Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Rainbow Chocolate Chip Cookies for Santa

We made these cookies for Santa.  I think he'll like them. : )

~ 1 cup butter, melted
~ 1 cup sugar
~ 3/4 cup brown sugar
~ 1 large egg
~ 1 large egg yolk
~ 2 tsp. vanilla
~ 2 1/2 cups flour
~ 1 tsp. baking soda
~ 1/2 tsp. salt
~ 3/4 c. rainbow chocolate chips
~ handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F.  Beat melted butter and sugars until well combined.  Slowly beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined.  Place dry ingredients in large bowl, stir to combine.  Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, beat.  Add chips at then end and stir in.  Spoon onto parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges just start to brown.  Let cool for 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Serve on a plate for Santa!

~ Adapted from Picky Palate

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Salt Dough Ornaments - not to eat!

So this recipe is NOT FOR EATING! But it's so easy and so fun, I had to post it. It is FREEZING in our neck of the woods so this is a great indoor project for the whole family.

What you need:

~ 1/2 cup salt
~ 2 cup flour
~ 1/2 cup water
~ Cookie cutters (christmas tree, star, snowflake, wreath etc.)
~ Acrylic paints
~ Glitter if you wish
~ ribbon


Preheat oven to 250F.
Mix salt, flour and water until dough forms. Knead the dough on a floured surface until the mixture is elastic and smooth. If the dough is sticky, sprinkle with flour, continue to do so until stickiness is gone. Don't add too much flour!

Roll out dough with a rolling pin. Use cookie cutters to cut out forms. Use a toothpick at the top of your ormament to make a circular hole. It needs to be big enough for a ribbon.

Place ornaments on a cookie sheet and bake for 2 hours.
Remove and let cool completely.

Once cool, paint your ornaments, add glitter if you like.
When dry, thread ribbon through the hole and tie a knot.

Tie onto gifts, or hang on them on your own tree! Beaaaautiful.

The girls and I baked ours today and tomorrow we paint!

~ Recipe and photo courtesy of

Friday, December 12, 2008

Gourmet Gingersnaps

This is a recipe my cousin gave me when I got married 10 years ago. These cookies are so delicious. And my kids have fun rolling them in sugar! I always make them for a girlfriend of mine, they are her favourites! We are having them with afternoon tea today (or juice in the kids case) when my kids get home from preschool.


~ 3/4 cup butter
~ 1 cup brown sugar
~ 1/4 cup molasses
~ 1 egg
~ 2 cups flour
~ 2 tsp. baking soda
~ 1 tsp. cinnamon
~ 1/2 tsp. each ginger and cloves

~ granulated sugar

Mix butter, brown sugar, molasses and egg just until combined. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, spices). Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in an electric mixer. Do not overmix.

Form into small balls. Roll in granulated sugar.

Bake on a greased sheet at 350F for 7 - 10 minutes (mine took 10).

Note: cookies spread out so don't push down (keep in balls). Bottoms burn easily so watch carefully.

TIP: When cool, keep cookies in an airtight container because they will moisten and remain chewy!

~ From the kitchen of my cousin, Jennifer G.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mango Cheesecake - Someday I will make this...

Doesn't this look amazing? I was watching Giada today, love her. She made this and it looked so easy. (Sure) I haven't tried it but I can't wait to! My mouth is watering...

~ 8 ounces biscotti
~ 3/4 cup butter, melted
~ 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
~ 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese, room temperature
~ 2 cups mango puree (she used frozen (thawed) mango pieces and just pureed)
~ 4 large eggs
~ 3/4 cup sugar

Basil Lemon Syrup:
~ 1 cup sugar
~ 1/4 cup water
~ 1/4 cup lemon juice
~ 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves

Special equipment: 9-inch springform pan

For the Mango Cheesecake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with 2 layers of heavy-duty foil. Finely grind the biscotti in a food processor. Add the melted butter and process until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumb mixture over the bottom (not the sides) of the prepared pan. Bake until the crust is golden, about 15 minutes. Cool the crust completely on a cooling rack.

Blend the cream cheese and ricotta in a food processor. Add the mango puree, eggs, and sugar and pulse until the mixture is smooth.

Pour the mango mixture over the crust in the pan. Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the cheesecake is firm and moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack to cool for 30 minutes. Place in the refrigerator and cool completely, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.

For the Basil Lemon Syrup: Place the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Cool the syrup completely. In a food processor combine the basil and the cooled syrup. Pulse until the herbs are finely chopped. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve (she didn't do this part - she just poured it over the cheesecake, as is).

Slice the cheesecake and place on a serving plate. Drizzle with the syrup and serve.

~ Courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

Crab and Red Pepper Spread

I made and will make this crab dip for a couple of parties this season. It tastes delicious on crackers!

~ 2 green onions
~ 250g cream cheese
~ 1 can crabmeat, drained
~ 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese (or marble or whatever you like)
~ 1/2 c. finely chopped red peppers
~ 1 Tbsp. dijon mustard

Reserve 2 Tbsp. of the onions. Mix remaining ingredients and cover. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Sprinkle with reserved onions and serve with crackers.

~ Kraft Canada

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Lemon Shortbread Slices

These would make a lovely gift with some specialty teas!

~ 1 cup butter, softened
~ 3/4 c. granulated sugar
~ 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
~ 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
~ 1 large Egg white, fork beaten
~ 1/3 c. yellow sanding (decorating) sugar

Cream butter and granulated sugar in large bowl. Add lemon zest. Beat well.

Add flour in 2 additions, mixing well after each addition until no dry flour remains. Roll dough into 3 inch (7.5 cm) diameter log.

Brush log evenly with egg white. Sprinkle sanding sugar evenly on sheet of waxed paper slightly longer than log. Roll log in sanding sugar until coated. Wrap with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 6 hours or overnight. Discard plastic wrap. Cut log into 1/4 inch (6 mm) slices. Cut each slice in half. Arrange halves about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Score each half with knife to make 4 wedges. Bake in 325°F (160°C) oven for 8 to 10 minutes until golden. Let stand on cookie sheets for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool. Makes 6 1/2 dozen (78) cookies.

~ Courtesy of Company's Coming