My friends had a Stag and Doe last
night and I catered it. On the menu was: sausage rolls, samosas, mini pizzas, fruit kebabs, grilled vegetable and herbed
cream cheese roll ups, and more cupcakes.
Fun was had, but my feet are definitely paying the price today.
It was my niece’s 2nd
birthday party yesterday so I made the cupcakes and mini cake for the
party. The cupcakes were vanilla with
vanilla icing and I topped them with fondant tulips. The cupcakes were a hit and my niece loved
her cake, which was so over the top that she finally exclaimed “there’s cake
under here!” once she had waded through the fondant and icing. Happy Birthday D!
I’m actually doing a dangerous thing posting this cookie recipe as they are highly addictive. I’m speaking as someone who has been highly addicted to them myself so I know (There are other addicts out there in various stages of recovery, with my sister being one). Hopefully you will be stronger than me and not become addicted, but rather will enjoy these cookies in a more restrained manner. These cookies are incredibly versatile and only have 5 ingredients which can be mixed by hand, which is another reason I like them so much. I’ve included four variations but use your imagination and I bet you could come up with many more.
7 oz room temperature butter (1 scant cup or 12 tbsp)
¾ cup icing sugar
4 large egg yolks
3 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat your oven to 35o degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Cream together the butter and icing sugar. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and mix. Gradually add the flour until combined.
See piping techniques below.
Technique # 1 – Piping
I realize not every one is proficient in using a piping bag and the technique can be intimidating, but once you’ve tried it you’ll find it’s not as hard as it looks. Take your piping bag and insert tip #195 or #172 or other large tip. Fill half the bag with cookie dough and twisting the top of the bag, add pressure to the bag to make a snake shape onto a parchment lined pan. The size is up to you but I generally make my cookies around 4 inches long and 2 inches wide. Bake in a 350 degree F. oven, on a parchment lined pan for approximately 20 minutes or until browned on the top and bottom. Drizzle with white and dark chocolate or dip in chocolate and add sprinkles.
You can also make stars by adding pressure straight down and letting the dough squeeze out to the desired size.
Once cooled drizzle with white and dark chocolate.
Technique # 2 – Rolled
Chill the dough for approximately 1 hour in the fridge before rolling. Spread a little flour on your surface and on the top of your dough. Roll out to the desired thickness (I usually roll to about ¼ inch) and cut out with a cookie cutter. Using a spatula lift onto a parchment lined pan and bake for approximately 15 minutes in a preheated oven set to 350 degrees F.
Technique # 3 - Cinnamon Sugar
Using your hands roll a tbsp sized ball in cinnamon sugar. Bake for 15 minutes on a parchment lined pan at 350 degrees F.
Technique # 4 – Jam thumbprints Using your hands roll a tbsp sized ball and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Press your thumb into the center of the cookie, making a well. Fill with your favourite jam and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F.
I have one of these smoothies pretty much every weekend. They are great if you're in a rush and need some nutrition in your life, and they're also great when you're just relaxing around the house.
You can use any fruit of your choice, fresh or frozen it all tastes good and the fruit choices are endless: raspberries, strawberries, pineapple, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, nectarines, etc. Any fruit juice or milk will do but I usually use orange juice. I generally use plain yogurt but feel free to use what you like.
1 large banana 2 cups of fruit 1 cup of yogurt 2 tbsp honey
1/4 to 1/2 cup of liquid such as milk or fruit juice
Combine all ingredients except the liquid in a blender and whiz it up. Add the liquid gradually until you have the consistency you desire.
My Friday's at the bake are generally spent making cakes for the weekend. I love making cakes for kids birthday parties and always get really cute descriptions of what the kids want from the parents. This cake was made for a little boy's birthday party and is a chocolate cake with vanilla butter cream icing. The insects are made out of a rolled fondant, which is pretty much like an edible play dough.
Now that it’s almost summer (yes I know it
was snowing in Calgary 2 days ago) we all need music to listen to while porch sitting/beer
drinking/bbqing.Band of Horses fits the
bill perfectly with their chill and addictive music.I love the song "No one's gonna love you" so much! You can view videos and listen to some of
their songs at both their myspace and website, or take a look below.
Chocolate and mint is a classic flavour
combination and these cookies are quite tasty.
You can also use the dough for cut-outs, which are great for birthday parties
or a wedding shower.The recipefor the dough comes from Anna Olson ofFood Network Canada.
Chocolate Mint Cookies
¾ cup butter, room temperature
1 cup icing sugar
6 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp milk
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1/8 tsp baking powder
Mix butter and icing sugar together. Scrape down sides of bowl and add cocoa
powder and mix. Add vanilla, egg yolk,
and milk. Add flour, salt and baking
Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for a
minimum of 20 minutes.
Dust surface with icing sugar or flour and roll dough to
1/8 inch thickness. Cut into desired
shapes and place on pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
½ cup butter, softened
2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp mint extract
Cream butter, icing sugar and mint extract
together, beating until fluffy. If desired
add food colouring.
To assemble cookies take 1 tbsp of icing
and sandwich between two cookies. Dust
with icing sugar.
To make cut-outs use cookie cutters of the
desired shape. Bake for 12-15 minutes
and cool. Drizzle with chocolate or dust
with icing sugar.
I have house guests this weekend but didn’t
feel like making a big elaborate breakfast. These muffins are quick and easy
and are pretty healthy with the banana and flax.
Banana, Chocolate and Flax Muffins
3 ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup plus 1 tbsp melted butter
½ cup white sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
½ cup chocolate chips
3 tbsp flax
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a bowl mash the bananas. Mix the egg, vanilla and melted butter. Add the sugars and combine. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking
powder, baking soda, salt and flax seeds.
Add dry ingredients to the wet and chocolate chips and mix briefly, you want to retain a few
lumps and not overmix or the muffins will be tough.
Grease a muffin tin and add muffin cups if
using. Divide the batter between the 12 cups and bake for approximately 25
minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.