Monday, December 24, 2012

cookie calendar - day 24: lemon shortbread bars

peanut-butter stuffed chocolate cookies mrs. chan’s pecan ball cookies gingerbread bois lemon meringue pie cookies tuiles d'amandes eggnog shortbread cookies shortbread cookies lime meltaway cookies spiced butter shortbread bites gluten-free gingerbread cookies white chocolate and macadamia cookies bacon vanilla wafer cookies cranberry lime shortbread cookies double chocolate cookies gluten-free chocolate peppermint cookies pizzelles minty Andes peppermint crunch dark chocolate chip cookies dark chocolate sables with sea salt and chili molasses spice cookies pecan linzer cookies coconut macaroons Oregon hazelnut thumbprints filled with raspberry jam chocolate peppermint crinkle cookies lemon shortbread bars

Merry Christmas Eve!

Well, here we are - the very last day of the Cookie Advent Calendar! This has been an amazing and fun project and I can't believe that I actually managed to pull it off! I want to thank all my wonderful Cookie Recipe contributors who took the time to share a recipe with me - I couldn't have done this without your help and support. You are all too kind and generous!

To wrap up the Cookie Advent Calendar, I'm re-posting the recipe for my lemon shortbread bars. The reason for this is because lemon shortbread bars have a special place in my heart around Christmastime.

You see, every year since I was a young child, my parents' neighbour, Betsy, would bake a stunning variety of cookies and gift us with a cookie tray. Her assortment of treats ranged from shortbreads to pecan balls to fruitcake bites and we each had our favourites. Everything she baked was delicious, but my absolute favourite were her small lemon squares. I love Betsy's lemon squares.

For the past several years, I've been trying to replicate her lemon squares and this year, I've finally managed to do it! I love these lemon shortbread bars and am so happy to finally have a recipe of my own that I love as much as Betsy's.

Needless to say, all of us were waiting with baited breath today for the annual delivery of Betsy's cookie tray and she didn't disappoint! I managed to take a photo of the tray before everyone dived in. :)



Sunday, December 23, 2012

cookie calendar - day 23: chocolate peppermint crinkle cookies

peanut-butter stuffed chocolate cookies mrs. chan’s pecan ball cookies gingerbread bois lemon meringue pie cookies tuiles d'amandes eggnog shortbread cookies shortbread cookies lime meltaway cookies spiced butter shortbread bites gluten-free gingerbread cookies white chocolate and macadamia cookies bacon vanilla wafer cookies cranberry lime shortbread cookies double chocolate cookies gluten-free chocolate peppermint cookies pizzelles minty Andes peppermint crunch dark chocolate chip cookies dark chocolate sables with sea salt and chili molasses spice cookies pecan linzer cookies coconut macaroons Oregon hazelnut thumbprints filled with raspberry jam chocolate peppermint crinkle cookies

For our Christmas getogethers, I wanted to bake a cookie that incorporated peppermint, since that's one of the flavours that makes me think immediately of Christmas (eggnog and gingerbread being the other two). A friend recently shared a great orange mocha crinkle cookie recipe with me so I tinkered with it to turn it into a peppermint treat just in time for the holidays.

On their own, the cookies have a very subtle chocolate and peppermint taste, but when you add the chocolate drizzle, the peppermint taste gets a little more intense. If you want something light for a coffee break, then feel free to omit the chocolate topping.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

cookie calendar - day 22: Oregon hazelnut thumbprints filled with raspberry jam

peanut-butter stuffed chocolate cookies mrs. chan’s pecan ball cookies gingerbread bois lemon meringue pie cookies tuiles d'amandes eggnog shortbread cookies shortbread cookies lime meltaway cookies spiced butter shortbread bites gluten-free gingerbread cookies white chocolate and macadamia cookies bacon vanilla wafer cookies cranberry lime shortbread cookies double chocolate cookies gluten-free chocolate peppermint cookies pizzelles minty Andes peppermint crunch dark chocolate chip cookies dark chocolate sables with sea salt and chili molasses spice cookies pecan linzer cookies coconut macaroons Oregon hazelnut thumbprints filled with raspberry jam

Missy Maki is one busy lady! Not only does she work full-time, she also writes a beautiful food blog AND hosts a weekly radio food talk show.

