Episode 57: Gingerbread Cookie Bars are a New Holiday Baking Favorite!

Merry Christmas everyone! We hope you’re starting out your day with a sweet dish and are happily settled in somewhere warm. Andrea jumps into a hard-hitting investigative report from the field – straight from the housewares aisles of the Seattle Goodwill.  Here’s the three most common Unitasker items she uncovered:

#3 Turkey roasting racks – Stefin is not giving hers up

#2 Knife block – Perhaps people have simply found other ways to store their knives

#1 Banana hook – Why can’t you just ripen your bananas on the counter?

The big exciting find for Andrea was her vintage Bauer ceramic cookie jar, which she will be using as a utensil holder since it’s missing a lid. Of course, if a lid were to appear, it would immediately be put into service as an actual cookie jar!

The Gingerbread Cookie Bars from The Laughing Spatula food blog were a HUGE hit…Stefin’s made them three times already and dubbed them “The Christmas Cookie of 2017.” Stefin prefers the Lyle’s brand dark molasses for their flavor and a nice side health benefit – a  boost from iron. Andrea might try a second batch with a lighter molasses and a longer bake time to see if the bars can be cakier and a bit less dense. Listeners, these bars are a great addition to a holiday dessert buffet and are quick and easy to whip up!

The last entry in our month of BonBons and Bars is Apple Cider Caramels. We’re starting with the recipe from Smitten Kitchen, but we’ve also seen one from King Arthur Flour that looks good. Stefin and Andrea are both newbies at the caramel candy making game, and, since this recipe involves a candy thermometer, it looks to be quite a challenge. With a month’s worth of solid success behind them, the hosts are sure they are up to it!

Listeners, do you make any special holiday candies?

Looking for an easy way to entertain family during the busy holidays? Consider a holiday brunch! Stefin is fond of the make-ahead casseroles like baked french toast casserole, the sausage/hashbrown/egg/cheese casserole, and the Potato Tot Casserole from Real Simple. Listener Annemarie makes a brilliant breakfast omelet in a jelly roll pan, perhaps we can get the recipe? Andrea’s disappointed with all the brunch-hating going on these days and determined to find some easy and good brunch options. Listener Lori has a 13 second omelet, so consider this another recipe request! The Breakfast Strata is Andea’s go-to brunch item, and she also enjoys a yogurt/parfait breakfast bar. Her latest brunch entry is Potatoes Rösti, inspired by a special meal at Swiss Hibiscus in Portland, OR.


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