Monthly Archives: December 2013

December cookie swap – the recipes

We came, we saw, we ate cookies. During this festive season, I think even Santa himself would have been impressed.

Several people have been asking for recipes, and here they all are! First, a wee note. There will be a small break of baking events for a couple of months, but we will return in March with gusto. For those who have been looking for a healthy meetup group, Denise from Summerland Reflexology has started one and there is an event on January 13. Click here for details.

On with the recipes!

Lisa L’s ginger molasses crinkle cookies

These are amazing with a cup of sweet tea. The ginger isn’t overly strong and gives that perfect little bit of bit that hovers at the back of the throat. Recipe from Canadian Living:

ginger molasses crinkle cookies

Sophia’s chocolate crinkle cookies
They look so much fancier than they actually are, and they taste like little brownie buttons. Quite lovely – I will certainly make this recipe again:

chocolate crinkle cookies

Sandi’s Sugar Cookies

All of the cookies would make wonderful holiday gifts. These were particularly pretty. A quaint, delicate afternoon biscuit, perfect with a cup of tea or coffee.

1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 med egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup veg oil
1/2 tsp vanilla & 1/2 tsp almond extract
2 cups plus 2 tbsp white flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Cream butter and sugar until really creamy. In a separate bowl beat eggs, salt and add to cream mixture gradually. Beat in oil and vanilla. Sift dry ingred and add to creamed mixture. Take 1 tsp of dough and roll into a ball and then place 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheet. Flaten with the bottom of a crystal glass rubbed with oil and dipped in colored sugar and press down once.

Bake at 350 for 10 – 12 minutes or until light brown. To use cookie cutters or if the dough is too soft, let it sit in fridge for 2 hours or the freezer for 1/2 hour.

sugar cookies

Lisa J’s lemon cut out cookies

I can’t resist also posting the photo of the recipe Lisa sent me. I love the hand written notes of additions and *important* reminders about making sure the butter and cream cheese are softened. All the best recipes have writing and butter stains on them. 🙂

Lemon cut out cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 package cream cheese (8oz), softened
1 ½ cups sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
A smidge of lemon extract (½ tsp)
½ tsp almond extract
3 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder

In a large bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese until well combined. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and almond extract; beat well. In small bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to the cream cheese mixture; beat until mixed. Divide dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 ½ hours.

Pre-heat oven to 375F. Roll out dough, ½ at a time, to 1/8th inch thickness, on lightly floured surface. Cut out with cookie cutter and place on ungreased cookie sheet two inches apart. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Almond frosting.
In a small bowl, beat 2 cups sifted icing sugar, 2 Tbsp softened butter and ¼ tsp almond extract until smooth. For piping consistency, beat in 4-5 tsp of milk. For spreading consistency, add a little more milk. Add food colouring if desired.

lemon cream cheese cutout cookies

Janice’s prize shortbread

Shortbread is one of those pure comfort bakes. If everything in the world was going wrong, but you had a shortbread biscuit, there would still be hope.

1 lb. butter
1 cup icing sugar
Cream together, then add
3 cups flour
1/2 c cornstarch
Mix in well. (I use gloves and work it with my hands)
Roll out and cut in desired shapes.

Bake at 325 for 5-15 mins. until light brown.

prize shortbread

Herlinda’s chocolate chip and raisin oatmeal cookies
These are the kind of cookie that you can keep tucked away in the freezer and take out on short notice when you’ve got company ’round, or if you just fancy a cookie, just because.

1 c shortening or margarine
1 1/2 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c milk
1 3/4 c flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
3 c quick oats
1 cup raisins
1 cup chocolate chips

Cream shortening, sugar and eggs till light & fluffy.
Stir in milk.
Sift together dry ingredients and stir into creamed mixture.
Stir in oats, raisins and chocolate chips.