I met Missy when she answered my call for cookie recipes on Twitter and I'm so glad that she contacted me. She is full of energy and has a warm, energetic, friendly personality that is inspiring, to say the least.

You can listen to her show online or check out previous podcasts here. You can also connect with Missy via:
- her blog: Mrs. Masi Cooks
- Twitter: @missymaki
- Facebook: Simple Kitchen with Missy Maki

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How to describe myself……I am an Oregonian, full time career gal and loving and supportive wife to an amazing man. I am also a Radio Talk Show Host of “Simple Kitchen with Missy Maki” on AM 860 Sundays at 9am where I weave a warm, friendly approach to the intricate world of food and Portland foodies with a LOT of laughs, naturally!

I love cookies that are made from local items.  These cookies are a wonderful treat highlighting the bounty that Oregon has to offer – what better way to celebrate the holidays?



Friday, December 21, 2012

cookie calendar - day 21: coconut macaroons

peanut-butter stuffed chocolate cookies mrs. chan’s pecan ball cookies gingerbread bois lemon meringue pie cookies tuiles d'amandes eggnog shortbread cookies shortbread cookies lime meltaway cookies spiced butter shortbread bites gluten-free gingerbread cookies white chocolate and macadamia cookies bacon vanilla wafer cookies cranberry lime shortbread cookies double chocolate cookies gluten-free chocolate peppermint cookies pizzelles minty Andes peppermint crunch dark chocolate chip cookies dark chocolate sables with sea salt and chili molasses spice cookies pecan linzer cookies coconut macaroons

Ange is awesome. Not only does she have an amazing food blog that makes me want to move to BC, but I think she may have been one of the first people (outside of my family) to visit kitchen frolic when it started up.

You see, I have another (currently on hiatus) blog, which is where I first met Ange. When I started up kitchen frolic, she ventured over here to have a look and has been a great source of encouragement and fun  foodie conversations ever since. So I'm very thankful to her for the support and was extremely happy when she agreed to share her coconut macaroon recipe with me for the Cookie Advent Calendar.

You can connect with Ange on her blog, foodpunk.ca and on Twitter at @ange_leung.

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I was flattered and thrilled when food blogger buddy, Stephanie of Kitchen Frolic invited me to guest blog for her Cookie Advent Calendar. Not only do I love advent calendars, I adore baking (and eating!) cookies!

I find that coconut macaroons are perfect Christmas cookies, they’re surprisingly simple to make, not to be confused with the ever complex French macaron. And if you have little kids who want to help in the kitchen, coconut macaroons will be a fun and safe project to take on. 

Coconut macaroons are basically just a combo of shredded coconut (I use the sweetened version) and egg whites. There isn’t even fat involved. Finally! A guilt-free Christmas cookie! The egg whites make the macaroons chewy and moist and the coconut gives the cookie just the right amount of sweetness. These treats go extremely well with eggnog or milk.

The best part about Coconut Macaroons is that they fit right in with Christmas, looking like little glistening snowballs. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

cookie calendar - day 20: pecan linzer cookies

peanut-butter stuffed chocolate cookies mrs. chan’s pecan ball cookies gingerbread bois lemon meringue pie cookies tuiles d'amandes eggnog shortbread cookies shortbread cookies lime meltaway cookies spiced butter shortbread bites gluten-free gingerbread cookies white chocolate and macadamia cookies bacon vanilla wafer cookies cranberry lime shortbread cookies double chocolate cookies gluten-free chocolate peppermint cookies pizzelles minty Andes peppermint crunch dark chocolate chip cookies dark chocolate sables with sea salt and chili molasses spice cookies pecan linzer cookies

Whenever I want to feel inspired, I head over to the Iron Whisk blog.

