Recipes

Oatmeal cream pies

Oh…. These are good…

 

I mean… If you like vanilla icing sandwiched between the perfect buttery oatmeal cookie.

They are very sweet and rich and I admit that I won’t be making them too often because of that but I had to try them when I saw the and I am so glad I did, because in doing so I think I did find the perfect oatmeal cookie recipe! Now i am going to work on tweaking the cookie part so that it will be a bit less rich but keep what I love about them… Slightly crisp but still tender…

The kind of oatmeal cookie that I have been searching for and not cakey cookie that I often end up with….

For the cookie….

  • 1 1/4 butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 11/2 cup flour
  • 3 cup oats
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

For the creme filling

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp whipping cream

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Beat butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy, add egg and vanilla
  • In another bowl, combine flour, soda, salt, cinnamon and then add oats.
  • Add to butter mix and blend well
  • Drop by rounded tbsp 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheet
  • Bake for 10 min
  • Cool on racks and when cool, fill with filling

 

By |February 23rd, 2012|Recipes|2 Comments|

Sucre à la Crème

Like the recipe for Pouding Chomeur that I shared a few years ago, Sucre à la Crème is a traditional Québecois dessert. Unlike the Pouding Chomeur which is more of an everyday dessert, Sucre à la Crème is traditionally served around the holidays.

I have heard some non-Quebec Anglophones call it “maple fudge” but I don’t like that term.. traditionally it doesn’t have any maple syrup and the texture is not fudge. It is dense and sweet and creamy but slightly granular without at all being grainy. It is simply Sucre à la Crème…  but if you had to translate it I would call it an addictive pan of creamed sugar…

For years I have been looking for the perfect recipe and have failed at many attempts. The biggest problem in that most recipes are no longer traditional. They are made in the microwave and have evaporated milk instead of cream. Other recipes don’t have the steps written out well and the results are either too hard or too soft.

There is nothing complicated about the ingredients but not being a seasoned candy maker, using a glass of water to determine is it is at a “soft ball” stage doesn’t help me in the end… maybe one day I will be there, but I am not there yet…

What you need:

    • 1 cup of sugar
    • 1 cup light brown sugar
    • 2/3 cup of cream (I use 10%)

.

  • 2 tbsp butter (30 grams)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

(I double everything and make a double batch because a single batch just wouldn’t be enough for this family…)

First in a heavy bottomed pot (large pot because it will boil up) mix together the cream and two sugars and place over medium-high heat. Stir a few times and then when you start to see it boil around the edges, place your candy thermometer on the edge careful to not touch the bottom and then don’t touch the spoon again.

Boil until the temperature hits exactly 236F (113 C) and then take off the heat…

Still not touching the mixture… add the butter and vanilla… reject the impulse to stir!!

Now.. let the mixture cool until the temp hits 110F (43C)… if you let it sit it on the stove it will take about 45 min, but you can speed up by placing the pot in a sink with cold water.

While you are letting it cool, prepare a pan by buttering it and set aside. (I use a 8X8 square pan for a double batch but you can use a loaf pan for a single)

Once it hits 110F it is the crucial part… take your wooden spoon and stir, stir, stir until the mixture starts loosing its lustre (basically around the time that you feel like you will lose your arm if you keep on stirring) and then quickly pour into the prepared pan.

Timing is really crucial here. Don’t stir long enough it will be too soft and won’t hold together. Stir a few seconds too long it will start hardening right in the pan and will be impossible to spread out.

Smooth out the top of the Sucre à la Crème and then let cool and cut into small pieces.

Sucre à la Crème

Enjoy this rich, sugary, creamy perfection…

I hope you make it and taste a bit of the holidays here in Québec!

 

By |December 29th, 2011|Recipes|11 Comments|

Spritz Cookies

 

a few of the cookies I made today

Spritz cookies, or “Swedish sugar cookies” are a holiday staple. Like the sugar cookie, they are light and buttery but they are so much easier to make. I don’t mean that the sugar cookie is a really complicated cookie, but the dough can be finicky, you have to chill and roll out and cut and place etc. With the use of a cookie press, these spritz cookies take a few minutes to put together to make about 4 dozen cookies. You could also use a piping bag or even a ziplock to make your shapes.

First, pre-heat the oven to 375.

For the dough:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (I use my own)
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt

First cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add egg and the extracts and mix until creamy. Slowly incorporate the four and salt and mix until you have a nice soft dough but don’t over mix.

