My name is Caitlin and I'm 25 years old. I write two blogs- one is Healthy Tipping Point (www.HealthyTippingPoint.com), which documents my food and fitness habits as I strive to find balance in my busy life. I recently resigned from my corporate job to write my first book, which will be published in fall 2010. I also write the blog Operation Beautiful (www.OperationBeautiful.com), upon which my book will be based. I live in Orlando, Florida with my wonderful Husband and two dogs.
Best advice given to me:
Favorite Recipe: from Martha Stewart...
Ginger Bread Snowflakes
This seven-inch flake, prettier than a gingerbread house or a gingerbread man, is big enough to share -- but who really wants to? Sanding sugar atop piped royal icing gives it an icy sheen.
Makes 16 cookies
- 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons ground ginger
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon finely ground pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup unsulfured molasses
- Royal Icing
- Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling
- Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside.
- Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt, then eggs and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Divide dough into thirds; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4-inch thick. Cut into snowflakes with a 7- inch snowflake-shape cookie cutter. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
- Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
- Put icing in a pastry bag fitted with a small plain round tip (such as Ateco #7). Pipe designs on snowflakes; immediately sprinkle with sanding sugar. Let stand 5 minutes; tap off excess sugar. Let icing set completely at room temperature, about 1 hour. Store cookies between layers of parchment in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days.
Recipe: Royal Icing:
You can substitute 5 tablespoons meringue powder and 1/3 cup water for raw eggs.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups
- 2 large egg whites, or more to thin icing
- 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar, or more to thicken icing
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Beat the whites until stiff but not dry. Add sugar and lemon juice; beat for 1 minute more. If icing is too thick, add more egg whites; if it is too thin, add more sugar. The icing may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.