Filled with drool-worthy desserts, I always spend way too much time daydreaming about making the treats that Ilan does and wistfully wishing that I could have been even half as talented when I was 17! Seriously - 17! I don't remember what I was doing at 17, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't baking up professional-looking desserts and blogging about them. I'm currently, um....many years past 17 and still can't accomplish half the baking Ilan does.

Anyhow, Ilan is definitely one talented teenager who is definitely going to make his mark, no matter what he ends up doing!

p.s. Ilan - if I ever meet you in person, I'm giving you cookie cutters. Really.

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I love cookies. I don't have cookie cutters. I was still able to come up with this. If you have cookie cutters, you have no excuse not to make these!


The traditional linzer cookie is made with black currant jam sandwiched between two almond cookies. Over the years most people have moved to raspberry jam because it’s easier to find and has a brighter colour that is much more appealing to the eye. Any jam can work though, really. It’s best to use a jam that’s acidic though to balance the sweetness of the cookie. If you use a sweet jam, like strawberry, mix in some lemon juice. I was considering using kiwi jam but I ran out of kiwis. That would’ve been super cool though. Green cookies. You could also use lemon curd or lime curd if you don’t like jam or are looking for a new flavour combination.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

cookie calendar - day 19: molasses spice cookies

peanut-butter stuffed chocolate cookies mrs. chan’s pecan ball cookies gingerbread bois lemon meringue pie cookies tuiles d'amandes eggnog shortbread cookies shortbread cookies lime meltaway cookies spiced butter shortbread bites gluten-free gingerbread cookies white chocolate and macadamia cookies bacon vanilla wafer cookies cranberry lime shortbread cookies double chocolate cookies gluten-free chocolate peppermint cookies pizzelles minty Andes peppermint crunch dark chocolate chip cookies dark chocolate sables with sea salt and chili molasses spice cookies

I cannot thank Jen enough for being the one who sent me and Paul to our first Toronto Underground Market back in September. Previously, we were either busy on the day of the event or couldn't get our hands on tickets, but a few months ago, I won tickets from Jen and we had a fabulous time attending our first TUM.

But, event tickets aside, Jen has one of my most favourite food blogs. It's gorgeous. Her photos and writing style are elegant and always makes me hungry. There's just something about her blog that makes me feel warm and happy - like a really good meal does.

When Jen sent me her cookie recipe, I was extra happy because I had tried making my own molasses cookies for the Cookie Advent Calendar, but they didn't turn out (12 raw cookies went into the oven, 1 massive blob of cookie came out of the oven - but that's a story for another day!) So, I'm glad that she's sharing her recipe with us as I really want to get the hang of molasses cookies!


You can follow Jen here:
twitter: @foodpr0n
facebook: foodpr0n

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I love molasses spice cookies. That chewy texture and deep molasses taste is so good, especially with a cup of coffee. Several years ago, I undertook a quest to find the right recipe that matched the molasses spice cookies that Starbucks had. I’m not sure I found the recipe, but after several taste-tests from my fellow SB addicts, we found one we liked and then of course, I tweaked it to my tastes. This one has a more pronounced molasses taste, as that’s what I love. I also dumped in some nutmeg and adjusted the quantities of the salt and other spices.

This recipe is pretty easy. Just need to make sure the butter and eggs are brought up to room-temperature before you begin. The molasses should be in ml, but I like making this all in one bowl – less to wash!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

cookie calendar - day 18: dark chocolate sables with sea salt and chili

peanut-butter stuffed chocolate cookies mrs. chan’s pecan ball cookies gingerbread bois lemon meringue pie cookies tuiles d'amandes eggnog shortbread cookies shortbread cookies lime meltaway cookies spiced butter shortbread bites gluten-free gingerbread cookies white chocolate and macadamia cookies bacon vanilla wafer cookies cranberry lime shortbread cookies double chocolate cookies gluten-free chocolate peppermint cookies pizzelles minty Andes peppermint crunch dark chocolate chip cookies dark chocolate sables with sea salt and chili

One of the best things about learning to be better cooks in the kitchen is that Paul and I have been eating a whole lot healthier these days than we were even a year ago (with much more trips to the market and WAY less take-out). And we're continually learning and making better choices, which is helped along by all the great information we get online and in our cookbooks.

