Vegan Cookie Dough You Can Eat By The Spoonful

Everyone knows the best part about baking cookies is eating the dough. But we also know that eating it raw can be dangerous. So what’s a cookie dough lover to do? Make vegan cookie dough instead! No eggs, no flour, just pure deliciousness.

vegan chocolate chip cookie dough5

Close your eyes when you take the first bite; you won’t believe it’s vegan. Chickpeas offer the perfect smooth, creamy base while also providing much fibre and protein. So whip up a batch next time you’ve got a cookie dough craving, and dig in!

vegan chocolate chip cookie dough1

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1, 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup almond butter
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Place all ingredients in the food processor, except for the chocolate chips.

vegan chocolate chip cookie dough2

2. Pulse until the mixture is well blended and smooth.

vegan chocolate chip cookie dough3

3. Remove from the food processor, fold in chocolate chips and enjoy with a spoon!

vegan chocolate chip cookie dough4

Want more? Check out: 40 Vegan Desserts Even Non-Vegans Will Love.

Photos by Sarah Grossman.

vegan-mac-and-cheese

The Best Vegan Substitutions for Eggs, Dairy and More

Eating a vegan diet shouldn’t mean letting go of your favourite foods and flavours.  Whether you are beginner vegan or cooking for a vegan friend,  making animal-friendly food is now easier than ever. Even common ingredients like cheese, eggs, milk and even meat have easy vegan alternatives and substitutions. Here, we show you how to easily make your most-loved recipes (even the meatiest ones) with a vegan twist.  These easy substitutions will help make your dreams of fluffy vegan pancakes, vegan cheese and even vegan alfredo sauce a tasty reality.

Vegan Cheese

Most major grocery stores now have a vegan food aisle, complete with vegan “cheeses” that are shredded, sliced and bursting with real-dairy appeal. There are lots of great vegan cheese brands to choose from, but you can also make it yourself. To make your own vegan “cheese” at home, you’ll want to pick up nutritional yeast, a vegan staple with a rich, Parmesan-meets-cheddar flavour. Nutritional yeast can be pulsed in a food processor or blender with soaked raw cashews or medium-firm tofu to make a ricotta-style “cheese,” or pulverized with walnuts to make pasta-perfect “parmesan.” To make tangy, vegan Greek “feta,” skip the nutritional yeast and instead crumble medium-firm tofu into a bowl, then toss with distilled white or white wine vinegar, black pepper, salt and dried oregano.

Vegan Egg Substitute

In baking recipes like cookies and muffins, if you’re replacing just one egg, you can simply use 2 Tbsp of water in its place. If a recipe calls for two to three eggs, it’s time to pull from your egg-free bag of tricks. For the same volume of eggs, use mashed banana, a pinch of baking powder mixed with applesauce, soy yogurt or ground flaxseeds mixed with water. In savoury baking, like quiche, try soft (silken) tofu blended until smooth with a bit of flour and salt.

Vegan Milk and Cream Substitute

Even meat-eating households have some form of non-dairy “milk” in the fridge. Take your pick of delicious and nutrient-rich soy, coconut, rice, almond, oat and cashew milks, and add to recipes in the exact quantity called for. Buy unsweetened varieties, for use in both savoury and sweet recipes, and try full-fat canned coconut milk as an alternative to regular heavy whipping cream. To make vegan buttermilk, add 1 Tbsp lemon juice per 1 cup of non-dairy milk.

Vegan Substitute for Meat and Poultry

While you can have your pick of prepared vegan “meats,” many plant-based cooks prefer to keep things all-natural. Cooked, mashed lentils make an amazing base for “meaty” meatless pies, while portobello and shiitake mushrooms add big, bold umami taste to any dish. For burgers, turn cooked, mashed beans and rice into patties, or roll into “meatballs” to serve with tomato sauce and pasta.

Vegan Butter

Vegan margarine and “butter” are an easy, store-bought solution to any recipe calling for the stuff, but there’s another option, too. Coconut butter or coconut oil can be mixed with water and added to your recipe as a creamy substitute. For every 1 cup of butter in a recipe, use 3/4 cup liquefied coconut butter or coconut oil and 1/4 cup of water.

