Thursday, December 29, 2011

Raspberry Lemon Swiss Roll

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
icing sugar
2/3 cup raspberry jam
1 1/2 cups whipped cream

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease and line a swiss roll pan (15x10") with parchment paper and grease paper. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. Beat eggs until foamy, thick and lemon coloured, about 5 minutes at high speed. Gradually beat in sugar followed by water and lemon extract on low speed. Finally blend in the flour mixture until batter is smooth.
3. Pour batter into pan and spread smooth. Bake 12 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Immediately invert cake onto a tea towel which has been dusted with icing sugar. Roll up cake and let cool completely.
4. Unroll cake, spread with raspberry jam and then whipped cream. Roll up cake and dust top with icing sugar. Slice & serve!

For best keeping, store cake in an airtight container in the fridge.



Sunday, December 25, 2011

Fudge Wreath (Christmas Baking)

Adapted from Rachel Ray

1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup + 3 tablespoons butterscotch chips
300ml can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons currants

1. Grease 8" round pan (or a pie take out container) with butter, set aside. Place chocolate and butterscotch chips in heavy pot, along with sweetend condensed milk. Clean and wrap milk tin with plastic wrap and place in center of buttered pan.
2. Place pot over low heat, stirring mixture constanly-occasionally until chips have melted (this will take awhile over low heat). Once everything is melted and nicely combined, stir in vanilla and remove from heat.
3. Stir in walnuts and currants. Evenly spoon mixture into prepared pan, working quickly before fudge sets.
4. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge 2-4 hours until fudge has set. Remove can and then turn out fudge wreath onto serving plate. Decorate as desired then serve & enjoy!

Store leftover fudge in an airtight container in the fridge, separating layers with wax or parchment paper.






Gramma Chester's Swiss Roll (Christmas Baking)

1 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cream Filling:
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease and line a swiss roll pan (15x10") with parchment paper.
2. In a bowl sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
3. In a large bowl, beat eggs until thick, foamy, and lemon coloured, about 8-10 minutes at high speed. Gradually beat in sugar then stir in water and vanilla. Blend in dry ingredients.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 12 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
5. Invert cake immediately from oven onto a tea towel dusted with cocoa. Peel off parchement paper then roll up cake with towel, starting from short end. Place cake seam side down onto a wire rack to cool completely.
7. For filling, in a large bowl whip cream, icing sugar, and cocoa powder. Whip until soft peaks form, then cover and chill 1 hour or until ready to serve cake.
8. Unroll cooled cake. Spread half the filling into the swiss roll, roll up, then frost the cake with remaining cream. Decorate as desired then serve & enjoy!


For best keeping, store in an airtight container in the fridge. Happy Holidays everyone!



Monday, December 19, 2011

Cranberry Orange Biscotti (Christmas Baking)

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
melted chocolate (any kind), for drizzling

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a bowl mix together flour, orange zest, and dried cranberries. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, blend together butter, sugar, vanilla, baking powder, and salt until smooth. Blend in eggs until well combined, mixture will look curdled. Gradually blend in flour mixture until soft dough forms.
4. Form dough into a ball, divide in half, placing each half on a baking sheet. For each piece, form a 9 1/2" long, 2" wide, 3/4" tall rectangle. Smooth tops and sides with a wet knife or other flat utensil.
5. Bake for 25 minutes until just lightly browned on top. Let cool 15-20 minutes.
6. Brush tops and sides with water before slicing to prevent crumbling. Use a serrated knife and slice 3/4" thick slices, you can slice straight or on a diagonal, however you like.
7. Stand slices up on baking sheet and bake at 325°F for 25-30 minutes until firm and dry.
8. Cool completely, then drizzle with melted chocolate. Once chocolate has set, serve & enjoy!

Makes approximately 20-25 biscotti.



Friday, December 16, 2011

Gingerbread Cookies (Christmas Baking)

1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
3 1/4 cups flour

1. In pot combine sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Cook and stir over medium heat until boiling.
2. Remove from heat and stir in butter and baking soda until butter melts.
3. Cool mixture for 5 minutes then add egg and flour and mix well. Cover and chill 2-24 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide dough in half, keeping the remaning half chilled while rolling the other piece between sheets of wax or parchment paper until 1/4" thick.
5. Cut out desired shapes and bake until firm and golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Let cool a bit on pan then cool completely on wire racks.
6. Decorate with royal icing and candies!

Royal Icing

1 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon meringue powder
1 teaspoon almond extract
water

In a bowl whisk together icing sugar and meringue powder. Whisk in almond extract and 1 teaspoon of water at a time until icing is still thick but easy to pipe. Place in piping bag with writing tip, or use a sandwich bag with the corner cut off.

