Cookies are my friend. If I had to choose one dessert to eat for the rest of my life it would be cookies. I love their endless adaptability in shape, size and flavour, their perfectly proportioned serving size, and the fact that they freeze so well, meaning you can have them on hand at all times. They are the perfect individual dessert, in my mind – move over cupcakes! Give me a cup of chai tea and a cookie and I’m a happy camper.
These particular cookies have one of my favourite textures. Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside. They’re basically a chewy oatmeal cookie and a peppery gingersnap all in one. What’s not to love?
On a cold winter night with a cup of hot tea in hand, I can’t imagine a better accompaniment.
Spicy Oatmeal Snaps
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
5 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1/2 cup rolled oats
Combine flour, spices and baking soda in a small bowl. Set aside
Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in vanilla and egg. Stir in flour and oats; mix until everything is evenly distributed.
Roll, or scoop out 1 tablespoon balls of dough and place 2-3 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350ºF for 12 minutes or until crisp on the edges. Cool 2-3 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
I”ve been eating these Ginger Crinkle Cookies since I was a little girl, except we grew up calling them Ginger Snaps. The name felt a little bit misleading because these cookies are soft and not snappy at all, so I thought I”d switch it up. Hope you don”t mind, Mom! ;)
I looked so forward to these cookies every time my mom made them. I still remember coming home from school and the house being filled with the smell of sugar and spices. I don”t think there”s a more comforting smell (well, besides the cuddly smell of a newborn baby. Can”t beat that!).
Warm spices may be more reminiscent of fall but even in the spring and summer we need that bit of comfort to make us feel warm and fuzzy inside. These are lightly spiced so they are a great cookie to serve any time of year. We made them a bit more spring-like by sandwiching them with Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream (recipe to come!). It was such a perfect combination that I”m definitely going to be doing it again soon. It”s a great way to bridge the gap between the cooler weather and the warmth to come – because here in western Canada it is still cold! I think I need to go make some more cookies to comfort myself.
Ginger Crinkle Cookies
1.5 cups butter, softened
2 cups sugar (+ more for coating)
1/2 cup molasses
4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cloves
Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and molasses. Combine dry ingredients and blend into butter mixture. Shape into 1 inch balls. Roll in sugar to coat. Place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 350ºF for 8-10 minutes (no obvious browning should appear). Allow to cool several minutes before removing to wire wracks or paper towel to cool completely.
Canadian Thanksgiving is just around the corner and although I don’t make a huge feast for just the three of us, I do have fun making a few things here and there to remind me of home.
A turkey dinner is just not complete without some Cranberry Jelly (or sauce, depending on your preference). I never realized just how easy it was to make until I stumbled across this recipe on Martha Stewart.
There seems to be an error in the original recipe as it didn’t set up when done as written (and from reading the comments I wasn’t the only one with this problem) so I reheated the “jelly” and added another tablespoon of gelatin and that gave the perfect consistency for me (this is how it is written below).
I really love the addition of the ginger. It rounds out the flavour of the cranberries and adds something a little special. If you don’t like ginger you could substitute orange zest, or leave it out completely to enjoy a clean cranberry taste.
Any leftovers would be great on freshly baked scones with a pad of butter and would add some life to leftover turkey sandwiches.
I don’t think I’ll ever go back to buying the canned stuff. It’s just too easy and delicious to make it yourself.
Last week I was feeling good enough to break my six weeks of baking silence. Let me tell you, it felt wonderful! My poor hubby has been deprived of homemade goods for so long that he was almost giddy when he found out I was actually going to bake him a pie (and one of his favourites at that!). So giddy in fact, that he decided to capture the process on film. He did such a good job of capturing why I love to bake.
James and I love pie so much that we had it at our wedding instead of cake. Our mothers went through lot’s of work that summer making and freezing pies for the big day. Strawberry Rhubarb was definitely one that we requested be on the menu.
This recipe is a little bit different then your average Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. The obvious reason being that it has a crumble, which makes it that much more of a breeze if you have frozen pie shells in your freezer. The other reason is that the filling is infused with the flavours of cinnamon and ginger. They give such a warmth and richness to the pie. I think I may need to make another soon.
Toss rhubarb, strawberries, cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a bowl until well combined. Pour into pie shell. Cover with crumble topping. Bake at 400ºF for 20 minutes then lower the heat to 350ºF and bake for an additional 40 minutes until crust and crumble is golden brown and filling is bubbly.
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup butter, melted
Mix together all ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle over pie.
* I used this recipe for the crust. It has been my go to for years. Except I make it with butter instead of shortening and I froze the other half for another day.
First off let me shout from the rooftops, I LOVE THIS SOUP!! If the North American version of Chicken Noodle Soup had a pretty, tasty, asian cousin, this would be it. This soup is wholesome, comforting and exotic. The asian flavours are unmistakable, and I feel right at home sipping the broth and slurping up the noodles. I was a little afraid I would not be able to find all of the ingredients, but they were actually quite easy to come by. I really think you should go out and get everything to make this soup right now. You will not regret it!
I made Caramel Peanut Wontons for the dessert portion. Check out the post here.
Vietnamese Chicken Pho
2 Tbsp. whole coriander seeds
4 whole cloves
2 whole star anise
8 cups chicken stock
1 chicken breast (bone in or boneless)
1 3-inch chunk of ginger, sliced and smashed with side of knife
1 to 2 Tbsp. sugar
1 to 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 lb. (500g) dried rice noodles (¼ inch wide)
To make the Chicken Pho Broth: heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the coriander seeds, cloves and star anise and toast until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Immediately spoon out the spices to avoid burning.
In a large pot, add all the ingredients (including the toasted spices), except noodles, and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes, skimming the surface frequently.
Use tongs to remove the chicken breast and shred the meat with a fork, discarding the bone if you have used bone-in breasts.
Taste the broth and add more fish sauce or sugar, if needed. Strain the broth and discard the solids.
Prepare the noodles as per directions on the package.
Ladle the broth into bowls. Then divide the shredded chicken breast and the soft noodles evenly into each bowl.
Have the accompaniments spread out on the table. Each person can customize their own bowl with these ingredients.
*all toppings are optional
2 cups bean sprouts, washed and tails pinched off
fresh cilantro (coriander) tops (leaves and tender stems)