Vegan Sauces and Condiments

This may surprise you, but animal products are hiding in many common condiments and sauces. Worcestershire sauce, Caesar salad dressing and puttanesca sauce all contain anchovies, a good number of prepared miso pastes contain fish and mayonnaise is loaded with eggs. Check out your local health food store or your grocery store’s vegan aisle to purchase plant-based alternatives. Or, if you have the time, you may even want to try making them yourself.

You can have your cream sauce and eat it, too. Try this decadent (but healthy!) Vegan Lemon Fettuccine Alfredo, and kick dairy to curb.

Ina Garten’s New Year’s Eve Dinner Party Menu

Take a page from the queen of entertaining and ring in 2017 with a celebratory dinner chock-full of simple, yet indulgent dishes. Here’s how to throw the perfect New Year’s Eve party Ina Garten-style.

Keep it intimate and informal

Don’t feel pressured to create a fancy feast just because you’re hosting the last ‘hurrah’ of the holidays.  Keep your menu easy and let the ambiance do the work. Dress up your kitchen table with your finest china, cutlery and of course, candles. Ina tends to keep her dinner parties small and intimate. Try to pare down to a maximum of 8 guests — it will make the occasion feel extra special.

Make ahead as much as possible

No host likes to be hunched over the stove as guests arrive. Good thing Ina has some time-saving tricks, including easy make-ahead dishes. The key to stress-free holiday hosting is all about the planning. Once you know your menu, you’ll be surprised to find how many dishes can be made a day or two in advance and reheated just before guests arrive.

The Menu

Keep it seasonal and stress-free with warming, comfort food dishes that are also easy to make.

Ham and Cheese Board

1. Cheese Board

A cheese board is an easy appetizer that you can assemble in a flash. A good plate should have a few different flavours and textures, include a hard cheese, a semi-firm cheese, a soft cheese and a nice blue for some added bite. Balance out your board with some sweet grapes, fig jam, sliced baguette, nuts and crispy crackers. If you are looking to beef up your board, add some thick-sliced ham and good quality grainy mustard.

Shrimp Bisque

2. Shrimp Bisque

This elegant bisque soup makes an appetizing first course, just enough to tease the palate. Make a pot ahead of time and reheat as guests arrive.

cider-pork-tenderloin-fresh-herbs

3. Cider-Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Marinating this succulent pork overnight makes a luxurious and speedy New Year’s Eve dinner. Cider, maple syrup and fresh herbs like rosemary and ginger make for a fresh and subtly sweet main that is warm, comforting and elegant.

Bread Pudding

4. Ina Garten’s Panettone Bread Pudding

No meal is complete without a little something sweet — and that’s especially true for New Year’s Eve! This scrumptious bread pudding, full of nuts and candied fruit, can be made earlier in the day and served at room temperature.

Champagne Cocktails

5. Champagne Cocktails

Just before the big countdown, surprise guests with Ina’s Champagne Cocktail. Happy New Year!

Jalapeno Popper Dip Recipe copy

Jalapeño Popper Dip is Your Favourite New Make-Ahead Appetizer

Everything you love in a jalapeño popper is whirred into a cheesy, party-perfect dip. Spicy jalapeños, crispy bacon, cream cheese and a crunchy topping come together for a delicious, ultra-indulgent dip. Serve this up with veggies and tortilla chips at your next party for a crowd-pleasing riff on the new-classic appetizer.

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Serves: 8 to 10

Ingredients: 
6 strips bacon
2 (250 g) pkgs cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
4 jalapeños, seeded and finely diced
3 green onions, minced
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
Sliced veggies or tortilla chips for serving

Dip prechop

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon, turning occasionally, until crispy, about 10 min. Remove bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and reserve 2 Tbsp bacon grease in a medium heat-safe bowl. Once bacon is cool, chop or crumble into pieces.
3. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese until smooth. Gradually mix in mayonnaise until fully combined. To cream cheese and mayonnaise, add Cheddar, jalapenos, green onions and bacon pieces and mix to combine. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly into a 9-inch round ovenproof dish.

Jalapeno Popper Dip Recipe

4. Stir panko into reserved bacon grease and sprinkle over cream cheese mixture. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until bubbling at the sides. Serve warm with tortilla chips or veggies for dipping.

