blog.

not your average shortbread.

 

You will notice that I love baking with citrus. It’s a personal favourite of mine and I think pastries are beautiful with the natural bright colours of citrus fruits.

Although I enjoy making complex, extravagant desserts, these Cranberry Citrus cookies are simple and turn out perfectly every time. Just in time for spring, squeeze into your favourite spring time outfit and try cooking up these beautiful little morsels!

Ingredients needed: ½ c. dried cranberries, ¾ c. sugar, divided, 2½ c. all purpose flour, 1 c. butter, cubed (and cold), ½t almond extract, zest of 1 orange, zest of 1 lemon, 2T fresh orange juice, 2T fresh lemon juice, additional sugar to coat cookies before baking

Directions:

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Combine cranberries and ¼ cup of sugar in a food processor and process just until the cranberries are broken down into smaller pieces. Set aside.
  • Combine flour and remaining sugar in a large bowl.
  • Add butter and flour mixture to the food processor and pulse. You want very fine crumbs.
  • Stir in extract and zest.
  • Use your hands to knead the dough until it comes together and forms a ball. Work the dough until it comes together. It will feel dry but it will come together.
  • Shape dough into a log about two inches in a diameter and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for two hours or up to 72 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 325F.
  • Cut slices of cookie dough about ¼ inch thick.
  • Place about a half a cup of sugar in a bowl and coat the cookie slices with sugar.
  • Place cookies on baking sheet and bake for approximately 12 minutes or just until cookies are set. Do not over bake!
  • Let cookies cool completely before removing to cooling rack.

Store in airtight container for 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Quick, simple, and bursting with delicious flavour, I know you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Amazing to have around when surprised with guests, cookie tins at Christmas, or for any occasion really. Always a crowd pleaser!

a little doodle.

Although we are a ways away from October, I need to share a fall recipe that has made its way into my recipe book for good.

I love everything pumpkin. Pumpkin carving, pumpkin candles, pumpkin decor, and of course, cooking with pumpkin. Typically, when cooking with pumpkin, people lean towards the sweeter side. Which I also tend to prefer. With that being said, I have created and found many recipes that highlight the delicious savoury side of pumpkin. This recipe isn’t one of them.

This recipe will satisfy that “I-have-to-have-something-sweet-and-chewy-and-pumpkiny-right-now” craving that many of us can empathize with.

Ingredients needed: all-purpose flour, cornstarch, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground allspice, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, unsalted butter, egg yolk, canned pumpkin puree, vanilla extract

Click for full Pumpkin Snickerdoodle recipe!

My conclusions:

  • I never have allspice in my house. I don’t dislike it, I just never buy it. Therefore, I’m a little heavier-handed when it comes to the other spices. Use your discretion and tastebuds.
  • As with most recipes, I don’t find much of an issue if you add a little more vanilla. I never measure vanilla.
  • I’m too impatient to refrigerate the dough. I’ve tried this recipe both ways (refrigerated and not), and don’t find much of a difference.
  • This batch makes a lot of cookies, roughly three dozen. I’m all for cutting recipes in half for smaller batches, but I don’t suggest it with this one; the single egg yolk makes it a little complicated. However, these cookies freeze beautifully. I suggest baking the whole batch and freezing the ones you don’t devour right away.

biscuits aplenty

I can’t express how much I love biscuits. I’ve been baking them since I could hold a spatula and they have continued to make regular appearances at my table. They are delicious, simple, and can be adapted to accompany any meal.

Many people will have a family recipe for biscuits. And personally, I think you need to find a recipe that you feel comfortable with but also that you love. Here is my grandmother’s basic biscuit recipe. I have altered this recipe many times to include ingredients like pumpkin (of course), garlic, cheese, onions, cinnamon, dried fruit…you name it and I’ve probably tried to put it in a biscuit. Point is, this recipe adapts well and is also delicious just as it is with a little honey and butter…mmm…I can almost taste them now…

Ingredients needed:  3 c. all purpose flour, 4t baking powder, 2t cream of tarter,
1t baking soda, 
1/2 c. unsalted butter/cubed, 0.5t salt, 0.5c butter, 1 egg, 1 c.milk*

Directions:

• Preheat over to 400°c.

