Saturday, September 7, 2013

Movie Camera ACTION!

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

Sweet Challah

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.

Mix Ins
Chocolate Chips
Sprinkles – for fun I put on top of chocolate chip challah

I put the mixins in before I braid.

Streusel Topping
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!