Spicy Ginger Labor Inducing Cookies

This recipe post definitely brings back some memories! When I was pregnant with my daughter and in my third trimester, I always felt like I was going to go into labor with her any day. Everyone who saw me thought so too, as I would have random strangers at the grocery store look at my and tell me I looked like I was going to was going to have the baby pop out of me (I remember this clearly when I was about 33 weeks along….). You can imagine my shock when my due date approached and still no baby! My due date came and went, and of course for days I thought I was going into labor, and each day I thought “today is the day.” But then it never happened. I had to be induced at 130 AM on Monday April 7th. Even after they induced me, I was worried that it wouldn’t work. Another mommy to be came into the hospital at the same time as I did and they had to send her home and reschedule! Luckily, after hours and hours and more hours, I gave birth to Wendy Olivia at 7:20 PM that evening. She has been a joy for almost 8 years since then (and for new mamas, when they say time flies…it actually does). Cherish every second!

Before I was induced that night I was trying natural ways at home to induce labor. I was just hoping that it would happen before having to go into the hospital. I had heard stories of women eating different things like pineapple or spicy food and that it worked for them. I tried tons of stuff, and then I came across a recipe for these cookies. They are supposed to induce labor because of the ginger in them, which apparently has been known to do the trick. Well, another trick that did not work for me, but the cookies were dang good! They were probably the best ginger cookies I had ever had, and Greg definitely agreed. They have just the right balance of sweet, gingery, and spicy and they are totally a comfort treat. And hey, maybe they will help you with natural labor! Enjoy!

Recipe for Spicy Ginger Labor Inducing Cookies

INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1 1/2 tsp. of baking soda
1 tsp. of ground cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp. of ground ginger
1/2 tsp. of ground cloves
1/2 tsp. of salt
1/2 tsp. of cayenne pepper
8 Tbsp. of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1 cup of light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup of blackstrap molasses
1/2 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
For rolling:
Granulated Sugar
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground ginger

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and cayenne pepper. Set aside.
Put the butter in a large bowl. Add in the granulated sugar and light brown sugar. Beat with an electric hand mixer set on medium-low speed until smooth and creamy. Add in the molasses, vanilla extract, and eggs and beat well. Add the flour mixture and beat again until well-incorporated.
In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and ginger.
Use a cookie dough scoop to scoop dough into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in the sugar mixture and then place on a cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes on baking sheet then transfer to a cooling rack, although these cookies do taste best when they are still nice and warm!

Recipe Adapted from: Just Mommies

Here is a picture of my sweet Wendy Olivia, which was taken shortly after she was born, April 7th 2014.

And here is a picture of her today!

Best Coconut Macaroons Ever with Chocolate & Almonds

These macaroons are a new and improved version of the coconut macaroons I love to make. This recipe adds in almonds and dark chocolate to the mix – yum! Many friends have mentioned to me how much they like the macaroons and the coconut truffles so I thought combining the two recipes would be a great idea. And it was. Enjoy!

Recipe for Best Coconut Macaroons Ever with Chocolate & Almonds

INGREDIENTS

1 14-oz bag of sweetened shredded flaked coconut
1 14-oz can of sweetened condensed milk

2 Tbsp. of all-purpose flour
2 tsp. of vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. of almond extract
1 cup of finely chopped almonds
8 oz of semisweet baking chocolate squares, broken in half

DIRECTIONS

Combine the coconut, condensed milk, flour, vanilla extract, almond extract, and finely chopped almonds in a large mixing bowl. Mix until it is well blended. Cover the bowl and put it into the fridge for at least 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 330 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Use a cookie dough scoop to scoop up the mixture. Use your hands to form into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on the baking sheet, leaving an inch of space between each. Place in oven and cook for 20 – 23 minutes, or until tops are golden. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool completely.

Once macaroons have completely cooled, place the chocolate into a small saucepan and set it over low heat. Stir constantly until the chocolate melts. Turn off the heat. Use a fork to drip chocolate over the cooled macaroons (using as much or as little chocolate as you like). Place macaroons in the fridge until the chocolate hardens, then remove from fridge and store in an airtight container.

*Recipe makes about 30 coconut macaroons*

The cookie dough scoop makes shaping so much easier!

Coconut Macaroons – No Egg!

I really like to make macaroons because they are easy to make and because Greg loves them so much. I can remember eating my mother’s macaroons as a child. When I got married I asked her about the recipe, and she told me  to search the web for recipes that use condensed milk rather than egg whites. And so the searching and baking began…

It took me quite a while to perfect the macaroon recipe. Although the macaroons have always tasted delicious, they would spread way too much and get really gooey.  To prevent the spreading, I learned to add flour to the batter. It is also an absolute MUST to bake the macaroons on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, otherwise they will stick to the pan and be destroyed – and that would be very sad.

After making macaroons and handing three of them to Greg with a glass of milk, I asked him to describe the macaroons for me. All he could come up with was: “they are good and coconutty.” No wonder he has never written me any love poems…

To get a better description, I asked a friend. She described them like this: “It is funny because I am not sure I have ever considered myself a coconut lover but the macaroons are so amazingly good and addicting – I can never have one or even two for that matter. They are sweet, but they also have a toasted nutty flavor that is irresistible. They are chewy but they melt in your mouth at the same time. Ohhh, so yummy!”

These macaroons really are pretty incredible. Even if you’re not a coconut lover, you will fall in love with them – I promise!

Recipe for Coconut Macaroons

INGREDIENTS

1 14-oz bag of sweetened shredded flaked coconut
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 – 3 Tbsp. of all-purpose flour

DIRECTIONS

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the coconut, condensed milk, flour, almond extract, and vanilla extract until well incorporated. Cover and put bowl in the fridge for several hours; overnight if needed.

Use a cookie dough scoop to scoop batter and then roll with your hands to form 1 1/2-inch balls. Place each ball on baking pans lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper, leaving about 1-inch of space in between each.
Preheat oven to 330 degrees. Bake for 20 – 23 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.
Immediately transfer macaroons to a plate. Enjoy!

*Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.-Recipe adapted from various sources & then adjusted to my preference-

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