Posts Tagged With: Holiday

Nutella Half-Moons

In case you forgot, there is like 10 days until Christmas.

Nutella Half moons

Which means it’s the perfect time to make cookies! Yay!

Especially ones that are wonderfully filled with Nutella that are absolutely the best for dunking in hot cocoa, and that look festive with their snowy dusting of powdered sugar. Perfect for snowy days in. When you have holiday music blaring, Christmas lights on, and a fire going ( or at the very least a candle).

This is a cookie I fiddled with after Mr Ginge saw it on Pinterest and has basically begged me to make them for him. For weeks.

nutella half moon cookies

A few notes before you start.

While super delish and worth the work, these are a bit fiddly and time consuming. Because I wanted a super soft cookie, the dough is very soft and you’ll want to be generous with the flour when you  go to roll them out. Also, I used a dumpling maker to fold these over. If you don’t have one of those, then I recommend going the full moon route and just stuffing Nutella between two rounds. These also freeze wonderfully, so if you have any leftovers after the holidays, these will last in the freezer.
nutella filled cookies

Nutella Half Moons

inspired by these cookies by kokocooks 

makes about 5 dozen cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 1/2 cups flour, plus more for rolling
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • about 1 cup of nutella
  • icing sugar for dusting

 

  1. 1. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, or until well combined.  Add in the sour cream and the vanilla.
  2. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and soda. Gradually add it to the butter mixture or until  well combined. The dough will be very soft, a bit thicker than cake batter. Cover it in plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for several hours, or if you want to speed things up a bit, in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour.
  3. Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F . Line your cookie pans with parchment paper.
  4. Working in batches so that your chilled dough stays firm, roll it out to about 4mm/ 1/8 in thick. Cut with a round cutter about 3in/ 8 cm in diameter. I used a dumpling maker, so I cut it with the base. If doing half moons, place 1 tsp nutella in the centre of the round then fold over, pressing lightly to seal. If making full moons place about 2 tsp nutella in the centre of a round, top with another, then seal with a fork. Carefully transfer the cookies to your prepared sheets. Repeat with the rest of the dough
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes. While still warm, dust lightly with icing sugar, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Happy baking!

-Mel

Categories: Cookies | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Caramel Apple Pancakes

2012 has been a rough year for me.

ca-pancakes -GB

While I will not deny there has been some amazing moments in the past year ( especially when it comes to my blog. I have seen some amazing growth in the past year and for that I am eternally grateful!), and I am more than grateful for the life that I do lead, 2012 has had some hardships that have been tough to overcome.  The year started with the loss of a job I loved and facing the difficulties of unemployment for the first time, the loss of my grandmother and the utter devastation it caused my dad, the frustration of not being able to find a job, the bittersweet loss of  a good friend who moved out of province,  struggled with certain aspects of my health, and dealt with what seems like an ongoing war with some people in my life.

I’ve never been an overly open person, and this little corner of the web has always been my happy place, however there have been points throughout the year where I have struggled to maintain an interest or a happy demeanour,  and have even gone months without baking, something that has always helped me relax and unwind. Fortunately,  I am surrounded by amazing people who love and support me, and give me ambition and inspiration when I have none.

These are my last parting words to 2012: I am glad we are through.

apple pancakes - GB

So, here’s to the new year, and an end to the depressing stuff. To new beginnings and a year focused on making it the most I can. A year I can enjoy the company of those who mean the most to me and who have always supported me ( and my blog :) ) through thick and thin. A year where I can focus on my health and happiness. A year of continued growth and learning and of moving forward. And, most importantly, a year full of cookies and cupcakes (my favourites!).

And to bring in the new year, I give you pancakes!

Well, Mr Ginge brings you pancakes, since this was the result of a craving for pancakes and him searching through the odds and ends in the refrigerator.  Pair them up with some bacon and a tall lass of OJ and you are good to go.

caramel apple pancakes- GB

Caramel Apple Pancakes

serves 4, adapted from allrecipes.com

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup caramel sauce ( we used what we had in the fridge, but you could always use homemade)
  • 3 tsbp melted butter
  • 1 apple, cored and thinly sliced
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.  Make a large well in the centre and set aside.
  2. In a measuring cup or bowl, combine together the milk, egg, caramel sauce, and butter. Pour into the well and mix until smooth. Let the batter stand about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat up your pan with a bit of butter over medium-high heat. Pour about a 1/4 cup of batter  into the pan for each pancake. Top the pancake with a few slices of apple. Revel in the heavenly smell that is wafting from your kitchen.
  4. When the edges have bubble and are lightly brown around the edges give them a flip and then continue to cook on the other side.
  5. Flip them onto a plate and serve with maple syrup, additional caramel sauce, or a bit of icing sugar.

