Thursday, 27 December 2012

Breakfast Enchiladas

This is a great make-ahead breakfast idea.  It's also a great way to use up leftover ham.


2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup each chopped red and green pepper
2 cups finely chopped ham
8 - 8" flour tortillas
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
6 eggs
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce


In a non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium hear, cook onion, garlic and green and red peppers for about 5 minutes or until softened.  Stir in ham.  Place about 3 tablespoons onto half of each tortilla; sprinkle each with about 3 tablespoons of cheese.  Roll up tightly and place, seam side down, in a greased 9" x 13" baking dish.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs; blend in milk, flour and hot pepper sauce.  Pour over tortillas.  Cover and refrigerate over night or for up to 12 hours.  Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before continuing.  Bake, covered with foil in a 350 degree F oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until egg mixture is set and knife inserted in centre comes out clean.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese, let stand for 5 minutes. 

Makes 8 servings

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Florentine Cookie Bars


These heavenly bars are a little time consuming, but well worth the effort.  They are part bar cookie and part candy.  I found the recipe about five years ago and have made them every year since at Christmas.  They are as delicious as they are attractive. 


1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
3 cups all-purpose flour


2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups whipping cream
3/4 cup butter, cubed
2/3 cup liquid honey
4 cups sliced almonds
1 1/2 cups candied cherries
3/4 cup currants


1 lb. white candy coating



In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg.  Gradually add flour and mix well.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.

Press dough into an ungreased 15-inch x 10-inch x 1-inch baking pan.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 7 to 9 minutes or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, in a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, cream, butter and honey.  Cook stirring occasionally, until a candy thermometer reads 246 degrees F (firm-ball stage).  Remove from heat; stir in the almonds, cherries and currants.  Spread evenly over the crust.

Bake for 18-22 minutes or just until filling is set.  Cool completely on a wire rack.  Refrigerate overnight.

Remove Florentine from pan.  With a sharp knife, trim edges of crust, discard the trim.  Cut lengthwise into six strips; cut each strip into 16 triangles.

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt candy coating; stire until smooth.  Dip the short side of each triangle into candy coating, place on waxed paper.  Drizzle with additional candy coating.  Let stand until set.  Cover and store in the refrigerator.

Yield: 8 dozen

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Gingerbread Cookies

I like my gingerbread cookies thin and crispy.  If you like them thick and chewy, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. 



1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups light or dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups molasses
2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons cinnamon
4 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon groung cloves
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
7 cups all-purpose flour


  1. In a saucepan or in the microwave, melt the butter.  Stir in sugar, molasses, salt and spices.  Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.  Let it cool to lukewarm, then beat in the egg.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the baking powder and soda into the flour.  Stir the dry ingredients into the molasses mixture.  Divide the dough into four circles and wrap well.  Refrigerate for 1 hour or longer.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 
  4. Using one disc at a time, roll the dough out to 1/8-inch thickness.  I like to roll my dough between two sheets of parchment.  That way, you aren't adding more flour to your dough.  It tends to become tough when you add additional flour.  If you prefer a more chewy texture to your cookie, roll to 1/4-inch. 
  5. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters. 
  6. Transfer cookies to an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake the cookies just until they're slightly brown around the edges, 8 to 12 minutes, or until they feel firm.  Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for several minutes or until they're set.  Tranfer them to a rack to cool completely.  Repeat with remaining dough. 
  7. Decorate with royal icing. 
This recipe makes 6 dozen 3" cookies.  It is easily halved. 

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Scotch Shortbread

It doesn't get much simpler than this!  Mix the ingredients together and flatten into a jellyroll pan.  Bake and enjoy!  These are melt in your mouth good and they keep for weeks. 


1 lb./2 cups butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups all-purpose flour


Combine butter, sugar, vanilla and half the flour.  Add the rest of the flour.  Work with hands until smooth.  Flatten into a 10 x 15 inch jelly roll pan.  Prick with a fork.  Bake in 300 degree F oven for about 45 to 55 minutes or until lightly browned.  Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.  Cut while still warm. 

