Sugar Cookies

sugar cookies
Sugar Cookies with a Cafe Glaze and Chocolate Sprinkles

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
3 cup flour
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400F
In small mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

Cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy.
Add egg and vanilla and continue beating until well blended.

Add in flour mixture a cup at a time, stirring well after each addition.

Do not chill dough. Divide dough into 2 balls. On a floured surface, roll each ball into a circle approximately 12 in. wide and 1/8 in. thick. Dip desired cookie cutter in flour before each use. ( I like those nesting Tupperware ones!)

Sprinkle tops with raw sugar or sprinkles.

Bake cookies on ungreased cookie sheet 6-7 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.

Scrape cookie sheet before next batch in order to clear off melted sugar bits.

Cool cookies completely on a wire rack.

sugar cookies
Sugar Cookies with Lemon Glaze and Pastel Sprinkles

For an interesting twist:
Add 2 Tablespoons Epicure Summer Fruit Dip Mix to the Flour mixture
Add 1 Tablespoon Pink Lemonade Concentrate when you stir in the Egg.

Flavour your Simple Glaze with
2 Tablespoons Raspberry Juice (just squish a enough raspberries to give you 2 Tbsp.)
1 Tablespoon Pink Lemonade Concentrate

summer fruit sugar cookies
Summer Fruit Sugar Cookies

Pumpkin Pie

The Pumpkin Pie Recipe I have been using to don our Thanksgiving Table with for the past 30 years.

Pumpkin Pie

Pastry for 9″ One Crust Pie

Pumpkin Pie Filling:
2 eggs
1 can (16 ounces) pumpkin or 2 cups Cooked Pumpkin (following)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1 2/3 cups evaporated milk (pretty much 1 can…I don’t even measure anymore)

Heat oven to 425Fdegrees
Prepare pastry.
Beat eggs slightly in med bowl.
Add remaining ingredients and whisk all together.
Place pastry lined pie plate on oven rack; pour in filling.
Bake 15 minutes.
Reduce oven temp to 350Fdegrees.
Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
Serve with Whipped Cream.

Cooked Pumpkin:
Heat oven to 400Fdegrees
Cut one small pumpkin (4 lbs) into halves; remove seeds and fiber. Place pumpkin cut sides up in oblong baking dish; pour water (1/4″deep) into dish.
Cover and bake until tender, about 1 hour. Scoop pumpkin from shells; mash until no lumps remain.
Yield; About 4 cups mashed pumpkin

I am probably a lil more generous with the spices and of course I add vanilla. A splash of Vanilla makes the world a better place, I rkn!
You can use two cups of mashed pumpkin this time round and freeze the rest so you don’t have to go through the whole making pumpkin mash next time around.

I frequently use this recipe to make Pumpkin Tarts…heaps easier to transport and distribute tarts at large family gatherings!
I used puff pastry to line muffin tins and reduce baking time to 20 – 25 minutes.
Or, if in Canada, just use those lovely tart shells you can get at Real Canadian Superstore or SOF.
Put whipped cream in container, then load a large piping bag at the event and add a lovely whipped cream rosette just before serving


Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake is synonymous Canada Day around our place. It marks the beginning of those long, lazy days of Summer!

