I could go for a ginger cookie…

November 6, 2009

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If you read yesterday, you know that I’m taking the easy way out to end the week by recycling some of my favourite cold weather comfort food posts.

On the list today are recipes from my sweet kitchen:
Microwave butterscotch pudding
Tarte Tatin
Super crisp ginger cookies
Butter Tarts

What sweet treat epitomizes warming comfort for you? Again, feel free to link to your site or recipes that we can all bookmark for a day when we need an indulgence.


Super crisp ginger cookies

March 20, 2009

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Look! I’ve found another way to use the new rolling pin you bought to make a pie for 3:14 day last week!

This recipe is adapted from Simply Recipes; it makes a super crisp, wafer style cookie that is perfect for dipping into coffee or milky tea.

Gingersnap Cookies

1 cup (250 mL) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp (330 mL) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
2 small eggs or 1 1/2 large eggs
1/3 cup (75 mL) molasses
1 tsp (5 mL) minced fresh ginger
3 cups (750 mL) all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp (12 mL) baking soda
2 1/2 tsp (12 mL) cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp (12 mL) ground ginger
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground black pepper

Cream butter until soft; add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, and beat until fluffy. Add molasses then minced ginger and beat until well mixed.

Stir the dry ingredients together; add to the butter mixture, 1/3 at a time. Mix only until the dry ingredients become incorporated.

Line a 9” x 5” loaf pan with plastic wrap, so that some hangs over the sides. Press the dough into the bottom of the pan. Pack it tightly, and try to make the top as level as possible. Cover the dough with the overhanging plastic. Freeze until very firm, preferably overnight.

Unwrap and remove dough from the pan. Slice the brick into thin slices, no more than 1/8” thick. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet spaced at least an inch apart. Bake, one pan at a time, in a preheated 350°F (180°C) oven until the edges turn dark brown, from 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the dough. Makes 6 to 8 dozen cookies.

Tips:
• Trim the sides of the dough to make straight edges before slicing cookies.
• Check the cookies for doneness starting at 7 min


Foods you love but shouldn’t

February 2, 2009

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I know what you’re thinking: how can you, Dana McCauley, cookbook author and scathing critic of chemical-filled, manufactured abominations say that you love these cookies?

My answer: it’s easy!

Although I generally do strive to eat foods (including cookies) made from fresh, whole foods, I am human and these marshmallowy cookies filled with fake flavoured jelly will always be a pleasant once-in-a-while indulgence since they remind me of my grandmother. She used to buy them for us to have together as a treat and even looking at this picture reminds me of being splayed out at the end of her bed, eating these cookies and drinking too-sweet orange pekoe tea.

Do you have food that you love but shouldn’t? Something that reminds you of a wonderful time in your life that tastes better than it should just because you once shared it with someone special?


Cookies for Santa

December 24, 2008

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When I was a little girl, my brother Vincent and I always left out both a treat for Santa and one for the reindeer before we let our parents nestle us snug in our beds on Christmas Eve.

Every year it was the same menu, a glass of milk and an assortment of my mom’s holiday baking for Santa. On the plate we’d place a date square and both a hermit and a chocolate nut drop cookie. (I think all the recipes came from the Five Roses Cookbook!) Although Santa’s health wasn’t a concern, our snack choice for the reindeer was always a healthy one: carrots.

What happens at your house? Should Santa expect a surprise or will your children give him the same thing as last year? Or, do you offer Santa unconventional refreshment? (For instance, I know of a mother – a lover of coca cola – who always encouraged the children to leave Santa a coke to wash down his cookies.)


Perfectionista free baking

December 15, 2008

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Normally, I’d be up to my eyebrows in flour by now but this year I’m cutting back to ensure that when the holidays arrive that I’ll be ready for fun and not a nap . In fact, I’m only baking a few essential items that we need to feel festive. Here’s what’s on my family’s essential holiday baked goods list:

Ultimate Buttertarts

Holiday Hermits

Barb Holland’s Double Ginger Crackle Cookies (see recipe below)

Yup, it’s only three items and not an exhaustive Christmas offering by a long shot. But, since we’ll be doing lots of visiting, I’m sure we’ll get to have a shortbread and few sugar cookies along the way. It will all work out. (I’m repeating that mantra over and over and over.)

How many different items will you bake this holiday season? Are some of these recipes essential for Christmas to be Christmas or do you mix up your repertoire every year?

Barb Holland’s Ginger Crackle Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

3/4 cup vegetable shortening

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup molasses

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp finely grated lemon peel

1/4 cup coarse sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Combine flour with baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt and crystallized ginger. Toss until crystallized ginger is well distributed.

Beat the shortening until fluffy. Add sugar and beat until light. Beat in molasses, egg and lemon peel until smooth.

Gradually mix in the dry ingredients; scrape down the sides as needed. Place the coarse sugar in a shallow bowl. Roll dough in small balls or scoop using a 1-inch ice cream scoop.

Roll each ball in sugar and arrange on prepared baking sheets. Flatten gently with the heel of your hand.

Bake for 10 minutes or until cracked on top and golden. Cool on a rack.


Coping with cookie conundrums

December 12, 2008

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Crumbling under the pressure of producing perfect holiday wafers? Worried Santa will turn and run when he sees the snack you’ve left for him? Check out these sources for inspiration, recipes and tips for baking and decorating the best cookies ever!

By the way, for those of you who saw me baking holiday treats on Ottawa’s A Morning and Daytime Ottawa shows today, you’ll find the full recipes at Everyday Celebrations.

Internet Help:
EverydayCelebrations
5 Second Rule Cookie Virtual Cookie Exchange
Mochasofa
Epicurious
Dessert First
Chicago Tribune’s Cookie Contest Winning Tips

Written Resources:
Canadian Living: The Complete Christmas Book
Field Guide to Cookies: How to Identify and Bake Virtually Every Cookie Imaginable
Great Canadian Cookies
The Good Cookie
One Smart Cookie
Decorating Cookies