CHOCOLATE CHUNK CANDY CANDY COOKIES

Can you believe it, Christmas is upon us

I would like to share some of my favourite recipes with you over the coming weeks

This is a great recipe to make with your kids, young or old. You can make it your own by adding some of your family’s favourite things.

Like Almond or Pecan Chocolate, replace 1 cup of Chocolate with 1 cup of chopped Roasted Salted Almond or Roasted Pecans

How about 1 cup of White Chocolate and 1 cup Dark Dark or

1 cup of White Chocolate and 1 cup of chopped dried Cranberries

The possibilities are endless, just remember to keep the ratio to 2 cups

If you just want to make Chocolate Chunk cookies you won’t be disappointed

I’m sure once you try this recipe it will become one of your family’s favourite Cookies

Enjoy

Happy Baking

CHOCOLATE CHUNK CANDY CANE COOKIES

Ingredients

·       2 cups All purpose flour

¾  teaspoons baking soda

·       ½ teaspoons coarse salt

·       ¾  cup ( 6oz ) salted butter - melted

·       1 cup light brown sugar, packed

·       ½  cup granulated sugar

·       1 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk   room temperature

·       2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

·       2 cups bittersweet chocolate chopped  *** I use P.C Dark Chocolate 70% cocoa solids ***

·       ½ cup crushed candy canes   *** I use crushed candy canes from The Bulk Barn ***

 

 

Instructions

1.     Sift together  A.P flour, baking soda,  and salt into a medium sized bowl and set aside.

2.     In the bowl of your mixer, cream together your melted butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add in the egg + egg yolk , one at a time, until combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add in the vanilla and mix. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, until just moistened. Fold in your chocolate  until evenly added throughout the dough. Press plastic wrap against the dough, making sure it is completely covered, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or as long as 72 hours This is an important step, as it allows the gluten in the dough to loosen up (you know how if you beat your dough too much, your cookies will be rock hard? Allowing it to rest for a period of time helps to undo some of this damage). It also helps the cookies to not spread out too much; warm dough spreads, cold dough stays in nice, uniform circles.

3.     When you are ready to bake, bring the dough to room temperature so that you can scoop it out (I usually let it just sit on my counter for an hour or two), and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper . Scoop your dough out onto the sheets. I used a small ice cream scoop, which is about the size of 2 tablespoons, but you can make them even larger, if you like. Dip the top of the cookie ball in the candy canes Do not press the dough down - let it stay the way it is. You can sprinkle the cookies lightly with a bit of fleur de sel or sea salt if you like. Bake 10-12 minutes for smaller cookies (mine took about 11 minutes), or 18-20 minutes for larger cookies. ** Note the cookie should be a light golden brown, remember the cookie continue to cook after you have taken them out of the oven

4.     Allow the cookies to cool slightly on your baking sheet, then move them to a cooling rack  to cool completely. You can enjoy these warm, room temperature, or cold. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 7 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted on November 14, 2018 .
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Comfort Food for a Winter Day

Well it goes without saying that this has been one of the coldest snow filled winters we have seen for many years. If you are like me you just can't wait for the warmer temperatures of spring to arrive.

In the meantime we have to make the best of what we have and one of the easiest most satisfying things we can make during this drab time is soup. You really can't beat a steaming bowl of homemade soup to warm you through on a cold winters' day.

Try this Black Bean-Tomato Soup with Lime Sour Cream.

Yields 4 Servings

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of grape-seed oil (substitute your preferred oil).
1 small onion chopped
1 stalk celery chopped
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 garlic clove minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes, undrained
14 fluid ounces of reduced sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup of sour cream
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
The juice of half a fresh lime
The zest of half a fresh lime
1 tablespoon of fresh cilantro or parsley (optional)

In a large pot heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until the celery is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the 3/4 teaspoon of cumin, chile powder, smoked paprika and garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in the ground pepper, black beans, tomatoes and broth, bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat to simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Once cooked use an immersion blender* to puree the liquid.

