Category Archives: Baking

Best Mason Jar Desserts for Any Picnic

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Salty snacks and comfort foods are great. But desserts? Desserts, I adore. The way I feel about cakes, ice cream, pies, and cookies is how Don Draper feels about his Lucky Strikes cigs. It’s basically impossible to get through the day without something sweet, and pretty rare not to see one in my hand.

However, unlike Lucky Stripes, desserts don’t come in secure little packaging, ready to be taken wherever you go. Until now that is.

I’m highlighting the best, tastiest, must-try desserts that can be made in a mason jar. It’s the perfect (read: essential) companion for any picnic. Just picture it; sitting on a blanket under a tree, with your own individualized, mess-free dessert in hand. Now that’s heaven.

Below, you’ll find eight easy recipes to make your own mason jar desserts. And you really should be making your own because I’m not sharing.

1. Banana Pudding from Lets Dish Recipes

What to do: Crush up ¼ bag of Pepperidge Farm Chessman cookies and put half of them at the bottom of the jar. Make the filling found in this recipe and scoop some on top of the crushed cookies. Then, add whipped cream, banana slices, more filling, more whipped cream, and then top with banana slices.

2. Cheesecake from I Am Baker

What to Do: Make the crust and cheesecake from this recipe, but be sure to bake them separately. Crush up the crust and place into the mason jar as the first layer, and then do the same with the cheesecake. Cook strawberries and a few teaspoons of sugar over the stove (about 2 strawberries and 1 teaspoon of sugar per serving), let cool, and then scoop onto the cheesecake.

3. Birthday Cake from Babble

What to Do: Using this classic vanilla birthday cake recipe and vanilla buttercream icing recipe, whip up a batch of each, adding sprinkles to the batter and dye to the icing (if preferred). Crumble up the cake, use one scoop for the first layer of the mason jar cake, add icing, then add more crumbled cake and more icing, and top with a couple of candles.

4. S’Mores from How Sweet It Is

What to Do: Crumble up graham cracker and make a batch of this chocolate cake and crumble. Put the cracker pieces in the mason jar for the first layer, the chocolate cake for the second, and put a few large mashmallows on a baking sheet, broil them for a couple minutes until golden, then carefully push them down in the mason jar to top off the s’mores dessert.

5. Butterfinger Pie from Crumbs and Chaos

What to Do: Whip up a batch of this cheesecake crust, and the follow Crumb and Chaos’ recipe for the filling. Layer the crumbled crust then the peanut butter filling into a mason jar, then top with whipped cream and a piece of Butterfinger.

6. Eclairs in a Jar from Me and My Pink Mixer

What to Do: Crush up one quarter bag of Pepperidge Farm Chessman cookies and put half of them at the bottom of the jar. Scoop in French vanilla pudding, and top with this chocolate frosting and a few sliced almonds.

7. Lemon Meringue Pie from It All Started with Paint

What to Do: Start with this cheesecake crust crumbled at the base of the mason jar. The more experienced bakers can go ahead and cook and crumble the lemon curd filling and meringue from our famous recipe, but the rest of us (Aye!) can simply follow the instructions on the “Cook & Serve” box of Jell-O.

8. Apple Pie from Eat Boutique

What to Do: Make this “Blue Ribbon” apple pie crust and filling, baking and crumbling separately. First put the crumbled crust into the jar, followed by the apple filling, then sprinkle lightly with more pie crust.

headshot Renée Reardin is a lifestyle writer and stylist living in Toronto. To learn more about her, visit www.reneereardin.com, and follow her on Twitter @reneereardin.

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How to Make a Naked Cake

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I’d (quite confidently) call myself an expert in cupcakes. I can whip up a batch and have them frosted with a pretty swirl design in no time. But cakes? Cakes are another story. The finished product all too often resembles something that the cat dragged in.

And so, I decided it was time to work on my gateau design skills, and find a way for that typical messy icing to actually add some charm to the design.

It’s called a Naked Cake. In case you haven’t been on Pinterest in a while, it’s probably the biggest trend in cakes right now. And lucky for me, it’s ridiculously easy to create.
Intrigued? Follow my easy steps to see how I pulled it off. New bakers are definitely welcome!

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First thing to do is gather the materials. Follow this recipe for your classic white cake, and this recipe for vanilla buttercream icing. You will need two batches of each.

