Easter Eggs

Spring is a marvelous time of year. The weather is finally warming, plants are starting to bloom, so many different fruits and vegetables are at long last coming into season, and you can do ridiculous but fun activities such as dying eggs.

Now, I suppose that this isn't really a recipe, but it's still food related for the most part so I decided that it was worth sharing.
Egg dying is always a fun activity on Easter and so I decided to get some of the residents of my student co-op together this morning to do just that. I was amazed at how well they turned out. The eggs are like little mini works of art, it's going to be pretty hard to eat them.

Food Coloring Egg Dye

A number of hard boiled eggs
1 cup water
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
food coloring (until it reaches desired saturation)

Simple, combine all ingredients in a container large enough to hold and egg. Add food coloring until it reaches desired saturation (it will lighten substantially when it's on the egg so this should be pretty dark)

Marbleized/Speckled Eggs

A number of hard boiled eggs
1 cup water
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
food coloring (until it reaches desired saturation)
1 tsp vegetable or canola oil

Follow the directions for making food coloring egg dye (you can use commercial egg dye as well), mix in teaspoon of oil, stir until oil is broken up on the surface of the dye (you'll have to re-stir a number of times). Have fun dying eggs!

You can layer the different colors to create marvelous tie-dye eggs such as the one below

Giant Chewy Delicious Molasses Cookies

First of all, I want to sincerely apologize to anyone who enjoyed my blog for not posting for so long. All I can say is that times have been rough and it's been a while since I've felt up to cooking, let alone writing about it. Now, however, I'm back with one of my favorite new cookies recipes so I hope you enjoy it. This recipe originated from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours. After a couple tweaks, it has become one of my all time favorite desserts. It is intensely molasses-y deliciously spicy (using half the spices in your cabinet) and wonderfully chewy. You can make them bite sized, or normal sized, but my favorite way to eat them is giant sized.

Dorie Greenspan's Modified Giant Molasses Cookies

2 1/2 cups flour (whole wheat pastry or all purpose works best)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
pinch of cloves
generous grate fresh nutmeg
12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 large egg

For Rolling
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a seperate bown mix together the dry ingredients (flour through nutmeg) and set aside. With a mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the brown sugar and molasses. Beat for approximately 2 minutes or until fully combined. Add egg and beat for another minute until fully incorporated. Add in the dry ingredients and mix until entirely blenged. Shape the dough into a ball and refrigerate for 1 hour up to 4 days (or you can freeze it and keep it around longer, most likely up to a month).

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Mix the sugar and cinnamon for rolling together in a small bowl. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls (or double that for giant sized cookies) and then roll in the cinnamon sugar. Place the balls on the cookies sheet 2 to 3 inches apart (these spread quite a bit) and flatten with your fingers. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes until the cookies are set and a bit crackly looking (lower the time to about 10 minutes if you're like me and like super soft, chewy cookies) Remove the cookies from the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature (or if the smell makes you as impatient as it does me, scoop the hot cookie from the sheet into your hand and blow on it, careful not to burn your hand too badly, until it's cool enough to eat)

Do to the intensly spiced and chewy nature of these cookies, milk is almost a requirement.


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