Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sugar & Spice Cookies

These are one of my favorite Christmas cookies. In fact, I like them so much I couldn't wait for Christmas! These skeleton cookies are made with a Wilton cookie cutter and premade icing for super easy cookie making. My advice is to follow the pictures and let each colour set for 10 minutes or so before adding another colour.

1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 teaspooon nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt

What to do
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In large bowl, beat butter and sugars together until smooth about 3 minutes.
  • Beat in egg and vanilla. Beat for an additional 2 minutes.
  • In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.
  • Stir in dry ingredients into butter mixture in 2 additions.
  • Flatten dough into a disk shape.
  • Wrap disc in plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for at least an hour.
  • Roll out each disc into 1/8 inch thickness.
  • Using 3 inch cookie cutters, cut out shapes and place on ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, until edges are browned.
  • Immediately move to cooling racks.
  • Makes about 30 cookies.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Crunchy Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are similar to the flourless peanut butter cookies I posted previously but they have less sugar and no baking powder. In fact, you could even leave out the chocolate if you didn't have any on hand. But only if you have to because I think chocolate and peanut butter is one of the world's best flavour combinations! By grinding the chocolate, the chocolate and peanut butter flavours truly mix into a great little cookie.

1 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 tbsp ground flax
1/2 cup sugar (brown or white)
1 large egg
300 g dark chocolate

What to do
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a food processor, pulse chocolate until coursely ground.
  • In a large bowl, add all ingredients and stir until well combined (or mix on low with electric beaters).
  • Roll into 24 balls.
  • Equally distribute and place on two cookie sheets.
  • Bake for 20 minutes until golden. Do not over bake.
  • Cool for 5 minutes on pans and then move to cooling racks.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Halloween Links

Hi All! I just wanted to post the links to other Halloween inspired recipes on the site. This weekend I'll be making skeleton sugar cookies and some new marshmallow zombies and frankensteins so check back early next week for those posts!

Alien Donuts

Zombie Marshmallow Sticks

Halloween Cookies

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My "Mummies" Favorite Gingerbread Cookies

Halloween is almost here! The kids and I sat down and decorated a bunch of gingerbread cookies last weekend. I didn't want to make royal icing so instead I used some premade Wilton icing that I had on hand. Since I only had white and red, we were limited in design options but the kids didn't seem to mind as they piled Halloween coloured sprinkles on top of everything!

The mummy and ghost and skeleton cookies are easy to create and don't take a lot of time or precision! My kind of cookie....especially when you have 60 cookies to decorate. The recipe below is simple and delicious. If you roll them thinner you will get a crispy gingerbread cookie but I like them softer so rolled them out to 6mm instead.

Happy Halloween!

1/2 c shortening
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 c fancy molasses
2-3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

What to do 
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat shortening and sugar together for 4 minutes until light and creamy.
  • Add and beat in egg and molasses.
  • In another bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.
  • With a wooden spoon and in 3 additions, add the flour mixture to the shortening bowl.
  • If dough is stiff, use your hands!
  • Divide the the dough in two.
  • Flatten dough into discs between pieces of wax paper and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness (6mm).
  • Using 3 inch cookie cutters, cut out shapes.
  • Place on cookie sheets lined with silpats or parchment paper.
  • Freeze for 20 minutes.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  • Let cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely before decorating.
  • Makes about 30 cookies.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Carrot and Ginger Soup

This soup tastes great AND is healthy, lowfat and low calorie. The recipe was on an Oprah episode many years ago and it has been on my "go to" soup list ever since.

Learn from my mistakes! The second time I made this soup, we were staying at my future in-laws for the weekend (thankfully they were away). When it was time to blend the soup, I forgot to a) do it in smaller batches and b) to leave off the little lid in the middle of the top of the soon as I pressed the "puree" button the soup exploded from the container...the walls, the ceiling, the floor, the counters were covered in carrots! I wouldn't be surprised if there were a few orange spots still there! So please, blend in small batches and remove the center vent in the blender lid (cover it with a folded dish cloth and keep it in place with your hand).

PS You can also strain the soup after blending is you want, I prefer the texture without straining it.

• Cooking oil spray or 2 tsp oil
• 1 thinly sliced large spanish onion
• 1 rib celery, thinly sliced
• 3⁄4 pound carrots, very thinly sliced
• 3 cups vegetable broth or chicken stock
• 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
• 1⁄2 c orange juice or 2 freshly squeezed oranges
• 1⁄2 tsp salt
• pepper to taste

What to do:
• Heat a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat.
• Coat with cooking oil spray or oil.
• Add onion and celery and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
• Add carrots and continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes.
• Add broth and ginger; bring to a boil.
• Add orange juice and salt.
• Reduce heat; cover and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes.
• Transfer mixture in batches to a blender or use an immersion hand held blender.
• Puree until smooth.
• Strain if desired.
• Reheat, if necessary; ladle into bowls or espresso cups.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Skeleton Cupcakes Recipe

My Mom told the kids this joke a couple of years ago and it remains one of their favorites:

Question: What did the skeleton say to his guests before dinner?

Answer: Bone Appetite!

Funny, right?! Anyways, Halloween is quickly coming up and we are almost prepared - costumes layed out (Green Lantern and a Witch), candy is bought, and the decorations are ready to go. I also have a few Halloween recipes to make. The first one is this beyond cute skeleton cupcake - in the interest of time I used a prepared cake mix but feel free to do it from scratch with your favorite cupcake recipe. A couple more Halloween inspired recipes should be creeping up soon so check back next week!

Adapted from Women's Day

Makes 16-18 cupcakes


  • 1 box (18.25 oz) cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/4 cup water
  • 2⁄3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tubs (16 oz each) cream cheese frosting (you'll have some left over frosting)
  • 18 marshmallows
  • 5 or 6-in. lollipop sticks
  • Black food-safe writing marker
  • 72 yogurt-covered mini-pretzels plus extra to allow for breakage
  • 1/2 c white candy melts

What to do
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 18 medium sized muffin cups with liners.

2. Beat cake mix, eggs, water, vanilla and oil in large bowl on low speed for 1 minute until blended; increase speed to medium and continue to beat for an additional 2 minutes until batter is smooth.

3. Immediately pour batter amongst muffin cups, filling each 2⁄3 full.

4. Bake 20 to 22 minutes until a wooden toothpick inserted into the centres comes out clean.

5. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes before removing cupcakes to rack to cool completely.

6. Frost cupcakes with frosting (I used a large tip and decorating bag).

7. Insert a lollipop stick into the long side of a marshmallow. With the black food-safe decorating pen, draw the skeleton face.

8. Melt white candy per directions on bag.

9. Carefully thread the lollipop stick through the smallest hole of the pretzel. Secure with some melted candy (use another lollipop stick to smear the candy - especially under the pretzel so it doesn't fall down.)

10. Repeat with two more pretzels so you now have the skeleton ribs. Make sure you leave enough room at bottom of the stick to insert fully into cupcake. (BUT don't insert them yet!)

11. Lay down carefully on cookie sheet to set (about 5 minutes).

12. Repeat with remaining lollipop sticks until you have enough skeletons.

13. Once set, insert into cupcakes.

14. Cut two more pretzels in half legthwise to use as arms (see picture as a guide). Again use melted candy to adhere them to the rib cage.