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As for flowers to top the cake, I went for a bundle of white Freesias, and five roses in light pink, darker pink and yellow.

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You’ll have four cakes in total. With a serrated knife, cut off the top of each cake, so you’re left with a flat surface.

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Spoon a hefty amount of icing onto the surface of the bottom cake, and use a butter knife to carefully dab and spread it around. Be careful not to smear it or you’ll risk getting bits in the icing. When you’re finished one layer, turn the cake around to make sure it’s all covered. Then pile the next layer on top, and do the same.

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It’s okay to be a little messy! The icing shouldn’t be too perfect.

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Once all the cake tops have been frosted, it’s time to add the flowers. I started with the Freesias on the bottom, and placed the roses on top.

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After the roses, I added a few more Freesias in between the roses to make it full.

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And that’s it! The naked cake is perfect for wedding showers, baby showers, birthdays, and other celebratory events. Or if you’re like me, an ordinary Tuesday night.

headshot Renée Reardin is a lifestyle writer and stylist living in Toronto. To learn more about her, visit www.reneereardin.com, and follow her on Twitter @reneereardin.

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Strawberry Cream Puffs for Easter

cream puffs main

We can all agree that no holiday feast is complete without a great dessert. After indulging in a hearty meal, we’re often in need of a treat that satisfies our sweet tooth, but doesn’t put us over the edge. Well, we have an easy recipe for an Easter dessert your guests are bound to love. Cue the strawberry cream puffs.

They’re light enough that you always have room for one, so these mini bites of heaven are the perfect way to end a great meal (and a day of binge-eating chocolate eggs).

What could be better on a sunny spring evening than an airy pastry with homemade whipped cream and tangy strawberry jam? And that’s not even the best part: chances are you already have most of the ingredients in your pantry, so they’re totally inexpensive to make.

 

  • What You Need (for pastry):
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup 3.25% homogenized milk
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • Icing Sugar
  • Strawberry Jam
  • What You Need (for vanilla cream):
  • 1 ½ cups 35% whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
 Click through the gallery for steps by clicking ‘caption’


 


renee-headshot Renée Reardin is a lifestyle writer and stylist living in Toronto. To learn more about her, visit www.reneereardin.com, and follow her on Twitter @reneereardin. 
 

 

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Heart-Shaped Red Velvet Cream Puffs

If red velvet cakes, waffles and crêpes are a thing, why not cream puffs? And why not take it a step further to make them into hearts? I couldn’t come up with a good reason, so I did it.

lovepuff

Makes: 24 cream puffs

Ingredients:

Choux Pastry
1 cup all purpose flour
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), unsalted
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp of cocoa powder
1 tsp concentrated red food coloring, powdered

Pastry Cream Filling
1 cup of milk
2 Tbsp white sugar, plus 2 tablespoons white sugar (divided)
1 egg
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup of heavy whipped cream+2 tablespoons of sugar (for whipped cream)

Directions:

Choux Pastry
1. In a medium pot, bring the buttermilk, salt, and butter to a simmer on medium heat. Add the flour, cocoa powder and powdered coloring to the milk mixture, and with a wooden spoon or spatula, stir very quickly.
2. Carefully watch and you’ll see that the flour starts absorbing the liquid — a dough will form. Keep stirring to continue cooking the flour and cook off some of the water, another minute or two. At this point, remove the pot from the stove. When the dough comes clean off of the sides of your pot, this is an indicator your dough is ready for step two.
3. Transfer the dough to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or to a bowl if you’re using a hand mixer. Add the eggs one at a time mixing rapidly until each is combined into the paste. The paste will go from shiny to slippery to sticky as the egg is incorporated. The pâte a choux can be cooked immediately at this point or refrigerated for up to a day until ready to use.
4. On a parchment-lined cookie sheet pipe out the paste. You can make traditional round cream puffs by piping round “drops”, or, you can make heart shapes. Pipe a circle with the paste, and pull downwards to create a tear drop shape. Repeat again on the opposite side to create a heart. Dip your finger in water, and connect the shapes.
5. Bake at 425F for 10 minutes, then 350F for 18-30 minutes, depending on the size of your puffs. You want them to rise about twice the size, and cook until the centres are dry. The color will change as they become “golden”. Remove from the oven and allow to fully cool before you cut them into halves and pipe the cream.

