Old Fashioned Peanut
Sometimes the best treats are simple ones.
Reader Becky Finley has won herself a gift basket from Posh Pantry with her entry in our Cookies & Carols contest – with this entry for old-fashioned peanut butter drops.
“A simple favourite from when we were kids,” she writes.
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp. butter
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup ground nuts
Mix all ingredients. Form into balls and roll into coconut. Chill.
– contributed by
Reader Janet Kvammen writes: “I’m submitting a family recipe for shortbread cookies. You likely have shared a ton of shortbread recipes over the years but … so simple, light and lovely. I have kept it old school imperial measurement but it is easy to convert.”
1 lb butter
1 cup berry sugar
4 cups of flour
Cream butter and sugar gradually.
Add flour, mixing well.
Knead well by hand, until the dough starts to crack.
(If too difficult, you can use a Kitchen Aid mixer)
Bake at 350F for 15 to 20 minutes until edges slightly golden.
Watch carefully as the time may need adjusting.
– submitted by Janet
Old-Fashioned Almond Roca
Almond roca, anyone? Reader Brenda Fairfax is sharing her recipe.
1 pound butter
1 cup granulated white sugar
3 tbsp. water
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1 cup chocolate chips
Combine butter, sugar, and water in a heavy saucepan.
Stir and boil until mixture registers 300 degrees F (150 C) on a candy thermometer or forms brittle strings dropped in cold water.
Spread on a cookie sheet with sides. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top and allow to melt.
Freeze. When hard, break with a hammer into chunks. Keep refrigerated.
– submitted by Brenda Fairfax
Reader Marjorie Staal has given us a glimpse into the past with her offering.
“This recipe is from my mother’s cookbook,” she writes. “It is called the American Woman’s Cook Book, published in 1938. It is full of pictures of women in dresses and aprons and big smiles. There are sections of things like the vitamin content of foods or how to whip evaporated milk properly.
“But what is so funny is the comments on the pictures – ‘when frying food is done, drain it and save the fat to use again.’ Or ‘strike up a warm acquaintance with your oven and its special temperament.’ Maybe I should start to talk to my stove and I would become a better cook.”
Here is the recipe for sugar cookies that Marjorie made with her mom, and that she now makes with her daughter.
She warns: “Do not use margarine – it must be shortening.”
2 1/4 cups sifted flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup shortening
1 tbsp. milk
Sift flour, salt and baking powder together. Cream shortening and sugar together, add eggs and vanilla, then add sifted dry ingredients and milk. Roll and cut. Sprinkle with sugar and bake on baking sheet in moderate oven (375 degrees) for 12 minutes.
I usually do just 10 minutes, but watch carefully.
Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.
– submitted by Marjorie Staal
When it comes to the sweet tooth in your household, there’s nothing more satisfying than homemade fudge.
Reader Melissa Ward shares this recipe for the holidays.
In a bowl put:
3/4 chocolate chips
1/2 cup of butter
1 cup chopped walnuts.
In a saucepan:
2 cups sugar
1 small can evaporated milk
10 large marshmallows
Bring this mixture to a boil. Boil for six minutes, stirring constantly.
Pour hot mixture over contents in bowl and stir until chocolate chips are melted.
Pour into greased pan and put in fridge until set.
– submitted by Melissa Ward
Looking for a crowd-pleasing alternative to the traditional Christmas offerings?
Think white chocolate. Think raspberry.
Then whip up a batch of these cookies, as presented in this recipe from Lizz Kelly.
12 oz white chocolate:
Chop 4 oz and set aside, melt 4 oz and set aside, chop an additional 4 oz and set aside
Beat together until fluffy:
1/2 cup soft butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
4oz melted white chocolate
2 3/4 cup flour
4 oz chopped white chocolate
Bake 375 F for seven to nine minutes, until lightly brown around the edges
Heat 1/2 cup raspberry jam until melted. Spoon 1 tsp onto each cooled cookie
Melt last 4 oz chopped white chocolate and drizzle over cookies.
Refrigerate 15 minutes, then serve.
– courtesy Lizz Kelly
Chewy Ginger Cookies
What would Christmas be without a ginger cookie? Here, reader Karen Jacob shares her recipe for chewy ginger cookies.
3/4 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 cup finely chopped candied ginger
Spiced sugar (mix together 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. each of ginger, nutmeg and allspice) for rolling.
Mix oil, brown sugar, egg and molasses. Sift together dry ingredients and add to wet. Add chopped ginger.
The dough will be very soft, so best to chill before forming balls.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease.
Form dough into small balls then roll in spiced sugar. Place on cookie sheets and bake for eight to nine minutes.
Do not overcook; the cookies will firm when cooled.
Allow to cool on baking sheet before transferring to cooling rack.
Makes about three dozen.
– courtesy Karen Jacob
These are Angelica Dattilo’s favorite cookies for Christmas; she says they’re melt in your mouth good.
