items are ones I already own, use, love and highly recommend. As for the ones I don't have yet but just want? Let me know if you need my address. hahaha Happy shopping!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Crispy Chicken Holiday Bites

Recipe for mini crispy buttermilk and mustard marinated chicken sandwiches served on biscuits.

Lately I'm hearing people debate who has the best chicken sandwich. And while there doesn't seem to be a unanimous opinion, everyone does seem to agree that thicken sandwiches are delicious. Since I haven't tried any of the fast food ones, I'm going to say that the best version is mine. Certainly it's really damn good!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Pumpkin Crumb Skillet Cake with Honey Ice Cream

Recipe for a pumpkin cake with a crumb topping, served with honey vanilla ice cream swirled with honeycomb.

Let's talk about Thanksgiving desserts. I always bake an apple pie because that is what we love best. But I also like to offer something pumpkin as well. Plain pumpkin pie is not our favorite but I have lots of other creative ideas.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Cheddar Apple Pie Puffs

Recipe for apples and cheddar cheese baked in mini pie dough rolls.

If you've been a reader for a while (thank you!), you will note that I haven't talked about my relationship status in quite a bit. And I wasn't really planning to. But, after a while of being single again, I'm OK again. And very proud of the steps I've taken to reshape my life. So, let me tell you about one of them.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Smoky Cumin Butternut Squash Soup

Recipe for a butternut squash soup, flavored with Greek yogurt and smoky cumin.

Every autumn I get excited to see the abundance of butternut squash soups available, either in canned form or in restaurants. But my excitement is always short lived because, as I taste test each one, I find they are sweet and that's not what I want.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Apple Crumb Bars with Salted Maple Glaze

Recipe for shortcrust dessert bars filled with cinnamon apples and topped with maple glaze.

I've come to the conclusion that I don't bake crumb bars nearly as often as I should. They have all the goodness of buttery pastry and fruity pie-style filling with the added bonus of a crumble topping and the fact that they're very easy to make. You almost can't even mess it up.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Haunted Chocolate Death Cocktail

Recipe for a bourbon and chocolate cocktail, served with edible chocolate monsters.

Once upon a time, a Halloween hostess poured her guests a most delicious, yet subtly dangerous beverage. Hidden behind many layers of irresistible chocolate flavor was the fact that the drink was laced with a copious amount of spirits.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Creamy Chicken Soup with Herb Matzo Balls

Recipe for easy, creamy chicken soup with herb matzo balls.

The Jewish holidays are right around the corner which always makes me crave matzo ball soup. And, the temperature cool off just makes me think soup in general. So, clearly, it's time to make matzo ball soup. But with a twist.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Vegetable Loaded Couscous Salad

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Walmart. The opinions and text are all mine.




As much as I love salads, especially in this very hot summer, I still need something more substantial and more interesting on my plate. Adding a variety of vegetables, some raw, some cooked helps to create great flavors and textures. And adding couscous makes it much more of a meal.

Recently I had the pleasure of attending the Rediscovering America culinary event at the famous James Beard House in New York and met several award winning chefs who are creating new menu dishes using the fresh produce found at Walmart. Their inspiration is Walmart's commitment to offering fresh, locally grown organic produce to their customers. This support of local farmers not only boosts that state's economy but allows customers to have the freshest, highest quality food.
I also had the chance to sample the bounty of beautiful produce now available at Walmart and came home with a huge and wonderful variety. And why choose which veggie to include in my salad when I can use them all!

I gave my onions, bell peppers and carrots a light saute but still kept some of the crunch. Then I combined them with fresh tomatoes and crisp, peppery arugula. They all got mixed in with the soft, fluffy couscous and drizzled with a tahini vinaigrette. With so many wonderful textures and flavors, I've been eating this for lunch and again for dinner with some grilled chicken. It's my favorite new way to eat all my veggies. Enjoy!