Butter Tarts (Christmas Baking)

18 unbaked tart shells
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup golden crisco
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line pans with parchment paper and place over tart shells, 1/2" apart.
2. Divide raisins evenly between the tart shells. Blend together filling and fill each tart shell 2/3 full. Bake 12-14 minutes until golden brown.
3. Cool completely and serve!


Makes 1 1/2 dozen.



Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

1 3/4 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 egg
2/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pan with muffin cases.
2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
3. In another bowl, whisk together mashed banana, egg, peanut butter, vegetable oil, vanilla, and milk. Add to dry ingredients, stirring just until combined.
4. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling 3/4 full. Bake 20-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool then serve & enjoy!

Makes 1 dozen.



Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fry's Fudgey Brownies (Christmas Baking)

Adapted from Fry's Cocoa

1 1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 9x13" baking pan.
2. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. In a large pot, melt butter. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa powder. Whisk in sugar, eggs, and vanilla followed by flour mixture until smooth. Stir in chopped nuts.
4. Spread batter into pan and bake 25-30 minutes. Moist crumbs should appear on toothpick when inserted in the center.
5. Let brownies cool completely before cutting, dust with icing sugar if desired, serve & enjoy!


For best keeping, store in an airtight container, separating layers with wax or parchment paper.







Monday, December 12, 2011

Ginger Molasses Cookies (Christmas Baking)

2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup margarine, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
sugar, for rolling

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger.
3. In another large bowl cream butter and margarine until smooth. Add brown sugar and blend until well combined followed by egg and molasses; blending until thick and fluffy.
4. Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and blend in. At this point you need to stop blending and start to stir and use your hands to work in the remaining flour to form a soft dough.
5. Using a 1/4 cup measurer, scoop out portions of dough and roll in sugar. Place on baking sheets (at least 2" apart) and press down until about 1/2" thick. Wet tops of dough with water.
6. Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown on the bottom and just set. Let cool and firm up on pan 3 minutes before transfering to wire racks to cool. Cool completely then serve & enjoy!

Makes 1 dozen. These cookies are crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, the perfect cookie if you ask me!




Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mincemeat Pies (Christmas Baking)

Adapted from Joy of Baking 

1 cup mincemeat
Short Crust Pastry:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup butter, cold and cubed
1/8 - 1/4 cup ice water
Topping:
eggwash
sugar, for sprinkling

1. In a large bowl mix together flour, salt, and sugar. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or two knives until very fine and mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over water, starting with 1/8 cup and adding more water until dough holds it's form. Form dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 30 minutes.
2. Roll out dough between sheets of parchment or wax paper until about 1/8" thick. Using a 3" round cookie cutter, cut out 12 rounds. Place rounds into muffin pan molds, pressing the pastry 3/4 of the way up the sides.*
3. With remaining pastry, roll out and cut out 12, 1" rounds and set aside. Fill shells with 1 tablespoon of mincemeat each and place 1" round on top. Brush tops with eggwash and sprinkle with sugar.
4. Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm with cream or a dusting of icing sugar if desired!

Makes 1 dozen. *Pastry will shrink during baking to about half way up the sides so it's important to only fill with 1 tablespoon of mincemeat so it doesn't overflow!



Saturday, December 10, 2011

Button Cookies (Christmas Baking)

I had lots of sugar cookie dough left over after making the melting snowman cookies, so I froze some (it freezes very well) and used some to make these cute button cookies!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Festive Eggnog Cake (Christmas Baking)

2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup eggnog
1/2 cup butter, melted
Icing:
1 cup icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk
red and green food colouring
festive sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 9x5" loaf pan or star shaped baking pan.
2. In a bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl whisk together eggs and sugar until combined. Whisk in vanilla, eggnog, and melted butter. Add flour mixture all at once and stir to combined, don't over mix, the batter will be lumpy.
4. Pour batter into pan and bake for 45-55 minutes until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.
5. Cool 15 minutes then losen edges with a knife and turn out onto wire rack. Let cool completely before icing.
6. For icing, in small bowl mix together icing sugar and enough milk until desired consistency is met. Colour with red food colouring and green food colouring. Drizzle both colours over cake and top with sprinkles. Let icing set then serve & enjoy!