1 cup butter
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar for dusting, or as needed
1/4 cup finely crushed peppermint candy canes (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Cream the butter with 1/2 cup of the confectioners' sugar and the vanilla. Mix in the flour, pecans, and salt. Roll about 1 tablespoon or so of dough into balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake in preheated oven until bottoms are golden, about 15 minutes. Do not allow these cookies to get too brown: it's better to undercook them than to overcook them. While cookies are still hot, roll them in confectioners' sugar. Once they have cooled, roll them in confectioners' sugar once more.
– Angelica Dattilo
Peanut Molasses Cookies
½ cup butter softened
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup smooth peanut butter
½ table molasses
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
Cream butter and sugar together well. Beat in egg. Mix in peanut butter and molasses.
Stir remaining ingredients together and add. Mix well. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet. Flatten with floured glass or with fork. Bake in 375 degree oven for 12 -15 minutes. Makes 3 dozen.
– Laury DeBow
Chewy Bacon Butterscotch Cookies
Reader Brenda Fairfax admits these cookies sound weird, but she assures us they are yummy.
12 bacon strips
1/3 cup (75 ml) packed demerara sugar ( or brown not golden sugar)
½ cup (125 ml) regular oats (not quick oats)
2 cups (500 ml) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. (5 ml) baking powder
½ tsp. (2 ml) baking soda
½ tsp. (2 ml) sea salt
1 cup (250 ml) softened butter ( you could use margarine but you won’t get the intense flavor)
¾ cup (175 ml) granulated white sugar ( cane sugar works well too)
¾ cup (175 ml) packed demerara sugar (or brown)
2 large eggs
1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 ½ cups (375 ml) butterscotch chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Line a baking sheet with foil and place a rack on top of the baking sheet. In a bowl, toss bacon with 1/3 cup demerara until coated and arrange bacon in a single layer on the rack. Sprinkle whatever sugar is left in the bowl over the bacon and bake for 20 minutes. Turn bacon over and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until chewy but not crisp. Let cool and chop into small pieces.
In a blender or food processor, finely grind the oats and add to flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a mixer, beat butter and the two sugars until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat again until well combined. Add the dry mixture (flour etc.) in small additions, until well mixed. Stir in butterscotch chips and bacon.
Place a heaping tablespoon of dough, 2 inches apart, on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes (chewy cookies) or 15 minutes (crisper cookies). Cool on rack. Bet you can’t eat just one!
– Brenda Fairfax
Danish Christmas Rice Pudding (Risalamande)
Reader Kim Robinson’s family has been serving this dish for generations. She says it’s a Scandinavian Christmas tradition.
1 quart whole milk
3 tablespoons sugar
¾ cup long grain white rice
3/4 cup blanched and chopped almonds
1 whole almond
2 tsp vanilla
½ pint of chilled whipping cream
Bring milk to a simmer in a 2 quart saucepan. Add sugar and rice. Stir a few times then lower heat and simmer uncovered for about 25 minutes or until rice is soft but not mushy. Pour finished rice immediately into a shallow large bowl, and place infridge. Stir occasionally and let cool to lukewarm. Add chopped almonds and vanilla, and stir. Whip the cream until stiff, fold into rice mixture, and chill. Add whole blanched almond, mix in, and serve. Whoever gets the whole almond wins an “almond gift.”
– Kim Robinson
This chocolate cookie is delicious. They are so good that reader Michelle Hills and her sister baked more than 100 of them to give as guest favours at Hills' wedding. For Christmas, she likes to add 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract and top the cookies with crushed candy canes before baking.
Combine the following in a bowl:
2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of cocoa
1 teaspoon of baking soda
3/4 cup of white sugar
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Slowly add your dry ingredients into the bowl. Once combined mix in a bag of chocolate chips.
Bake at 350 for eight to 10 minutes. I usually take them out when they still don't look fully baked and let them sit and firm up.
– Michelle Hills
Crispy Thumbprint Cookies
1 package (18.25 ounces) yellow cake mix
½ cup of vegetable oil
¼ cup water
3 cups crisp rice cereal, crushed
½ cup chopped walnuts
Rasberry or strawberry preserves
Preheat oven to 375F. Combine cake mix, oil, water and egg. Beat until well blended. Add cereal and walnuts; mix until well blended. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Use thumb to make indentation in each cookie. Spoon about ½ teaspoon preserves into centre of each cookie. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool cookies 1 minute on baking sheet; remove to wire rack to cool completely. Makes 3 dozen cookies.
– Judy Vander
Top Of the Stove Cookies
4 cups Dates
4 cups white sugar
8 eggs, beaten
12 cups Rice Krispies
Few Grains Salt
Combine first three ingredients in a frying pan. Cook until thick. Cool slightly until you can handle.
Put Rice Krispies in a large bowl and add the cooled ingredients. Stir well. Roll into bite size balls and roll into coconut. Place on cookie sheet & put in fridge for an hour. Finally store in a cookie tin.
