Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day

Today is Earth Day – a day to increase awareness and appreciation of the Earth's natural environment.

Woke up singing Raffi’s song, Our Dear, Dear Mother – humhum …daily provider, earth be your name, the time has come to honour you, to know you and to show we care… humhum.

Last night we went to see the new DisneyNature movie Chimpanzee (LOVED IT) and today I am off to Starbucks to get my free coffee (you have to bring your own mug which is always a great idea).

Oh ya and I made these cookies.

How are you celebrating Earth Day?  Hope it is meaningful!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tea Bag Cookie – Only In Canada, You Say?

A few weeks ago I posted these tea bag cookies on my Facebook page and there seemed to be a bit of interest in a tutorial on how to make them.  Sorry it took so long for me to get to it but I’m really glad I did.

I think these cookies would be a great addition to any Mother’s Day afternoon tea – don’t you agree?

They are very Red Rose, available, "Only In Canada, You Know?", and this is how I made them.

Materials Needed for Decorating:

- square cookie cutter
- drinking straw or some other small round to punch a hole
- royal icing – Again, I’m really into the Ateco meringue powder
- piping bags
- various brown (CK Products), gold (Wilton) and white crystal sugars
- caramels – Kraft (of course)
- black string licorice
- red flower for the tag

Instructions and Tips:

Use your favorite sugar cookie recipe and cut out the squares.  The cookie cutter can be between 2” to 4” depending on how big you want your cookies to be – I think the square I used was about 3”.

Cut two triangles (the edges) off the top of the tea bag.

Punch a hole for the black licorice string.

Cut a slit in the cookie wide enough to sit on the side of a cup.  It is good to make the slit a bit bigger than you think because it will shrink when it bakes.  Here I made the slit on the angle so that the tea bag would sit straight on the cup.

Once the cookie is baked and has cooled, outline in white royal icing and give time to dry.  I usually outline all the cookies and then go back to flood or fill them – this give the outline time to dry before I start touching them again.

Blend the different colour sugars together and sprinkle over bottom two-thirds of the tea bag cookie.  You could do this when the icing is still wet OR wait for the icing to dry and stick the sugar to the cookie by painting on clear corn syrup and then sprinkling on the sugar.  

Once the cookie is dry, add the licorice string and caramel tea bag tag.

Roll out the caramel.  If it is a little to hard to roll, put in the microwave for 3 seconds or so – if you put it in for too long it will melt.

Cut the licorice to about 2” and the caramel into a 1.5” strip – long enough to fold in half to make the tag.

Fold the caramel strip over one end of the licorice – it will stick together.

Use royal icing to “glue” on the flower and the licorice in the tea bag hole.

Let the icing dry.

Hang the cookie over the mug and enjoy with a great cup of tea.

I really love the idea of these mug cookies – they are very unique and can be as custom as the mug, person or occasion.  The concept of the “mug cookie” can work with a variety of shapes – just off the top of my head I think they could work with a heart, flower, donut…use your imagination and a world of possibility really opens up.  If you make them please let me know what you come up with.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Caramel Matzo Crunch

Passover starts Friday night.  Passover baking can be tricky.  Yes, yes everyone has a favorite flourless cakes or biscotti or meringue, but I have Carmel Matzo Crunch!  Well I like anything that is caramel so that is probably why I have a slight affinity for this recipe but it is also really delish.

It is a super easy recipe that does not require a lot of ingredients – and is really really yummy! 

And here is how to make it…


6 pieces of matzo
1 cup unsalted butter or unsalted Passover margarine
1 cup brown sugar, packed firm
3/4 cup dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions & Tips

Preheat oven to 3500.

Line a cookie sheet completely with foil and put parchment paper on top of the foil.  The caramel can get messy so take time with this step.

Line cookie sheet with matzo – 6 pieces fit perfectly on my 15”x22”cookie sheet but don’t worry about breaking pieces to fit on your cookie sheet (it is going to be broken into smaller pieces in the end anyways…).

Combine butter or margarine and brown sugar in a heavy-bottomed pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking 3 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour over matzo.  I used a spatula to carefully cover each piece of matzo with caramel. 

Place in oven. Bake 10 minutes, checking every few minutes to make sure mixture is not burning (if it seems to be browning too quickly, remove from oven, lower heat to 325 F, and replace)

Melt chocolate in a double boiler and then temper enough to put in a decorating bottle or you can simple use a spoon to drizzle chocolate on caramel matzo.

Remove caramel matzo from oven and drizzle boards with chocolate.

You can either leave the chocolate as is OR spread melted chocolate over matzo.

Chill in refrigerator until set and then break up and plate.

You can also use white chocolate, toasted almonds, dried cranberries, coconut or anything you love with caramel and chocolate (so the options are huge).

Happy Passover!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Happy April, You Fools!

My iPhone rules my life.  It’s my main contact with the world outside my kitchen, plus I keep all my pictures of cute cookies and my cuter dogs on it! 

What could be better than my iPhone?  An iPhone cookie of course!

I put this picture on my Facebook site and had an offer to purchase my old phone and when I went for coffee with some friends they asked about my new phone (which I don’t have yet).  The whole thing was just a little April Fools Day thing.

Hope someone fooled you a little…