So I was really happy to meet Roxanna, whose blog, WholesomeHedonist, is all about making better, healthier choices. Of course, healthy does not mean boring - just check out the name of the cookies she submitted for the Cookie Advent Calendar!

Here's a quick bio about Roxanna:

Roxanna Kassam Kara is a former processed food marketer who runs WholesomeHedonist.com, a site that demystifies marketing claims, helps people navigate the supermarket and features yummy natural food ideas.  She spends her spare time with her husband and toddler, whom she would refer to as El Guapo and Hefe on her blog if only they would let her. You can follow her on Twitter at here or on Pinterest here.

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I love me a good project. If it involves lists, coloured file folders and clipboards, I’m in. Of course, the actual doing of the work never seems quite as exciting as the planning…except when it comes to holiday cookie baking.

There is nothing better in the world than holiday baking – I love waltzing around the kitchen, Christmas music playing in the background, surrounded by sticks of butter and chocolate and tins of brown sugar. That’s my idea of heaven. But even better than the baking is planning the baking - going through my stack of cookbooks and earmarking the recipes I’m going to make. I have a long list of requirements: they must be able to be made ahead, they must store well once baked (to give in cookie tins,) they must be a little bit different, and above all, they must be GOOD. Not treat-in-the-lunchbox good; not even eat-for-breakfast-tomorrow good. They must be constantly-on-your-mind, sneak-one-every-fifteen-minutes, dear-God-did-he-eat-the-last-ONE? good.


afternoon tea at butter avenue


Recently, Yvonne from th3hungrycat invited me to join her and her sister for Afternoon Tea at Butter Avenue and I didn't hesitate to accept. I was excited for a few reasons:
  • Yvonne's tweets about Butter Avenue always have me drooling
  • from their website, it looked like Butter Avenue's Afternoon Tea would have a modern twist
  • one word: macarons. Yes, macarons for Afternoon Tea.
Butter Avenue is a small, peaceful little cafe, with a clean, simple look that really liked. After settling in, we were given a Tea Menu to choose our drinks from - you can actually open up each little jar to smell the tea before making your choice. Calvin, who co-owns Butter Avenue with his sister Tina, mentioned that Roasted Almond is one of their most popular teas, so that's the one I chose. It has a lovely, nutty smell and steeps to a beautiful deep pink colour.


Besides drinks, Afternoon Tea at Butter Avenue consists of three components:
  1. amuse-bouche
  2. macarons
  3. mini tarts and cakes
After ordering our teas, we were invited to go to the counter and choose three macarons. It was a tough choice, I tell you, but I ended up going with a tea theme and chose Matcha, Earl Grey and Lemon.


Monday, December 17, 2012

cookie calendar - day 17: minty Andes peppermint crunch dark chocolate chip cookies

peanut-butter stuffed chocolate cookies mrs. chan’s pecan ball cookies gingerbread bois lemon meringue pie cookies tuiles d'amandes eggnog shortbread cookies shortbread cookies lime meltaway cookies spiced butter shortbread bites gluten-free gingerbread cookies white chocolate and macadamia cookies bacon vanilla wafer cookies cranberry lime shortbread cookies double chocolate cookies gluten-free chocolate peppermint cookies pizzelles minty Andes peppermint crunch dark chocolate chip cookies

Stephanie and I have a lot in common (besides our name) but she'll fill you in on that. We've moved our chats off of Twitter (after all, what can you really discuss in depth in 140 characters when you have so much to talk about?) and onto email and although she's SUPER busy, she was kind enough to do some baking for me and has shared this recipe with all of us.

What else can I add except that she's a lot of fun and her blog makes me hungry - really, really hungry!

