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Archive for December, 2009

Despite a minor set-back of catching a head cold, I am almost back on my feet. Having missed the last two days of work for the year (and feeling horrible for it), I spent the last two days holed up in bed, with our iTouch, the remote control and gallons of home-made chicken stock (thanks JT) and drugs, of course! I spent all of Tuesday hooked on a stupid show called Paranormal States which one main character goes from one forlorn to another searching paranormal occupations (be it in someone, or in someone’s house). After about 15 episodes, only one minor thing seemed like it was true, and even that could be dis-proven. So the moral of this story is TV is stupid. There I said it.

Today, I am feeling much better. I finally packaged up my baking and set out  JT to begin deliveries. To recap, I have baked the following:

  • Mexican Macaroons
  • Anzac Biscuits
  • Bargain Basement Barb’s Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies
  • Peanut Butter Cookies
  • Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Squares
  • Nanaimo Bars
  • Old Fashion Date Filled Aatmeal Cookies
  • Two Bite Brownies All the Goodies
  • Chocolate Krinkle Kisses

All the Goodies

Baking gIfts all bundled up

Merry Christmas to all of our friends and colleagues and we wish you health and happiness for the coming year.

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I was introduced to these cookies about 28 year’s ago when I visited my BFF at her parent’s home in Owen Sound. Her mom bought these cookies from a local bakery and I literally ate them all, could not believe how good they were (carbs were not my enemy in those days). I have made them from time to time, and they always bring back fond memories of those university days. I found this particular recipe in my second favorite cookbook, The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, first published in 1896, my version in it’s 12th edition. I did not alter this recipe.

March 5, 2012 update: This recipe has been altered because there were some inconsistencies that were brought to my attention by a reader so I have clarified.

November 24, 2013 update: I clarified that oatmeal in the ingredient listing are rolled oats.

Makes about 24 cookies.

Date Filled Oatmeal Cookies

Old Fashioned Date Filled Cookies

Ingredients for the Date Paste:

  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Ingredients for the Dough:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups rolled oats (I usually have quick oats at home and they work just fine). If you don’t like the texture of the oats in the dough, pulse a few times in a food processor to make it finer).

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a small saucepan, put the dates, sugar and water and gently cook until thick and smooth. Set aside and allow to cool completely.
  3. Cream the butter and add the brown sugar, mix well.
  4. Sift flour, baking soda and salt and add to the butter sugar mixture.
  5. Add the oatmeal, mixing thoroughly and adding 2-4 tbsp water to make a dough that can be rolled.
  6. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  7. Roll to 1/8 inch thick (if the dough is difficult to handle, you may wish to roll between two pieces of parchment), and cut with a 2″ cookie cutter. Place a teaspoon of the date paste into the centre and fold the two half edges together to make a crescent. Repeat until all the dough is used.
  8. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy!

A note about the pastry, updated January 2014: A-Boleyn, A long-time reader and dear friend made these cookies for Christmas 2013 and made adjustments to the pastry which made it look much easier to roll out (considering the issue I mentioned above), so please check out her recipe here.

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Peanut Butter Cookies

This recipe is adapted from one of my old faithful cookbooks,  Five Roses Guide to Good Cooking, page 117. Published in it’s 25th edition in 1983!

Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 3cups all purpose flour (Five Roses, of course) (if using regular peanut butter, reduce to about 2 cups)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter or margarine (room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 ggs
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter (I prefer Compliments Just Peanuts, crunchy – note that this pb is rather wet, so I’ve increased the flour for this recipe)
  1. Preheat oven to 375•F
  2. Sift dry ingredients together and set aside.
  3. Cream butter; add sugars beating well with each addition.
  4. Add eggs and beat well. Add peanut butter and mix well.
  5. Add dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  6. Shape into walnut-sized balls, flatten with the palm of your hand slightly and using the tines of a fork, press down.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until edges are golden. Allow to cool.
  8. Enjoy!
  9. Makes about 50 cookies, 2-3″ diametre

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Saturday I took my 6 year old niece for the day. We had a full day planned of skating, playing, baking and reading and we did it all but the skating (Mom forgot to check to see if skates fit her!)

We played in the castle at High Park, we lunched in the park, we did our nails, read her new (bday present) Disney story book and baked and decorated cookies (from scratch). She fell asleep in the car on the way home. What a great day we had.

Decorating cookies

Auntie Eva and Annie

Annie the hammie

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Christmas Tree

We bought the tree last Wednesday at Ikea ($20!) and had tasty meatballs for dinner. We decorated on Thursday. We’re ready for the season’s celebrations!

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This is by far the best butter chicken recipe I have made so far. It is adapted from a Bombay Palace Cookbook recipe I found on line. Although this dish is wonderful eaten the day it is made, it is far better a day or two later.

Butter Chicken-Murgh Makhani

Serving Size : 4-6

  • 3 pounds chicken, skinned, boned, and cut into 8 pieces marinated in tandoori paste — or 3 pounds leftover tandoori chicken
  • 3 garlic cloves, mashed and 1 piece of fresh ginger, size of walnut, minced finely
  • juice of 1 lemon

Sauce:

  • 2 pounds tomatoes, peeled seeded and pulped
  • 1 medium onion, browned in olive oil
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces carnation evaporated milk
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves for garnish
  • 2 tsp meat masala
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  1. If you have leftover tandoori chicken, bone and cut into small chunks, and go on to step 3. Otherwise begin from scratch. Prepare chicken pieces and rub with tandoori paste. Marinate at least 10 hours or overnight.
  2. Grill chicken on BBQ until done. Cut into bite-sized pieces when cooled. Set aside.
  3. In a skillet simmer the tomatoes and browned onions gently until their liquid evaporates, leaving a thick paste – this will take 15-20 minutes. Add the masalas, garlic, ginger and lemon juice and cook until fragrant.
  4. Add the butter, and season to taste.
  5. Add the evaporated milk and chili and simmer gently 5 minutes. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Press through a fine sieve to create a smooth gravy.
  6. Return to pan and add the chicken and simmer for 5 minutes until thoroughly heated through. Transfer to a warm serving dish and garnish with coriander leaves.
  7. Serve with basmati rice and naan.

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I am starting my Christmas baking a bit late this year. Partly because I didn’t want sweets in the house and partly because I just couldn’t be bothered. That’s sad. But Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas if I didn’t share the sweets. JT just had one request, Nanaimo Bars, so it’s on the list again this year, but this time, I shall actually make them. I am also mixing it up a bit for variety.

  • Bargain Basement Barb’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Peanut Butter Cookies
  • Mexican Macroons (chocolate spicey coconut macroons)
  • Chocolate Mint Hershey Kiss Cookies
  • Date filled Oatmeal Cookies
  • Namaimo Bars
  • Anzac Biscuits
  • Butterscotchy Almond Bars

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