Archive for December 13th, 2008

I have now baked about 11 items, and am officially announcing that I am tired of baking!

  • Bargain Basement Barb’s Chocolate Chip Cookie
  • Peanut Butter Bars (new)
  • Lauren’s Spice Cookies (new)
  • Donkey Ears
  • Chocolate Mint Hershey Kiss Cookies
  • Peppermint Bark
  • 2-Bite Chewy Chocolate Brownies (new)
  • 2-Bite Butterscotch Blondies (new)
  • Namaimo Bars (new) – I may not make this
  • Anzac Biscuits
  • Butterscotchy Almond Bars (new)

I will be assembling my baked gifts next week, as our Christmas celebrations continue!

Last night we were out with my work gang for our Christmas Pool Game and then later to Le Select for dinner (my favorite French restaurant in Toronto). We had 8:30 reservations, but were not seated until almost 9:30…dinner was around 10 (maybe even later). It was fun and delicious! Tonight we’re off to see the lights downtown!

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From the Five Roses Flour cookbook (Yield: 16-5 cm (2″) squares or about 30 mini muffin blondies). These are chewy and tasty, although not low in calories, but then again, it IS Christmas!



  • ¾ cup(s) Five Roses All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp alt
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 150ºC (300ºF).
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
  3. Melt butter and brown sugar over low heat. Remove from heat.
  4. Add slightly beaten egg, be careful not to cook the egg, make sure the mixture is not too hot.
  5. Blend in dry ingredients.
  6. Add vanilla and nuts; stir well.
  7. Spread mixture into a prepared 20 cm (8″) square pan or mini muffin cups. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cut into squares while still warm and cool completely in pan before serving. Cool mini muffins in pan completely before turning out.

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Not one to give up too easily, I am trying another bread, not abandoning my wild yeast starter, but putting it on hold. I am looking for a chewy, sourdoughy texture and I came across the recipe below (in fact, what started me on this wild journey in the first place was Jim Lahey’s no knead sourdough bread!). The recipe below is an adaptation – I am making it from primarily whole wheat flour – yes, I am stubborn and simply cannot use a recipe verbatim, and therefore I will have many more failures than most!)

No-Knead Bread (originally Jim Lahey’s No Knead Bread Recipe from Sullivan Street Bakery in the Big Apple)
Yields one 1 1/2 pound loaf

  • 1 cup all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.
  1. In a large bowl (not metal) combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
  2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
  3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
  4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven.
  5. Dust the entire ball of dough gently with cornmeal or wheat bran, including the bottom, this will prevent the dough from sticking to the pan.
  6. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack. So far, this is really the best one!

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