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When Stephanie asked if I wanted to join her Cookie Advent Calendar for the holidays this year, I was delighted!  I was super excited and immediately started brainstorming different cookie combinations.  

But let me backtrack a little...  For those that don’t know me, I’m Stephanie from Munch I Munch.  Originally from New York/New Jersey, I recently moved to Salt Lake City UT.  I love to dabble with food around in my kitchen, but I especially love to eat out locally at home or while travelling.  There’s something quite satisfying about finding that hole in the wall place that serves amazing food.  ^_^

Stephanie and I bonded over our mutual love for food (we are food bloggers, aren’t we?), books (initially of the Tudor and Elizabethan era), and television shows (you guessed it, The Tudors as well as Game of Thrones) and of course, our perfectly awesome name.  ;)  

Now, onto the cookies!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

cookie calendar - day 16: pizzelles

peanut-butter stuffed chocolate cookies mrs. chan’s pecan ball cookies gingerbread bois lemon meringue pie cookies tuiles d'amandes eggnog shortbread cookies shortbread cookies lime meltaway cookies spiced butter shortbread bites gluten-free gingerbread cookies white chocolate and macadamia cookies bacon vanilla wafer cookies cranberry lime shortbread cookies double chocolate cookies gluten-free chocolate peppermint cookies pizzelles

Although I didn't have any requests as to the type of cookies people submitted to the Advent Calendar, when I asked Jerry from Zeppoli's to contribute to my Cookie Advent Calendar, I was secretly hoping he'd share a traditional Italian cookie recipe and he didn't disappoint.

After discovering Zeppoli's on Twitter, I've been watching Jerry get busier and busier with catering orders and it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. He's very much into Italian food and his passion and love of food really come through, even online. 

I'm really looking forward to making a trip to Niagara Falls someday soon in order to sample Jerry's cooking in person!  :)

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My favorite time of year is Christmas mainly because it brings our family closer together. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life that sometimes one gets lost and forgets the important things that matter most.

My mother was the best cook I’ve ever known. I like to joke that some people are born with silver spoons in their mouths....my mom was born with a wooden one. She had a natural talent and passion. Instinctively and often without any formal recipe at hand she would start mixing, testing, adding, until she came up with something new and exciting. One of her favorite things to do was to bake around the holidays. I have very vivid memories of helping her in the cucina when it was time to make Italian cookies and biscotti. Well...she did most of the work. I watched and acted as quality taster. As any 7 year old can attest...at Christmas...this is probably the best job in the world. 

Sometimes she would make something unique and different but Christmas is very much about tradition in our home and she made many traditional cookies and sweets. One of my absolute favorites was pizzelle. 


Saturday, December 15, 2012

cookie calendar - day 15: gluten-free chocolate peppermint cookies

peanut-butter stuffed chocolate cookies mrs. chan’s pecan ball cookies gingerbread bois lemon meringue pie cookies tuiles d'amandes eggnog shortbread cookies shortbread cookies lime meltaway cookies spiced butter shortbread bites gluten-free gingerbread cookies white chocolate and macadamia cookies bacon vanilla wafer cookies cranberry lime shortbread cookies double chocolate cookies gluten-free chocolate peppermint cookies

You know how once in a while you and a co-worker manage to become friends, great friends, outside of the workplace. You no longer think of that person as someone who you work with, but someone you actually like hanging out with? That happened to me and Christina.

Although I was incredibly happy to leave my last job behind me, I do miss my daily chats and lunches with Christins, so I'm happy that we still manage to keep in touch even though our new workplaces are nowhere close to each other (we both quit our old jobs within a week of each other).

Besides being a great co-worker and friend, I have to say that Christina is an awesome baker. Like, really talented. This girl can decorate cupcakes/cakes sooooo much better than I can! In fact, I often try to derail her corporate career by encouraging her to open up her own bakery (LOL - I'm kind of a bad influence sometimes).