Make-Ahead: You can make this dip ahead of time (without the panko topping, and prior to baking) and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Warm refrigerated bacon renderings in the microwave until liquefied and stir in panko. Sprinkle cream cheese mixture with panko mixture and bake, adding 5 minutes to the cooking time (40 to 45 minutes instead of 35 to 40 minutes).

Nothing gets a crowd going like a good dip, so here are over 25 party-perfect options to dive into.

Michael Smith's Oysters with Spicy Tomato Ice

How to Serve Oysters Like Chef Michael Smith

Nothing brings the glitz and glamour to a holiday party like freshly shucked oysters on ice. In this episode of Food Network Canada Chef School, Chef Michael Smith gives the ultimate cocktail party snack the Bloody Mary treatment with a spicy, lemony, white wine-spiked tomato ice. This savoury, granita-style topper adds a bold hit of flavour and a vibrant red hue to your platter – it definitely says, festive!

 

The first step is the spicy tomato ice, which needs to be prepared in advance, giving it ample time to freeze. The takeaway here is added sugar, which stops the tomato mixture from fully freezing. Natural sugars found in the white wine (he’s pretty casual about the variety of wine here, recommending to use what you’re drinking) also contribute to a slushier ice, which means smooth sailing come show time. And, for the requisite spicy element, Chef Michael Smith adds his go-to hot sauce. Combined with the natural, briny liquor (juice) found in the oysters, the combination positively sings on the palate.

This recipe, which Chef Michael Smith serves at his celebrated The Inn at Bay Fortune restaurant, uses Colville Bay oysters, a local variety from PEI with the great, big taste of the salty sea nearby. But, you can make it right at home, wherever you’re located, with his tips and tricks for safe shucking. Here, he shows you how to do it like a true PEI pro.

 

Easy, right? If you can’t find Colville Bay oysters, don’t fret; there are many more varieties from Prince Edward Island with a flavour, texture and appearance that will match your vibrant tomato ice. Try Pickle Point, Raspberry Point, Malpeque, Bedeque Bay or Summerside appellations, which all harbour delicious PEI oysters, too.

And forget plates. Oysters bring their own vessel, which adds a rustic, seaside touch to your festive spread. Be sure to keep these morsels on a bed of ice to keep your oysters ice-cold and the granita fresh.

Of course, one of the best parts of eating oysters is slurping them back, which always gets the conversation started! Treat your friends and family to this recipe for Chef Michael Smith’s Oysters with Spicy Tomato Ice.

Need more inspiration for your holiday entertaining? Try Lynn Crawford’s Seafood Risotto or Mark McEwan’s Ricotta Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce. Finish off your holiday dinner with Roger Mooking’s elegant Cookies and Cream Napoleons.

Roger Mooking's Cooking and Cream Napoleon

A Show-Stopping Strawberries & Cream Holiday Dessert

You can’t have a holiday dinner without a festive dessert, and Food Network Canada Chef School’s Chef Roger Mooking shows you how to make a red and white towering masterpiece that will woo your guests this season.

 

Plated desserts look ultra-impressive and are more festive than pie or cake, but can seem daunting to create at home. With a few pro techniques to make your star ingredients shine, this may be the easiest, show-stopper of a dessert you’ll ever whip up. Quick gourmet touches, like vanilla bean in the whipped cream (fridge-cold for full volume!), orange zest in the strawberries (balance that tang!) and sliced almonds in the pastry (turn up the texture!) transform ordinary ingredients into extraordinary elements.

With this recipe, contrasts are key. Almond flour (almond meal) is sprinkled evenly over each layer like falling snow, adding a nuanced nutty note and an intriguing texture. This dessert isn’t just about layering visually, but layering tastes and textures, too. It’s these small details that set this dessert apart, showing guests they’re as special as what’s on the plate.

 

Chef Roger Mooking’s tips for handling and storing leftover phyllo dough are smart and simple. Why not put those extras to good use and prepare other festive recipes that use phyllo dough this season, like baklava for your cookie tray and spanakopita triangles for your cocktail party?

We love the festive red and white theme with the strawberries, a fruit that you can get year-round, but Chef Roger Mooking encourages us to step outside of the box. Even if the fruit you choose isn’t in season, that little bit of sugar he adds ensures that off-season fruit tastes in-season, every time. The sugar here is also key to macerating the strawberries for a no-cook sauce with the perfect amount of sweet, syrupy juices.