Pastry Cream
Note: You can make the pastry cream a day in advance.
1. In a heavy saucepan, stir together milk, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Bring to a rolling boil over medium heat.
2. While the milk is coming to a boil, whisk together egg, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and cornstarch. Mix until smooth. Add a tablespoon of the hot milk to this mixture, stirring constantly. This is done to “temper” the eggs, so you don’t end up with a scrambled egg mixture. When the milk comes to a boil, remove from heat, and slowly pour the egg mixture into the sauce pan, making sure you have a thin stream and you are constantly stirring so you do not cook the eggs. Return the saucepan back to heat and slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly so the eggs don’t curdle. When the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, remove from the heat, or into a heat-proof container and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled before using.
3. Once your pastry cream has fully chilled, remove plastic wrap and whisk until the mixture is smooth and well combined (no chunks). Whip 1 cup of heavy cream with 2 tablespoons of sugar until you have firm peaks. Fold 1/4 cup at a time of the whipped cream into the pastry cream; carefully mix until it comes together.

Madalina Paul is the blogger behind Duhlicious, a food blog dedicated to creating and sharing unique and original recipes for great tasting food and featuring tutorials, food news, and culinary adventures.

Anna Olson’s Bake Off: Jam-Filled Doughnut Muffins

Seeing that Mother’s Day is the second Sunday in May, I thought a simpler recipe, ideal for kids to bake with or for Mom would be a good idea. This month’s challenge is Jam-Filled Doughnut Muffins.

Okay, perhaps I was motivated by Donut Showdown now airing on Food Network Canada, but now you can create these little doughnut gems in your kitchen, without the need for a deep fryer!

As always, I like when you get creative – change up the fillings, and toppings, or even add icing. Just keep Mother’s Day in mind as you show me the baking stuff I know you are made of.

jam-filled-doughnut-muffins

JAM-FILLED DOUGHNUT MUFFINS

Makes 18 muffins
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Muffins:
1 ½ cups (375 mL) 2% milk
1 ½ cups (375 mL) sugar
2/3 cup (160 mL) vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons (10 mL) vanilla extract
3 ½ cups (875 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon (15 mL) baking powder
½ teaspoon (2 mL) salt
¼ teaspoon (1 mL) ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon (1 mL) ground nutmeg
½ cup (125 mL) raspberry or strawberry jam

Topping:
½ cup (125 mL) sugar
½ teaspoon (2 mL) ground cinnamon
¼ cup (60 mL) unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C) and grease 2 muffins tins (or line 18 of the cups with paper liners).

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the milk, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until blended.  In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and then add this to the wet mixture, stirring just until blended (a few lumps are OK).  Fill 18 muffin tin cups 2/3 full with the batter.  Stir the jam to soften and drop a teaspoonful into each of the muffins.  Scoop the remaining batter overtop so that it covers the jam completely.  Bake the muffins for about 30 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.  Allow the muffins to cool for 20 minutes, before turning out to cool completely.

3. For the topping, stir the sugar and cinnamon together.  Brush the top of each muffin with the melted butter and dip the muffins into the cinnamon sugar, tapping off any excess.

The muffins will keep for up to 4 days in an airtight container, or can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Here’s how Bake Off works:
•Our hostess with the mostess, Anna Olson, picks a recipe middle of every month
•You make the recipe (follow it or add your creative flair)

Email us (giveaways@foodnetwork.ca a picture and short descriptive blurb before May 15th at 9am ET for your chance to win! Anna will pick the winners (We are giving away a$250 gift card to Williams-Sonoma and an autographed copy of Anna’s cookbook).

 

anna

Professionally trained pastry chef Anna Olson is the host of Food Network’s Bake with Anna Olson. Anna’s culinary philosophy is based on a common-sense approach of cooking and baking with the seasons, as well as respecting the ingredients, the technique and the process of sharing with others through food. Most of all, cooking and baking should be fun!

 

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Anna Olson’s Bake-Off: German Chocolate Cake

I’ve been going through a chocolate cake phase right now, and thought that maybe you’d like to go through a similar phase (it’s a great way to make friends, sharing the results!)

German Chocolate Cake is a retro classic (just like Red Velvet Cake).  The cake does not originate from Germany, but gets its name from a fellow named Sam German, who developed a sweet baking chocolate used in this cake. I have kept true to the flavour profile, which includes a gooey caramel-like pecan and coconut filling & topping, but I have opted for a milk chocolate cake and frosting.