Place dough in cookie press or in piping bag and form your cookies and place 1″ apart on an ungreased pan. Before baking you can add chocolate chips, jelly, sugar etc if you wish…

Bake for 6-9 min or until edges are slightly turning golden, and then transfer to a rack to cool…

Spritz cookies

 

After my cookies were cooled I went ahead and dipped a few in melted chocolate laced with a bit of coconut oil to give in a slight coconutty taste… yumm….

 

Holiday Spritz cookies

 

By |December 20th, 2011|Recipes|5 Comments|

Bread Pudding

This one of those comfort foods that is just so easy to make and uses up the bread that is getting too dry to eat but you don’t want to waste it…

  • 6 cups day old bread (cubed and slightly toasted)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups milk (I use coconut, almond or soy)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 and slightly butter a casserole dish and place the bread and drizzle with the melted butter. Mix in the raisins if using.

In another bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed and then pour over the bread, and lightly push down with a fork until bread is covered and soaking up the egg mixture.

Bread pudding

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly tapped.

By |November 19th, 2011|Recipes|Comments Off on Bread Pudding|

Chicken and Dumpling soup

I had never had, or heard of Chicken and Dumpling soup until a few years ago when I was watching a show on the food network that made it look so good. It looked exactly like comfort food even though I hated soup.

Yes, not very long ago, I hated all soups.

There is something about being able to drink my food that didn’t appeal to me and honestly most of the soups that I had in my memory were not the best. It is not that I wanted to hate soup, I actually wanted the opposite, I knew it was easy to make, inexpensive and that I could probably like the taste if I made it myself… so I started making a few…

This is one of the first soups I made and to this day it is still a favourite in the household, especially with the kids.

It all starts with a chicken…

Chicken and dumpling soup is always a second meal for me… what I mean by that is that I will roast a chicken and use about half of it for super the night before in something like club sandwiches. I then strip off the rest of the meat and put it aside, and then store the bones and the juices from the roast chicken until the next day. One chicken, two meals. I might look like a lot of work and a lot of step but it really isn’t… it is actually an easy meal to make and each of the steps takes just a few minutes to prepare and the result is well worth it!

In the morning I start on the stock…

No measuring needed…

  • Heat a bit of olive oil in a large pot.
  • Chop an onion in quarters (no need to peel them) and throw them in
  • Add a few green onions if you have them also
  • Cut a head of garlic into two pieces horizontally and throw it in (again no peeling needed)
  • Break a few stalk of celery in half and throw those in
  • Same thing with a few carrots
  • Sprinkle a bit of coarse salt, freshly ground pepper and a bit of poultry seasoning. (sage, thyme, marjoram)
  • Let the veggies cook and caramelize a bit. It adds depth to the stock.
Veggies for broth
Add the chicken bones and then about 16 cups of water… or enough to cover everything.

 

Making chicken Broth

Let simmer for a few hours until reduced by almost half.

You will end up with a flavourful and rich and flavourful stock. Strain, and set aside.
Rich homemade Chicken broth
About an hour before starting the soup, it is time to make the dumplings.
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 green onions (chopped finely)
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or milk with 1 tsp of lemon juice) *I use almond milk
  • 2 eggs
Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and onions together in a bowl. In another bowl, mix the sour milk and eggs. Add the wet mixture to the dry and fold in slowly until just incorporated being very careful not to overmix. It will be lumpy and that is perfectly fine.

Place in the fridge for an hour.

 

To make the soup…

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Chopped roasted chicken (about 2 cups… or half  chicken)
  • chicken broth (recipe above)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
In a large pot, heat oil and butter. Add the veggies and cook until softened.
Carrots, celery and garlic cooking
Add the flour and let cook for a few minutes
added flour
Cup by cup add the broth. After about 5 cups are added, start waiting a bit between each next addition and add the garlic powder, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Add the rest of the broth and adjust the seasonings to taste. Add the chicken and let simmer for about 5 min.
The soup should be flavourful and slightly thick and creamy.
thick and creamy chicken soup
While the soup is simmering, take the dumpling batter  out of the fridge. It should resemble a thick pancake batter.
dumpling mix
Using two tablespoons (or an ice cream scoop) quickly add spoonfuls of the dumpling mix to the soup. (You want to go as fast as possible)
Then quickly cover and simmer for another 10-15 minutes… don’t uncover when cooking!
(the dumplings will rise to the top and will both boil and stream at the same time)
dumpling are done
(the result is a very light and fluffy dumpling)
light and fluffy
And that is it! it is ready to serve and be enjoyed…
 I have to say… It is so hard to take pictures of this soup.. it might not look that appealing on camera but it is the ultimate comfort food, full of flavour, full of goodness and the whole family loves it.
Chicken and Dumpling soup