  • Note: You can easily make this recipe in a bowl. However, I love using a food processor. It makes it way less likely that i’ll over work the mixture which results in fluffier, more tender biscuits.

• Combine all of your dry ingredients in your food processor.

• Put your cubed, cold butter in the processor. Pulse until the butter is roughly pea sized and semi-incorporated into your dry mixture.

• In a separate container, whisk together your milk and egg.

*  Feel free to use whatever % milk you have on hand or a dairy free milk like almond or oat milk.

• Add wet mixture to the food processor and mix until the mixture is nearly combined. It’s ok if the mixture hasn’t completely come together.

• Lightly flour a clean surface and turn mixture out to finish mixing.

• I like to use my hands instead of a rolling pin. I find the biscuits turn out more rustic looking and puff up better. If desired, this would also be the time to add any cheese, dried fruit, etc. Once dough just comes together, pat your dough down until roughly 1 inch thick.

• Use your favourite cutter (or mason jar if your lazy like me), and cut out biscuits until you have used up all of your dough.

• Place your biscuits on a lightly greased cookie sheet, roughly 2-3 inches apart. Bake for 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

Devour immediately or let cool and store in an air-tight container/bag for up to 3 days.

Enjoy!

the almighty cheesecake

I have been baking, independently, for about 15 years, and I have never attempted to make a cheesecake until last year.

I love cheesecake. It is creamy, and sweet, and tangy, and everything I could ever want in a dessert. It is my love for cheesecake that made me terrified to make it. Reading recipes only frightened me more because they used terms like “water bath” and had cooking times that exceeded 4 hours. So I stuck to the “poor-man’s cheesecake” that consisted of cream cheese, cool whip, and a store bought crust; I hated myself. Creating this monstrosity was the bane of my existence, thought it is disgustingly delicious.

So last year, when my father requested I bring a cheesecake to Thanksgiving dinner, I accepted the challenge. Of course, being the season of pumpkins, my original thought was pumpkin cheesecake, but I’m the only one in my family that loves pumpkin so I opted for a different seasonal favourite…apple caramel. I opened up Pinterest and found this beauty.

Click for Caramel Apple Cheesecake recipe!

Ingredients needed: unsalted butter, apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, ground cloves or nutmeg, heavy whipping cream, graham crackers, granulated sugar, cream cheese, all-purpose flour, greek yogurt or sour cream, vanilla extract, milk, and eggs.

My conclusions:

  • I don’t have a cast iron skillet (add it to my wish list) but I do have stainless steal, so that’s what I used when making the apples.
  • I never have cloves so I used nutmeg.
  • The apples will keep their form so if you’re looking to make the dessert pretty, cut the apples as neatly as you can. I got lazy and the result wasn’t as beautiful as I wanted.
  • I cooked the apples too long before adding the sugar/cream mixture which forced me to take them out before the caramel had browned. This left the apples looking kind of milky when I removed them. Check your apples frequently to ensure this doesn’t happen.
  • Another wish list item, a roasting pan. Here it is…the ever daunting “water bath.” As I mentioned, I don’t have a pan that would fit my springform. So I did as the recipe said and lined the springform with aluminum foil, and that’s it.
  • Make your own crust. It’s so easy and 10x more delicious than store bought.
  • I used low-fat greek yogurt in the filling. Delicious.
  • I followed the remaining instructions (minus anything water bath related), including turning off the oven and waiting an additional hour (my oven door opens too far, so I stuck a wooden spoon in the side of the oven door and that worked brilliantly). It was during this time, that the cheesecake cracked…sigh…the dreaded cheesecake crack. But that’s ok! Because I made a delicious topping for this cheesecake that would cover that crack right up!

I made this cheesecake a day ahead and let me tell you, it was worth the wait. So good! This is one of the few recipes I have made that even I, the person who made it, was like “this is freaking amazing…good for me.”

And there you have it! If you’re afraid to make cheesecake, don’t be. It’s way easier than it seems and you’ll be a hero at the dinner table.