Canada Leaf Cookies

I don’t camp well.

Last year I mentioned how I fell out of the tent trailer. I wish I could say this was an isolated case.  Aside from the expected sun burn and being eaten alive, my memories of camping are dotted with similar events that suggest that maybe camping is just not for me.

When I was about 6, my family left for a camping trip in a provincial park. We got there, got the camp set up, made dinner and then later on settled down to sleep. The next thing I remember, I am waking up in my room. At home. Apparently, sometime after I went to sleep, the sky literally opened up and just poured rain. As in it rained so hard the tent was flooded.  With a couple inches of water.  Enough that my parents decided there was no waiting this monsoon out, and packed us up in the middle of the night.Dad went back the next day and packed up our soggy gear, and we spent the rest of the trip at home.

Another time, when I was about 18, my boyfriend at the time and I were volunteering at a kids camp with the church. He had driven me up to the camp as I didn’t drive at the time. On the last day, we were heading down to the beach, I was walking walking down with a group of campers, and he was driving down with some supplies. This was when we discovered that Dodge Neons are certainly not off-road vehicles. The road to the campsite was fairly narrow. Since he had been driving down supplies, he had left after us, and what turned out to be a not-so-smart move, steered a bit off the road in order to avoid us.  What we didn’t expect, was that he would drive over a stump, blow his front tire and then proceed to get stuck.  As in blow his tire so violently that the rim was damaged beyond repair. As in so stuck, that he had to be towed out of the camp ground. Fortunately Mom had come up for the day and was able to give me a ride home.

Fast forward a bunch of years, and I find myself a man who is an outdoorsman. As in he only likes to camp in remote areas, where there is absolutely no amenities, hours from civilization and where practising bear avoidance is not a good idea, but an absolute necessity. I am truly afraid to go camping with him.

So, what does camping have to do with cookies? Not much other than I associate long weekend in the summer with camping or cottaging ( happens when you sort of live in the heart of cottage country).   Plus it’s Canada Day long weekend, and I was feeling patriotic.

Canada Leaf Cookies.

makes about 36 cookies

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsp extract of choice ( I used vanilla, but have also made these cookies with orange or lemon)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • red food dye ( I used Americolor Super Red )
  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar until smooth.  Beat in the extract.
  2. In another bowl, combine the flour and the salt. Gradually add it to the butter mix.
  3. Split the dough into thirds.Set aside one third. This will stay white. Add red dye to the other two thirds. Add it gradually until you get the  desired Canada Red. Split the red dough in half, then roll all three into long logs ( about 30cm/12 inches long). Squish all three together well ( if not they won’t stick and will fall apart after you bake them). Wrap and refrigerate for at least and hour
  4.  Roll out vertically to about  3mm (1/8 in) thick. What you want to end up with is a long ribbon of dough with three horizontal lines of colour running the length, wide enough to just fit your cutter.
  5. Cut with a 3in maple leaf cutter, then transfer to a cookie sheet. You will end up with mostly red dough left, so you can collect that up, re-roll it, then cut it  for all red leaves.
  6. Bake in an oven preheated to 325°F for about 8-10 minutes. Let cool on the sheet for a couple minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely. 
Baking cookies is so much better than camping.
- Mel
 
P.S. : Here are a couple other Canada day treats from last year:
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