Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Cookies and Squares

Now you may be saying - hold the phone! It's Christmas Eve's Eve. What's done is done! - But these treats are super easy and will bring you joy well into the New Year. The first is a Swedish Gingerbread cookie. I have a collection of 40 holiday cookie cutters. Yes, you read that right.... 40. But wait, it gets better, I don't have a rolling pin. I'm not much of a baker and I don't feel the need to buy a tool I'm only going to use once or twice a year. So what do I use to roll out these cookies?! Why an empty wine bottle, what else?! And it works perfectly.

Swedish Pepparkakor
Makes about 8 - 10 dozen


  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  1. Heat molasses in a small saucepan until boiling, let boil for one minute
  2. Add butter and sugar and stir until the butter is melted
  3. Let cool to room temperature then stir in egg
  4. While molasses mixture is cooling, sift together the remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
  5. Mix in molasses mixture to flour mix in bowl
  6. Cover and chill overnight
  7. Roll out a workable chunk of dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut into shapes
  8. Bake at 350 for 5 minutes.
These freeze beautiful! And with such a big batch you can give them as gifts to everyone you visit over the holidays or enjoy them all winter with your afternoon tea, as part of the bedtime milk and cookie routine or even as a nibble with your morning coffee.
This next recipe is an old family favorite. This is my Nana's recipe that she used to make for me. I made them this year in her honour. Miss you Nana!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Squares
Makes 16 cut from a square baking pan
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 peanut butter (the regular kind, not the healthy 'just nuts' stuff, I tried - it doesn't taste the same at all)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • Icing sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Beat butter, peanut butter, eggs and brown sugar together until fluffy
  3. Add in the vanilla
  4. Beat in the flour, baking powder and salt until well blended
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips
  6. Bake at 350 for 30 -35 minutes. You may find the middle is a bit soft. I turn down the heat to 340 at 30 minutes and cook for another 8 - 10 minutes. Or you can put the pan on your burner where the heat from the oven escapes after you take it out of the oven.
  7. Once the pan has cooled, sprinkle with icing sugar.
(I need to pick up some icing sugar...)

I'm doing a prime rib roast with Yorkshire puddings, potato parsnip mash and roasted root veggies for Christmas dinner. I'm also doing my lobster lasagna for a special meal over the holidays. Good eats will be had by all!

I wish you all the best of the season and a most wonderful New Year.

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