Category Archives: cookies

All things deliciously maple syrup

You know when you’re really hungry and you walk into a room that has been perfumed with just the kind of food you want to eat? That’s what happened to me on Thursday night after work, trundling into Maple Roch and being consumed by the scent of the maple pulled chicken simmering in Mirjana’s crock pot.

Then more people arrived, and more food. Maple pulled pork (courtesy of Nick), maple pork patties with spicy maple mustard glaze, maple walnut cake, maple granola bread with maple butter, maple tarts and maple squares, maple banana bread, and a small vat of baked brie with seeds, dried fruit and maple syrup.

We also got to hear from Roch about some of the company’s new adventures, and try new products such as maple water, maple cotton candy and two kinds of syrup. After reading this post, if you decide that you simply can’t get enough maple, check out some of the Maple Roch recipes.

And we celebrated a birthday! Jean bravely lit the sparklers on her Maple Cake while Ken (aka birthday boy) stood at a safe distance. We sang boisterously and no fires resulted from the festivities.

As usual, not all of my photos turned out. As glorious as pulled pork and chicken are, unless they are photographed spilling lavishing from the confines of a bun (alas, a photo I neglected to take), the picture simply looks like a mass of mangled meat. So you’re going to have to imagine how good they were, because they were both amazing. Similarly, there are no images of my maple ice cream with sticky maple walnuts, which looked like a lumpy beige landscape but which was truly delectable.

Thank you to our wonderful hosts and to everyone who came out for our potluck extraordinaire!

May meetup! Likely the 3rd week in May. According to the draft outline, there was a desire for a “World Travels” gathering at the Summerland Ornamental Gardens. Yes?

Enjoy the photos. Hopefully I got everyone’s dishes right. Where there are recipes, I have included them.

Wendy’s Baked Brie with seeds, cranberries, apricot preserves (homemade!) and maple syrup. This was so decadent, I kept going back for more.

Our newest member Lorraine from Peachland is a goddess of piping! Behold her Maple Nut Cake with glorious springtime flowers. It tasted just as delicious as it looked.

Sandra’s Mini Maple Cheesecakes. Rich and moist and ever so lovely.

Denise made Maple Pork Patties with Spicy Maple Mustard Glaze. I think I ate four. Yum…

Chantelle’s Maple Syrup Butter Tart Squares. All the flavour of butter tarts with the extra delight of also being cakey in texture.

Thank you, Victoria for always showing us tricks to bring a little still-tasty health boost into our diets of cheese and whipped cream. Her Maple seed cookies were vegan and gluten free.

Lory’s Maple and Bacon Popcorn. Reily, we ate all the bacon on your behalf!

Another dish from Lory – Maple Baked Beans! Despite her delayed realization that the beans needed to be soaked overnight before cooking, she pulled off the recipe in record time. Soooo good.

Kim’s Maple Granola Maple Bread with Maple Butter. Maple. Butter. Butter with Maple syrup whipped mercilessly into it. Yes.

Maple syrup is a perfect match for Carrot Cake. Thank you, Lorraine B for showcasing this classic combination.

Jean’s Maple Cake with Maple Sugared Walnuts and Maple Buttercream, before we devoured much of it.

Kim’s Maple Butter Tarts, which unfortunately I didn’t get to try. You have to be quick at these meetups…

Mirjana’s Maple Coleslaw, which paired brilliantly with the pulled chicken. A must-make for summer BBQ season.

Maple Sugar Cookies, made by Dorthea. Gluten free and doused with a Maple-Whisky Glaze for good measure.

Sugar Shack Treats (made by Janice) – these would be perfect for an afternoon tea, with a cup of Earl Grey.

Ingredients 1

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Preparation: Mix ingredients and place in a greased mold (9×9 inches). Cook in oven for 10 minutes, at 300 F.

Ingredients 2

  • 1/2 cup maple sugar
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs

Preparation: Mix all ingredients and pour on previous mix. Cook in oven at 325F for about 40 minutes. Let cool and cut in squares.

Maple Glazed Banana Bread (made by Tracy?) – also known as my post-meetup breakfast!



  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3-4 medium bananas (or 2 large bananas)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Maple Glaze
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350. Grease one 9×5 pan or two 8×4 pans. In a small bowl, mash bananas, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in eggs and beat until mixed. To the wet ingredients, sift in flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir until just combined. Pour in mashed bananas, and mix until combined.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes (for two 8×4 pans) or until cake tester comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs stuck to it. If using one 9×5 pan, bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Then lower the temp to 325 and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Move to a wire cooling rack.


Melt butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract and cinnamon over low heat. Once melted together, pull off the heat. Sift in powdered sugar and whisk until fully combined. Allow to cool for 8-10 minutes so the glaze can thicken. Once the glaze has thickened, give it a quick stir and pour it over the bread. Allow the glaze to harden completely before cutting into slices.

