I am a huge fan of Christmas. I look forward to Christmas the whole year and as soon as December hits, I'm in heaven. I love seeing the lights everyone puts on their houses and the Christmas displays in stores. I love hearing Christmas music wherever I go and I love the all-around cozy and kind atmosphere of Christmastime!
While I haven't had much time to do any Christmas shopping (which is stressing me out a little bit), I'm still quietly loving Christmas when I have a spare moment. If I'm on the bus and I see someone with a large shopping bag, I imagine that it's a gift for someone special and how it's probably the perfect gift and they're so happy they found the right gift for that person. Is that weird?
Although I'd love to be Christmas shopping, wrapping presents, and baking Christmas cookies, I have to put all that Christmas energy on the backburner right now. Why? I'm almost finished my program! In just two weeks, I'll have completed my Baking and Pastry Arts degree. 6 months has gone by so quickly and I can't believe that I've actually almost completely pastry school. Crazy!
It's been super hectic and a bit lonely for the past few months, going from work to school to bed (and repeat) without much time for relaxing (or Christmas shopping), but I'm proud of myself for working so hard with only minimal complaining.
While I'm super excited to graduate, I'm a little bummed, too. I love going to school and learning new things, trying out recipes, experimenting with different ingredients, and just playing around in the kitchen.
While I might not have enough time on my hands to make pies every weekend (as much as I want to), I do have time to whip up a batch of cookies. I will always have time for cookies. These spices are the epitome of winter in my eyes. That warm and inviting scent of freshly ground spices is all I need to feel cozy and snug in my little apartment.
For any of you that enjoyed the last video my boyfriend put up, he's put up another cover song, this time it's a Springsteen cover. If you want to follow him on instagram to see awesome photos of his world travels and Vancouver life, here you go! I'm so proud to call this talented and handsome man mine.
Maple Chai Cookies
1 1/3 cups (220g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 green cardamom pods, seeds ground
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (105g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup maple sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 vanilla bean
1 tablespoon coarse sugar
1/2 tablespoon maple sugar
1/2 tablespoon vanilla sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Sift all your dry ingredients together and stir to combine. Set aside.
Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the brown and maple sugar and beat. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add it to the butter-sugar mixture with the egg and maple syrup. Beat until combined. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Portion out your cookies, roll them in the palm of your hand to create a ball. Combine the three sugars or use your choice of sugar in a small bowl. Roll the cookie balls in the sugar until evenly coated. Place on a baking sheet and press down lightly with your hand. Refrigerate the cookies for 15 minutes.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.