If you ask me, this is an excellent way to ring in the new year!

- Happy New Year-

Mel, Mr.Ginge and the kitties.

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I linked this recipe up to The Weekend Potluck and Strut Your Stuff Saturday.

Categories: Breads | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

Happy New Year Drink

Soo… what’s everyone’s plans for  New Year’s Eve?

DSC_0190

Mr. Ginge and I are spending a quiet evening at home, snuggled up, munching on some of our favourite snack foods and maybe challenging each other to some competitive video gaming.

Chances are, we’ll both be passed out by 10:30! Haha.

Since neither one of us will have to drive, Mr. Ginge has a little cocktail planned for us to help  celebrate the new year.

It’s a little twist on a Kir Royale, using Chambord instead of black currant liqueur, but it’s yummy and tasty, and a wonderfully festive colour!

DSC_0192

Happy New Year Drink

serves 1, easily multiplied

  • 1 oz Chambord, or black raspberry liqueur
  • 4 oz sparkling white wine, chilled.
  1. In a champagne flute, pour in Chambord. Top with sparkling wine. Stir gently.

 

- Mel

Categories: Beverages | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Marbled Chocolate Orange Pound Cake

I have a confession to make.

I bought a Christmas decoration last weekend. Actually, that’s not entirely true. I’ve already bought three, but the first two don’t count.  I buy them early every year.

Point is, it is barely October, hardly past Thanksgiving, and I have succumbed and bought something related to Christmas. It’s scary I know.

This also means that I should also have my Christmas baking list ready to go, and it’s so totally not. I have no idea what I want to make or what I am going to make. Now normally this is not a big deal, except that I bake soooo much that I am actually starting to panic.

Yes. I have issues.

So, instead of focusing on the nest big holiday that is  far away, I baked something festive for Halloween.

That ended up tasting like those whack and unwrap oranges you get a Christmas time. Go figure.

Marbled Chocolate and Orange Pound Cake

makes one 9×3 cake

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • orange food colouring ( optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×3 loaf pan and line with parchment paper so that it hangs over the sides.
  2. In a bowl, combine the milk and eggs, beating together. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your mixer ( or in a large bowl) combine the flour, baking powder and sugar. Give it a whir to combine, then slowly beat in the butter. When it is combined, pour in about half of the egg mixture. When it is combined, scrape the batter from the sides and bottom of the bowl. Slowly pour in the remaining egg mixture and beat until smooth.
  4. Divide the batter into two bowls. In one half of the batter, mix in the cocoa powder. In the other half, stir in the orange extract and the food colouring, if using.
  5. Drop spoonfuls of batter  into the prepared pan, alternating chocolate with orange batter. Swirl the batter together gently with a knife.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then lift out of the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack

- Mel

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I linked this recipe to Strut Your Stuff Saturdays as well as these other great blogs:

Love Bakes Good Cakes

 

Categories: Cake and Cupcakes | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

Amarula French Toast

Sundays, Mr, Ginge and I do breakfast. Occasionally, we go out, but more often one of us gets up, brews some coffee and fixes breakfast.

Usually we stick to classics, like bacon and eggs or pancakes.

This week started as french toast. He was feeling like a “special-coffee” with his breakfast, and busted out the Amarula.

In a late-morning stroke of genius, some of the liqueur found its way in to our breakfast. And my goodness, what a thought it was.

I was quite literally drooling as it cooked.

If you are having guests over for the holidays, this would make a great addition to your brunch spread.

Amarula French Toast.

serves 4

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 c. Amarula or other cream liqueur ( we think Baileys would be pretty good as well)
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp milk or cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 slices of bread
  • butter for pan.
  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Melt a teaspoon or so of butter to lightly grease.
  2. In a shallow bowl or dish, mix the eggs, Amarula, milk, vanilla and salt.
  3. Dip a couple slices of bread in the eggs, coating each side.
  4. Cook in the skillet, a couple minutes on each side, or until golden brown, adding butter between slices if needed.
  5. Serve immediately with a light dusting of icing sugar and some syrup. ( Mr. Ginge recommends a nice Canadian amber maple syrup)

Bon apetit!

-Mel

Categories: Sandwiches and Side Dishes | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Individual Cheddar and Bacon Cheese Balls

Last week it snowed. Enough that there was still snow on the ground in the morning. Enough that driving home, there we some near white out conditions. You know, normal weather for around these parts. It was kind of exciting. I always love the first snowfall. It never fails to put me in a festive mood. (I also couldn’t help but think it would have been an excellent day for snowsuit sales, but that’s just 5 years of retail talking.)