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Cookie swap 2015

Greetings, bakers! It’s nearly the end of 2015, so I need to post all the last photos from our last two months of meetups.

First, a note about January’s meetup. On Thursday, January 14th we return to the always beautiful Summerland Waterfront Resort for another Potluck and Movie night!  The lovely Lisa J will again be our host and the theme will be “Healthy Potluck,” so dig through your recipes for a nourishing and delicious dish to bring along. The idea is to have another foodie movie, but what one? Julie and Julia? Chef? A documentary about sommeliers? Let me know in the comments below or email me your thoughts!

Now let’s jump into December and the 3rd Annual Cookie Swap, hosted by the glorious Lisa L. Thank you, Lisa! There were many treats and much tea. Below are the photos depicting all that we created and subsequently ate.


Belinda’s Rugelach. Rugelach is a Jewish pastry of Ashkenazic origin. Traditional rugelach are made in the form of a crescent by rolling a triangle of dough around a filling.

pecan sugar cookies

Lesley’s Pecan sugar cookies

butter tarts

Kurt’s butter tarts

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lisa L’s Chocolate Chip Cookies. The recipe is from Canadian Living website:

Peanut Butter Balls

Raquel’s Peanut Butter Balls

Cookies and Cream cookies

Sophia’s Cookies and Cream cookies


Okay – who made these glorious little creatures? I think it was Chantelle but I can’t remember what they were called.

Date Squares

Janice’s date squares. The lady makes a mean date square, y’all.

ginger snaps

Someone made these delicious Ginger Snaps but I didn’t write down who it was. Was it you?

italian orange ricotta cookies

Lisa J’s Italian Orange Ricotta Cookies – very scone-like and excellent with coffee.

oatmeal raisin

Lesley’s Oatmeal Orange Raisin Cookies. Lesley ended up bringing three different kinds of cookies, and we were obviously okay with that.

oreo truffles

Jaclyn’s Oreo Cheesecake Truffles. Aren’t those the best three words put together?

rocky road

Lesley’s Rocky Road treats

Shortbread people

Retha’s awesome Shortbread people

Toblerone Skor cookies

Wendy’s Toblerone Skor Cookies

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The cookies we ate in December

JoyHello lovelies,

A very happy New Year to you and yours! Because I’m behind on blogging, I thought we could round out 2014 with a collection of photos of the cookies we made for the 2nd annual Great Summerland Cookie Swap, which was hosted by the lovely Lisa L earlier this month.

After much consideration, there will be some changes to this group in 2015. Not bad – just different. I will post about these changes in the next few days. For now, onto the cookies! I have photos of all of them except for Lucy’s Poudre Douce Butter Cookies, which I must have eaten before I remembered to take the picture.

Lisa's Snickerdoodles

Lisa’s Snickerdoodles

Janice's Christmas Shortbread Cookies

Janice’s Christmas Shortbread Cookies

Trio of chocolate Peanut Butter Cups - I can't remember who made these but they were delicious!

Trio of chocolate Peanut Butter Cups – I can’t remember who made these but they were delicious!

Wendy's Mock Almond Rocha with almonds and graham cracker crumbs.

Wendy’s Mock Almond Rocha with almonds and graham cracker crumbs.

Wendy's Mocha Cakes dipped in Coconut

Sandra’s Mocha Cakes dipped in Coconut

Donna & Daniel's Melting Moments cookies.

Donna & Daniel’s Melting Moments cookies.

Chantelle's Gingerbread Kisses

Chantelle’s Gingerbread Kisses

Trish's Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Trish’s Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

I can't remember who made these little Chocolate Turtle Pretzel delights.

I can’t remember who made these little Chocolate Turtle Pretzel delights.

Sophia's Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Sophia’s Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Retha's Butter Tarts

Retha’s Butter Tarts

See you in 2015! 🙂

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Recipes! Yummy International Bakes

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to post these. Seeing them all again, I could certainly go for one of each. Before we begin, I hope to see you all at Thursday night’s gathering at Okanagan Crush Pad. Choose from anything in the baking section from page 20 of the Fall Fair Guide. I think I shall be attempting a peach pie.

  • Meeting time: 6:30, Thursday, August 7
  • Location: 16576 Fosbery Rd
  • RSVP: Please email me to let me know if you are coming, so I can give Mike an idea of numbers. 🙂
  • Carpool: I have extra room if anyone needs a ride.

Onto the recipes! We shall start with Kim’s Rhuberry Tiramisu. I had a photo of the pristine dessert before we dived in, but I preferred the one featuring delicious carnage. As you read Kim’s recipe and wonderful description below, hands up who would like a “From Valentine Farm” Guest blog? When it’s not gardening season, of course!

