LA Cookie Con Info (and Promo Code)

Have you heard of LA Cookie Con? It’s like a dream come true–a day filled with sweets in LA! There will be samples, exhibitors, contests, celebrity chef/author appearances, pastry decorating classes and more. Plus, a portion of proceeds benefit Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Save the date–January 25, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Pasadena Convention Center. Use promo code NOSHWITHME to receive $3 off any VIP or general admission ticket. This code is only good for the first 25 users, so don’t wait!

See you there!

Gingerbread Men Cookies

I love Christmas cookies, especially gingerbread cookies. But being Jewish, I’ve never had to do one of those marathon baking sessions…until now. This year, I decided to bake and ship cookies as gifts, and gingerbread men were on the list.

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This recipe is wonderful–it’s easy, the dough rolled out well, and the taste and texture are both fantastic! I’ll be the first to admit that my decorating skills leave a lot to be desired (and may cause nightmares), but that’s part of their charm, right?

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Ingredients
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation
Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Set aside. Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add molasses, egg and vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Press dough into a thick flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured work surface. Cut into gingerbread men shapes with 5-inch cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges of cookies are set and just begin to brown. Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Decorate cooled cookies as desired. Store cookies in airtight container up to 5 days.

Recipe from McCormick.

Status Kuo–New Rotisserie Restaurant in Mar Vista

Earlier this week, I attended a tasting event at Status Kuo, a new rotisserie restaurant in Mar Vista by chef David Kuo, specializing in roasted meats, poultry, seafood, and vegetarian and vegan options as well. Check out their menu.

We enjoyed three main dishes, as well as dessert, and everything was amazing!

House-made hibiscus and blood orange soda with ginger and agave syrup
House-made hibiscus and blood orange soda with ginger and agave syrup

Rotiesserie chicken with lemon and herbs with a cilantro, queso fresco, and paste of yellow pepper sauce with salad.
Rotiesserie chicken with lemon and herbs with a cilantro, queso fresco, and paste of yellow pepper sauce with salad

Asian style Sunday gravy: rotelle with braised pork, bacon, and pickled mustard greens.
Asian style Sunday gravy: rotelle with braised pork, bacon, and pickled mustard greens

Whole grilled branzino with rayu, crispy capers, and lemon sections.
Whole grilled branzino with rayu, crispy capers, and lemon sections

Fried pink lady apple hand pie with vanilla custard
Fried pink lady apple hand pie with vanilla custard

Status Kuo is now open, so make sure to stop by and try other items on their menu!

Disclosure: I enjoyed a comped meal at Status Kuo, and it was delicious. They even made me a branzino fan!

Sea Salt Caramel Stuffed Snickerdoodles

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Sea salt + Rolos + snickerdoodle cookies = deliciousness! And when you think about it, how can it possibly not be good? I have to admit, these cookies grew on me–when I tried them right after they cooled, I wasn’t a fan. But the next day, I was all over them!

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They are a bit time consuming because you have to roll the dough into a ball around the Rolo, but if you’re a chocolate and caramel fan, it’s worth the work!

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Ingredients
1/4 cup granulated sugar, for cinnamon-sugar topping
1 tablespoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 packages of Rolo chocolate-caramel candies (about 35)
Coarse sea salt

Preparation
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. For the cinnamon-sugar mixture, combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat 1 1/2 cups sugar and butter at medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

Sift flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt into mixing bowl. With mixer on low, mix until thoroughly combined. Working 1 tablespoon of dough at a time, roll dough into balls, placing a single Rolo inside each ball of dough. Roll dough balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Bake for 7-8 minutes. The cookies should look raw between the cracks and seem underdone. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from The Comfort of Cooking.

Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake

I’ve made this cake twice in the last week, it’s that good and tastes like a really soft snickerdoodle cookie. The outside has a slightly crunchy texture from the cinnamon and sugar, and the inside is super moist and crumbly. To make it even better, it doesn’t require much prep and is simple to make. And, it tasted even better then next day!

Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake

Ingredients
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon + 1 cup white sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup full-fat sour cream, room temperature

Preparation
In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Mix together and set aside.

Preheat oven to 325F. Butter a 9″ bundt pan. Gently dust the entire inside of the pan using 1/4 to 1/2 of the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Save the remaining sugar and cinnamon mixture and set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Beat the butter on medium speed for one minute. Add the white sugar and mix for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and blade and add the brown sugar then mix for 2 minutes until the mixture looks light brown and uniform in color. Add the eggs one at a time, beating each for 1 minute. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the sour cream; beat well.

Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup of the cinnamon sugar mixture over top the cake. Spread the rest of the batter into the pan and sprinkle any remaining sugar mixture over the top.

Bake in the preheated oven for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Dozen Flours.

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