Saturday, September 7, 2013
I love going to the movies. On most Saturday nights that is where you will find me and my husband at the movies. And we are just as happy going to a drama or comedy or art film or documentary. So when the Toronto International Film Festival comes to town we are so excited. And then getting to make movie themed cookies … well you can just imagine...
TIFF is a big event in the city so I made these cookies and here is how I did it.
Materials Needed for Decorating:
- movie camera cookie cutter (I used the this one from Copper Gifts)
- gel paste to colour some of the royal icing (I used black & yellow)
- silver spray (I used PME Lustre Spray)
- royal icing – as always, I really like the Ateco meringue powder
- piping bags
Instructions and Tips:
Use your favorite sugar cookie recipe and cut out the movie camera cookies.
Outline each cookie.
Fill or flood the cookies. I like using the squeeze bottles because it is so much cleaner then a piping bag when flooding cookies.
Use a toothpick or bamboo skewer to pull the icing to fill the cookie. If you just use the squeeze bottle there is a chance that you will overflood the cookie – it is always a fine line between the perfectly flooded cookie and a cookie that is over flowing with icing. The toothpick “pull” really helps ensure an evenly flooded cookie.
Let the cookies dry overnight.
Spray the cookies silver.
Outline camera in black. You can stop there or put a movie expression like “Action” or “Take One” in the middle of the cookie in yellow. I always like the way the way yellow and silver look together but of course you can use whatever colour you like.
I was pleased with the way these cookies turned out and now its off to the movies (which of course includes popcorn)!
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
I make Challah almost every Friday but making Challah for the Jewish New Year is extra sweet. Instead of sugar, I use honey and instead of a straight braid, I make a round challah.
This recipe makes 2 medium challahs – I make one with raisins and one with chocolate chips (which is always a big hit with the kids).
This recipe (from my Cuisinart Bread Machine) is great all year round but extra sweet for a sweet new year.
And, here is how I make it.
1 cup water
1/3 + 2 TBSP canola oil
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1 ¼ tsp salt
4 TBSP honey (buckwheat is the most flavourful)
3 ¾ cups flour
2 ¼ tsp yeast, active dry, instant or bread machine
Place ingredients in order listed, in bread machine pan fitted with the kneading paddle.
Select the menu on your bread machine for dough.
Press start to mix, knead, rise your dough.
When cycle is complete, remove dough from machine and place on floured surface to rest – 10 minutes is good.
I usually make 2 loaves from the large recipe above.
Braid into loaves and let rise again if you have time – 30 to 60 minutes is good.
[NOTE: If you wish you can braid the challah and freeze it unbaked for future use. If you do this take the challah out of the freezer and let sit on a parchment covered cookie sheet for a few hours – they will rise again. Then continue on the recipe as directed. My sister taught me this trick and can be a real time saver depending on your week.]
Egg wash and cover with streusel topping.
Bake 30-40 minutes.
Sprinkles – for fun I put on top of chocolate chip challah
I put the mixins in before I braid.
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
½ cup margarine, cut into pieces
Mix sugar, flour, and margarine with fork or in food processor to form a crumble. Sprinkle on top of challah before baking. (You can double and just keep remainder in the freezer to use week after week).
Have a Happy New Year – full of health and peace and all sweet things!
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
I made these doll cookies – thinking they would be very cute and look like an American Girl doll (even though I am a very Canadian girl;).
When they were done, I thought they looked like me and my friend S. When my husband saw the cookies (knowing I made Us in Cookie) he said “Cute, You and S. in Cookie” – this is funny because hubby does not really notice stuff like this.
S. and I have been friends for over 30 years – yes yes we met long before we were born;)
Today is S’s birthday so I thought I would send this out with a big huge “Happy Birthday My Friend My Friend!”
Thursday, February 14, 2013
I had so many ideas for Valentine’s Day this year and I did not get to blog about all of them. Sure I did the apple cinnamon dog bones and blondies with kisses, but I really had many many other ideas. Some of them came to fruition and I did not get to write about them (like the ones below) but some just did not happen and will have to be saved for next year or morphed into another holiday.
And while hearts are still the number one cookie for Valentine’s Day I did make a few fun new ones that tuned out quite lovely for this day that is all about amore.
Love Is In the Air
Loves Me, Loves Me Not Daisy
Not sure if I will ever get though all the ideas in my head -- do you ever have that problem? Well I guess that it is better to have too many ideas than to run dry.
In the meantime I hope today is a day full of love and kisses and hugs (and if some of those are chocolate kisses and hugs -- then it is sure to be a great).
Happy Valentine's Day!
Monday, February 11, 2013
Blondies are sorta like chocolate brownie, but are based on brown sugar instead of cocoa – which makes them really carmely.
I wanted to share a recipe for Valentines Day that included Kisses so I made blondies with all kinds of Kisses. I was trying to base this entire blog around the idea of this blondie sending you lots of kisses … but I’m starting to run out of time to get this up in time for you to make for your Valentine’s Day.
So I made these and this is how I did it.
1 ½ cups cake flour (not self-rising)*
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups of Hershey Kisses (I used Hugs & Caramel Kisses)
* If you don’t have cake flour in your pantry , measure out 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour, remove three tablespoons of flour and replace with three tablespoons of cornstarch. Sift flour and cornstarch.
Preheat oven to 3500.
Grease and lightly flour a 13”x9” baking pan – I always use Bakers Joy.
Unwrap the Kisses – and set aside -- you might have to test a few -- unwrapping Kisses and not eating ANY is almost impossible -- if you can do it, let me know your secret.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugars until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.
Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Stir in the Kisses. Spread the batter evenly in the pan – it will look sorts thin but don’t worry it will fill out and rise.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the pan comes out with moist crumbs. Don’t over bake – like brownies a little under baked is better.
Allow to cool before cutting – I used this Wilton Brownie Combo Heart Cutter – which is great because if cuts a fun shape and does not waste much of the blondies (and by waste I mean corners that you can eat).
Sending you lots of Hugs and Kisses in the form of really yummy blondies.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Friday, February 1, 2013
Today is one of my dog’s 14th birthday so I made these apple cinnamon dog bones.
I made them because I just love him so SO much and although he is 14 I still think of him as my puppy love.
Then I realized how very cinnamony these dog biscuits smell and thought of Valentine’s Day because you know how I associate Valentine’s with cinnamon.
The dogs are important members of the family. I bake for all my loved ones and so it only makes sense that I would bake for the pooches as well.
The recipe is pretty easy and the dogs seem to like them... at least they come and grab them and run away with them gobble them down and come back for more – mind you they do that with any treat I give them so perhaps this crowd is not the most discerning…
But they seemed to enjoy these fresh baked, low fat treats which makes me happy. And, here is how I made them.
4 cups whole wheat flour – plus more for flouring work service
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon cinnamon (heaping)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large apple -- grated
1 1/3 cup water – more if needed to moisten mixture
Preheat oven to 350o.
In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except for the apple and water.
Mix grated apple into mixture and add water.
Mix until it starts sticking together.
Roll out on a floured surface to about ¼”thick and cut into whatever shapes you like. I used a dog bone and heart but other cute/fun shapes could be a gingerbread postman or a cat.
Place cut cookies on a parchment paper lined sheet and bake for 60 minutes.
Cool and share with your best friend. I'm sure they will LOVE you for it because that is just the way dogs are and we are lucky to have them in our lives.