Monday, 26 November 2012

Swedish Spritz Cookies


2 cups softened butter
2 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar
4 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salr
2 teaspoons lemon extract
4 cups all-purpose flour


Cream butter with electric mixer.  Gradually add icing sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg yolks, salt and extract until blended.  Combine butter mixture with flour.  Stir well to blend.  Use cookie press for shapes.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 5 to 10 minutes or until just before starting to brown on edges.  Time depends on size of cookie. 

Makes about 6 dozen cookies. 

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Cherry Loaf Pound Cake

For this festive looking loaf you can use either red or green candied cherries.  I like to use half of each.  It keeps well for weeks.  It makes a lovely hostess gift.  


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup candied cherries, halved
1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons almond extract


In a small bowl, combine flour and salt. Stir well to blend.  Mix 1/2 cup of the flour mixture with cherries.  In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add remianing 11/2 cups flour gradually.  Stir in extract and floured cherries, mixing until well blended.  Spread mixture in greased 9" x 5" loaf pan.  Bake at 300 degrees F for 90 to 100 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.  Don't be concerned if the cake cracks on top, it is supposed to. 

Make 1 large loaf. 



Friday, 23 November 2012

Fruit and Nut Refrigerator Cookies

These cookies are so pretty on a tray of assorted Christmas cookies.



2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teasopoon salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 cup chopped candies cherries


Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir well to blend.  Cream butter, shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla thoroughly.  Stir flour mixture into creamed mixture.  Mix well.  Add nuts and fruit.  Chill 1/2 hour for easier handling if desired.  Shape dough into 2 smooth rolls about 1 1/2" in diameter.  Wrap in waxed paper and chill overnight or until firm.  Slice with sharp thin knife into 1/4" slices.  Place on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 8 to 12 minutes, or until golden.  Makes about 8 dozen cookies. 

Peanut Butter Snowballs

When my kids were little, I used to ask them what treats they wanted me to make at Christmas.  They always said Peanut Butter Snowballs.  I have been making these for about 20 years.  We never get tired of them.  They're easy, fast and delicious! 


1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 cup graham crumbs
8 squares semi-sweet Baker's chocolate



Beat sugar, peanut butter and butter.  Stir in crumbs.

Shape into 1-inch balls and place on waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.

Chill for 30 minutes or until firm.

Melt chocolate over hot water or in microwave on MEDIUM power for 2 to 3 minutes.  Dip balls and place on waxed paper-lined cookie sheet, chill.  Store covered in refrigerator. 

Makes 24 snowballs.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Pumpkin Gingerbread Loaf


2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon dry powdered mustard
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup strong prepared black coffee
1 cup mashed cooked pumpkin
2 cups pecans, chopped



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a large (7 cup capacity) 9"x5"x3" loaf pan.  Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and mustard and set aside. 

In a large bowl, cream the butter.  Add the sugar and eggs.  Beat to mix.  On low speed, add half of the dry ingredients, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Beat only until barely incorporated.  Mix in the coffee.  Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat only until incorporated.  Add the pumpkin, scraping the bowl as necessary, beat only until incorporated.  Stir in the pecans. 

Turn into the prepared pan and smooth the top.  Then, with the back of a spoon, form a trench down the middle, 1/2 to 1 inch deep.  The trench will prevent the middle from rising too high, although it will rise some and form a crack down the length of the cake (it is supposed to). 

Bake for 1 hour and 10 to 15 minutes, until the top feels slightly firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool the cake in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes.  Turn the loaf out the pan and let cool on a wire rack. 

Makes 1 large loaf.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Sweetheart Cookies


1 1/2 cups butter (no substitutes), softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons raspberry or strawberry preserves
Confectioners' sugar


In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Add egg yolks; mix well.  Stir in flour by hand.  On a lightly floured surface, gently knead dough for 2-3 minutes or until thoroughly combined.  Roll into 1-inch balls.  Place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets.  Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make an indentation in the center of each.  Fill each with 1/4 teaspoon of preserves.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 13 to 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Remove to wire racks.  Dust warm cookies with confectioners' sugar.  Cool.  They freeze well.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Fudge Puddles

These little cups of heaven are essentially a peanut butter cookie baked in a small muffin cup and then filled with a soft smooth fudgie filling. 


