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Candy Cane CookiesDec 1, 2017

These cookies taste like a pepperminty dream. Making them is a … less pleasant dream.  Unlike other recipes on my blog, DO NOT MAKE THESE WITH CHILDREN.  As a grown-up, I get exasperated trying to roll and shape the delicate cookie dough. With kids, it will be an exercise in frustration.

But I promise you they are worth every single fiddly minute.

Candy Cane Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup icing (confectioner’s) sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla flavouring
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp almond flavouring
¼ tsp peppermint flavouring
½ tsp red food colouring

Mix first 4 ingredients together well. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well.
Divide dough into two equal portions. To one half, add almond flavouring. To the other half, add the peppermint flavouring and food colouring. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP)

Roll 1 tsp of each colour dough into ropes about 5-6 inches long. Lay side by side. Pinch ends together. Twist to form a spiral. Keep dough and rolling surface cool. Place on un-greased cookie sheet and shape to form a cane. Bake at 350F for about 10 minutes until pale gold. Cool on baking sheet 2-3 minutes then remove. (Transfer with care; these cookies are delicate.) Makes about 2 to 3 dozen, depending on how big you make them.

Based on recipe from “Company’s Coming: Cookies” by Jean Pare, 1988

Peanut Butter Marshmallow SquaresNov 30, 2017

Christmas isn’t Christmas without holiday baking, so let’s start with something easy to make, and a good way to get the kids involved in baking.

Unfortunately, these can’t be sent to school because they do contain nuts (I’ve heard of a Wow-butter version but have not tried it myself.) They are fine – and always popular – at home and work potlucks.

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Squares

1/2 cup butter
1 cup peanut butter
1-300 gram bag of butterscotch chips
1-200 gram bag of mutli-coloured mini-marshmallows (you can use white but why be plain?)

Melt the butter, peanut butter and butterscotch chips over a low heat. Remove and let cool a little as to not melt the marshmallows. Pour in marshmallows. Coat thoroughly. Press into a 9″x13″ pan. Chill in fridge for 1 hour. (You can line the pan with parchment paper for easier removal.) Cut and serve.

Chocolate Chip Cherry Coconut DropsDec 23, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cherry Coconut DropsPart of the fun of Christmas baking is enjoying the intricate creations coming from the kitchen.  But for a quick, simple, and tasty treat, whip off a batch of this little darlings.  And they can be made by your little darlings – this recipe is very kid friendly!

Chocolate Chip Cherry Coconut Drops (2 dozen)

1/3 cup – 75 mL margarine/butter
1/2 cup – 125 mL granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp – 2 mL almond extract (can substitute vanilla)
3/4 cup – 175 mL all purpose flour
1/2 tsp – 2 mL baking powder
3/4 cup – 175 mL semi-sweet chocolate chips (can substitute white chocolate chips)
1/2 cup – 125 mL shredded coconut
1/2 cup – 125 mL chopped maraschino cherries (red or green or both if you want to be really festive)

Preheat oven to 325F / 160C.  Grease a cookie sheet. Cream shortening and sugar.  Beat in egg, extract flour and baking powder.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Drop by spoonful onto the cookie sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes.  Transfer to wire racks to cool.

These cookies stay soft in an airtight container.

Gingerbread CakeDec 17, 2012

There are a few things that say “only for Christmas” and for me, gingerbread is one of them. I’m all for cookies loaded with icing but I found this recipe for actual cake and on occasion, it’s even better. It is a dense, moist cake that does not rise. In fact, the texture is a lot like a brownie but a little lighter.

Gingerbread Cake

2 cups – 500 ml flour
1/2 cup – 125 ml granulated sugar
1 tsp – 5 ml baking powder
1/2 tsp – 2 ml baking soda
1 tsp – 5 ml salt
2 tsp – 10 ml ginger
1 tsp – 5 ml cinnamon
1/2 cup – 125 ml butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
3/4 cup – 175 ml fancy molasses
1/2 cup – 125 ml milk

Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Measure all ingredients into mixing bowl.  Beat slowly to combine together. Beat at medium high speed for 2 minutes until smooth. Spread into a greased 9 x 13 inch (22 x 33 cm) pan. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes until an inserted wooden pick comes out clean.

Do NOT overcook. Let cool and then place in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap. It dries out quickly.

Great with whipped cream or ice-cream. And caramel sauce.