Even though she hasn't yet decided to take my career advice, I was really glad that Christina (and her sister) agreed to share a cookie recipe with me!

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Six years ago, Lil’ Sis (Loredana) was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Coming from a pasta and sweets crazy Italian family, having to cut the wheat and gluten from her diet sounded impossible. But Lil’ Sis’ entire family put on their glass-half-full lenses – this was a new opportunity for all of us to be introduced to the world of corn pasta, quinoa (mmm…yummy quinoa) and brown rice flour.

Fast forward to 2012 and gluten-free (GF) foods have come a looong way. Trust Lil’ Sis…she’s eaten some sad, tasteless bread and mixed-that-flour-with-this-other-flour for recipes in the last six years. 

Toping the GF food list is Cup 4 Cup flour. Honestly, this flour is the greatest thing since sliced gluten-free bread. This miracle flour does just what its name says – it replaces all-purpose flour “cup for cup.” Boom.

This past scorching hot summer, Big Sis (Christina) discovered her passion for baking. Perfect timing. And there are only three things she loves more: Juventus, her Lil’ Sis and Christmas. So she took this recipe and together with (Kitchen Sergeant) Lil’ Sis made it gluten-free-a-rific.

Friday, December 14, 2012

cookie calendar - day 14: double chocolate cookies

peanut-butter stuffed chocolate cookies mrs. chan’s pecan ball cookies gingerbread bois lemon meringue pie cookies tuiles d'amandes eggnog shortbread cookies shortbread cookies lime meltaway cookies spiced butter shortbread bites gluten-free gingerbread cookies white chocolate and macadamia cookies bacon vanilla wafer cookies cranberry lime shortbread cookies double chocolate cookies

Paul first made these cookies a few years ago and I'm glad he doesn't make them too often since I can't stop eating these! They are super-soft, chewy and full of rich, chocolate flavour - all the things I love about cookies. Normally, I'm not a fan of white chocolate, but in these cookies, they definitely work.

We usually make a double-batch of these cookies. They're quite large, but they go quickly, I promise!



Thursday, December 13, 2012

cookie calendar - day 13: cranberry lime shortbread cookies

peanut-butter stuffed chocolate cookies mrs. chan’s pecan ball cookies gingerbread bois lemon meringue pie cookies tuiles d'amandes eggnog shortbread cookies shortbread cookies lime meltaway cookies spiced butter shortbread bites gluten-free gingerbread cookies white chocolate and macadamia cookies bacon vanilla wafer cookies cranberry lime shortbread cookies

Besides being one of the sweetest people I have had the pleasure to meet on Twitter, Linda has a beautiful blog that just inspires me to become a better cook and to enjoy life more!

Her recipe combines some of the freshest flavours into one yummy cookie - I can't wait to make these and share them over the holidays!

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Hi everyone! My name is Linda and I am always hooked when visiting a foodie site. Being a foodie myself, I always drool each time I read other foodie stories from food bloggers, and those stories have motivated me to share my own. To that end, The urban Mrs was created.


The Urban Mrs is about cooking simple, healthy, and daringly delicious dishes. A fusion of different cuisines, dishes inspired by my favorite restaurants, or just whatever is in the fridge. So, please do stop by and feel free to comment.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

cookie calendar - day 12: bacon vanilla wafer cookies

peanut-butter stuffed chocolate cookies mrs. chan’s pecan ball cookies gingerbread bois lemon meringue pie cookies tuiles d'amandes eggnog shortbread cookies shortbread cookies lime meltaway cookies spiced butter shortbread bites gluten-free gingerbread cookies white chocolate and macadamia cookies bacon vanilla wafer cookies

I "met" Shannon on Twitter when we connected over chats about the Toronto Underground Market. Unfortunately, I didn't get to attend the same one as she did so I have yet to try out the delicious goodies that Shannon whips up as part of All Mine Caramels (some day!)

When she contacted me and offered to share her bacon vanilla wafer cookies with the Cookie Advent Calendar project, I didn't hesitate to accept. BACON! In a COOKIE! What could be more perfect?

