Sunday, December 28, 2008

Candy Cane Cookies


1 cup butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
24 pieces round peppermint candy
1/4 cup sugar
Melted chocolate, for drizzling, optional


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a mixer bowl or by hand, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in egg, almond extract, vanilla, and salt. Blend flour into mixture in several additions, beat until just combined.

Remove half the dough from the bowl. Blend red food coloring into the half remaining in the bowl until the coloring is even. Cover dough a kitchen towel to keep it from drying out as you work. Use a floured teaspoon to measure 1 teaspoon each of white and red dough for each
cookie. Roll into 4-inch ropes on a lightly floured surface. Place a red and white rope side-by-side, press together lightly and twist to form a spiral.
Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Curve top down to form handle of a candy cane. Bake until set, about 9 minutes.
While the cookies are baking, put peppermint candies in a resealable plastic bag and crush
into small pieces with a rolling pin. Mix the candy with the sugar.
Place cooling rack over shallow pan. Immediately remove cookies from cookie sheet and gently place onto cooling rack.
Sprinkle with candy/sugar mixture.

Optional: Cool cookies, drizzle with melted chocolate, and add more candy mixture on top of chocolate.

Thanks to Tina!

Ginger Cookies


6 oz flour
2 oz butter
4 oz brown sugar
1 level tbsp. ground ginger
1 level tsp. mixed spice
1 level tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 tbsp. of water


Sift the flour and spices together. Cream the butter and sugar and gradually add the dry ingredients to the mixture, alternating with the water {which can be warmed very slightly in order to make the mixing easier}. This creates a fairly stiff paste. Roll into balls the size of a walnut, place on a greased baking tray and flatten slightly. Bake in the oven on center rack at 375° F until browned and crisp - about 20 minutes. Cool on a wired rack.

Thanks to Marion Webb Desisto!

Scottish Shortbread


175g of self raising flour (replacing 2 teaspoons with 2 teaspoons of
ground rice)
50g of sugar
100g of butter
Ground rice for sprinkling


1. Cream the butter and sugar until almost white and gradually add the flour.

2. Squeeze the whole mixture into a large ball.

3. Remove from the bowl and dust in ground rice.

4. Press into an 8inch square tin and smooth and make pinpricks all over.

5. Bake in the oven at 160c, 325f or gas mark 3 for 25 minutes.

5. Remove, dust with caster sugar and cut into 12 fingers

6. Cool for 15 minutes in the tin.

7. Place on a rack until cold and store in an airtight tin.

Good luck with it!

Thanks to Marie Treanor!

Two Bite Brownies

Makes 24 Mini Muffin Cup Servings

(I used mini muffin cups because it makes serving easy and looks fancy).


1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (or simply use salted butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C for our Cdn friends). Grease and flour your pans if you're not using non-stick.

2. In a medium bowl, beat together the butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix well. Combine the flour, cocoa, and salt (if you're not using salted butter). Stir that into the sugar and egg mixture. Mix in the vanilla. Spread in the unlined mini muffin cups.

3. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the edges are firm and there are no moist spots in the middle (check your oven, mine bakes in about 7 minutes). Cool, pop out of the cups, and eat, I mean serve.

Variations - add nuts if you're going high end.If you want to get all Martha Stewart, place a doily over top and sprinkle with icing sugar to make a design.

Thanks to Kimber Chin!



1 Coffee Mug (LARGE)
4 tablespoons regular flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional ... yeah, right!)
Small splash of vanilla


Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well.

Add the egg and mix thoroughly.

Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.

Add chocolate chips and vanilla, and mix again.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.
(We cooked it 3 minutes total - 2 minutes, then 30 seconds, then 30 more seconds, to be careful) at 1200 watts, and the cake was still really soft/wet in the center. Yummy that way ... with melted chocolate chips at the bottom.

Allow to cool a little and tip it out onto a plate, if desired.

We ate straight out of the mugs. The cake contracts as it cools, and it's moist enough that it doesn't stick to the mug lining.

YUMMMMMMMMMMY! And almost too much for one person. Although, if you really FORCE yourself, you can finish it.

We also thought of ways to adapt/alter the recipe - like substitute a tablespoon of instant coffee for 1 tablespoon of cocoa, or add other flavorings/ingredients. Mint chocolate chips. Raspberry flavoring, etc.

Thanks to Michelle Levigne!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares (taste like Reese's PB Cups)


3/4c melted butter
2c icing sugar
1c smooth peanut butter
1&1/2c graham cracker crumbs
1&1/2c-2c chocolate chips


Mix first four ingredients together and press into 9X13 pan.
Melt chocolate chips and spread evenly on top.
Refrigerate until chocolate is hard.

Thanks to Lisa W!

Shortbread Cookies


1/2c corn starch
1/2c icing sugar
1c flour
3/4c softened butter


Preheat oven to 300f.
Sift dry goods together and blend in butter with spoon.
Cover and chill for 1hr if dough is too soft.
Shape into 1in balls and flatten with back of spoon on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until edges are slighty brown.
You can also add sprinkles or hershey kiss before baking.

Thanks to Lisa W!