Rhuberry TiramisuServes 12 (but recipe can easily be halved to a more modest size)

Everyone is familiar with traditional Italian tiramisu – a rich dessert composed of cocoa, espresso, mascarpone cheese, whipping cream, lady fingers and, of course, alcohol. It turns out tiramisu is not that traditional after all, but a rather newish dessert dating back to the 70’s – that would be the 1970’s not the 1870’s.

This recipe borrows from that classic tiramisu. There are layers of cream and liquor soaked ladyfingers but that is where the similarity ends. This tirimsu uses raspberries and rhubarb. I bake my rhubarb rather than stew it. Baking yields perfectly cooked fruit that holds its shape rather than disintegrating into a mess o’ rhubarb. Even if you don’t get as far as making the tiramisu, you can simply serve the deliciously good baked rhubarb and call it dessert. Or breakfast.

Baked Rhubarb

4 cups rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
1⁄4 cup sugar
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
One vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise and cut in half
3 cloves

Preheat oven to 375°. Combine rhubarb, orange juice and zest in a 9×13 inch baking dish.

Rhubarb should cover bottom of pan in a single layer, more or less. Tuck cloves and vanilla bean in the rhubarb and bake for 30 minutes. Cool. Taste for sweetness.

Rhuberry Tiramisu

Baked rhubarb
4 cups raspberries macerated with 1⁄4 cup sugar and 2 tbsp Cointreau
475-g container mascarpone cheese
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
1⁄2 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
2 cups whipping cream
1 tbsp sugar
3⁄4 cup orange juice
1⁄4 Cointreau (or other orange flavoured liquor)
2 150-g packages ladyfingers

Place mascarpone and grated orange zest in a large bowl. Stir in 1⁄2 cup sugar and vanilla. In another bowl whip cream with 1 tbsp sugar until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted. Gently stir 1⁄4 of the whipped cream into the mascarpone. Then gently fold in the remaining whipped cream ensuring it is well mixed with no streaks of mascarpone.

Mix orange juice with Cointreau in a shallow dish. Using one half the ladyfingers, dip both sides into the juice mixture and use them to line a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Spread one half the mascapone mixture over the ladyfingers. Spread baked rhubarb over mascarpone. Dip remaining ladyfingers in orange juice mixture and repeat layering – dipped ladyfingers, mascarpone, raspberries. The raspberries will bleed but I like that look. Refrigerate for a minimum of six hours.

Depending on the size of your dish, you may get some overflow as the tiramisu settles. I have found that a standard 9×13-inch Pyrex baking dish is just a wee bit too small for this recipe.

So, you can either put a cookie sheet under your dish to catch the overflow or, while preparing the layers, just eat some of the mascarpone mixture when no one is looking.

Marina’s Quiche Lorraine

This was so well loved, we all quickly devoured it and there weren’t any leftovers to speak of.

Quiche Lorraine

Preheat oven to 375 F
Prepare a 9 inch pie shell of:

Pate Brisée

  • ½ cup chilled butter
  • 3 Tbsp shortening
  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 5 – 6 Tbs cold water

Turn into soft dough, allow to rest in refrigerate from 2 to 36 hours before preparing the pie shell. Brush the pie shell with the white of an egg and prick it well.

Put together:

  • 2 cups of milk
  • 3-4 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • nutmeg
  • chopped chives and dill

Sprinkle the bottom of the pie shell with:

  • ½ cup of grated cheese
  • pieces of broccoli or spinach

Put the custard mixture over it. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown, enjoy!

Lory’s Cherry Clafoutis

Inspired by the simple cherry desserts from the Limousin region of France, this baked custard can be served warm or at room temperature. Feel free to use pitted or unpitted cherries.

Cherry Clafoutis


  • 1 pound fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted, or frozen pitted cherries, thawed, drained
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1⁄4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
    3/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter shallow 1 1/2-quart glass or ceramic baking dish.

Blend all ingredients (except cherries) in blender until smooth. Pour in to baking dish. Arrange cherries in custard.

Bake clafoutis until custard is set and top is golden brown, about 45-55 minutes. Cool slightly then run a knife around pan sides to loosen clafoutis (if using a cake pan). Dust top with powdered sugar; cut into wedges and serve warm.

Vanora’s Gâche Mélée (pronounced in local patois as Gosh May-lah)

This would be sooooo good in the winter with a good cup of tea.

