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In Baking & Recipes/ Christmas

Holiday Project Roundup / Dipped Peppermint Sticks


This really is a project that needs little details on how to accomplish – but instead I’m posting it it for inspiration should you be throwing a Holiday party this season and are looking for little details to add a little pizzazz. The bulk stores have an array of Holiday themed candies – including these peppermint sticks (10 for $1.00!) 

Step 1: Melt chocolate wafers (I used the double broiler method)
Step 2: When the chocolate is liquid, dip the peppermint into the chocolate
Step 3: Set the peppermint sticks on a cookie sheet
Step 4: Let the chocolate harden slightly, and then sprinkle some sprinkles lightly over the chocolate. The reason I let the chocolate sit a bit is that you want the excess chocolate to dip off, and you don’t want it to take the sprinkles with it. 

Final step is to put in your hot chocolate and enjoy! 


In Baking & Recipes/ Christmas

Holiday Project Roundup / Making Candied Orange Peels

My Mom made some candied orange peels last week for the holidays and I kid you not, they were the best things I had ever tasted. I was hooked. I decided to try my hand at making my own batch this past weekend. I think this will be a new tradition over here – It’s a simple thing to make, not many ingredients and plus – oranges, and chocolate remind me of the holidays. (Perhaps because of the orange ovations that my parents used to have scattered throughout the house, and that I used to eat ALL the time). So here is how I made them, including a video. 

YOU WILL NEED:

  • 4 Navel Oranges 
  • 3 Cups of White Sugar 
  • 1 Cup of Water 
  • 1 Candy Thermometer (It needs to be specifically a candy one as regular baking ones don’t go high enough) 
  • Chocolate Chips to melt 

 INSTRUCTIONS

  • Peel 4 Navel Oranges, slice the peels into thin slices. 
    Note: I did thin, I did thick. It’s a matter of personal preference. They tastes awesome no matter what you do. (But thinner slices go a longer way)
  • Put the Peels in a pot of water, bring to a boil. 
  • Remove the pot of peels from the stove, strain and then repeat Step 1. again. You want to do this three times – this softens up the peels. 
  • After you have done it the third time, set the peels to the side. 
  • Put three cups of white sugar in a pot and add 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil on medium heat. Be sure to continuously stir the mixture while it gets to the point of boiling. 
  • Once it reaches the boiling point, stop stirring and add the candy thermometer – Bring the sugar mix up to 230 degrees. (No stirring) 
  • Once at 230 degrees remove the thermometer and add the orange peels. Let them sit for 50 minutes. You can stir occasionally but don’t do it too often. 
  • After 50 minutes, remove the peels from the stove, drain and place the peels on parchment paper. Let them sit for an hour or two. They need to cool down, but still be sticky. 
  • Once cool, but still sticky place them in a bowl of sugar and coat. 
  • Set them aside overnight. This gets them to harden. 
  • The next day, melt some chocolate (I used the double broiler method) and dip the slices into the chocolate. Place them back on the parchment paper. 
  • Let them sit in room temperature. 
  • Eat them all. 

That is it. I have to tell you that this was such a fun project for me to do. Not only were they delicious to eat but creatively it was such a fun outlet for me taking the photographs and doing the video. After a busy, crazy month work wise – This kind of thing is what I just love to do – figuring out new photographing techniques, styling, baking. I do it because I adore it and the blog is just canvas for me to put it all on. Anyhow, as much as I love the chocolate dipped orange peels – this was also as much about just creatively having fun. 🙂 I hope it inspires! xo

Lindsay


This post was originally posted on December 16, 2013. While I’m at the One of a Kind Show, I’m reposting my favourite holiday projects from years past, in hopes that you find some baking / crafts that inspire you. xo

In Baking & Recipes/ Christmas

Holiday Project Roundup / World’s Best Sugar Cookies

In 2007, right before the Holidays, my Dad came home from work and was raving about the best sugar cookies that he had ever had. An articling student, Sarah Shody, had baked cookies for her fellow articling students at the firm and shared the extras with some of the lawyers – one of those lawyers being my Father. As well as sharing the cookies, Sarah shared the actual recipe with my Dad – who transcribed it onto his computer and printed it for the family recipe collection. Dad also printed a copy of the recipe for me that year and that printout sits among my cookbooks and is simply titled “Sarah’s Sugar Cookies”. I should also note that the recipe has remarks at the top – explaining how our family came to get this recipe.

This year, some girlfriends on the street invited me to take part in a cookie exchange, and when I was deciding what to make, “Sarah’s Sugar Cookies” came to mind. Sugar cookies are a no fail cookie, but they also made me think of Dad, his sweet tooth, and how much he loved them. So these were the cookies I decided to make. I googled Sarah’s name and found her at another firm, and she generously allowed me to share her recipe on the blog. So, here you go. The best sugar cookies you’ll ever have. Thank you again to Sarah for sharing these with my Dad in 2007, and letting me share these with you today.

 

INGREDIENTS
1 1/4 Cup of white sugar
1 Package of cream cheese
1/2 cup of mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1 cup of soft butter
1 egg
2 1/4 cups of white flour

COOKIE INSTRUCTIONS
1. Mix sugar, cheeses, vanilla, butter, and egg together until blended
2. Add in flour and mix until blended to make the dough. Chill overnight (Best to wrap in wax paper)
3. Roll the dough with a rolling pin and use a cookie cutter to makes shapes. Use lots of flour as the dough is quite sticky
4. Bake on a non stick baking pan for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees F.
5. Let Cookies cool for 30 minutes then decorate!

ROYAL ICING
[Lindsay’s remarks] I don’t pay much attention to icing recipes as a lot of the time it’s you just determining the thickness you want. I go for a thicker consistency which allows kids to stick candy in the icing and it stays in one spot vs. dripping anywhere. My trick is to do royal icing with meringue powder. 

  • 4 Cups Icing Sugar
  • 3 TableSpoons of Meringue Powder
  • Almond Extract (Or choose a different flavour if you’d like, like pepermint or vanilla – but I love Almond)
  • Warm Water

Mix all together, add more icing sugar or water to determine the consistency you want. I use my Cruisinart food processor. Add a dash of colouring if you’d like. 

Above are the ones I made this morning and below are Oscar’s cookies that he decorated… I love how kids PILE on the candy! Too cute.


This was originally posted December 18, 2013 / As I’m at the One Of A Kind Show, I’ve rounded up some of my favourite holiday decor projects and will be re-posting them for you to enjoy. Instead of making you click all over the place, I am putting the projects in their entirety here. Enjoy! xoxo