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Friday, August 6, 2010

One Photo One Chance

How does it feel like to be one of the finalists of Leites Culinaria Photo Contest? I hardly thought I would get to experience it. From the onset, I realized the participants most probably would have come from a higher level of photography expertice (I mean look at the list of contest jury, wow... in the little dream of mine I had wished that once in my blog lifetime my photo would ever been viewed by Aran of Canelle et Vanille). Mostly I imagined I wasn't qualified enough to take part.

Therefore I wasn't thinking about participating. And during that one last week into the deadline I was so swamped with work at the office, plus trying to wrap up my website, and then came the DB Challenge and T.... T was hinting to me that I had been spending too much time on my work and website. As much as he showed he understood the situation, I had to put him back into one of my priorities..

So yes, I tried to make free time for T last Friday by not doing anything and comfortably staying by his side the whole evening. Just when the next day it happened that T had to go to work and suddenly I had free time in hand. I thought why not giving the contest a shot, got a few hours... so tried to make good use of them. And at the end of the day, if I did not pass the final, it was still nothing to lose cause I could use the material for a new post in my blog, right?

I quickly whipped up 2 recipes and as practical as I tried to be, both required time for refrigeration. So cut the story short, I managed to bake Mini Muffin Strawberry Financiers at lunch time and decided to just focus on one recipe instead of two. Next I frantically took photos like crazy and managed to get one photo sent after midnight (that shows how much time I had spent to shoot the right angle and selected the most appropriate photo, from like hundreds of them). And as I got the reply email informing my successful entry, I was relieved that I was officially taking my chance in the contest! One photo one chance!

And yes, my little wish came true. I made it to the final among other 9 finalists. I was so thrilleddddd! I actually shouted and quickly broke the great news to T!

Thanks to Deeba of Passionate about Baking for being the very source of information about the photo contest! Share the excitement with me by viewing the finalist photos here and at the same time you could also vote one of the photos to win People's Choice Award. Have fun!

So what was I going to do with my second recipe?... The batter was sitting in the fridge and I had to make time to bake it the following day and that is what I am going to share with you here. It is the recipe that I churned out from Leites Culinaria's recipe box that somehow did not make it to the contest due to my limited time.

by Jennifer Lindner McGlinn
from Gingerbread: Timeless Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Desserts, Ice Cream and Candy (Chronicle Books, 2009)
Makes 40 cookies

- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 7 1/2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
- Confectioners’ sugar for rolling

1. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, ginger, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
2. Combine the butter and 3 ounces of the chocolate in a medium, heat-proof bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan filled with about 1 1/2 inches of simmering water (being sure not to let the bottom of the bowl touch the water) and stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter have melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and set aside to cool slightly, about 10 minutes. (You can also melt the mixture in the microwave, heating it at about 20-second intervals and stirring periodically until it is melted and smooth.)

3. Stir the granulated and brown sugars into the melted chocolate mixture, using a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula. Drop in the eggs, one at a time, mixing briskly until smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract and gradually incorporate the flour mixture. Fold in the remaining 4 1/2 ounces of chocolate and the crystallized ginger. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
4. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. Shape the chilled dough into walnut-size balls, roll in confectioners’ sugar, and arrange them about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. (If your kitchen is quite warm and the dough becomes too soft, return it to the refrigerator until chilled and fairly firm.) Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies have spread and the tops are cracked.
6. Cool the chocolate-ginger crinkle cookies on the baking sheets set on wire racks for about 2 minutes before removing them to the racks to cool completely. Store the crinkle cookies in an airtight container or in a zip-top bag for up to 4 days.


  1. Congratulations - I am totally NOT surprised that you made it into the finals! Great looking cookies ... but I'm going to head over to the contest page and check out your other photo ;0)

  2. บอกได้คำเดียวว่า สวยมากๆคะ เป็นภาพที่งดงามและเลิศหรูจริงๆ

  3. Congrats! You shots are always fabulous. Those cookies look so scrumptious.



  4. How can you even think you won't make it to the final? You take so beautiful pictures! Congratulations, by the way. And chocolate crinkles are the most amazing cookies, I always love making them!


  5. Congrats, Kris!! I'll definitely be voting for you--and those crinkles look scrumptious!

  6. Congratulations Kris, well your picture always stunning. I'm not surprised that you made it.I voted already :)

    Have a nice weekend, and get relax.. before he angry at you.. LOL..

  7. Congrats Kris! I'm so happy for you and I'm not surprised at all. Those cookies look so good and I want to bookmark it because I love the flavor of ginger. Thank you!

  8. I've voted for you! :) Congrats on making into the finals. Good luck~

  9. Congratulations Kris! You are my blog idol :) I always drool over the photos you take! You make chocolate crinkles look so elegant!

  10. Congratulations!!!!!! I'm not at all surprised! You shouldn't doubt yourself. Your photos are always brilliant. You obviously have a very good eye. I'm voting for you!!!!

  11. You make everything look elegant and extraordinary, including these cookies! You just have a natural artistic eye! Congratulations! I already voted for you:)
    BTW, I really need to make these cookies!
    Best Wishes, Kris!

  12. Congrats, Kris! You definitely deserve it.

  13. Just checked out your photo - definitely voting for you Kris. It's gorgeous! Congrats!

  14. Cookies never looked so elegant. Good luck on the contest. I voted.

  15. so beautiful baked, lovely cookies.

  16. Congrats Kris! It is so well-deserved! :)

  17. Yaaay, congratulations! I am not at all surprised - your photos are always awesome :) I voted for you!

    PS: Like your new blog design.
    Cheers, Bhargavi

  18. Kris, congrats and I too am not surprised that you are one of the finalist.

  19. Congrats! Your pictures are beautiful!

  20. Ooo, how exciting that you are a finalist!! And soooo well deserved too. Ofcourse I just voted for your beautiful image, which goes in very good company but your photo can sure hold it's own! Can't wait to here you actually winning! ;)

  21. How exciting for you :) Your photographs of those cookies certainly are beautiful.

  22. félicitation à vous, personnellement ton blog fait partie des meilleurs pour moi, je suis admirative devant tes photos et tes recettes
    je te souhaite beaucoup de succès, tes cookies sont à croquer
    bonne soirée

  23. Congratulations!! Were you not allowed to use the same picture? I went over to vote, saw your entry, but noticed that picture isn't on the blog!

  24. I vote for you, good look! The best picture ever ;-)

  25. Congratulations! I agree with the judges. This is just gorgeous. The goblets really take the photo over the top, along with the roses.

  26. Kris, congratulations on your photo being selected!! I have no doubt you'll win, you are one of the best food photgrapghers online. I could stare at your photos for hours! Eye candy plus food porn and perfection :)

  27. Congrats on being a finalist!!! That really is fantastic :D
    I've always been a fan of your photos so I absolutely understand why it's been chosen as one of the selected few :)
    I hope you do next month's DB challenge 'cause I'm hosting it and I really can't wait to see your photos for it :D :D :D

  28. I love your pictures! No wonder you made it to the finals. Good luck and thanks for your kind words on my blog.

  29. Hi Kris, I've moved to a new site @
    Please visit me when you're free.

  30. I just vote for you, Kris. :)