LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- If last minute parties, and menu planning are leaving you frazzled, or you've run out of ideas, these quick recipes that are popular, traditional, and delicious.

Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen's Janine Washle is sharing some ideas -- both sweet and savory to get you through holiday entertaining.  

Last minute appetizers are easy, when you incorporate pre-made ingredients. You can quickly assemble cucumber cups, after hollowing out the middle with a melon ball tool - then just fill with hummus. 

If you have never tried gingerbread, it is loaded with warm spices, and a sweetener that is either honey, or molasses. If you can't handle the flavor of molasses, substitute sorghum which is milder, and more like a spicy honey.

Ginger came to Europe around the 11th century. Spices were highly prized among the royal and noble classes, and really could only be afforded by them. It was against the law for common folk to cook with spices. Ginger was purported to have healing properties so it was regarded with great esteem. Baking with ginger was actually a profession and required a license. Germany embraced the profession especially around the Nuremberg area where recipes were developed that created a cookie-like treat with a cake-like texture. This German gingerbread known as lebkuchen was the first cookie associated with Christmas.

There are two types of gingerbread, honey based German style gingerbread, and English/Scottish types which use molasses, or treacle. Gingerbread came to the United States via German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania. Gingerbread cookies became very popular not only due to taste but they were inexpensive to make, sturdy enough to stand up to early ovens or even fireplace baking, and stayed fresh for a long time. This recipe cuts out the baking, and takes advantage of a popular trend of edible cookie doughs while offering all of the wonderful Christmas flavors of gingerbread.

Edible Gingerbread Cookie Dough

Makes:  Approximately 1-1/2 cups of cookie dough

Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature (or 1/2 cup coconut oil)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar (or dark brown for a richer flavor)

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 TB milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp gingerbread spice

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread flour on a foil lined baking sheet, and bake it for 10 minutes. Let cool slightly before using.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, sugars, and salt. Beat until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add milk, vanilla, and gingerbread spices. Add warm flour and combine on low then beat for 30 seconds until dough comes together. Chill in refrigerator for 10 minutes.

Sugar Cookie variation: Omit gingerbread spice.

FREE RECIPES BY EMAIL!

To ask for a complimentary copy of all her Halloween recipes, just email Janine Washle at cloverfields.farm.ky@gmail.com

Janine Washle's CloverFields Farm & Kitchen

Hardin Springs Area

Big Clifty, KY 42712

Connect with Janine and Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen on the websiteFacebookYoutube and Pinterest.

To get a copy of the recipes featured on WDRB in the Morning, just email Janine Washle at cloverfields.farm.ky@gmail.com

K's Cafe and Catering in Clarkson, Ky: 

Janine and her husband David now own K's Cafe and Catering in Clarkson, Kentucky. It serves up diner fare like a country breakfast, fried green tomatoes, catfish, meatloaf and roast beef and potatoes. Stop in and try some of Janine's cooking for yourself. K's is at 102 W. Main in Clarkson, Ky. (270) 242-9904. Connect with K's Cafe on Facebook

About Janine Washle:

CloverFields Farm & Kitchen is primarily an on-line destination. They are not open to drop-in visitors as it is a private residence. CloverFields Farm & Kitchen researches and reinterprets many traditional recipes using local produce, much from their own gardens, and adding a global perspective. Janine is working on her first cookbook, but she also has a long resume developing recipes for several companies. She has also won several contests and cook-offs with her original recipes.

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