– Georgie Cole
Originally from Fine Cooking Magazine, reader Jennifer Kirkey has made some significant modifications to this brownie recipe.
She says it’s her go to recipe when she’s asked to bring dessert for a party. They are very tasty with red wine.
2 sticks butter = 8 ounces by weight or half a pound = 227 grams = 1 cup butter (Cultured unsalted butter works the best)
8 ounces by weight or half a pound = 227 grams of 60%-70% chocolate.
2 cups = 500 ml granulated sugar = 400 grams by weight
4 large eggs (8 ounces by weight = 227 grams minimum in the shell)
1 tablespoon = 15 ml = vanilla extract
1 cup = 250 ml cake and pastry flour. All-purpose flour works just fine.
Pre heat oven to 350 F
Line a 9 x 13 or 10 x 13 inch pan with parchment paper. Let the edges of the paper stick up an inch or so and then you will have handles to remove the brownies.
Melt the butter and chocolate together. Use a microwave (30 second cycles) and stir between each cycle or melt over a double boiler.
Add sugar to the chocolate. Stir thoroughly.
Add the eggs one at a time to the chocolate – sugar mixture. Mix well after each. I find a whisk works well though use a hand mixer on low speed if you wish.
Slowly add the flour, gently folding it in with a spatula until just combined, and whisk it a few times, or use the hand mixer again.
Put it into the parchment paper lined baking pan. You will need a rubber spatula. Sticky. Spread out as evenly as you can.
Bake for 30 minutes at 350 F or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Top will be a little cracked. Don’t want to overcook or they will be dry.
Let cool for at least 2 hours. Yield about 30 brownies in a 9 x 13 pan.
5 ounces of chocolate, 3 ounces of whipping cream, melted and then drizzled.
(2 teaspoons of peppermint extract is optional if you want peppermint brownies).
Dribbling white chocolate on top is fun too and looks very pretty.
– Jennifer Kirkey
Peanut Butter Cookies
Here’s another entry from Jennifer Kirkey.
1/2 cup (130 g) peanut butter
1/2 cup (110 g) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (110 g) brown sugar
Mix thoroughly, then ad:
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix thoroughly with the butter and sugar.
In another bowl, sift together:
1-1/4 cup (160 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. (2.3 g) baking soda
Add the sifted ingredients to the butter, sugar and eggs.
Optional: Adding one half cup of miniature chocolate chips is also very nice
Chill for at least one hour.
I like to roll them into two logs and chill overnight, or for a few days.
Drop by the heaping tablespoon onto your cookie sheets and use a fork dipped in water to make a pattern on top. They will spread so leave room.
If you have chilled then in logs, then slice the logs about one half inch thick and place the rounds on a cookie sheet. They will spread, so leave room.
Put one baking sheet on top of a second one to prevent the bottoms of the cookies from getting over cooked.
Bake in a 375 F oven for 12 minutes.
When Susan McLeod’s mom died this year at age 92, she inherited her many recipe books, handwritten notebooks of recipes and boxes of recipe cards. One notebook even listed the menus of various Christmas family dinners. Mcleod remembers well the platefuls of sweets of many shapes and flavours her mom always baked at Christmas time. She choose this recipe, called split seconds, because the red jam and the shape make them stand out on the serving plate, as well as their nice flavour.
2 cups flour, 2/3 c. sugar, 1/2 tsp. D.A. baking powder
3/4 cup butter, 1 egg, 2 tsp. vanilla
Divide dough into 4 parts, shape each into a roll 13 inches long, 3/4 inches thick
Place on cookie sheet 4 inches apart, or 2 inches from side.
Make a depression lengthwise down center of each roll. Fill with red jelly or jam.
Bake 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until light golden brown.
While warm cut diagonally into bars.
– Susan McLeod
These cookies were sent to us by 91-year-old reader Vi Meech.
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup margarine
1 cup crisco oil
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup rice krispies
1 cup coconut
1 tsp vanilla
Mix all ingredients, form into balls and place on cookie sheet. Press down with fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
Makes about 5 dozen.
– Vi Meech
Dark Chocolate Cherry Biscotti
2 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp grated orange rind
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup chopped dark chocolate
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp cream
1 tbsp coarse sugar
Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger in a small bowl. Set aside.
Combine sugars and butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, and beat until combined. Stir in orange rind.
Add flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Fold in cherries and chocolate. Gather into a ball and divide in half on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pat each portion into a 3-inch wide, 3/4 inch high rectangle. Chill for 30 minutes or until firm.
Heat oven to 350 F. Whisk together egg yolk and cream and brush all over rectangles. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 35 minutes or until they are golden and firm to the touch.
Let cool 30 minutes (ideally in the refrigerator), then use a serrated knife to cut into 1/2 inch thick slices. Turn oven down to 325 F. Lay cut-side down on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Flip and bake 15 minutes or until sides have dried out. Let cool completely.
– Ann Ricci