Combine the sour cream, 1/4 teaspoon of cumin, lime juice and zest and chopped cilantro or parsley (if using). Drizzle cream over the soup. Enjoy!!

*NOTE
If you don't have an immersion blender (get one LOL!!)
You can use a blender to puree the soup. Place half the mixture in a blender, put on the lid but remove the centre piece to allow steam to escape. Cover the opening with a clean towel to avoid spatters. Blend until smooth, pour into a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Keep warm until you have prepared your cream.

Serve with crusty bread. 



Posted on February 23, 2015 .
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Simple Chocolate Mousse

Want to impress your friends and family?   This mousse takes no time to make, but the results are amazing.

 

Ingredients:

-2 Cups of 35% whipping cream
-7 oz. of bittersweet chocolate, chopped

 

•    Whip cream to soft peaks, set a side
•    Place chopped chocolate in a microwave safe bowl
•    Set microwave on 50% power setting
•    Microwave chocolate for 40 seconds intervals, stir and repeat until chocolate in fully melted
•    Fold 1/3 melted chocolate gently into the whipped cream
•    Mix remaining chocolate into the whipped cream, mix only until combined as you will deflate      the cream if you over mix
•    Pipe or spoon the mousse into glass bowls and garnish with fresh fruit and whipped cream.

Posted on September 24, 2014 .
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Cure for the winter blues

Around these parts winter is refusing to loosen its' grip, record cold temperatures and snow are taking their toll on our daily lives. Here is a little something to take you away from this, at least for a short time.

This concoction is a luxurious velvety drink, combining everyone's favourite tastes, coffee and chocolate and what makes it even better it is super easy to make.

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Ingredients:

  • Strong brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup of high quality chocolate pieces or chips. (Bittersweet or Milk, your choice)
  • Whipping cream

Have your hot brewed coffee on hand. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt it over a pan of boiling water, stirring continuously, Make sure only steam comes in contact with the bowl, if water touches the bowl the chocolate will set and be of no use. Beat the whipping cream until it becomes thick (not stiff).

Line up a couple of mugs or heatproof glasses. Half fill with coffee, add the melted chocolate, until about 3/4 full, stir vigorously.

Top up with the thick cream.

Find yourself a comfy chair and enjoy.

Posted on February 25, 2014 .
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Gingerbread Men

Well it's that time of year again, Halloween is over and for sure you know what's coming!

Yes it's Christmas, the stores will be getting busier and good old Santa will be appearing in shopping malls all over the place.

So to get you in the mood here is a tried and true recipe for my favourite kind of guy....The Gingerbread Man, he can be as tall and dark and as handsome as you wish!

Make some now because they surely wont last until Christmas, this will give you lots of practice before the big day.....Enjoy.

 

 Pre heat oven 350*F      Bake 12-14 minutes

 

Ingredients: 

3 cups all purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon all spice

½ cup unsalted butter (room temperature)

½ cup sugar

1 large egg (room temperature)

2/3 cup un-sulphured molasses (To prevent molasses from sticking to the measuring cup first spray with non-stick cooking spray)

 

Gingerbread Men: 

· In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. 

· In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, (or with a hand mixer) beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

· Add the egg and molasses and beat until well combined. 

· Gradually add the flour mixture beating until incorporated.

· Divide the dough in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (at least two hours or even overnight). 

· Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

· On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Use a gingerbread cutter to cut out the cookies. 

· With an offset spatula, lift the cookies onto the baking sheet, placing about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. If you are hanging the cookies or using as gift tags, make a hole at the top of the cookies with a straw or end of a wooden skewer. (If cookies are a little soft, place the baking sheet (with the cookies) in the fridge for about 10 minutes. This will prevent the cookies from losing their shape.)

· Bake for about 12 - 14 minutes depending on the size of the cookies.