Sadly, the snow had completely melted by  noon the next day, and the temperatures are supposed to soar again by the weekend. Oh well. I’m sure there will be more to come. :)

Anyways enough about the weather. We need to talk cheese. And bacon. All whirled together into a delectable spread, then rolled into two-bite nuggets. Heaven

And really, who doesn’t want their own cheese ball?

This is a part of our holiday spread every year, and has been forever.  And usually, about July, my brother gets sick of waiting, and requests I make him one. It has morphed into many different shapes over the years, but last year, we made them into mini-balls and it worked out great.

Especially, since not a one of us can agree on how we like it.

These freeze absolutely amazing, and are actually a bit better  if they have some time to let the flavors meld.

Individual Cheddar and Bacon Cheese Balls

makes around 30 mini cheese balls, or 2 large ones

  • 12 slices of bacon, crisply cooked + 1 tbsp reserved bacon fat
  • 1 pkg cream cheese, softened.
  • 3 cups shredded old, sharp, cheddar cheese
  • dried parsley, to garnish
  •  finely chopped pecans, to garnish
  1. In a food processor, finely chop the bacon.
  2. Add the cream cheese and cheddar. You may have to work in a couple batches for this, depending on the size of your machine. Blitz together until combined.
  3. Pour in the reserved bacon fat, and blitz for a bit more.
  4. Carefully remove the blade.
  5. Scoop mixture out 2 tbsp at a time and roll in to balls. Roll into the chopped pecans then parsley. Alternatively, divide mixture in two, then roll in pecans and parsley. If you aren’t a nut lover like Mr. Ginge, then just omit the pecans.
  6. Cover in plastic wrap, then refrigerate for several hours. If possible let them sit for a couple days to let the flavors meld.  Set them out 30 mins before you are going to serve just to bring them up to room temp.
  7. If you aren’t planning on serving them right away, then bag them up in some freezer bags then stick them in the freezer for up to 3 months

Variation: Pecan and Cheddar Cheese Ball

My sister is a weirdo and doesn’t like bacon. So I tweaked the recipe a bit for her so that she could still enjoy.

  1. Omit the bacon for 1c. chopped pecans.
  2. Cream the cheeses like before. Add 1/2 c. of the pecans to the cheese.
  3. Pulse a couple times, then roll as above, rolling in the remaining chopped pecans.

Seriously try this.

-Mel

P.S- I totally put my tree up this weekend. Yes, that is a deer beside my tree. No it is not a decoration. Mr. Ginge is a bit of an outdoorsman, and “Miss November” was out of the way there. :)

Categories: Appetizers | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Chocolate Candy Corn Fudge

I used to work at a bulk foods store, and come Halloween, I would go crazy over the candy corn. And the mellocreme pumpkins. And the mellocreme harvest mix.

So much so that I literally made myself sick. Really sick. Like so sick, I couldn’t look at candy corn with out getting queasy.

Even now, several years later, I can only eat it in small doses.

So what do I decide to do?

Oh… only put it in some fudge.

Chocolate Candy Corn Fudge

(it made for me 1 5×7 pan however it made fairly thick fudge. If you want a thinner fudge you could use and 8×8 pan)

  • 1 c chocolate chips ( I used dark chocolate)
  • 1 c orange candy coating wafers (like Merckens)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 c candy corn, roughly chopped
  • extra candy corn or pumpkins to garnish ( optional)
  1. Line your pan with parchment paper, making sure that it hangs over the sides, then grease.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and half the can of milk ( about half a cup). Microwave in 30 second intervals, until smooth.
  3. Spread the mixture into the bottom of the pan, and let chill for about 10 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, in another microwave safe bowl, melt the candy wafers and the other half of the milk in thirty second intervals until smooth.
  5. Stir in the chopped candy corn, then spread over the chocolate layer.
  6. Top with the extra candy corn or pumpkins, about 1 for every square of fudge you will cut.
  7. Let chill for a couple hours.
  8. Remove from the pan and slice into squares, cleaning the knife after every cut ( it can get sticky)
  9. Keep any left overs in the fridge.

adapted from Taste of Home

Enjoy (sparingly!)

-Mel

Categories: Candies | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Happy Canada Day!

Hope that you are enjoying the beautiful sunshine this weekend! Or if you have to work like me, hopefully you day goes by quickly so you can get out there and have some fun!

I won’t lie, I don’t have a recipe to put up with this post, but I will hope to get it up later for you! This time management thing is clearly not my forte!

-Mel

Categories: Misc. | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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