From Vanora: I could not find the traditional recipe from my grandmother, and so what follows is a recipes built from several I found on the web, none of which were exactly what I wanted. The original recipe called for Guernsey butter (Guernsey milk is distinctive in having a different protein, carotene and fat profile than other milks) or suet, neither of which I had on hand. The end result was more of a cross between a pudding and a cake, and wasn’t anything like I remember from childhood!
Gache Melee
Grease a shallow baking tin 7 ins square.
Rub 1/4lb butter or suet into 1/2lb plain flour until like breadcrumbs
Mix in ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp of nutmeg, ¼ tsp of cinnamon, ¼ tsp of mixed spice (optional).

Peel, core and quarter 1½ lb cooking apples. Drop the quarter pieces into a large bowl with ½ lb demerara sugar. Roughly chop the apples into the sugar (leaving them as quite large chunks) with a sharp knife – the juices will run and be directly absorbed by the sugar.

Stir the apple and sugar mixture into the dry ingredients. Add 1 beaten egg, and mix.
(Add water if necessary if batter is too thick.)
Pour into prepared tin. Level the top and sprinkle with a little more sugar and cinnamon if desired, for a crunchier top.
Bake in preheated oven 350°F for 30-40mins depending on depth of the mixture, until the top is a deep golden brown.

Serve warm with thick cream or ice-cream.
(Note: I actually used a larger baking dish than 7″ and there was enough batter for it still to be quite deep.)

Wendy’s Thüringen Frucht Kuchen

I cheated (We don’t care). I used a boxed cake mix (Still very delicious). Made the cake and then called my German mother-in-law and asked her for a German name (Das ist sehr gut).


So, to the cake mix (I used French Vanilla but any kind will do), I added 3 eggs, 1/3 cup of melted butter, 1 can of chopped peaches drained, I cup of the juice from the peaches, 1/3 cup of sour cream, and raspberries.

Mix cake mix with eggs, butter, sour cream, and juice. Fold in fruit. Pour into a greased bunt pan. Cook at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. Check if it is done by inserting a knife to see if it comes out clean.

While still warm, pour your favorite Summerland Sweets syrup. I used apricot. Once cooled, drizzle melted cream cheese frosting on top.

CrepesLaura’s Crepes with Raspberry and Rhubarb Sauce

Once again I am annoyed at myself for not capturing a photo of this dessert at the height of awesome, that is, drenched in this amazing sweet-and-tart sauce. So good.

  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. milk

Throw it all in blender. Let sit for 1/2 hour. Then proceed to cook as crepes. 1/4 c batter into hot, lightly greased 8″ skillet. Cook til underside is lightly browned. Topping: Cook rhubarb and raspberries together with some sugar and cornstarch.

Carmen’s Orangenstabchen (Orange Sticks)

The term “Orange Sticks” does not do justice to these buttery, orangey, chocolatey sticks of goodness. I only got to eat one of these. Perhaps Carmen could be convinced to make them as an additional Good Omens treat. Mmmmmmm?


For the Batter:

  • 300g Softened Butter
  • 150g Powdered Sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Zest of 1 Orange
  • 4 Egg Yolks
  • 300g Flour, Sifted
  • 3 tbsp. Orange Juice

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line baking trays with parchment.

In a large bowl, mix butter on high speed with mixer until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, and orange zest until a dough forms. Slowly add egg yolks. On the slow setting of the mixer alternate adding the orange juice with the flour until all combined. Scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula when necessary.

Scrape the batter into a large piping bag fitted with a large star tip. (About 1/2 inch size, not the regular small ones) Could also use a cookie press if you have for a different form. With the piping bag, pipe 6cm long strips onto the baking tray. Leave a 1/2 inch between each cookie. One the tray is full, bake for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Continue with the rest of the batter.

Once cookies are baked and cooled, sandwich Nutella between each pair of cookies. Refrigerate for a few minutes to harden. Melt some chocolate and then dip the ends of the sandwiched cookies in the chocolate. Place back on the parchment covered trays and refrigerate until harden.

Chantelle’s and Jennifer’s Dutch Speculaas Cookies

This goes to show that even when two bakers bake using the same recipe, the bakes won’t turn out the same, changed as they are by the bakers’ creativity. Chantelle opted for the more traditional looking Speculaas (also sometimes spelled Speculoos, otherwise known as Dutch Windmill or Biscoff cookies), while Jennifer, diving into the “bakes from abroad” theme, decided to create a “bake of broads.” They’re little ladies- get it!? Ha! Either way, they were delicious and wonderful with a cup of tea (which is how I consumed the leftovers I had snagged).

Dutch Windmill Cookiesbakes of broads

  • Ingredients
    1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 g) cold unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (75 g) white granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (165 g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cup (235 g) all purpose flour

Special equipment
Baking sheet
Parchment paper or silpat
Stand mixer
Rolling pin
Springerle rolling pin, speculaas mold, cookie cutters or sharp knife

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper of a silpat.

2. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes. Place in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the sugars, baking soda, salt, and spices. Cream butter and dry ingredients together on medium speed for 30 seconds or until the batter is uniform in color. Scrape down the sides with a large spatula and add the vanilla extract and egg and beat on medium speed until incorporated (about 30 more seconds). Scrape down the sides again and add the flour. Beat on medium speed until incorporated (about 30 more seconds)

3. Split the cookie dough in half. If you using the springerle rolling pin, roll the dough out until 1/2 inch thick with a plain rolling pin. Liberally dust the springerle pin with flour then roll over the dough, pressing firmly to make a 1/4 inch thick cookie dough, with imprint. Cut the dough along the springerle grid lines with a sharp knife or pizza cutter and place on the baking sheet. If using a traditional speculaas cookie mold, roll the dough until 1/2 thick with a plain rolling pin. Lightly spray the mold with cooking oil, then liberally dust with all purpose flour (knocking out any loose flour once you’ve dusted it). Press the dough into the mold, remove excess dough of the back of the mold and then carefully unmold it onto the baking sheet. If using a cookie cutter, roll the dough out until 1/4 inch thick with a plain rolling pin and cut out cookies and place on the baking sheet.

4. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 10 minutes before the time is up, preheat the oven to 375˚F. Bake the cookies in the oven 9-11 minutes or until the cookies look golden brown on the edges. Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before moving the cookies to a wire rack to cool to room temperature. The cookies will harden as they cool.

Summer_TrifleGerri’s Summer Trifle

Look at this monster of a trifle (click for bigger version). Oh, someone give me a spoon.

From Gerri: A trifle can be with anything – basically cake of some kind – I used pound cake and lemon loaf, soaked overnight in Limoncello or you could use Cointreau, brandy or your favourite liqueur. I made an egg custard in a double boiler with 1 cup milk, 1 cup whipping cream, 1 cup sugar, pinch of salt, 2 vanilla pods, split open and all this over boiling water until hot but NOT boiling. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks until pale yellow, slowly pour in 1 cup of the hot mixture into the yolks, stirring vigorously all the while and then return egg & milk mixture to the pot, continue to cook about 15 minutes until mixture starts to thicken – but do not allow to boil or it will curdle. When mixture coats the back of a spoon, cool on counter and then in fridge until cold.

Whip 1 cup cream, start with cake layer, add fruit in next layer, layer of custard, a layer of whipped cream and then start over with the cake, etc and then whip another 2 cups of whipping cream with sugar and vanilla to pile on top.

Dorthea’s Vichyssoise

When surrounded by so much sweet stuff, it is a treat to dip into something savoury and fresh like this. From “Mama Never Cooked Like This” by Susan Mendelson, founder of The Lazy Gourmet.


— Basic Onion – Potato Stock —

  • 3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups onion, chipped
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt

Puree potato and onion in a blender, then add to salted water and simmer for 45 minutes.
(Dorthea’s note: I put the chopped onion and potato in boiling water and cook for 1/2 hour, then use an immersion blender to puree the stock, then let it cook for another 15 minutes or so. I also add a bit more salt.)
The Vichyssoise:

  • 4 leeks, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 4 cups basic onion-potato stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • chives

(Dorthea’s note: I have successfully used almond milk instead of milk, and nonfat or lowfat yogurt instead of the light cream and the heavy cream.)

Saute the leeks and onion in butter until soft. Add 4 cups of onion-potato stock, milk, and light cream, and mix thoroughly with a whisk. Refrigerate until cool.

Before serving, add heavy cream and garnish with chives.

Christine’s Apricot Platz

(Apparently the blueberry version of this is even more glorious).

From my grandma Anna Braun Regehr who probably got it from her grandma 🙂

apricot platzCake Base

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 & 3/4 cup flour
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sour milk (soured with vinegar) or buttermilk


  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter

For cake base: beat butter and sugar till combined, beat in eggs. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl and stir them into the batter alternating with the milk till combined. Spread in a 10×15 inch pan. (You can also use 9×13 – cake will just be a bit deeper!)

Top with fruit – single layer fairly close together – for apricot I used about a dozen smaller apricots which I sliced in quarters. Any kind of fruit works – apples, blueberries, plums, peaches, rhubarb if you like it tart, or mixed fruit.

For topping combine flour and sugar, mix in butter till crumbly. I use a mini food processor for this. Sprinkle over the fruit.
Bake 350 for about 30 – 35 min. Top should be golden and cake baked through.

If the top doesn’t seem to be browning well, I’ll give it a moment under the broiler at the end as my oven is very slow. If you used a 9×13 leave it a bit longer or check with a toothpick to make sure cake is baked through.

Platz is best served the day it is baked as the sugar topping will be crunchier. The next day is still good but the topping will not be crispy anymore.