Drop from spoon 2″ apart on lightly greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 8 minutes (depending on size sometimes a couple minutes more).
Cool slightly and remove from pan.

chocolate chip raisin oatmeal cookies

Belinda’s Snickerdoodle cookies
Go on then – say it out loud to yourself. You know you want to. Snicker. Doodle. Snickerdoodle. SNICKERDOODLE!!! Yelling it sounds like the war cry of a candy cane army. And they are delicious as well.
12 oz. (2 2/3 cups) unbleached A/P flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. table salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar (if you cannot find it, use baking powder)
1/2 lb. (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened at room temp.
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar

Position a rack in the centre of the oven and heat the oven to 350F.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar to blend. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in the eggs until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl again. With the mixer on low speed, slowly blend in the flour until incorporated, about 30 seconds.

In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon and 1/4 cup sugar. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoonfuls into the cinnamon sugar and roll around to coat. Set the coated balls of dough about 3 inches apart on parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake until golden brown on the edges and slightly soft in the centre, about 15 to 18 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 1 minute before transferring them to a rack to cool.

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen for a month.

Yield: 5 doz. cookies.


Chantelle’s Easy Oreo Truffles and the Simply Sensational Truffles

Make no mistake – they are rich. Even I couldn’t eat more than one in a sitting, and I love chocolate more than most. Truly decadent, and they look ever so posh if you want to impress your friends and family.

Simply Sensational Truffles
5 pkt. (4 oz. each) semi-sweet chocolate, divided
1pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

Decorations: chopped peanuts, multi-colored sprinkles

Melt 8 oz. chocolate. Beat cream cheese with mixer until creamy. Blend in melted chocolate. Refrigerate until firm.

Shape into 36 balls. Place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet.

Melt remaining chocolate. Use fork to dip truffles in chocolate; return to baking sheet. Decorate, then refrigerate 1 hour. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

Prepare using white chocolate or bittersweet chocolate.

Special Extra
Add 1 to 2 tsp. of your favorite extract, such as peppermint, rum or almond; or 1/4 cup of your favorite liqueur, such as orange or raspberry, to the chocolate mixture before shaping into balls.

easy chocolate truffles

Easy Orea Truffles

36 Oreo cookies, finely crushed, divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
4 pkg. (4 oz. each) semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces, melted

Reserve 1/4 cup cookie crumbs. Mix cream cheese and remaining cookie crumbs until blended.

Shape into 48 (1-inch) balls. Dip in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs.

Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.

How to Melt Chocolate
Place chocolate in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 2-1/2 min. or until chocolate is completely melted, stirring every 30 sec.

How to Easily Dip Truffles
To easily coat truffles with the melted chocolate, add truffles, in batches, to bowl of melted chocolate. Use 2 forks to roll truffles in chocolate until evenly coated. Remove truffles with forks, letting excess chocolate drip back into bowl. Place truffles on prepared baking sheet; let stand until firm.

How to Store
Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.


1 Comment

Filed under cookies, Recipes

December Cookie Swap!

Is there anything as pleasurable as eating cookies at 10am on a Saturday morning?

Imagine yourself at the start of your weekend, cozy in a warm room overlooking a parade of freezing white caps on Okanagan Lake, laughing with great company, and nibbling on cookies between sips of coffee that has been topped up with a generous splash of liqueur. Add to this two adorable puppies to fawn over and cuddle.


I have always been a fan of the feeling of culinary abundance. I like the sensual kaleidoscope that occurs with the mingling of many flavours and textures. More than this, I love foodie collaborations because to me, each dish represents a story. I imagine them being born from each person’s creativity, and the subsequent aroma that has filled the individual kitchens. When they are packed up and brought together, the meaning and pleasure of all of those little moments of life suddenly intensifies, simply through the act of sharing. What was already wonderful becomes more wonderful, a subtle theatre of compounded deliciousness.

There were shortbread and sugar cookies, ginger snaps and oatmeal chocolate chip, mint chocolate truffles and snickerdoodles (as a lover of words, I find the name “snickerdoodle” utterly scrumptious, on par with “dillydally” and “chimichanga“).


I think all in attendance would agree that it was a lovely morning. Outside it was cold, but we were warm and well fed and laughing at the puppies who thought they were being discreet with their begging.

Thanks to all our bakers for making our first cookie swap a rousing success, and a very big thank you to the lovely Lisa for hosting us. I shall post the recipes and cookie photos next time!

Leave a comment

Filed under cookies, meetups, Sophia's ramblings