2 1/4 cup Flour
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
2 Tablespoon Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/3 cup Shortening, cold
1 Egg
2/3 cup Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Whipped Cream:
1 litre Whipping Cream
Icing Sugar
5 cups Sliced Strawberries, divided
1/4 cup Honey
Lemon Juice
8 Whole Strawberries, washed, leave stems on
Place 4 cups of Sliced Strawberries into a bowl, drizzle with 1/4 cup of Honey, a scant amount of Lemon Juice or Amaretto, stir.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to let the flavours blend; I recommend doing this the day before.
Whipped Cream:
Whip cream in cold bowl using cold beaters.
As cream starts to slightly thicken, add a generous splash of Vanilla and icing sugar, a tablespoon at a time, to taste. I usually use about 3 Tablespoons.
Remove 1 cup of whipping cream to make the filling, cover remainder of the whipping cream with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
1 1/2 cups Bavarian Creme <- I always get mine at SOF in the Bulk section
1 cup Fresh Strawberries, chopped
1 cup Fresh Whipped Cream
Combine bavarian creme, chopped strawberries and 1 cup of whipped cream.
Preheat oven to 425F (220C)
Prepare baking sheet by lightly spraying with vegetable oil spray and dusting ever so lightly with cornmeal.
In mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
Using pastry blender, cut in cold shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Measure out milk, add egg and vanilla, using a fork, stir well to combine.
Add liquid ingredients all at once to dry ingredients and stir until the dough gathers and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Turn out onto lightly floured surface and gently knead 10 times.
Gently pat down into a 10″ (25cm) circle or ever so gently roll out and cut with the large scalloped side of the top right cutter, for individual shortcakes.
Place on prepared baking sheet, score the 10″ (25cm) (keeping in mind you will be splitting the shortcake so very light scoring) circle into 8 wedges and bake in hot oven for 15 – 20 minutes, rotating pan(s) at 8 minutes. Continue baking until lightly golden.
Remove from oven and transfer shortcake(s) to wire rack to cool completely.
Building your Shortcake
When cooled, split shortcake(s).
Place bottom half of shortcake on serving platter.
Spread filling to cover, leaving an inch on the outside border.
Load large CLEAN piping bag (if there is any grease residue from say, Buttercream Icing, it will compromise the Whipped Cream!) with fresh whipped cream and pipe a high border around the filling.
Gently spoon a cup of macerated berries over the filling.
Gently refresh score lines.
Gently place scored top layer over filled bottom layer.
Pipe a border around the top and bottom of the cake.
Spoon remaining macerated strawberries on top of the cake and spread to fill area inside piped border.
Decorate with remaining whole strawberries.
If making the individual shortcakes, follow same procedure on each shortcake.

Welsh Cakes

I started making Welsh Cakes about 23 years ago because they satisfied the Sweet Tooth without a whole lot of sugar! The only trouble is that they are very addictive! “Oh, just one more…”
3 cups Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
3/4 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Shortening (butter works too)
1/4 cup Sugar
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup Milk
1 cup Currants
1/4 cup Sugar or Icing Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
Combine Sugar or Icing Sugar and Cinnamon in s small, wide bowl; Set aside.
Cream together Shortening and Sugar. Add Milk and Eggs.
Sift in Flour, BP, BS, Salt, Nutmeg and Cinnamon and stir.
Add currants and continue stirring.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until soft and smooth, about 10 times.
Apply another light dusting of flour to work surface and proceed to roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness.
Cut with desired cookie cutter.
Preheat Cast Iron frying pan over Medium High heat.
Add 6 – 8 Welsh Cakes to dry pan, depending on size, and cook for 3 minutes; flip and continue cooking for another 3 minutes.
Remove from pan and drop into Sugar/Cinnamon mixture to coat each Welsh Cake.
Cool completely on a wire rack.

The Ultimate Buttertart Square

Canadian Living magazine put the question out there: Butter Tart Square or Date Square? Well, I have been making both for years! Date Squares since I first discovered the kitchen as a child. Ok, maybe I didn’t make them by myself then, but I did get to chop the dates that came in a solid block which had to be painstakingly cut up.

 This is the Buttertart Square recipe I have been making for the past 20 years. Oh, hey, I learned something interesting; apparently a well made BTS is quintessentially Canadian! Who knew? What the Lamington is to the Aussies! And here I thought Strawberry Shortcake was  the quintessential Canadian dessert because it graces many a Canada Day Celebrations!

Without further ado…THE Buttertart Square recipe…
2 1/4 cups Flour
3 Tablespoons Sugar
3/4 cup Butter
3 large Eggs
2 cups Brown Sugar
1/3 cup Butter, melted
1 1/2 Tablespoons Vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 Tablespoon Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 cups Raisins, soaked and drained
Preheat oven to 350F
Lightly spray a 9X13 pan with Vegetable Oil Spray.
In medium mixing bowl, combine flour and sugar, using a pastry blender.
Cut in cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Press into prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl beat eggs until light and fluffy.
Stir in brown sugar, melted butter, vinegar, vanilla, flour and salt.
Scatter raisins over the baked crust then pour filling over all.
Bake in 350F oven for 20 – 25 minutes or just until set and golden brown.
Cut into 24 squares.
Store leftovers in an airtight container.
These can also be frozen.