Roger Mooking's Cooking and Cream Napoleon

When the components of your holiday trifecta are ready to be assembled, a sneaky chef trick, smudging a bit of the whipped cream mixture on the plate before you add the first layer, keeps your tower from tumbling. Bring it to the table with confidence!

Up the elegance with this recipe for Chef Roger Mooking’s Cookies and Cream Napoleon.

Need an impressive holiday main for guests? Try Lynn Crawford’s Seafood Risotto laden with crabs and scallops or Mark McEwan’s tender Ricotta Gnocchi served with a luxurious Gorgonzola cream sauce.

Mark McEwan's Ricotta Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Sauce

Cheese on Cheese: Easiest Ricotta Gnocchi with Luxurious Gorgonzola Sauce

If you’re interested in making your own gnocchi for a dinner party, but don’t know where to begin, keep it simple and start with this decadent, easy, cheesy ricotta gnocchi from Food Network Canada Chef School’s Chef Mark McEwan. More forgiving than the potato variety, ricotta gnocchi is a pillowy, luscious delight that you can DIY, even on if you’re hosting on a weeknight.

 

Chef Mark McEwan shows you just how relaxed homemade gnocchi can be, and he’ll walk you through every step with insider tips, tricks and foolproof techniques for a dish that’s sure to be your new party trick.

Even if you’re shy about homemade dough, you won’t be after trying your hand at this. It’s a little messy but incredibly stress-free to pull off. No pasta machines or fancy tools required, which is such an awesome tactile experience and a fun kitchen project to enjoy with family and friends.

Who knew so few ingredients could turn into something restaurant-quality in your own kitchen? Chef Mark McEwan loves to make this dish in front of guests for dinner and show. However, the beauty of this gnocchi recipe is that it can actually be made in advance so both those who like to cook in the moment and those who prefer to cook ahead of time will adore this recipe.

What’s more, the gnocchi can be served as a first course or main course, making it a versatile addition (even a last-minute one) to any dinner menu.

But first, more cheese!

 

Like all gnocchi, these are just begging for a little something special to be sauced in. Enter, a bold gorgonzola sauce – yes, it’s “cheese on cheese” as Chef Mark McEwan says! In this video, you’ll be amazed at just how easy it is to turn rich gorgonzola into a gnocchi sauce that’s pure luxury.

With the gnocchi cooked and the sauce complete, it’s time to tuck in. Chef Mark McEwan’s decadent, totally-worth-it, “cheese on cheese” recipe is the elevated comfort food we’re making for dinner tonight!

Find the Ricotta Gnocchi recipe here and the Easiest Gorgonzola Sauce recipe here.

For more holiday cooking inspiration, check out Lynn Crawford’s seafood risotto with crab and scallops.

Chef Lynn Crawford's Seafood Risotto

One-Pot Seafood Risotto from Lynn Crawford is Entertaining Made Easy

When you want to go that extra mile for friends and family around the holidays, you can still use that back-pocket one-pot cooking technique – especially when it’s as elegant as this party-pleasing seafood risotto.

 

Risotto is refined yet cozy comfort food, and here, Food Network Canada Chef School’s Chef Lynn Crawford is showing you how to master this crowd-pleasing meal, with a sophisticated seafood twist. The seafood included in this meal, fresh, sweet crab and juicy, meaty scallops aren’t your everyday risotto add-ins, which makes them super-special and worthy of a place on your Feast of the Seven Fishes Christmas Eve menu or a classy New Year’s Eve dinner at home.

Chef Lynn explains each and every ingredient so you can nail this dish on your first try. We find out that arborio rice is key to ultra-luscious risotto because its natural starches turn into a creamy sauce as you stir in the white wine, here, Chardonnay, which is naturally buttery on the palate, and the hot stock.

Flavours of red Thai chili, tarragon, parsley, lemon and Parmesan cheese make this dish pop, but are mellow enough to leave the sweet and succulent seafood front and centre.

 

To add that extra special touch, try picking your own crab meat out of the shell, or recruit a family member to be your sous chef. In this tip video, Chef Lynn shows you how to do it, and explains the different types of crabmeat you’re working with. Put on some holiday tunes and pick away until you get most of the meat out of the shell, setting it aside with the fun-sized scallops for their risotto debut. And save those shells for a seafood stock in the future.