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Sift together flour, baking soda and salt.
Cream butter, peanut butter, white and brown sugars.  Mix in egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.  Stir the flour mixture into creamed mixture.  Shape dough into 48 balls, 1 inch each.  Place each ball in one compartment of a mini muffin tin.
Bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes.  Then carefully remove to wire racks. 
For the filling, melt chocolate chips in the microwave.  Stir in milk and vanilla, mix well. 
Using a piping bag or even a zip type bag with a small corner cut out, fill each cup with the filling. 

Makes 48 mini cups. 

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Bavarian Apple Cheesecake

This dessert is a lovely cross between apple pie and cheesecake.

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
Press into a 9 to 10-inch springform pan and up the sides about half way.

8 oz. (250g) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Beat ingredients together and pour on top of unbaked crust.

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups sliced apples
Mix together and sprinkle on top of cream cheese layer.

1/4 cup sliced almonds
Sprinkle on top of apple mixture.

Bake at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes, then 400 degrees F for 25 minutes.  Let cool and then refrigerate. 

Serves 10 to 12

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Giant Pecan Sticky Buns


1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup butter, softened (divided)
1 cup pecan pieces or halves
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 packages (8 grams each) quick-rise instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup warm water (105 degrees F to 115 degrees F / 40 degrees C to 45 degrees C)
3/4 cup warm milk ( 105 degrees F to 115 degrees F / 40 degrees C to 45 degrees C)
2 eggs
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup raisins



Heat brown sugar, corn syrup and 3 tablespoons butter in saucepan until sugar dissolves, stirring often.  Pour into greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan.  Arrange pecans evenly in bottom.

In large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, granulated sugar, undissolved yeast and salt.  Stir warmed water, milk and 1/3 cup butter into dry ingredients.  Stir in eggs and enough remaining flour to make soft dough.  Knead on floured surface until smooth, about 6 to 8 minutes.  Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.  Roll dough into a 24 x 18-inch rectangle.  Melt remaining butter (about2 tablespoons); brush on dough.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and raisins.  Beginning at short end, roll up as for jelly roll.  Pinch seams to seal; cut into 8 pieces.  Place in pan, cut sides up.  Cover tightly.  Refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours. 

Remove from refrigerator.  Uncover dough; let stand for 10 minutes.  Bake at 375 degrees F / 190 degrees C for 35 to 40 minutes or until done.  Invert onto serving tray. 

Dough can also be frozen.  Place dough in prepared pan; wrap airtight with plastic wrap, then foil.  Freeze up to 4 weeks.  To bake, remove from freezer, unwrap.  Thaw at room temperature 1 to 2 hours.  Let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.  Bake as directed. 

Makes 8 giant sticky buns.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Pancake Syrup

This syrup is no way supposed to replace pure maple syrup.  I used this syrup when my children were young.  They had no idea what real maple syrup tasted like and all they wanted to do was make that toaster waffle swim in syrup.  This is similar to other name brand bottled syrups, but it is a fraction of the cost. 



3 cups water
3 cups granulated sugar 
3 cups brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup

1 tbsp lemon juice, bottled or fresh
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp maple flavouring



Combine first 4 ingredients in large saucepan.  Stir on medium-high until it boils.  Remove from heat.

Add lemon juice, vanilla and maple flavouring.  Stir.  At this point you can either fill hot sterilized jars to within 1/4 of top and seal.  Or, I just put it into clean 1L bottles and store in the refrigerator. 

Makes 3 1/2 pints or 2L. 

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes


2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 tespoon ground allspice
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups mashed, cooked pumpkin
3 eggs
1 cup milk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and sugar.  In a large bowl, beat together the pumpkin, eggs, milk, oil and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients and blend thoroughly. 

Pour 1/4 cup batter on a hot greased griddle.  Cook until the bottom is lightly browned and bubbles form.  Turn and finish cooking on the other side.  Serve with hot syrup. 

Serves 8