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Hello folks I'm Shannon Hitchon the creator of All Mine Caramels a small business specializing in handcrafted caramels and caramel corn.

I make many different flavours of caramels and then dip them by hand in chocolate.  I also do caramel corns. One of the most popular flavours is my Slow Kick cayenne & bacon caramel corn.

Around my house we love bacon so much that I incorporated it into a cookie recipe. When I saw Stephanie's post requesting cookie recipes for her holiday blog I thought these little treats would be perfect. My son and hubby go nuts for these cookies.  They are a perfect snacking size and have a great little salty bacon hit at the end. The recipe makes around 80 cookies which seems like a lot but trust me you won't be able to stop at just one.

For more information on All Mine Caramels and pics of my caramels check out Facebook and follow me on twitter @allminecaramels or Email: shannonhitchon@hotmail.com

We have a website in the works and hopefully will be launching early in 2013!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

cookie calendar - day 11: white chocolate and macadamia cookies

peanut-butter stuffed chocolate cookies mrs. chan’s pecan ball cookies gingerbread bois lemon meringue pie cookies tuiles d'amandes eggnog shortbread cookies shortbread cookies lime meltaway cookies spiced butter shortbread bites gluten-free gingerbread cookies white chocolate and macadamia cookies

I honestly don't remember when I first stumbled onto Nicole's lovely blog, Miss Friday's Feast, but I was instantly hooked. I think one of the things that drew me to it was Nicole was also a new food blogger, so it was interesting to see how she approached blogging and setting up her recipes.

I also love that she's not based in North America, as it's great to connect with bloggers from other places to get new recipes and insights into other food cultures.

When I invited Nicole to take part in the Cookie Advent Calendar, she mentioned that she's definitely more into savory than sweet, which is usually how my preference as well, but somehow, Nicole was nice enough to come up with amazing recipe to share with me (how did she know I LOVE macadamia nuts?!)

Enjoy!

You can connect with Nicole by visiting:
Blog: http://missfridaysfeast.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter: @nicolelwaterman
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For those of you who don’t know me I’m Nicole; writer and creator of the food blog Miss Friday’s Feast, bringing you all the latest culinary creations from my tiny kitchen in my corner of the globe. Nothing makes me happier than good food. Wait, scrap that, nothing makes me happier than good food at Christmas.

Does the world really need another cookie recipe? Yes! And when Steph asked me to join in with her Christmas Cookie Calendar I was chuffed, if not a little apprehensive. If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know sweets are not my forte. But alas, tis the season of good will and all, so I decided to get my apron all covered in flour and see what I could come up with.


Monday, December 10, 2012

my first oven roast


Confession time - I have never made an oven roast. Never. I've "kind of" made a pot roast (usually, Paul makes the pot roast and I assist), but I've never made an oven roast by myself. So when I got my latest Canadian Beef Ambassador assignment, I was excited and nervous - I had to make an oven roast! This was the first time they had asked me to make something that I had never cooked before.

Paul was extra excited because lately he's been complaining that I need to cook more and bake less since he wants to eat some real meals and less desserts (apparently, he can't survive solely on baked goods like I can).

Cooking an oven roast is actually MUCH easier than I had anticipated. The one important kitchen gadget that I highly recommend having is a meat thermometer. Paul and I actually own several different meat thermometers (the little round non-digital metal ones and also a couple of digital ones) but Canadian Beef sent me a new one - a talking digital thermometer.