Ingredients
1 Cup pearled couscous
1 1/3 Cups water
1/2 Teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 Cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Red onion, peeled and diced
1 Red bell pepper, diced
1 Green bell pepper, diced
1 Orange bell pepper, diced
2 Carrots, peeled and diced
1 Cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 Cups arugula
Dressing
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon tahini
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Teaspoon mustard
1 Clove garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper, to taste

Add the couscous, water and salt to a pot, bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat but allow the couscous to sit, covered, for an additional 5 minutes. Uncover, add the parsley and fluff with a fork.
Add the olive oil, diced onion, diced bell peppers and diced carrots to a large skillet or cast iron pan. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften slightly. They do not need to be cooked all the way through.
Add the cooked vegetables to the couscous and toss with the arugula and cherry tomatoes.
Make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, water, tahini, lemon juice, mustard and garlic until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle over the coucous salad. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

This recipe is sponsored by Walmart. Thank you for supporting the products I love and use in my kitchen.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Some Good Eats for Wellness

This post is sponsored by Babbleboxx.com on behalf of Conagra Brands. As always, all opinions are my own.

A variety of healthier ready-made meal options with descriptions and reviews.
A few months ago, I created a neighborhood cooking club and am thrilled at all the new friends I've met and great new foods I've tried. An added side benefit has been that the group includes people who follow lots of different eating plans and I've learned a lot. Newly inspired, I've been trying some new healthier options from the store and I'm sharing my opinions.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Cherry Cheesecake Linzer Slab Pie

Recipe for pie with an almond cookie crust and cherry cheesecake filling.

This might be one of the most hybrid recipes I've ever created and it all started with me wanting to use up a big haul of late summer cherries. I had been thinking of making a slab pie so at first my plan was simple in that this was going to be a cherry slab pie. Then it got a little strange.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Biscuit Topped Tomato Cobbler

Recipe for a biscuit topped savory cobbler with tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and fresh thyme.

It still amazes me how much I disliked tomatoes when I was a kid and how I now can't pass up a ripe batch of these gorgeous August beauties. They call out from the farmer's market tables, begging to come home with me. I accommodate.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Nectarine Frosé Float

Recipe for a frozen rosé cocktail flavored with nectarines, lime juice and ice cream.

Peaches tend to get all the late summer love but I'm just as obsessed with nectarines this year. They're usually piled next to the peaches on display at the market and I find that their sweet aroma draws me in. I've had a steady supply to accompany my morning Greek yogurt but they belong in cocktails as well.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Ice Cream Cake with Peanut Butter Crunchies

Cake with layers of chocolate cake, vanilla ice cream and peanut butter crunchies.

Happy birthday to me and, true to form, I've made my own birthday cake. This year I took a break from my normal cheesecake obsession to recreate a childhood favorite. Since my birthday falls in the middle of summer, my mother always got me an ice cream cake and it's about damn time I tried to make my own.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Peach and Thyme Hand Pies

Individual peach hand pies with fresh thyme and an all butter crust.

I normally don't expect to find sweet ripe peaches around here until August but this year the selection has been amazing. When I see peaches at the grocery store and give them a sniff, I'm rewarded with the sweet perfume of ripe fruit. And I definitely can't resist.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Baked Beet Chips with Pistachio Dukkah

Crispy oven baked beet chips dusted with a mix of toasted pistachio and spices.

The search for healthier snacks is pretty much ongoing in my house. I periodically whip out my mandoline, slice up some sweet potatoes and toss them in a hot oven, hoping for crispy chips yet always disappointed. Soggy or burned seem to be the only options. Until now.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Smoked Cheddar Corn Gratin

Casserole of corn and smoked cheddar cheese sauce, topped with breadcrumbs.

Summer corn has been on repeat in my house lately. That natural sweetness, paired up with butter and seasoning is hard to resist this time of year. And since I have so many ears of corn in my kitchen, there was also plenty to make something more creative.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Melon Ball and Feta Salad

Salad of arugula, fresh melon, feta cheese and a lemon vinaigrette.

This summer has barely gotten started but I'm already obsessed with all the sweet summer melons. I can't seem to walk past them in the market without buying at least one type and it's often all the varieties I find.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Cape Gooseberry Gin Smash

Gin cocktail flavored with fresh cape gooseberries and elderflower liqueur.