First time using this Ikea pan and I love it!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"Christmas Pudding" Cookies (Christmas Baking)

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 ounces (2 squares) bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 2/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Topping:
1 cup melted white chocolate
holly sprinkles (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl cream together butter and brown sugar. Add vanilla, egg, and cooled chocolate, mixing until combined.
3. In another bowl mix together flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add flour to butter mixture, alternating with milk. Stir in chopped walnuts. Place tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets, space about 2" apart.
4. Bake 8-10 minutes until golden brown around the edges and cookies are just set in the center. Let cool 2 minutes on the pan before transfering to wire rack to cool completely.
5. Once cookies have cooled, place about 1 tablespoon melted white chocolate on top then top with holly sprinkles and dust with icing sugar if desired. Serve & enjoy!


Makes 2 dozen. These cookies are light and cakey!





Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Almond Crescent Cookies (Christmas Baking)

2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup margarine, softened
1 cup icing sugar
2 teaspoons almond extract
icing sugar, for rolling
melted chocolate and sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl sift together flour and salt. In another bowl, cream butter with margarine and icing sugar along with almond extract until smooth and creamy. Blend in flour mixture until a soft dough forms.
3. Pinch off some dough, form into a 2" long 1/2" thick rope, then form into crescent shape. Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown on the bottom.
4. Let cookies cool completely then roll in icing sugar and/or dip into melted chocolate and decorate with sprinkles.


Makes about 80 cookies. These cookies may be small, but they're rich and delicious and taste similar to almond shortbread!



Monday, December 5, 2011

Raisin Scones

Adapted from Canadian Living

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons raisins
1 egg
3/4 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in butter until the size of small peas. Stir in raisins.
3. In a 1 cup measurer, whisk egg then fill cup to the top with milk and remove 2 tablespoons. Pour remaning mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until soft dough forms.
4. On a lightly floured surface form dough into ball and pat into a 1.5" thick round. Cut into desired scone shapes and place onto baking sheet. Brush tops with reserved egg mixture.
5. Bake 12-14 minutes until deep golden brown on the bottom and golden on top. Scones should also sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Serve warm with butter and jam!

Best served with a cup of tea!



Cookies make good gifts!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Russian Tea Cakes II (Christmas Baking)

1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
6 tablespoons icing sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup icing sugar, for rolling

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl cream butter, extract, and icing sugar until smooth. Blend in flour and walnuts until crumbly dough forms. Dough should hold its form when squeezed together, if not, add 1 teaspoon of milk at a time.
3. Form 1" round balls and place onto baking sheet. Bake until lightly brown on the bottom, 12-15 minutes.
4. Let cookies cool then roll into icing sugar once or twice, whatever you like! Serve & enjoy!

Makes 30



Sugar Cookies (Christmas Baking)

Recipe from Martha Stewart

4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

1. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2. In another large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, add eggs and vanilla and mix until fluffy.
3. Gradually blend in flour mixture a little at a time, you may need to use your hands to mix in the flour.
4. Divide the dough in half, flatten each half into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, at least one hour.
5. Heat oven to 350°F. Roll out dough between two sheets of parchment or wax paper and cut out into shapes or pinch off portion of dough and form into desired shape about 1/4" thick.
6. Bake until edges are just golden brown about 8-12 minutes depending on your cookie sheet.

Check out yoyomax12's video tutorial on how to make Melting Snowman Cookies!





Friday, December 2, 2011

Gramma Chester's Puffed Rice Cookies (Christmas Baking)

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, unbeaten
3 cups puffed rice cereal
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup icing sugar

1. In a saucepan, melt butter; add dates, sugar, salt, and eggs. Cook over low hear until mixture begins to cling to spoon, about 10-12 minutes. Add vanilla, remove from heat and cool mixture for 3 minutes.

2. Stir in puffed rice and walnuts.

3. Dust 2 sheets of wax paper with icing sugar. Pour half of mixture onto each sheet of wax paper, dust your fingers with icing sugar and shape mixture into 2 logs and wrap. Place logs into an air tight container and chill in fridge until firm overnight or wrap in foil and freeze until firm.

4. Dust tops of logs with icing sugar then slice into 1/2" thick slices. Serve & enjoy!


Makes 20.




Rudolph Cookies (Christmas Baking)

1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar, plus more for rolling
1 egg
24 mini chocolate covered pretzels
red and brown m&m's

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl mix together peanut butter, sugar, and egg until combined. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of batter at a time then roll into sugar and form into a ball. Form ball into a reindeer head shape about 1/2" thick.
3. Bake 14-15 minutes, cookies will appear very soft and only lightly browned.
4. Once cookies are removed from oven, for each cookie, quickly and gently press 2 mini chocolate pretzels on the top for antlers, 2 brown m&m's for eyes and 1 red m&m for the nose.
5. Let cookies firm up on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transfering to wire racks to cool and set completely. Serve & enjoy!


Makes 1 dozen.