After the final stir, our mouths are watering! Chef Lynn calls this risotto “a magical dish,” and we couldn’t agree more.

It’s time to take your tips, tricks and techniques, and put them to the test in your own kitchen. Stir up Chef Lynn Crawford’s Seafood Risotto this holiday season with her easy to follow recipe found here.

4 Genius Ways to Elevate Store-Bought Desserts

So you’ve been tasked with making or bringing a dessert, have you? While it’s a nice thought to want to bake up a spiced cake with hand-crafted frosting, crumble an amazing pie with those apples you picked in the fall, or even whip up a batch of the warmest cookies the season has to offer, sometimes time just isn’t on your side.

That’s when store-bought desserts from the local bakery or grocery store are oh-so-key. You can buy them ahead of time (giving you more time for other dishes or a little more sleep), and then thanks to these ingenious tips from our very own Anna Olson, you can take them to the next level. Trust us, these simple tricks just may have people thinking you slaved in the kitchen.

Just don’t forget to put the dish on your own plate before serving!

Classic Chocolate Sauce

Six ingredients, a pan and a whisk are all you need to make an indulgent, silky-smooth chocolate sauce that you can pour over decadent vanilla ice cream, fresh fruit, or—if you feel like it—just eat it straight up with a spoon. It’s that good.

 

Want to make something from scratch anyhow? Pair Anna’s Classic Chocolate Sauce with:

Brownie Sundae Explosion

Caramel Butter Tarts

Classic Caramel Sauce

We were shocked at how easy this yummy dessert-topper is to make with just a little planning and the foresight. It’s a classic addition to any crumbly, fruit-based dessert, but we love it mixed with brownies or other chocolaty items too.

 

Want to make something from scratch anyhow? Pair Anna’s Classic Caramel Sauce with:

Anna Olson’s Caramel Apples

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Raspberry Coulis

If you’ve got a creamy dessert or something chocolaty on-hand, bring it to the next level with a fruit-based coulis—a classic pastry chef concoction that’s actually way simpler to make than it sounds. (Seriously, you don’t even need to turn on the oven.) The people you’re making it for don’t have to know that though; tell them you made a fresh coulis and then sit back and revel in their impressed looks.

 

Want to make something from scratch anyhow? Pair Anna’s Raspberry Coulis with:

Anna’s Coconut Cream Pie

Mint Chocolate Cake

Quick Toffee Sauce

Gingerbread, sticky pudding or plain old ice cream will never be the same after you’ve had those items with this simple toffee sauce that packs a huge flavour punch. Amazingly, you only need four ingredients and a few short minutes to whip it up, but it can also be assembled beforehand and quickly heated up again before serving. Now that’s what we call a (not-so) sticky solution.

 

Want to make something from scratch anyhow? Pair Anna’s Quick Toffee Sauce with:

Spiced Nut Cake

Maple Walnut Ice Cream

Looking for more easy desserts? Try Anna Olson’s Best Pie Recipes.

Traditional Acadian Christmas Meat Pie Recipe

There’s a new meat pie in town! We’ve all heard of tourtière, the French-Canadian spiced meat pie. But there’s another French-Canadian meat pie that is just as worthy of your love: an Acadian pie traditionally eaten at Christmas that hails from the Maritimes. I first heard of it through my cousin-in-law’s wife when we were sharing holiday eating traditions. When she said the words “traditional Christmas meat pie,” I had to know everything about it.

acadian meat pie

Not only did I get the recipe, but I also got to make the pie with her parents, Norma and Rufus, who are of Acadian descent and grew up in New Brunswick. We were going to cook her family’s recipe, handed down to her dad by his mother. Rufus has been making this same pie for decades in huge batches for family Christmas gatherings.

acadian meat pie 2

When we first began cooking I asked Rufus: “So this is kind of like tourtiere, right?” I received a firm lesson from Rufus that it is not. Tourtiere is a Quebecois dish, and we were making an Acadian meat pie. The flavours are different and, according to Rufus, better.  The meat is flavoured with onion and most importantly, summer savoury (the stuff from New Brunswick is best). Tourtiere uses ground meat and has a spiced taste from nutmeg, allspice and cloves that is totally different from an Acadian meat pie. Which one is better? They are both delicious in their own way, but I am a bit more partial to the Acadian meat pie since I learned it from a dad who has been carrying on this long Christmas tradition for his family.

acadian meat pie 3

A sincere thank you to Norma and Rufus for sharing their Christmas family recipe and traditions with me and our Food Network Canada readers. Maritimers are so friendly, aren’t they?

