Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sparkling Ginger Stars and Hot Cocoa

We enjoy the tree every evening. We love the glow from the tree and there is nothing better after dinner especially when the temperatures hover around 15 degrees, than a mug of cocoa and some Christmas cookies, in the living room in front of the tree with carols playing softly.

Oliver, of course, thinks that some of those cookies may be for him (and he may be right -- Husband Jim is a soft touch!)

What a wonderful way to spend a December evening than in front of a roaring fire with cookies and cocoa, carols and a Christmas tree!

The mugs were a gift from dear Friend Carolyn from Florida and their perfect for Christmas cocoa -- for there is enough room in the mug to have six marshmallows (and to me the best reason to drink cocoa!) I love the colors -- mine is the green one while Husband Jim has the red!

And the cookies are also on a Christmas plate from Carolyn -- it's a perfect plate for Christmas cookies or candy!

The cookies are called Sparkling Ginger Stars and they are superb ginger cookies. In fact, I may make this my ginger cookie recipe. The recipe called for them to be cut in star shapes but I think trees would look fantastic as well especially with a heavy dusting of sugar!

They came from this years Dillard's Ultimate Southern Living Christmas Cookbook which dear friend Maybelle gives me. There are some great recipes in it!!!


1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 t. ground ginger
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 egg yolk
1 T. grated lemon rind
1 T. grated fresh ginger
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 T. whipping cream
3.25 jar coarse Betty Crocker sparkling sugar

Combine first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir until blended.

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add brown sugar, beating well. Beat in molasses, egg yolk, lemon rind, grated ginger and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture; beat until just blended.

Shape dough into a ball and divide in half. Flatten each ball into a round disk; wrap each in plastic wrap and chill 2 1/2 hours or until firm.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liner. Roll out dough, 1 section at a time to 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut into star shapes. Place 1/2 inch apart on prepared baking sheets.

Whisk together 1 egg and whipping cream; brush egg wash lightly over cookies. Sprnkle heavily with sparkling sugar.

Bake at 325 for 17 minutes or until cookies are puffed and slightly darker around edges. Cool 1 minutes on baking sheets; remove with parchment paper to wire racks to cool completely.

It's Thursday which means that it's Tablescape Thursday and even though mine is an Ottomanscape, I'm joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.


On Crooked Creek said...

Oh, Martha, I could feel a lot of love, warmth and comfort in this post. Sharing those stolen moments with hubby and Oliver is truly what life and the holidays are all about! I adore your ottomanscape. . .very intimate! Thank you for this sweet post cocoa and cookies! I, too, drink it for the marshmallows!

Unknown said...

lol... Oliver is a lucky guy =D

nice ( and seems be so goooood ) cookies!


Cintia aka Tin

Anonymous said...

Hi Martha! Love the beauty and warmth of your beautiful tree! Now I would love to be there with you chewing on one of your gorgeous tasty looking cookies.
Be a sweetie,
shelia ;)

Marlis said...

Martha, your perfect evening is almost the same as mine.. Your mugs are charming. I can't wait to try the recipe. thanks!!

Becky said...

Martha, I love your "ottomanscape". It is warm and welcoming along with your tree. I can almost hear the carols playing.

Unknown said...

delightful and I love your corgi...Mica

Decor To Adore said...

Oh your tablescape makes me feel merry and bright!

Seasons greetings to you and yours.

Bellenza Wedding Bistro said...

Hhhhmmm, I can almost taste the Ginger Stars and smell the hot cocoa! You present everything so beautifully. Thank you for sharing the cookie recipe, too!

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

What a gorgeous Christmas tree--reminds me of my grandmother's lovely trees. My son's wife decorated their first Christmas tree last year with white lights, peacock feathers and gold ornaments--lovely, but my son informed her that this year he wants COLORED lights, old fashioned ornaments and tinsel!

Have you ever visited Kary at
I think you would really appreciate and enjoy her blog!
Thanks for the ginger star recipe--I will be baking them with my grandaughter! Love your blog!

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Lemon Verbena Lady said...

Love the cookie recipe, Martha and I love that Oliver is expecting to get some treats from your hubby!

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

How pretty - love your Santa mugs.

Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

We love enjoying our tree that way too (just without a roaring fire.) Our marshmallow rule is...fill the top so you can't see cocoa between them. Enjoy!

Entertaining Women said...

What a wonderful way to spend a cold holidiay evening! Thank you for the ginger star recipe. Cherry Kay