· They are done when they are firm and the edges are just beginning to brown. 

· Remove the cookies from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for about 1 minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. If desired, you can press raisins, currants, or candies into the dough for eyes and buttons while the cookies are still warm. Otherwise, Icing can be used to decorate the cookies. Store in an airtight container.

· To make chocolate gingerbread cookies follow all steps for gingerbread men, use a round or square cookie cutter, Dip half of cookie in melted chocolate,

 

Icing:

· 2 cups (230 grams) icing sugar (powdered sugar), sifted

· 1/2 cup (113         grams) unsalted butter,         room temperature

· 1 teaspoon pure vanilla                

· 1 1/2 tablespoons         milk or light cream

· In an electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth and well blended. 

· Add the vanilla extract.

· With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the sugar. scrape down the sides of the bowl and beaters.

· Add the milk and beat on high speed until icing is light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes).

· Add a little more milk if needed. icing with food color, if desired.

· Place the icing in a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and decorate the gingerbread men as desired.

· Makes about 3 dozen cookies depending on the size of cookie cutter used.

 

Posted on November 11, 2013 .
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Cairn Terrier Club of Canada 40th Anniversary

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The Cairn Terrier Club of Canada (CTCC) celebrated its' 40th Anniversary on May 19, 2013. Being the owner of two Cairns I was honoured to be asked to make a cake to celebrate this very special occasion.

At this time the club is thriving and all clans are doing well. There are approximately 250 members in the Eastern Division who own and love the Cairn Terrier, known as the Best Little Pal in the World.

I would like to add a special thank you to Elisabeth Scougal for inviting me to make the cake.

Norma.

Posted on May 22, 2013 .
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The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread...........Well Maybe!

Almost on a daily basis new kitchen gadgets and tools are introduced, for the most part they are given a cursory glance and we move on.

However, once in a while something comes along that really changes things and really does make your life easier.

Last Christmas my brother who fancies himself around a stove, so he looks out for this stuff gave me a stocking stuffer which I can honestly say I have used everyday since. It is an ingenious elevated spatula spoon from a U.K. company named Joseph Joseph.

spoon.jpg

What's the big deal you ask?  Well this simple "spoon" really combines a number of uses. It is made of silicone so it can stand very high temperatures (270C/520F), you can use it like a regular spoon, but when it comes to scraping the bowl or pan its' spatula-ness (I made that word up) kicks in, to guarantee you get every single morsel of goodness from your container. Finally this marvel has a weighted handle so the head is always raised off your work surface to keep things clean, very cool.

One more point, these spoons come in a variety of sizes and colours so it easy to differentiate your sweet and savoury spoons.
Check your local kitchen supplier or the Joseph Joseph website.

Posted on March 21, 2013 .
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Hot Chocolate!

Indulge yourself with the best hot chocolate you will ever make.
I know Spring is just around the corner but there are is still quite a bit of time before we shut off the furnace and shed the heavy jackets. Plus there is never a bad time to indulge in the pure luxury of a cup of creamy smooth hot chocolate. So I tell myself.

hot chocolate.jpg

This recipe is simplicity itself so you can make it for yourself during a break in your household chores or when the kids and your significant other have gone to bed.
This is therapy in a cup!

Remember whole milk is better than cream. Purchase the best quality chocolate you can afford, this is available in the gourmet section of your supermarket or seek out a specialty store in your area. Do not use commercial chocolate bars as they have a high sugar content which impairs the flavour

2 cups of whole milk
5ozs. of Bittersweet chocolate chopped.

Brown Sugar (optional).

Heat the milk slowly in a pan, as it warms up add the chocolate, whisk constantly until the chocolate is melted and the liquid starts to thicken. If you want a thicker consistency lower the heat slightly and continue to whisk for another 2 or 3 minutes.
Taste and add brown sugar if desired.

Pour into your favourite cup, put your feet up and enjoy.

Posted on March 8, 2013 .
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