When taking on this month’s challenge, be sure to budget time, between the tender, moist cake layers, gooey filling, frosting and assembly, it is best made a day before you wish to serve it.  Also, keep in mind that milk chocolate candy bars or chocolate chips are not suitable for melting into cake batters and frosting, since they are designed to hold their shape – you must use baking chocolate, also known as couverture.  It is now sold at most groceries, bulk and specialty stores.

The effort will be worth it, and I look forward to hearing about and seeing photos of the end result.  Get those glasses of ice cold milk ready!
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GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE
Makes 1 2-layer 8-inch cake
Serves 10 to 12

Cake:
4 oz milk chocolate**, chopped
¾ cup boiling water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Pecan Coconut Filling:
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup maple syrup
¾ cup whipping cream
4 large egg yolks
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
¾ cup toasted & chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt

Frosting:
2 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
½ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 oz milk chocolate**, chopped
2/3 cup full-fat sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt

Directions:
1. For the cake, preheat the oven to 350 ?F.  Grease two 8-inch cake pans, line the bottom of the pans with parchment and dust the sides with flour.
2. Place the chopped chocolate into a bowl and pour the boiling water over top, letting it sit a minute.  Whisk to melt the chocolate (don’t worry if the mixture appears grainy).  Set aside.
3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a separate bowl, whisk the brown sugar, buttermilk, mayonnaise, eggs and vanilla until smooth.  Add the flour mixture to this and whisk well, until there are no visible lumps.  Whisk in the chocolate mixture (the batter will be fluid), and divide this evenly between the 2 prepared cake pans.  Bake for about 45 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.  Allow the cakes to cool for 15 minutes and then turn them out to cool completely.
4. For the filling, whisk the brown sugar and cornstarch together in a medium saucepot.  Whisk in the maple syrup, cream and eggs and heat over medium-high, whisking constantly, until thickened and the filling just begins to bubble, about 6 minutes.  Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the butter, then stir in the coconut, pecans, vanilla and salt.  Scrape this into a bowl, cool and then chill completely before using.
5. For the frosting, sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder together. Melt the chocolate and butter by stirring gently in a bowl placed over a pot of barely simmering water.  Remove from the heat and while still warm, beat in half of the icing sugar mixture using electric beaters or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla, scraping the bowl well and then add the remaining icing sugar until smooth.  Use the frosting immediately.
6. To assemble the cake, place the first cake layer on a platter.  Spoon about a cup of the frosting into a piping bag and pipe around the top edge of the cake.  Spread half of the filling over the cake, right to the piped edge of frosting. Top this with the second cake layer and spread the top and sides of the cake with the frosting, placing any remaining frosting into the piping bag, for detailing on the top edge.  Spread the remaining filling over the top of the cake, finish any detailing and then chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

** It is important to use milk chocolate made for baking (couveture), not chocolate chips or commercial chocolate bars which will not melt smoothly into cake batters or frosting.
The cake will keep, refrigerated, for up to 4 days.

Adapted from Bake with Anna Olson

Here’s how Bake Off works:
•Our hostess with the mostess, Anna Olson, picks a recipe middle of every month
•You make the recipe (follow it or add your creative flair)

Email us (giveaways@foodnetwork.ca a picture and short descriptive blurb before March 14th at 9am ET for your chance to win! Anna will pick the winner (We are giving away a$250 gift card to Williams-Sonoma and an autographed copy of Anna’s cookbook).

anna

Professionally trained pastry chef Anna Olson is the host of Food Network’s Bake with Anna Olson. Anna’s culinary philosophy is based on a common-sense approach of cooking and baking with the seasons, as well as respecting the ingredients, the technique and the process of sharing with others through food. Most of all, cooking and baking should be fun!

Anna Olson’s Bake Off: ‘Show Your Style’ Granola Results

Great entries everyone!  I can tell that we were all getting into that January groove of feeling healthy, but also having the time to get creative, too.  Before I reveal the winners, a few observations:

I noticed how the additions of chocolate chips and coconut were the most common.  You tied these flavours in nicely, and clearly you know how to make a crowd-pleasing granola.

