Sunday, February 06, 2011

16 letters for the 20 year old

I'm around 20 years and one and a half days old, and suffice to say my birthday was amazing since, well, people remembered and I got this awesome cake baked by my friends.

It was around 12 midnight and officially my birthday. I had my back to the door, doing whatever it takes for me to wipe the sleep off my eyes when my dutymates started singing "Happy Birthday". So I turned around and there it was - Jam holding a cake with the letters of my first name on top. The letters were amazingly, gingerbread cookies. I was floored. Well, modesty aside, I knew my friends were planning a surprise for me and that's probably the reason why they requested an 11pm-7am shift. That's another story but the point is our duty sched is extremely flexible. Soooo...I blew out the candle and just stared at the cake, well, mostly because of the letter cookies on top.

After a few minutes I heard two more voices behind me and my friends MJ and Riezyl were there, bringing a big heavy box! Riezyl, at that time, wasn't even my dutymate! She intentionally changed her schedule to be with, well, me - so that was an "awww" moment. What was inside the box? Well it turns out the cake Jam brought was for our dutymates.I opened the box and there stood my real cake. 

Three layers. Covered with white chocolate CHIPS and hardened chocolate ganache made into little rectangles on the side. With not three, not seven but SIXTEEN gingerbread cookie letters (Gio Happy Birthday). I was floored. Again. Times ten.

What made it extra special though was that my friends were there, sadly not all of them, but enough to make a happy party.

So how do I sum up birthday experience up? Well, as I'm typing this, I'm thinking of the word "Thankful". I'm thankful to have friends who go out of their way to make people feel special. More than that, moments like this remind me that I'm never alone and despite my flaws, I must have done something right with my life because at the end of the day, I will always have friends...people who love me. It is during moments like this one that wake me up, slap me and shake me to the core and out of my periods of self-doubt and self-pity. Yeah, I'm sad like that. But the happy moments with my friends and family make me just want to show my middle finger to the person in the mirror who thinks like that. So, to God I'm thankful above all.

And Jam even shared her recipe for the soft, chewy gingerbread cookies, so there's a bonus.

Servings: 18 to 24 cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutters
Prep Time: 1 hour 50 min

Cook Time: 10 min
Difficulty: Easy 
2 teaspoon ground ginger 
1/4 cup molasses
3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting work surface
2   large eggs
1   stick butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted 
1-2 tablespoon milk

Food coloring as desired
Using an electric mixer at low speed, cream the sugar and butter until thoroughly combined. Add the eggs and molasses and mix until combined. Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and combine with a spoon or spatula.
Remove the dough from the bowl and wrap in plastic wrap; place in the refrigerator until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Allow the dough to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, until pliable. Take about 1/2 cup of dough at a time and roll onto a floured board until about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out with gingerbread boy and girl cookie cutters. You can reroll the scraps. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies from the board to the prepared cookie sheets. 
Bake for 10 minutes, until just beginning to brown at the edges. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
To make the icing, combine the confectioners’ sugar and milk. Divide the mixture into thirds; leave one-third white, and color one-third green and the final third red. Decorate piping eyes, mouths, buttons, and bow ties.

I was supposed to update my blog yesterday but since my parents and I already moved out of our old house, my room's been cluttered for weeks now and I couldn't really think well with all the clutter. But now it's more organized and spacious so it's all good. :)


Kryzl Debonny said...

Happy birthday, Gio! Ang galing. Reading your post gives me goosebumps. Hindi in a negative way ha. Hehe. Mukhang napakasarap ng cake at ng ginger cookies. Continue to be a blessing to us. Love, your fave dutymate. :)

Dee said...

awww! how touching! and the gingerbread letters are sooo cute! glad you had such a lovely surprise on your birthday. :)

Skeeper said...

Happy birthday again Gio :D i'll h(a)unt you sa school till malibre mo ako. haha. kidding :P