Have you ever tried cape gooseberries? Some of you might be saying you've never even seen them and, that's possible. They're definitely a specialty fruit so more likely to be found at a gourmet store or large farmer's market. But you also might have seen them and just walked past.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Cauliflower Falafel on Naan

Vegetarian falafel balls made with chickpeas and cauliflower.

One of my favorite meatless meals is a great falafel sandwich. Those little balls of chickpeas and spices are seriously so delicious and they make me feel like I'm not missing anything without meat in my meatballs. And I never tire of making variations.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Ramp Biscuits and Gravy with Maple Bacon

Buttermilk biscuits and sweet onion gravy flavored with wild garlic ramps.

When I was growing up in New York, biscuits and gravy was not a dish I encountered. My mother didn't make them at home and none of the local restaurants served them. So it wasn't until my early 20's, having lunch with some co-workers in a new southern cuisine restaurant, that I had my first taste.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Brown Sugar Frozen Grapefruit Julep

Bourbon cocktail flavored with brown sugar, grapefruit and mint.

Mint juleps might be the official drink of the Kentucky Derby but they're also just a great summer drink. With simple ingredients like good bourbon, fresh mint, a little sugar and plenty of ice, it's a cool drink for warm weather. Naturally I had to tinker with it.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Fluffy Almost Japanese Style Pancakes

Extra fluffy pancakes made with whole eggs and beaten egg whites.

Have you all seen those mile-high, extra fluffy, souffle type Japanese pancakes that are taking over the internet? I resisted for a long time until a video of them, bouncing around in paper sleeves on the griddle, finally made them too tempting not to try.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Crispy Goat Cheese Crouton Balls

Crispy goat cheese filled dough puffs served over salad.

Usually, when I eat something really great at a restaurant or on vacation, I come home and am immediately inspired to recreate it. But every once in a while, a tasty treat falls through the cracks and gets shelved for a while. In this case, it got shelved for about 10 years.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Savory Spring Vegetable Tart

Cheesy savory tart filled with asparagus, peas and yellow squash.

The weather this past Saturday was so gorgeous that it absolutely called for my first farmer's market haul of the season. I came home with spring asparagus, peas, yellow squash and some beautiful crisp baby arugula. Now to turn them all into dinner!

Friday, March 29, 2019

Tahini Chicken Caesar Salad

Caesar salad with rotisserie chicken and a tahini based dressing.

I should start a series of posts about how to get dinner on the table in close to zero minutes given how often I find myself with nothing ready. Yes, I know I write about food and photograph food every day but that doesn't mean there's anything for dinner. Definitely a pain point around here.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

French Onion Meatloaf

Meatloaf flavored with caramelized onions, fresh thyme and Gruyere cheese.

Is there a better cooking smell than onions, slowly caramelizing in a pan? For me, it's the ultimate in savory deliciousness and the promise of an amazing meal. And, of course, paired with all the melty goodness of Gruyere cheese, you get the flavors of French onion soup. My motto? French onion all the things!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Peanut Butter Banana Skillet Bread

Banana bread flavored with peanut butter and topped with a peanut butter glaze.

We all know what to do with those leftover, over-ripe bananas, right? They're just begging to be made into banana bread for breakfast or an afternoon snack. And since bananas go so well with a dollop of peanut butter, I figured I'd just bake some into the bread. And then pour some more over the top. Because there is no such thing as too much peanut butter.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Blueberry Crisp

Crumble topped blueberry dessert cooked in a Dutch oven.

I think we can all agree that the worst part of cooking is the cleaning. So when my good friend, Lauren Keating, told me she was writing a one-pot cookbook, I knew it would be a hit.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Vegetarian White Bean Cassoulet

Vegetarian white bean casserole with a savory crumb topping.

I hesitated slightly to call this dish a cassoulet because the original is a French casserole that includes white beans, duck confit as well as other meats and is slow cooked for days in a special earthenware pot. But if we can get past that, my version is way easier to make and ridiculously delicious.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Popcorn Balls and a DIY Popcorn Party

Sweet popcorn balls drizzled with chocolate.

For me, watching the Oscar's or even a marathon of nominated movies, is more fun with a crowd. And what food is more associated with the movies than popcorn, right? So this year I'm making it the theme with sweet popcorn balls, popcorn topped cupcakes and a DIY popcorn bar with a fun assortment of toppings.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Roasted Peanut Linzer Heart Cookies

Heart shaped peanut linzer cookies topped with chocolate and sprinkles.