Sandra’s Danish Rice Pudding with Raspberry Currant Sauce
If you want to be very traditional, insert a whole almond in the pudding and award a prize to the lucky recipient.

Danish Rice Pudding

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 envelopes unflavoured gelatin
  • ½ teaspoon milk
  • 1 ½ cups cooked rice
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chilled whipping cream

Heat sugar, water, gelatin and salt in 2-quart saucepan, stirring constantly, until gelatin is dissolved, about 1 minute. Stir in milk, rice, and vanilla. Place saucepan in a bowl of iced water, stirring occasionally, until mixture mounds slightly when dropped from a spoon, about 15 minutes.

Beat whipping cream in a chilled bowl until still. Fold whipped cream into a rice mixture. Pour into ungreased 1 ½-quart mould. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours. Unmold and serve with Raspberry Currant Sauce.

Raspberry Currant Sauce

  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen raspberries, thawed.
  • ½ cup currant jelly
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp cold water

Heat raspberries (with syrup) and jelly to boiling Mix water and cornstarch, stir into raspberries. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Cool. Press through a sieve to remove seeds if desired.

Olive Oil Cake with ApricotsSophia’s Olive Oil and Moscato Cake with Apricots

This is a Middle Eastern recipe is from Crazy Water Pickled Lemons by Diana Henry.

I was really pleased with this recipe – the cake is light and the syrupy apricots make it all the better.

You just have to be careful not to over bake the apricots. Trust me on that one.


  • 5 eggs
  • 3 ½ oz superfine sugar
  • 5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5/8 cup Moscato or another dessert wine
  • 3 ½ oz all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • Icing sugar for sifting

For the Apricots

  • 20 large apricots
  • 1 5/8 cups white wine
  • 1 vanilla pod, or 1 ½ tsp good vanilla extract
  • 6 oz superfine sugar

1. Butter an eight-inch spring form cake pan and line the base with baking parchment. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks together with half the sugar until pale and thick. Add the olive oil and the Moscato. Fold in flour and salt.

2. Beat the rest of the sugar with all the egg whites and the cream of tartar until they hold medium peaks. Fold into the egg and flour mixture and pour into the cake pan. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 F for 20 minutes, then turn down to 300F and bake for another 30 minutes. Turn off the oven, cover the cake with a circle of buttered paper, and leave it in the oven for a further 10 minutes. Remove and let the cake cool in its pan.

3. Halve the apricots and remove the stone. Put them in a single layer, skin-side up, in overlapping circles, in an ovenproof dish. Pour on the wine. Slit the vanilla pod along it’s length, scrape out the seeds and add these to the wine, along with the pod.

4. Spoon the sugar over the top and bake in an oven preheated to 350F for 20 minutes. The apricots should be soft and slightly caramelized on top.

5. Sift some icing sugar over the cake and serve with the apricots, either chilled or at room temperature, with cream or mascarpone on the side.

Lisa’s Gougères (cheese puffs)

I didn’t get a chance to try one of these, and I’ve been filled with dismay and regret ever since. The recipe is called “Gougères Françoise Potel” and is found  in Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells: 200 Recipes Inspired by the Small Family Restaurants of France.

I love the description at the start of the recipe:

Françoise Potel is a lively and energetic Burgundian lady, who along with her intense and serious husband, Gérard, makes a lovely, voluptuous, Volnay wine. Each time I’ve visited their lovely estate, she’s offered warm-from-the-oven cheese puffs. These are great appetizers and go especially well with the red Burgundian wines. 

cheese buns


  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 pound (4 oz.; 120g) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup minus 1 1/2 tablespoons (130g) unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (2 oz.; 60 g) freshly grated imported French or Swiss Gruyere cheese

Combine salt, butter and 1 cup (25cl) of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring all the while with a wooden spoon.

Quickly remove the pan from the heat and add all of the flour at once. Beat vigorously with a large wooden spoon to create a smooth dough. Reheat for 1 minute over medium heat, stirring all the time, to allow the dough to dry out just a bit.

Quickly transfer the dough to the bowl of an electic mixer. Add all of the eggs and half of the grated cheese and beat at medium speed until the eggs and cheese are thoroughly incorporated into the dough. The dough should still be warm.

Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C).

Spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (1.5cm) tube. Depending upon the size of your pastry bag, this may have to be done in 2 batches. Squeeze into round 2-inch

Jean’s Cranachan Trifle

I did get to dig into Jean’s Scottish Cranachan Trifle, which I piled on a homemade oatcake. You have to pace yourself with oatcakes – you’ll be nibbling away and suddenly BAM! you’re so full you can’t move.

