Monthly Archives: December 2011

Happy New Year

Just a quick post to wish all of you a wonderful NYE and all the best for 2012.

I also want to take this time to thank you for your support and readership in 2011 – it has meant so much to me. I look forward to sharing many recipes with you in 2012 and definitely more regular posting too.

See you in 2012.

xo
JBean

 

Image from WallPaper Cafe

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Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies

Happy December Everyone!  I still cannot believe it is December 10th already, which means it is only 15 days away from Christmas. I cannot wait to spend quality time with my family and friends and truly enjoy the magic of the season, but I guess I better work on finishing my shopping.

CH and I have been busy this week getting ready for Christmas: we bought our tree from the St. Lawrence Market (the same man has been selling trees at the farmers market for 26 years!) and CH got to carry our tree home (yes, he felt like a lumberjack – see below!); we went to the 2nd Annual Outdoor Christmas Market in the Distillery District (which was absolutely incredible and immediately put us in the mood for Christmas); we decorated our apartment, our tree and had our first Cranberry Ginger Ale of the season, spiked with vodka of course, all the while watching Miracle on 34th Street; and the weekend was completed with an exhausting, but absolutely rewarding day in the kitchen with a good friend, baking Christmas treats until we couldn’t stand anymore.

Many of the recipes Kate and I baked together will be shared in the coming weeks, but today’s recipe is definitely going against the saying “Save the Best for Last” because these Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies, were definitely the BEST thing we baked the entire day.  These are Kate’s family cookies, her Mom made them for years, and then Kate started making them, and then she made them Vegan friendly.  Either way, Vegan or not, these are delicious and the perfect cookie for company, a gift or to eat all alone while no one is watching.

These are definitely going on my annual Christmas baking list, and I know if you give them a try, it will be on your list too. The recipe below is the non-Vegan recipe, with notes in brackets for the Vegan adaptations.

Merry Merry everyone (and thank you Kate for sharing your delicious recipe with my readers – they are in for a “treat” and readers, I’ve requested Kate to share many more of her Vegan recipes with us soon!)

Enjoy.

Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies

Yield:  About 7 Dozen
Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time: 18-20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups butter, softened to room temperature (equal amount of Earth Balance Buttery Sticks for vegan recipe)
  • 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (‘Enjoy Life’ mini chips are Kate’s favourite vegan ones and PC “The Decadent” semi-sweet chips/chunks are also veg-friendly but require chopping smaller)
  • 1 cup glaceed cherries, chopped to the size of the chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300F.

Using your stand-mixer with your beater blade (or in a large bowl) beat together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine flour and cornstarch. Add the flour mixture into the butter mixture until smooth (KSC note: I add the flour one cup at a time to the butter mixture, especially if using stand mixer. Otherwise, POOF!, flour explosion. Oh, it’s happened!)

Stir in chocolate chips and cherries to the cookie batter.

Drop the mixture by spoonful (about a generous tablespoon each cookie) onto ungreased or parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake 25-30 minutes (adjust to about 18-20 minutes if baking in convection oven).

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire-rack.

STORAGE/FREEZING:  These cookies keep very well in an airtight container once baked.  However, feel free to freeze these cookies, as they last longer and taste really good directly from the freezer (not that I know from experience!)

Recipe From Kate SC – originally from Hershey’s.

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Filed under Bread, Desserts

For You Annie: Cranberry Scones

I share today’s recipe with you with a double purpose, for one, I have been making these scones for over a year and they are heavenly.  There is no better way to start-off your holiday baking than with a batch of these super easy and comforting scones (not to mention they are great to have in the freezer for unexpected guests’).

The second reason is for Annie, the amazing lady behind Annie’s Eats and the original source of these scones I am sharing with you today.  You see, Annie suffered an incredible loss last week – her father, at the age of 59, was taken from her and her family suddenly and tragically.  I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and grief she has been going through this past week and a half, and I can do nothing but give her my strength from afar.  A bunch of us fellow blogging friends wanted to show our support for Annie and her family during this difficult time, and what better idea than to share some comforting recipes that we wish we could bring to her.

Annie - these scones and this post are for you.  Thank you for all the inspiration over the years, and for your dedication to our food blogging community.  Please know that we are here to support you during this difficult time, even though we know you are strong and will get through it.  Your Dad sounds like he was an amazing man, and will be missed in person, but know he will always be with you in spirit and in your memories.

Annie’s Cranberry Scone

Yield: 12 scones small scones or 6 large
Prep Time:  15 minutes
Cook Time:  15 – 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 TBSP grated lemon zest
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup plus 3 TBSP sugar, divided
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 6 TBSP cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1.5 cups of cranberries, coarsely chopped (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup cream (I use 18%)
  • Additional sugar for sprinkling

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

Using a KitchenAid standmixer or by hand, combine the lemon zest, flour, ½ cup of sugar, baking powder and salt.  Mix briefly to blend.  Add in the cold butter pieces and mix on medium-high speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal and the butter pieces are no larger than peas.

In a small bowl, toss together the cranberries and the 3 TBSP of sugar.  Add these to the flour mixture above.

In another small bowl or a liquid measuring cup, combine the egg, egg yolk and heavy cream; whisk to blend.  Add the liquid ingredients to the standmixer with the dry ingredients and stir gently over low speed, just until all the dry ingredients are moistened.  Knead gently to be sure the dough is evenly mixed, being careful not to overwork the dough.

There are many ways to shape scones, so do as you please.  I use my hands and simply scoop up some of the dough, place it onto the cookie sheet, and pat down gently to create 1-inch thick rounds. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing the rounds 2-3 inches apart on the baking sheet.*  Top each scone with a sprinkle of sugar.

Bake in the preheated oven until light golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.  Remove immediately and enjoy.  Or, place in an air-tight container for enjoyment later.  If  you are having them the next day, I enjoy toasting theme for a minute or two, just to get them crispy again.

Enjoy.

Recipe from Annie’s Eats – Thank You Annie.

*ANNIE’S NOTE RE: FREEZING:  To freeze before baking, flash freeze at the point above where you see the ” * “.  Place the baking sheet with the shaped scones into the freezer and chill until frozen.  Transfer to a freezer-safe plastic bag and store until ready to bake.  If baking from the freezer, add approximately 5 minutes to the original baking time

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