Saturday, 21 November 2015

Gingerbread Waffles with Spiced Whipped Cream

Too early for gingerbread?  Maybe. But it happened. And it was good.  The End.

Make these this weekend.

Gingerbread Waffles with Spiced Whipped Cream

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons molasses

Spiced Whipped Cream

1/2 cup(s) heavy or whipping cream
2 teaspoon(s) sugar
1/8 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon(s) ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon(s) ground ginger

Melt butter.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a medium bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat eggs and add buttermilk, vanilla, and molasses.  Add the butter.

Preheat waffle maker.  Combine flour and buttermilk/egg mixture together.  Cook according to waffle maker instructions.   While first batch of waffles are cooking, prepare spiced whipped cream.
Combine whipping cream, sugar, and spices and whip until stiff peaks form.

Serve waffles fresh and hot with syrup and a dollop of spiced cream on the side (and some powdered sugar if you feel like getting all fancy and pretty).

Sunday, 15 November 2015


Looking for something elegant for your holiday potluck or cookie swap this year that makes an impression but requires minimal ingredients, expense, time, and effort?

Palmier - A palm tree (French: palmier or cœur de France) or elephant ear is a French pastry in a palm shape or a butterfly shape, sometimes called palm leaveselephant earsfrench heartsshoe-solesPakistani jalebi or glasses.

1 package puff pastry, thawed
granulated sugar*

*be creative, add cinnamon, other spices or even lavender

Defrost the puff pastry either overnight in the fridge, or on the counter in 30-40 minutes.  You want the pastry to be cold but not soggy, so if you are defrosting out of the fridge, take care.

Sprinkle the counter top with granulated sugar, about 1/4 cup. Depending on the brand of pastry you buy, if your puff pastry is rolled or folded up in between sheets of parchment paper, carefully unfold the pastry on top of the sugar, lightly pressing down so that the sugar sticks into the pastry. Use care to keep the pastry from sticking to the counter top.  Sprinkle more sugar on top. If your puff pastry comes in two thick squares, separate the squares.  Sprinkle granulated sugar on top of one square, and use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll it out to a rectangular shape.

Once your dough is in a rectangular form, sprinkle granulated sugar on top and use the rolling pin to lightly press the sugar into the pastry dough (again, taking care to keep the dough from sticking to the counter.  Sprinkle sugar underneath the dough as needed).   If you have two sections of dough, repeat.

There are two ways to create your palmier shape. The easiest and more traditional, is to simply fold over the left third of the dough (on the long side), and then fold the right third of the dough on top of the left side.

They will end up looking like this:

The second, and less traditional, is to picture your dough in half, and starting from the left, tightly roll the dough up until the mid point.

Then do the same on the right side, so you have two curled halves meeting in the middle.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes while the oven preheats to 400 degrees.

Once the dough has chilled, use a sharp knife to cut into 1/2 inch slices and place side-up on cookie sheet covered in parchment paper.

Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, checking at 12 minutes, or until golden brown.  Don't overbake.  Makes about 2 dozen palmiers, depending on the amount of puff pastry and size of the cookies.  

Monday, 2 November 2015

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

Things that make you go mmmmMMMMM.   I found it. The perfect chocolate chip cookie.  Soft inside and crispy and golden outside, with as many chocolate chips as you want in a good cookie.  A buttery and sweet and salty taste. Perfect.

This makes a big batch - 36 cookies or 24 BIG cookies.  Your choice.

I had read about freezing cookie dough so I thought I would give it try and froze 2 dozen, with 1 dozen for immediate consumption.  I'll let you know how that turns out. Joanne recommends making the dough a day ahead of time and refrigerating to allow all the flavours to mellow out together.

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie
slightly adapted from Flour Bakery + Cafe

1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter chips or dark chocolate chips

Beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed (with a stand or hand mixer) until mixture is light and fluffy, about three to five minutes.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract on medium speed until thoroughly combined, two to three minutes.

Mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add both chocolates to the flour mix and toss to combine. Turn the mixer to low speed (or continue to use a wooden spoon if mixing by hand) and slowly blend the flour-chocolate mixture into the butter-sugar mixture. Mix until the flour and chocolate are totally incorporated and the dough is completely mixed.

For best results, scrape dough into a container and let rest in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours before baking. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the centre of the oven. Drop the dough in heaping tablespoon balls onto a baking sheet about two inches apart. Press dough balls down slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake until cookies are golden brown on the edges and slightly soft in the center, about 12 minutes. Unbaked dough can be stored for up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge, or frozen in an air-tight container for 2-3 weeks.