Category Archives: christmas baking

Patchwork Peppermint Cookies

When Christmas rolls around I like to have a cookie tray filled with different cookies for my guests to enjoy. Although there will be few holiday visits this year I still wanted to have a few special cookies in the house for the family.

patchwork peppermint cookie

The recipe for patchwork peppermint cookies is a new cookie that I modified from the patterned cookie recipe. The cookies are sweet with a hint of peppermint and are colourful on any tray.

The recipe is a bit fussy and the assembly of the cookies takes a little longer than usual but it is worth the work. The cookies can be made in two and a half hours. This includes the time the batter rests in the refrigerator.

The recipe can be modified for different holidays. Change the colour of the food colour and add a different extract to make your holiday cookie special. For example, for a summer birthday use yellow food colouring in half the dough and add lemon extract. Yummy! Orange and red can be used for fall with maple extract.

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Walnut Ginger Cookies

Walnut ginger cookies are great for tea time. The cookies are sweet and crunchy with a subtle zip of crystallized ginger. They’re so easy to make you can whip them up in 1/2 hour, make a pot of herbal tea ,and be ready for entertaining.

walnut ginger cookies

My favourite spice is ginger and I like how the subtle heat of the spice comes through in baked goods. This recipe used dried ginger and crystallized ginger to flavour the dough. If you have fresh ginger you can grate it and substitute 1 tbsp for the dried spice.

I used walnuts in this recipe but if you don’t like them you could use chopped almonds. I’ve tried chopped cashews but find them too sweet combined with both types of sugar. If you have a sweet tooth though, you could add them, add some dried coconut and reduce the brown sugar by 1/4 cup.

If you want to serve these on a Christmas platter and need to jazz up the cookie appearance I’d use coloured sprinkles mixed into the batter. Icing on this cookie is too sweet for my taste.

Enjoy!

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Harvest Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie has always been a staple in my home on the holidays. It’s rich creamy texture blended with fragrant pie spices is warm and comforting and brings back many happy memories of childhood. That’s why when I decided to try a vegan lifestyle I was a little hesitant to try a vegan pumpkin pie. I tried recipes made with tofu and I wasn’t happy with the taste. I tried other recipes made with coconut cream. They’re better but many recipes don’t have enough spices.

Harvest pumpkin pie is a vegan recipe using coconut cream with the tasty spices I remember. If you don’t like pie spice try cutting the spices in half and tasting before baking the pie. You can also use either pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger separately.

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Cost Saving Pumpkin Spice Syrup

It’s Thanksgiving again in Canada and at this time of year pumpkin spice baked goods and drinks are found just about everywhere.

Autumn colours in Canada

Pumpkin spice drinks can be costly but there is a simple solution. Cost effective pumpkin spice syrup is easy to make and when added to your drinks can give you the fall taste you love at a fraction of the cost.

It contains only 5 ingredients and can be stored for up to a week in the refrigerator. You can use fresh or canned pumpkin. Just make sure if you use the fresh version that the vegetable has been processed and is very smooth

Cost effective pumpkin spice syrup can also be used in baked goods. Try making a pumpkin muffin and infusing the centre with the filling after baking. You might have to thicken the recipe a bit more to do this.

You can use the syrup in many drinks. Try adding a tablespoon to your coffee or making a quick latte. I like heating almond or cashew milk and adding a tablespoon to the hot mixture.

If you like a stronger spice flavour simply add more of the syrup to your beverage.

For an amazing fall combination try serving your beverage with Apple Crumble Muffins or Pumpkin Pie.

Enjoy!

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GINGER COOKIES

Ginger cookies are sweet and moist. The combination of molasses, banana and ginger melts in your mouth. Try serving the cookies with hot tea or a strong cup of coffee.

Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS
Ginger Cookies

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1/3 cup molasses

1/4 cup mashed banana

2 flax eggs

3 tsp baking powder

1 1/4 cups flour

3 tsp ginger

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Peanut Cereal Candy

Peanut butter and cereal create a sweet treat for those times when you have a snack attack. Make a double batch and store the extra in the freezer for  when you have the munchies.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup corn syrup

1/2 cup peanut butter

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Patterned Cookies

This recipe takes more time than many of the icebox cookies but the results are worth the effort. The designs are pretty and the cookie is delicious.  You’ll need an afternoon to bake these cookies so make an extra batch while you are baking and freeze  the leftovers.

Ingredients

1 cup soft butter

2/3 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

DIRECTIONS

Mix first butter, sugar and vanilla  until light and fluffy. 

Add flour and salt to the mixture.  Blend until just combined. Do not overwork dough.

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Yule Log

This show piece for your Christmas table takes some time to make but the recipe isn’t hard.  Use your imagination to decorate the tree stump.  You can be traditional and make it look like a tree or you can be more abstract as in my example.  Either way the chocolate icing against the light and airy cake is delicious.

Ingredients

5 eggs( separated)

1 cup sugar

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup cocoa

dash of salt

1 package ricotta cheese

2 cups cranberries

1 cup water

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Easy Trifle

There are several desserts my English grandmother prepared for her family on celebrations for her family. Easy trifle is one of them. This recipe is quickly thrown together and makes a festive addition to the holiday table.

INGREDIENTS

1 boxed vanilla cake mix

custard powder

2 raspberry or cherry jelly powders

raspberry jam

whipped cream

raspberries or walnuts

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Pumpkin Pie

This pumpkin pie recipe is my mother’s and  I can’t count the number of times we’ve baked this pie for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The custard has the perfect balance of cinnamon and ginger and is fantastic served with vanilla whipped cream or ice cream.

Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

1 cup pumpkin

pumpkin pie slice

3/4 cup white sugar

1 cup milk

2 eggs beaten

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

pinch of salt

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