After an indulgent holiday season, I spent a sad, bleak cookie-free January and thank goodness that's over and it's cookie time again! February means it's time for my well worn and well loved heart shaped cutters to come out from the bottom of a giant container of cookie cutters. (Don't worry, I've checked and they all spark joy.)

Monday, January 28, 2019

Breakfast Yogurt Bowls

This post is sponsored by FAGE. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recipes for a week's worth of creative yogurt breakfast bowls.

Did you make any new year's resolutions? I definitely did but I prefer to call them goals and intentions. Resolutions make me feel like everything has to start and be perfect on January 1st but, the fact is, I was still eating leftover holiday cookies on the 1st. Goals can happen slowly, over the whole year, and I think they're much more realistic for me.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder

Creamy vegetable soup with cheddar cheese.

When the temperature outside is 5 degrees with a wind chill of OMG, don't go out there, I make soup. I pretty much live on soup in January and February anyway so I only need to decide what kind of soup I'm making.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Baked Three Cheese Spinach Dip

Hot baked spinach dip with 3 cheeses.

Hot, gooey, creamy, cheesy...I have your attention, right? January diet? Um...calories don't count while watching football. Or award shows. Or Netflix. Feeling better about this? Good. Let's get back to gooey cheesiness.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Hummus Toast with Perfect Jammy Eggs

Breakfast toast with hummus, tomatoes, cucumbers and jammy eggs.

For the past few years, lots of us have been spreading avocados on toast and loving it. I do too. But I've actually been spreading hummus on toast my entire life and it's about time this treat gets some recognition.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Individual Roast Beef Pot Pies

Individual pot pies with leftover roast beef, carrots and puff pastry.

One of my favorite things to cook is a chuck roast in a big Dutch oven pot. I fill the pot with onions, carrots, beef stock, red wine and fresh thyme before letting it do its thing in a slow oven. The meat is so tender that you don't even need a knife and I turn all that cooking liquid into the best gravy.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

End of Year Round-Up 2018

The top ten most popular recipes of 2018 on Hungry Couple.

Maybe it's just me but some years seem to move fast while others crawl by slowly. For me, 2018 went by quickly. It had its ups and downs. There were wins and there were losses. But I'm ending the year grateful for what I have and not worrying about what I don't. And it's with that attitude that I intend to approach 2019.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Elderflower Vanilla Champagne Float

Champagne cocktail flavored with elderflower and vanilla ice cream

This is definitely the season for breaking out the champagne and toasting. I actually like bubbly wines a lot but, somehow, I rarely get to it and the corks don't get popped until sometime in December.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Gingerbread Layer Cake with Tahini Cream Cheese Frosting

Gingerbread layer cake covered in tahini cream cheese frosting.

For me, this has been the season of gingerbread. I can't seem to get enough of those flavors. Maybe it's because I didn't like gingerbread much when I was younger and I'm making up for lost time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Stuffed Roasted Cornish Game Hen

Roasted and stuffed Cornish game hen along with Middle Eastern spiced side dishes.

My European mother came to the US as an adult and had to learn American foods and holiday customs. She liked the idea of them but wasn't completely sold on some of the dishes so she put her own spin on them. This also applied to the Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey which she interpreted to mean some kind of roast bird. And it was fun each year to see which bird she'd chosen.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Easy Holiday Charcuterie Board with Eckrich Smoked Sausage

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Recipe and instructions for putting together a holiday charcuterie board.

This is a sponsored post, written by me, on behalf of Eckrich Smoked Sausage.

I think one of the reasons that people love this time of year, myself included, is that there's so much focus on gathering. While it can feel like we're disconnected from each other much of the time, the holidays bring family home and friends together.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Salted Caramel Ginger Pot de Creme

Baked salted caramel pots with ginger and cinnamon.

I love desserts in little jars and always have. Not only do I enjoy having a little pot of something delicious all to myself but, even better, it's the perfect way to give a sweet gift. And these days I'm all about thinking up sweet little gifts.