Tag Archives: holidays

Easy Icebox Shortbread Cookies {Featured Post}

Happy holiday cookie baking everybody!

I recently shared a recipe post over at Hello Creative Family, all about Easy Icebox Shortbread Cookies.  This is a dream cookie dough mix for busy bakers during the holidays!  It’s a super versatile, delicious, buttery dough, that can mixed into 4 different cookie flavours, and the best part is, that the dough can be made well ahead of time.   Just follow this link to the recipe here:

http://hellocreativefamily.com/easy-icebox-shortbread-cookies-recipe/

Check out the recipe and start your holiday baking off right!

Happy cookie baking friends,

Renee

xo

 

Back-To-Basics-Easy-Icebox-Shortbread-Cookies-Recipe

 

 

 

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Better Ginger Cookies

This week I’ve decided to showcase one of my earlier recipes, with a kind of rewind.  Mom’s Ginger Cookies make their appearance at every family get together.  I had them at my wedding.  I sold them in the bake shop.  It’s hands down my most favourite cookie, the recipe that literally ignited my love for baking and all things sweet.  Just the smell takes me home instantly.  Perhaps it has to do with the hours spent with mom in the kitchen, rolling cookies in sugar.  My innocent seven year old self, standing on a chair beside her, taking in her love and kitchen knowledge like a sponge.  The music was always playing loudly while we worked, moms foot tapping away.  The same scene still holds true for my baking today.

 

ginger cookies- SweetRevelations

I originally posted the recipe using butter and dark brown sugar.  But I’ve got to admit, that this is one of those times that mom was right, and the recipe really tastes best as originally written, with shortening and white sugar.   The shortening produces a better cookie in this instance, that has a nice rise, a slightly crispy first bite, with a tender, chewy center.  I’ve kept the crystalized ginger in there too, not one of moms additions, but it adds just an extra zing that is drool worthy!

ginger cookie - SweetRevelations

 

This is one of my go to recipes around the holidays, because these cookies are easily made ahead and frozen, with absolutely no compromise to taste.  They are an excellent addition to dessert trays, and a sweet and spicy hostess gift, best delivered in a pretty holiday tin.  I almost always have a batch in my freezer.  Truth be told, I love to dip these frozen gems in hot tea.  Mom froze baked goods to keep us out of them, but I sneaked them just the same, and developed a love for frozen cookies and bars.  I’m guessing many of you did the same.

We’re heading full swing into holiday season every body.  This is one cookie tradition that is best left untouched.  Thanks mom.

Happy baking friends,

Renee

xo

Ginger Cookies

Pre-heat oven to 325°

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger

 

1.   In a small bowl sift together the flour, soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt, set aside.  In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, sugar and molasses until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and mix well.  Slowly add dry ingredients into creamed mixture. Mix just until flour is combined.  Stir in crystallized ginger.   Shape into 1″ balls and roll in sugar (no need to flatten).

2.   Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about 2″ apart.  Bake for 14 minutes (exactly!).  Cookies will still be soft when they come out of the oven.  Leave cookies on pan for 2 minutes then move them to a cooling rack.

Notes:

  1. For larger, bakery style cookies, roll into larger balls.  Simply increase your baking time by a few minutes.  I often make 2″ balls when baking for gifts.  I increase my baking time to approx. 18 minutes with the 2 minute rest on the cookie sheet.
  2. This recipe is easily doubled, even tripled.
  3. The cooled cookies freeze very well, for a few weeks.
  4. These cookies make the BEST s’mores!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gingerbread Loaf {Starbucks Copycat Recipe}

You’re going to be so glad you stopped by today.  You’re probably right in the throes of the holiday season and I’m going to give you some advice that will make this Christmas insanely magical for you.

Are you ready for it?

gingerbread slices

Make this bread. Period.

Make it once and you’ll make it ten more times this week.  Wrap it up with a sweet little  tag and hand it out as gifts to anyone who didn’t make the naughty list this year.   Heck, give it to the naughty people.  It’s good for their soul.

gingerbread gift loaf

It’s seriously that good.   And completely over the top with some good coffee to go with it.   Or, out of this world with a cup of coffee and a really good friend to share it with.

It’s incredibly moist.  And deliciously spicy.  And needs nothing more than a simple glaze on top.

gingerbread loaf4

What’s your most comforting flavor of the holiday season?

Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf Recipe

*Starbucks Secret Recipes

Loaf:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
2 1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp orange extract
1 cup applesauce
1 tsp baking soda
Glaze:
1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
2-3 tbsp cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 350°

1.  In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in orange extract.  Mix baking soda into applesauce and stir into creamed butter mixture.  Add flour mixture. Mix until smooth, but don’t over mix.

2.  Pour batter into greased and floured loaf pan.  Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.  Glaze while slightly warm.

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Wild Blueberry Pie

My sister bought me a blueberry candle for my birthday.  I had it lit last night for quite a while and, no kidding, I woke up this morning with plans to bake a pie today.  Yup, blueberry pie to be exact (I bet you knew that was coming).

I love blueberries for many reasons – if you’ve picked up any kind of magazine lately the blueberry is sporting the fancy ‘superfruit’ title because it’s packed with antioxidants and vitamins.   This tiny fella tastes good on just about anything.  And, check out the august issue of Canadian Living for its gorgeous Blueberry Martini recipe.

I love them because they remind me of Cape Breton Island and my trips there during the summer.  My dad had a beautiful home right on the water and dozens of wild blueberry plants growing all over his property.   Nova Scotia is the second largest grower of blueberries in the world.

So… I guess it’s fate…the candle, my new magazine, Cape Breton on the brain… time to get to work!

First, use your best pastry recipe for a double crust 9″ pie.  Then fill with wild blueberries (recipe to follow).

The whole time I was making this pie I was thinking about all of the times I have visited Cape Breton.  I always seem to associate good memories with some kind of food…weird isn’t it?

Is it?  Do you think of someone or something when you bake a certain kind of pie or cake?  Post a comment, I sure would love to hear it.

Wild Blueberry Pie Filling

*from Canadian Living Magazine

  • 6 cups fresh or frozen wild blueberries
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1.    Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and set aside while you prepare the crust.

2.  Pour filling into the bottom half of a 9″ crust.  Place top crust and pinch crusts together.  Brush top with an egg wash (1 yolk mixed with 2 tbsp water) and sprinkle with coarse sugar.   Cut steam vents in the top.

3.  Bake at 425° for twenty minutes, then reduce temperature to 350° and bake for 55-60 minutes until crust is golden brown.

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