From Jean: I don’t have a recipe as such. Cranachan is usually put into individual glasses, but I made it as a trifle because it was easier to move. Toast a handful of oats (I used regular ones) in a frying pan carefully until you can smell them. Whip a couple of cups of whipping cream to which you add about 3/4 of the toasted oatmeal, a good splash of scotch, a bit of honey and a couple of handfuls of fresh raspberries. Layer with more raspberries on the bottom, top with the whipped cream mixture and sprinkle with remaining toasted oatmeal. Decorate with additional raspberries and a sprig of mint. I had no measurements – just went with what looked good!

If you aren’t confident enough to wing it à la Jean, BBC Goodfood also has a good Cranachan Trifle recipe worth trying.

Scottish Crannachan


And that’s what we ate in July. Whew!

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High Tea – The Recipes

I’m going to kick off this lovely list of recipes by leading an internet round of applause for Janice, who thwarted the curse of too-warm hands and went ahead and baked with pastry anyway. “I don’t do pies,” Janice once told me. She and pastry are not friends. After many failed attempts at pies and other treats, she informed the other women in her family of her frustration. There was much head shaking and several despairing “tsk tsks,” and Janice was informed that alas, she was born with warm hands and that pastry would forever mock her. But behold, she did it anyways! And I think we can all agree that her spiced nut palmiers were a rousing success. Perhaps the curse of the PASTRY OF DOOM has been broken!

Spiced Nut Palmiers

Janice’s Spiced Nut Palmiers (Recipe from The Perfect Afternoon Tea Book, published by Hermes House)
75g/3oz/ ½ cup chopped almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts
30ml/ 2 Tbsp caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2.5ml/ ½ tsp ground cinnamon
225 g/ 8 oz puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten

Makes about 40

Lightly butter two large baking sheets, preferably non-stick. In a food processor, process the nuts, sugar and cinnamon until finely ground. Transfer half the mixture to a small bowl.

Sprinkle the work surface and pastry with caster sugar and roll out the pastry to a 50 x 20 cm / 20 x 8 inch rectangle about 3mm/1/8 inch thick, sprinkling with more sugar as necessary (Sophia’s note – of course I read that as “more sugar than necessary). Brush the pastry lightly with beaten egg, sprinkle evenly with the nut mixture in the bowl.

Fold in the long edges of the pastry to meet in the centre and flatten with the rolling pin. Brush with egg and sprinkle with most of the remaining nut mixture. Fold in the edges again to meet in the centre, brush with egg and sprinkle with the remaining nut mixture. Fold one side of the pastry over the other.

Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry crossways into 8mm/ 3/8 in thick slices and place the pieces cut-side down about 2.5 cm/ 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.

Spread apart the pastry edges to form a wedge shape. Chill the palmiers in the fridge for at least 15-20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 220 C/425 F.

Bake the palmiers in the preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes until golden, carefully turning them over halfway through the cooking time. Watch the palmiers carefully as the sugar can easily scorch. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Victoria Sandwiches Mrs BeetonKim’s Victoria Sandwich

I thought it would be fun just to post a picture of the recipe directly from the Mrs. Beeton book (click to make it bigger).

Something to note with older recipes – read them through a few times slowly before commencing. Kim discovered this the hard way: “Stir the sugar and the yolks of eggs together – done! Then add the butter – done! …melted. Dammit!”

Kim served the Victoria sandwich with rhubarb curd, which was positively dreamy. Who cares if it turns out a little runny, because then you have a perfect excuse to drown your cake in the extra. Nom!

Victoria Sandwich with rhubarb curd

Jennifer’s carrot cake roulade with pineapple cream cheese

I have never attempted a roulade. I somehow manage to use all of my kitchen and have been known to overlap into the living room when I’m baking. I imagine requiring an actual island instead of a kitchen island if I were to try to do this. But if someone else wants to go ahead and create this lightly spiced, moist and lovely cake, I fully support this endeavour.

Click here for the recipe.

carrot cake roulade

Jennifer’s advice is to follow the hints on how to roll a roulade:

While the cake is still hot, lay a clean, unscented, lint-free kitchen towel over it. If the towel is long, extend one end about 1-1/2 inches beyond a short side of the cake and don’t worry about the other end. Invert a large rack or cutting board over the towel. Holding both the baking sheet and the rack with protected hands, invert the cake. Remove the baking sheet and parchment.

Using both hands and starting from the short end with the shortest towel overhang, roll the cake and the towel up together. Let cool for 30 minutes.

Carefully unroll the cake; it should look wavy and both ends should curl. (It’s OK if there are some small cracks.) Let cool completely, 10 to 15 minutes.

Jean’s Tea Bag Cookies

These were adorable (and extremely tasty) and would make amazing gifts or place setting treats.

tea bag cookie

From Jean: The fiddely part of this cookie is making the string tag. The string is crochet cotton.