Acadian Christmas Meat Pie Recipe

Ingredients:
3 pounds beef blade roast, bone-in (or similar inexpensive cut)
3 pounds pork shoulder picnic roast, bone-in, skin removed (or similar inexpensive cut)
2-3 heaping Tbsp summary savoury
3 medium onions, chopped very fine
1/2 tsp dried ground ginger
6 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
Salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Cut the beef and pork into large chunks, about 2-inches in size.
2. Place the meat in a large heavy pot and add enough water to cover the meat. Stir in the chopped onions, summer savoury and ground ginger.  Bring to a boil and then lower to a sturdy simmer for about 2 to 3 hours or until the meat is tender and comes easily off the bone. Add water if the cooking liquid evaporates too much; the meat should remain covered with liquid when cooking.
3. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes and when fork tender, drain and mash. The potatoes should be finely mashed and have no lumps; the texture of the potatoes must be completely smooth for the filling to turn out correctly. Season the mashed potatoes well with salt and pepper.
4. Once the meat is cooked, use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the cooking liquid.
5. Shred the meat. Remove any bone and large pieces of fat. However, keep some small pieces of fat for flavour and mash it into the shredded meat.  Set aside about one cup of the cooking liquid. Place the shredded meat back into the remaining cooking liquid. Season the meat well with salt and pepper. Simmer the meat and liquid for another 30 minutes.
6. Mix the mashed potatoes into the shredded meat, one large spoonful at a time. Incorporate each spoon of mashed potatoes well before adding the next. Once all of the mashed potatoes are incorporated, taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if needed.  The meat and potato filling should be moist  – not too dry or too wet. If it seems too dry, add a bit of the reserved cooking liquid. The mixture should not be too wet. If there are pools of liquid in the mixture, it is too wet and the pie crust will be soggy.
7. Using your favourite pie dough recipe or purchased pie dough, roll out the dough and place in a pie pan. Fill the pie pan with the meat and potato filling. Do not over-stuff and pack down the filling. Cover the pie with a second piece of pie crust and crimp the edges, creating a seal. Cut steam vents into the top and brush the crust with an egg wash.
8. Bake in a preheated 350 F oven until the crust is golden brown, about 30 – 40 minutes.

Tips:
This meat pie can be served warm or at room temperature and can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner over the Christmas holidays.
This recipe will make enough filling for approximately 8-10 pies.
If you’re not making that many pies,  freeze the filling and use it at a later time.
This recipe can be scaled up or down; however, the ratio of meat and potatoes needs to remain at 1:1.

Looking for more recipes? Try these great Acadian Recipes.

anna olson gingerbread cake with whipped cream

Anna Olson’s Make-Ahead Tip to Make Holiday Desserts Shine

The holidays aren’t just a time to break from work and to celebrate; they’re also a time to indulge in things that make us truly happy. And when it comes to desserts, what’s more indulgent than the time-old classic, whipped cream?

Light, frothy, sweet and delicate, whipped cream is an easy way to elevate any dessert, cup of coffee or bowl of fruit, instantly putting a smile on your face.

Classic-Farmhouse-Strawberry-Shortcake

Anna Olson’s Classic Farmhouse Strawberry Shortcake

This holiday, you could certainly go for the store-bought variety, but let’s face it: nothing beats fresh, homemade whipped cream. There’s a problem though—while we love the fresh stuff, we often find that in order to truly get that frothy, whipped finish, whipped cream needs to be made fairly close to serving time. Otherwise, it falls flat in the fridge, leading to a disappointing lump on your plate.

Luckily, Anna Olson has a solution. And not just any solution; with this one secret ingredient that instantly stabilizes whipped cream, you can make the stuff up to 24 hours in advance and then tuck it away in the fridge, where it’s guaranteed to hold its shape.

No one will be any the wiser that you made it in advance—maybe even while you were in your pajamas.

 

Ready to get your whipped cream on? Here are some of our favourite go-to Anna Olson recipes that—you guessed it—include whipped cream.