 

I love that you took the time to name your personal granola recipes!  Favourites include:

Nonna’s Biscotti Granola
Bountiful Berry Granola
Audrey’s Cherrific Mixed Nuts Granola
Savoury Curry Granola (very inventive – great idea!)
Take Me to the Tropics Granola
The Raisin Almond Awesomeness Granola
Carrot Cake Granola Delight

And for the winners:

Top prize: Jessica W. Congratulations Jessica.  Your command of nutritional values impressed me, and you put great effort into making a granola that packs a great punch in vitamins, minerals, fibre, protein and more, but also factored in a balance of flavour.

Second Prize: Melissa L. I very much enjoyed your story about your Meme, and now that you are baking as a Meme yourself, the love & caring shows.  Additionally I appreciated how effortlessly you adjusted the recipe to make granola bars.

Clearly we have a group of talented bakers who aren’t afraid to think as they bake!  Well, I’ll get you thinking with the next Bake Off recipe!
‘Show Your Style Granola’

Makes about 6 cups (1.5 L)

2 cups  regular rolled oats (not instant)
1 1/2 cups whole or sliced nuts (such as walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts or even pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, or a mix)
½ cup  wheat germ
¼ cup  sesame seeds
½ cup  pure maple syrup or honey
1/3 cup  vegetable oil
zest of 1 orange
1 tsp  ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
dash of vanilla extract
2 cups dried fruits (such as raisins, currants, chopped dried apricots, chopped prunes, dried cranberries, dried cherries or a mix)

1. Preheat the oven to 325 F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

2. Combine the oats, nuts, wheat germ and sesame seeds in a large bowl.  Add the maple syrup (or honey), oil, orange zest, cinnamon, salt and vanilla and stir well to coat.  Spread this onto the prepared baking tray and bake for about 30 minutes until a rich golden brown, stirring 3 times as it bakes.

3. Immediately after removing the pan from the oven, stir in the dried fruits.  Allow the granola to cool before packing into an airtight container.

The granola will keep for up to 3 weeks.

 

Anna_OlsonProfessionally trained pastry chef Anna Olson is the host of Food Network’s Bake with Anna Olson. Anna’s culinary philosophy is based on a common-sense approach of cooking and baking with the seasons, as well as respecting the ingredients, the technique and the process of sharing with others through food. Most of all, cooking and baking should be fun!

 

 

 

 

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Anna’s August Bake Off: Peach Berry Cobbler

Get ready for round 3 of Bake Off!

Nothing speaks to summer more than peaches, and while I want to save fruit pie for a fall baking challenge (apple or pumpkin…I haven’t decided) I thought delicious cobbler would fit the bill for August. Cobbler has a fruit base, like a crisp, but the topping is more of a “cake meets scone” texture.

 

What I am really interested to see are your food photos! Cobbler is “rustic”, and takes a little originality to make it look polished and appealing.  Feel free to get creative with what you choose to bake it in and you can make these individual or even double the recipe to feed a crowd.  I also want to hear what you serve it with – whipped cream, ice cream, au naturel? Have fun and enjoy that true taste of summer!

PEACH BERRY COBBLER
Makes 1 8-cup baking dish
Serves 6 to 8

anna_peach_cobbler

Ingredients:
6 cups  peeled and sliced fresh peaches
1 cup  fresh raspberries
½ cup  fresh blueberrie
3 Tbsp + ½ cup sugar, plus extra for cinnamon sugar
¼ tsp  ground cinnamon, plus extra for cinnamon sugar
2  eggs
6 Tbsp  unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup  milk
2 cups  all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp  cornmeal
4 tsp  baking powder
½ tsp  salt

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 375 °F (190 °C).

2.  Toss the peaches, raspberries and blueberries with 3 Tbsp of sugar and ¼ tsp of the cinnamon and spread on the bottom of an 8-cup baking dish.

3.  Whisk the eggs, the remaining ½ cup of sugar, and melted butter together in a large bowl.  Whisk in the milk.  Sift in the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt and stir until combined (the batter will be wet).

4. Spoon the batter over the fruit, leaving a little space between spoonfuls to allow for expansion as the cobbler bakes.  Stir a little sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle this overtop the cobbler.

5. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the peach juices are bubbling and the topping is cooked through (you can lift a piece up to check that it is cooked through).

Serve the cobbler warm with ice cream.

The cobbler will keep, refrigerated for up to 2 days.

