Category Archives: halloween baking

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!

Continue reading Cost Saving Pumpkin Spice Syrup

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

Continue reading Peanut Cereal Candy

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.

Continue reading Patterned Cookies

Almond Toffee

Almond toffee is perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth. It’s easy to make, has a satisfying crunch, and is perfect as a homemade gift to those you love. Try substituting the nuts with cashews or pumpkin seeds for a different flavour.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup butter

Almond toffee

1 1/3 cups sugar

1 tbsp corn syrup

3 tbsp of water

1 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp baking soda

almonds

sea salt

Continue reading Almond Toffee

Caramel Corn

This time of year I think about my grandmother.  She passed away many years ago but I have many fond memories of visiting her house every weekend.  On special occasions she would pull out her tattered recipe book and make some special treats.  Caramel corn was one of those recipes and I carry on the tradition of making it at Halloween and Christmas.  Sweet and crunchy this recipe is sure to please carollers or trick or treaters.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup popcornCaranel Corn

1 cup butter

2 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup golden corn syrup

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

Continue reading Caramel Corn

Christmas Gingerbread

When December comes I like to pull out recipes that I haven’t used throughout the year.  One of my favourites is the recipe for Christmas Gingerbread.  The combination of spices and sweet molasses is always a crowd-pleaser and kids love the decorated shapes. 

INGREDIENTSChristmas Gingerbread

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup molasses

1 tsp vanilla

3 cups flour

1 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking powder

1.2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS

Continue reading Christmas Gingerbread

Sugar Cookies

I always make sugar cookies for Christmas.  I have fond memories of rolling dough and cutting intricate shapes. I use this recipe for Easter and Halloween cookies as well simply changing the shapes of the cookies.  They can be decorated intricately if desired but I take the more rustic approach.  I top with coloured sugar, mints, sprinkles or royal icing.

Ingredients

2 cups flour

Decorated Sugar Cookies1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar Continue reading Sugar Cookies

Royal Icing for Christmas Cookies

This simple royal icing recipe is perfect for icing sugar cookies, ginger cookies or gingerbread houses.  Colour with your favourite shades of red and green for a festive alternative.

INGREDIENTS

4 cups icing sugarRoyal Icing

2 tbsp meringue powder

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 cup water Continue reading Royal Icing for Christmas Cookies

Swirled Sugar Cookies

Swirled sugar cookies are a great addition to any holiday table.  Simply adjust the colour of the dough to the occasion; orange for Halloween, red for Christmas, purple for Easter and so on.

INGREDIENTSSwirled sugar cookies

3 cups flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1.2 cup butter

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

Red or green food colouring

DIRECTIONS

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.  Set aside.

Cream butter, shortening, sugar, vanilla and eggs together.

Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Mix until well incorporated.

Remove half of the dough into another bowl.  Add 10 drops of food colouring to half of the dough and mix until dough is coloured evenly.  Chill both bowls of dough.

Roll out each roll of dough into a rectangle the same size as the other.  I like to do this on parchment paper so the dough can be easily moved.

Place coloured dough on top of uncoloured dough,

Using the parchment paper roll a log.  Chill for at least an hour.

Cut into slices and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.

Note:  Cookies can be crusted with sprinkles on the edges if desired before baking.

 

Hard Candy

Hard candy is made from an unusual combination of vinegar and sugar.  It’s a great addition to a Christmas gift basket or cookie tin.

INGREDIENTSHard Candy

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup vinegar

2 tbsp butter

10 drops green food colouring

DIRECTIONS

Place ingredients in a large saucepan and heat until sugar is dissolved in mixture.  Boil until a candy thermometer indicates the hard ball stage for sugar is reached (266 degrees Fahrenheit). Be careful the sugar will be very hot and can burn easily.

Pour into a greased and lined 8 inch pan.  Chill

Break into pieces and serve.