Key Lime Cheesecake

Classic Farmhouse Strawberry Shortcake

Classic-Gingerbread-Cake

Anna Olson’s Classic Gingerbread Cake

Classic Gingerbread Cake

Florentine Napoleon with Berries

Strawberry Meringue Tart

Still hungry? Check out these whipped cream-friendly recipes from other Food Network Canada stars:

Old Fashioned Chocolate Pudding with Whipped Cream

Ginger Snap Pumpkin Pie with Ginger Cream

Peach Upside Down Corn Cake with Bourbon Whipped Cream

Red Velvet Hot Chocolate With Marshmallow Whipped Cream

Butternut Squash Soup With Cinnamon Whipped Cream and Fried Shallots

Valerie’s Irish Coffee

Looking for more delicious holiday desserts? Try these impressive cheesecakes from Anna Olson.

giant latke cake

A Crispy, Potato Latke Cake for a Hanukkah Crowd

A fresh and delicious take on traditional latkes, this pan-fried stack of potato pancakes is made for a Hanukkah crowd. While we love crispy, salty, bite-sized latkes, this larger version is just as delicious and impressive when layered with a sweet and savoury filling of smoked fishpomegranate seeds, shaved apple, fresh fennel and sour cream.  Or customize with your favourite toppings and fillings,  such as apple sauce, sour cream or goat cheese and chives. Sliced and served family style, this beautiful golden stack means less time standing at the stove and more time enjoying your company.

giant latke cake

Latke Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 8 to 10

Ingredients:
3 lbs (about 4 large) russet potatoes, peeled, grated
2 medium onions, grated
1½ tsp salt, divided
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¾ tsp ground black pepper, divided
1 cup vegetable oil, for frying
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 large fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced, fronds reserved
1 apple, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup (about 100g) flaked smoked trout or salmon or whitefish
½ cup pomegranate seeds
⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
1¼ cups sour cream

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 200ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a wire cooling rack.

giant latke cake

2. In a large bowl, stir to combine potatoes, onions and 3/4 tsp salt. Transfer to a cheesecloth- or kitchen towel-lined colander. Let sit for 10 minutes in sink or nested in large bowl. After 10 minutes, tightly twist cheesecloth or kitchen towel and squeeze firmly to remove as much moisture as possible. Discard liquid.
3. Add potato mixture to the same large bowl and stir in flour, eggs, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.

giant latke cake

4. Heat 1/4 cup oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high. Add 1/4 latke mixture to pan, spreading to a make a thin, 7- to 8-inch in diameter circle. Fry until deep golden on the first side, about 4 minutes, then flip fry for about 4 minutes longer, until deep golden on the second side. Remove to a plate lined with paper towel to absorb oil for 1 minute, then transfer to prepared baking sheet and place in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining oil and latke mixture to make 4 latkes. Keep latkes warm in the oven while you prepare the toppings.

giant latke cake

5. For the salad, in a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, remaining 1/4 tsp salt and remaining 1/4 tsp pepper. Add fennel, apple, fish, pomegranate arils and parsley, tossing to combine. Set aside 1/2 cup of mixture for the final topping.

giant latke cake

6. In a medium bowl, stir sour cream with reserved fennel fronds.
7. To assemble, dollop cake stand or serving platter with 1 Tbsp sour cream mixture and then top with one latke. Top latke with 1/3 cup sour cream mixture, spreading to the edge, and then top with 1/3 of the salad mixture. Repeat layers finishing with the final latke. For the final topping, top with reserved 1/2 cup salad and a dollop of sour cream mixture. Serve immediately.

After a slice or two of latke cake, satisfy your sweet tooth with some deep fried Hanukkah desserts.

4 Soft Gingerbread Cookies, 1 Easy Recipe

When it comes to Christmas cookies, gingerbread is always a crowd pleaser! The irresistible smell of ginger, cinnamon and cloves baking in the oven can turn any household into the epitome of Christmas coziness.

Gingerbread Cookies

While gingerbread men are the classic cookie shape, there are lots of ways to customize your cookies without cutters. From sugar-coated crackle cookies, to jam-filled thumbprints, our alternatives to gingerbread men are just as delicious.

Get Anna Olson’s Gingerbread recipe here.

Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies

Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies
Scoop gingerbread dough into 1 tbsp balls. Squish a thumbprint into the top of the ball to make an indent in the cookie. Chill dough for 30 mins. Bake at 350F until golden brown, about 15 mins. Use the back of a spoon to further indent thumbprint as soon as the cookies come out of the oven. Let cool. Fill cookies with your favourite jam, chocolate spread or even whipped cream!

Gingerbread Gift Tag Cookies

Gift Tag Gingerbread Cookies
Roll out gingerbread dough in the same way you would to make gingerbread men. Use a small knife to slice cookies into rectangles the size of a gift tag. Slice one side into a triangle shape, cutting the top of the triangle into a flat side. Using a skewer, poke a hole in the triangle end of the cookie. Bake at 350F for 15 mins or until golden brown. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, re-poke holes using the skewer. Once cool, write names on the gift tags and string with ribbon – attach to gifts or use as Christmas tree ornaments.

Candy Cane Icebox Gingerbread Cookies

Candy Cane Icebox Gingerbread Cookies
Roll a portion of gingerbread dough into a log. Wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper and place in the fridge until solid, about 1 hour. Remove from plastic wrap. Brush a frothy egg white all over outside of dough. Roll dough in crushed candy canes. Slice dough into ¼” rounds and bake until golden, about 10-12 minutes.

Crackle Gingerbread Cookies

Crackle Gingerbread Cookies
Scoop 2 tbsp portions of dough and roll into a ball. Roll balls in coarse sugar – you can use white, green or red sugar! Chill dough in the fridge for 30 mins. Bake cookie balls for 15-20 mins, or until golden and crackled. Let cool.

Maple Gingerbread Buche de Noel with Salted Praline Topping

Making your own yule log at home can be achieved in a few fun steps. In this take on the traditional bûche de noël, spiced gingerbread cake is filled and topped with a super-sweet maple frosting, and covered in a salted walnut praline for added crunch. Celebrate the season with this gorgeous centrepiece on your holiday dessert table — it’s sure to garner praise from guests!

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Cooling Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours, 10 minutes
Serves: 8

Ingredients:

Maple Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter
11/2 cups canned full-fat coconut milk
11/2 cups icing sugar, sifted, more for rolling
3 Tbsp maple syrup
3 Tbsp cornstarch, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp maple extract (optional)
Pinch, salt

Gingerbread Cake
Oil, for pan
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, more for pan
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tsp ground dried ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp five-spice powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

Salted Walnut Praline
1 cup raw walnuts
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp flaky sea salt

Assembly
1 tsp cocoa powder, for dusting

Directions:

Maple Frosting
1. Combine all icing ingredients in a medium saucepan, whisking constantly until mixture is bubbling and thick. Continue to whisk and cook for 1 minute.
2. Pour into a medium bowl and chill overnight.

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Gingerbread Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Line a half sheet pan (18″ x 13″ x 1″ high) with parchment paper; oil and flour parchment, tapping out excess flour. Reserve.
3. Add a clean tea towel to counter and evenly dust over additional icing sugar.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, five-spice, baking soda and salt.
5. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or with a handheld mixer in a large bowl, beat eggs on high speed until tripled in volume. Add sugar and beat for 1 to 2 minutes, until thick and voluminous. Add flour mixture and beat until almost combined. Finish folding in by hand with a large spatula. Smooth batter into prepared pan.
6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until cake springs back when you touch it. Immediately flip out onto tea towel and remove parchment. Starting at the end, use the tea towel to roll the cake into a log shape.
7. Tuck in ends, transfer to wire rack and cool completely in tea towel, about 4 hours. Reserve.

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Salted Walnut Praline
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
2. Combine walnuts, maple syrup and salt to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until maple syrup is caramelized.
3. Cool completely (they crisp as they cool) and roughly chop. Reserve.

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Assembly
1. Whisk frosting until smooth (soften at room temperature for 30 minutes if required).

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2. Carefully unroll cake and spread 1/2 of frosting over interior, leaving a 1-inch gap around the edges. Sprinkle 3 Tbsp of walnuts praline. Carefully roll and ice the outside of cake with remaining frosting. Place cake on serving plate.

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3. Gently press walnuts onto exterior and dust with cocoa powder. Loosely cover (a large cake dome, box or oblong plastic container) keep chilled until ready to serve.

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