From Back to Baking, Whitecap Books, 2011
Here’s how Bake Off works:  

  • Our hostess with the mostess, Anna Olson,  picks a recipe middle of every month
  • You make the recipe (follow it or add your creative flair)
  • Email us (giveaways@foodnetwork.ca) a picture and short descriptive blurb before September17th 9amET for your chance to win! Anna will pick the winner (We are giving away another KitchenAid Classic Stand Mixer and a personalized autographed copy of Back to Baking, Anna’s latest cookbook). 

Anna_OlsonProfessionally trained pastry chef Anna Olson is the host of Food Network’s Bake with Anna Olson. Anna’s culinary philosophy is based on a common-sense approach of cooking and baking with the seasons, as well as respecting the ingredients, the technique and the process of sharing with others through food. Most of all, cooking and baking should be fun!

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Anna’s Bake Off: Snickerdoodle Cookies and Berries Jubilee

Get ready for round 2 of Anna’s Bake Off! (If you haven’t seen the amazing results of the inaugural Bake Off, you must! – CJ)

Since last month’s challenge was a more elaborate cake, I thought I’d keep July’s challenge more in line with summer vacation, a little more relaxed. (But before we get to the recipe, let’s check out some of Anna’s vacation pics! – CJ)

This month’s challenge is Snickerdoodle Cookies with the bonus of a Berries Jubilee dessert!

The cookies are a classic sugar cookie and a staple recipe, whether for snacking after a day spent outdoors, or packing to take camping or up to the lake.

If you’re making these cookies with the help of the kids, I’d love to hear the tale, and perhaps, a photo of the kitchen after the process.
The Berries Jubilee is a simple summer dessert to prepare and can be served alongside a plate of the Snickerdoodles.

I wanted to share this recipe because we make this in the summer, when berries are at their best, but we prepare it outside on the BBQ!  It’s a perfect last-minute dessert to make, but also allows you safely flambée since you are outside.

Time it right and ignite the berries once the sun is almost set for a bigger “wow” impact. You can also make this family-friendly by omitting the Chambord or brandy and simply replacing it with orange juice.
annaberriesjubilee
SNICKERDOODLE COOKIES

Makes about 3 dozen

1 cup  unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 cup + 1/3 cup sugar
2  eggs, taken directly from the fridge
1 tsp  vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp  cream of tartar
½ tsp  salt
¾ tsp  ground cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.

2. Cream the butter and 1 cup of the sugar until fluffy and light.

3. Add the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.

4. In a separate bowl, stir the flour, cream of tartar and salt to combine, and then add to the butter mixture, blending well.

5. Stir the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Portion the prepared cookie dough by tablespoonfuls and drop into cinnamon sugar. Gently roll each cookie to coat it with the sugar and to shape them into balls and place them onto the prepared baking tray, leaving 1½ inches between them. Before baking, gently press the cookies with your palm to flatten.

6. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the cookies are just lightly browned on the bottom. Cool the cookies for 2 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

Snickerdoodles can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

 

BERRIES JUBILEE

Serves 6

3 cups  fresh or frozen (thawed) mixed berries, including raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and/or blackberries
¼ cup  sugar
1 tbsp  lemon juice
1/3 cup  raspberry or red currant jam
3 tbsp  Chambord (black raspberry liqueur) or brandy
1 tsp  vanilla extract
vanilla ice cream

1. Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat and add berries and sugar, stirring until sugar melts. Add the lemon juice and stir in the jam. Add the Chambord or brandy using a ladle (watching out for steam and/or flames).

2. To ignite, lean pan toward a gas flame or ignite with a BBQ lighter and allow flames to subside (to avoid flames, reduce heat to low before adding Chambord and return slowing to a simmer).  Stir in the vanilla and spoon the berries over ice cream.

anna_bakeoff

Here’s how it works:  

  • Our hostess with the mostess, Anna Olson,  picks a recipe middle of every month
  • You make the recipe (follow it or add your creative flair)
  • Email us (giveaways@foodnetwork.ca) a picture and short descriptive blurb before August 15th for your chance to win! Anna will pick the winner (We are giving away another KitchenAid Classic Stand Mixer and a personalized autographed copy of Back to Baking, Anna’s latest cookbook).  This challenge is now closed! Check out the amazing results here and thanks to everyone who participated.

Anna_OlsonProfessionally trained pastry chef Anna Olson is the host of Food Network’s Bake with Anna Olson. Anna’s culinary philosophy is based on a common-sense approach of cooking and baking with the seasons, as well as respecting the ingredients, the technique and the process of sharing with others through food. Most of all, cooking and baking should be fun!

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