Lola’s Third Birthday with Nutmeg Ginger Apple Snaps and a Fantastic Mr. Fox Cake
Three years ago today a sweet, quirky, sassy little girl entered the world and made me Mama.
I can’t believe how fast time has gone (and that she’s already getting sibling number two!). Lola and I can have straight up, intelligent conversations. I love hearing how she views the world and discovering her interests. Lola is emotional, passionate, focused, and ever-changing. One day strawberries are the worst, the next day they’re all she’ll want to eat. Her love for pasta is rivaled only by mine and she wouldn’t touch a slice of pizza for all the fish in the sea.
For years Lola’s favorite movie has been Fantastic Mr. Fox. She has seen it more times than I could possibly count. When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday she promptly informed me she wanted Mr. Fox on a cake and nutmeg ginger apple snaps (a cookie from the movie).
I spent a long time trying to figure out what it should look like to put Mr. Fox on a cake. I landed on baking a cake in a football shaped pan and cutting it into the shape of his head. I used a cake recipe from Smitten Kitchen and a frosting recipe from I Am Baker. I’m obviously no cake decorator, but I placed the frosting in zip top bags and used knives to disperse it until it looked remotely like Mr. Fox. Overall, I was pretty happy with the outcome.
The nutmeg ginger apple snaps turned out large and strangely indulgent. There is a lot of butter in this recipe and no eggs. The sugar within the cookies is minimal but there’s a lot sprinkled on top. I was happy with how authentic they looked and everyone that had one thought they were great.
2 cups unsalted butter, softened
2 Tablespoons molasses
6 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch ground cloves
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger root, grated
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pinch salt
4 gala apples
Organic refined sugar and cake sparkles for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until light. Add the molasses, brown sugar, white sugar, spices, grated ginger, and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until fully blended. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three parts, carefully and on low speed, until the ingredients are fully blended.
Roll 2-3 Tablespoons of dough into balls and flatten them on the prepared cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Slice the apples as thinly as you can and press slices firmly into the center of each cookie. Sprinkle coarse sugar evenly over cookies to coat, making sure to cover the edges.
Bake 15-25 minutes or until the edges are golden. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with more sugar, if desired, and cake sparkles. Let cool a few minutes on the cookie sheet before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Adapted from Vancouver Observer
I can’t wait to see how this girl keeps growing and changing. I love you Lola!