The new thermometer is really simple to use and has different settings for beef, chicken, veal, turkey, lamb, and pork. They have pre-set temperatures, so you just choose how well done you want your meat. For example, under the Beef setting, you can choose from Rare, Medium-Rare, Medium and Well Done. Under some meats, like chicken, you can only choose Well Done. When the temperature is close to ideal (about 5 degrees lower than the pre-set), a voice comes on and tells you that the cooking is almost done. You'll get more talking reminders as you get closer to the ideal temperature and again when you reach it. This method is much easier than trying to figure out timing based on the weight of the meat.

cookie calendar - day 10: gluten-free gingerbread cookies

peanut-butter stuffed chocolate cookies mrs. chan’s pecan ball cookies gingerbread bois lemon meringue pie cookies tuiles d'amandes eggnog shortbread cookies shortbread cookies lime meltaway cookies spiced butter shortbread bites gluten-free gingerbread cookies

Christine is one of my favourite Twitter friends and I'm happy to share her cookie recipe today.

Christine and I originally connected because we're both Canadian Beef Ambassadors, but we definitely have more in common than just our love of good beef! Christine is married to a beef farmer and lives out in the countryside on a beef farm, which is as different from my life as a city girl as you can get. It's been amazing for me to read her blog and learn more about rural life. Plus, her little girl is SUPER adorable so it's been cool watching her grow up on the blog.  :)

Enjoy!

p.s. Christine also told me the reason she could only send me one photo of the cookies is because her Little One ate them all before they could take any more photos. Now that's a little Cookie Monster in training!

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Christine McNaughton is the Social Media/Twitter Community Manager for PTPA Media Inc. (Parent Tested Parent Approved) and is a Brand Ambassador for: Hallmark #HallmarkPressPause, LifeChoicesFoods #LCMamas, Fisher-Price #FisherPriceMoms, Mabel's Labels #Buzzmamas, Toshiba Canada #ToshibaBrandAmbassador, ShesConnected, Canadian Beef, and more.

Check her out on:

Sunday, December 9, 2012

cookie calendar - day 9: spiced butter shortbread bites

peanut-butter stuffed chocolate cookies mrs. chan’s pecan ball cookies gingerbread bois lemon meringue pie cookies tuiles d'amandes eggnog shortbread cookies shortbread cookies lime meltaway cookies spiced butter shortbread bites

Amanda is fun and funky and her blog is full of pretty things that I LOVE. I love browsing around and getting ideas for things I need to buy (or ask someone to buy for me - LOL).

Besides being able to bake wicked cookies, Amanda is a talented artist - basically, this girl is Creative with a capital C. I was so happy that she submitted these shortbread bites for the Calendar!

Here's a quick bio about Amanda:

Amanda is a lover of cookies, stationary, stockings and romance. She's the girl behind the Heartless Girl blog and likes to write about Toronto, food and travel. She also draws stuff.

You can follow her @hrtlesgirl or like her on Facebook.

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I like experimenting and trying out new recipes, even in crucial times like before potlucks or when throwing a dinner party. You know, times where you should rely on tried and true recipes instead of throwing it all to the wind.

Like today. What can I say? The holidays make me adventurous.  Shortbread is my #1 fav cookie, so I decided to make spiced butter shortbread bites. (and they turned out awesome!) Here's how I did it.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

cookie calendar - day 8: lime meltaway cookies

peanut-butter stuffed chocolate cookies mrs. chan’s pecan ball cookies gingerbread bois lemon meringue pie cookies tuiles d'amandes eggnog shortbread cookies shortbread cookies lime meltaway cookies

I chose to try this cookie recipe because of one word: "lime". Paul loves lime-flavoured treats so I figured this would be a good cookie to master.

This cookie is really simple to make and you don't have to worry about it spreading out when baking as it pretty much keeps its shape and size from start to end.


These cookies fall into the "crumbly and sandy" section of the Martha Stewart Cookie cookbook that I got them from and they definitely live up to their name! The first time I ate one, I thought that it was too dry, although Paul and my mom both assured me it wasn't. I kept them in an air-tight container and discovered that a day later, the cookie had firmed up a bit and had a less dry texture (but still dryer than most cookies). It would be great with a hot mug of coffee or tea.

The best part though is that they are full of great lime flavour! You can substitute other citrus fruits for the lime if you prefer, which I want to try one soon. I think it would be great to have a plateful of different flavours (lime, lemon, orange and grapefruit meltaways, anyone?)