1/3 cup butter, softened
½ cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cup all purpose flour
100 gram dark chocolate

Mix first 5 ingredients. Shape into a disk and refrigerate 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375 C
Roll dough out about ½” thick. Cut shapes (make a template of a teabag). Poke a hole in the top using a straw.
Bake 5-10 minutes. Let cool.
Melt chocolate, dip bottom of eat “tea bag.” Lay on wax paper to set. Thread through the hole, attach the “tag” at other end of string.

eccles cakesJean’s Eccles Cakes

Because crafting tea bag cookies was not enough, Jean made Eccles Cakes as well. These are so perfect for tea time, and would be great for a picnic as well.

From Jean: Cut brown sugar down to ½ cup if you wish.

4 Tbsp butter
1 cup currants
¾ cup brown sugar
½ tsp allspice
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
1 pkge puff pastry
¼ cup milk
1 large egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 C. Line baking sheet with wax paper.
In a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in currants, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon. Mix thoroughly. Remove from heat.
Roll pastry out about ¼” thickness. Cut out rounds, using about 3” circle.
Divide currant mixture between circles; moisten the edges with milk; fold over & pinch edges using a fork.
Turn pastries upside down, gently roll out to make a flatter/wider pasty. Do Not Break The Dough.
Brush each cake with beaten egg. Sprink with sugar (I used organic raw sugar).
Make 3 parallel cuts across the top of each cake.
Bake 15-20 minutes, remove and sprinkle with more sugar.

Jane’s Whipped Short Bread Cookies

To make these cookies, Jane used an electric food gun that she had picked up at a garage sale “many, many moons ago.” Check out the Proctor-Silex Electric Food Gun “Super Shooter” circa 1970. I love it – it makes me imagine Jane is some kind of culinary detective, out to solve kitchen mysteries like The Case of the Collapsed Soufflé, or The Dangerous Dame Tart Shell and the Crime of the Disappearing Custard.

Whipped shortbread cookies

From Jane: I am sure you could produce a nicely shaped cookie and achieve the same result using a pastry bag and large decorating tip; Wilton brand has a multitude of choices.

1 lb of butter
1 cup of icing sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch sifted with 3 cups of flour

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add flour and cornstarch, whip until fluffy.
Drop by teaspoon on cookie sheet or use an “electric food gun”.
Bake at 300 until golden brown, approx 10-13 minutes for 3″ cookie.
Makes 7 dozen plus cookies dependant on size.

Gerri’s Fluffy Scones

Gerri served these with homemade cherry jam and Devon Cream, which I have now learned that you can pick up at Nester’s here in Summerland. I’ve always preferred cream over butter on scones. Combine with jam and add a lovely cup of Earl Grey, and I’ll be in my happy place until all the crumbs are gone.

Scones with cherry jam and cream

3 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1 cup whipping cream (unwhipped)
½ cup – or a little more milk
2 tsp lemon juice
1 egg beaten

Preheat the oven to 360 C. Sift the flour & baking powder in a large bowl, stir in sugar and salt. Cut the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Mix together the milk and lemon juice – the mixture will curdle slightly. Add the beaten egg and pour into the flour mixture. Mix gently just until the dough forms. Do not keep mixing. Pick up dough the size you wish your scones to be and place on a parchment lined pan. The less fussing the lighter they will taste.

Bake approx 15 – 20 minutes depending on size.

Dorthea’s Sticky Ginger Lemon Drizzle Cake

This cake is rich and warming and very Moorish. Served with extra cream to compliment the hit of ginger, it’s very addictive. The recipe is from the UK.

Sticky Ginger Lemon Drizzle Cake

From Dorthea: The lemon curd was tricky because I had no idea what a stem ginger ball was. Instead I used candied ginger and found a jar of ginger marmalade to use instead of the stem ginger syrup. I think those worked well as substitutes.

So for the lemon curd mixture, I diced the candied ginger, about 2-3 tablespoons, and then combined it with the lemon curd in the blender again. Actually I have an old Braun coffee grinder that I use for spices, etc., and I used it to dice the candied ginger, and to mix as much of the lemon curd as would fit in the coffee grinder, and then I mixed the rest of the curd (about 1/2 – 2/3 cup altogether).

The cream icing filling was the main problem because I clearly didn’t use a firm enough cream. The recipe calls for cream cheese, heavy cream, ginger syrup, and icing sugar. I used whipped cream, cream cheese, ginger marmalade, and icing sugar. The whipped cream didn’t stay firm, which is why it was oozing out of the middle of the cake. While some is supposed to flow gracefully down the side of the cake, this just flowed. I should have used something firmer- perhaps all cream cheese, or even sour cream, or some of Gerri’s double cream!

Laura’s Cream Puffs

Choux pastry is another thing I haven’t yet tried, however Laura has convinced me that it is easier than I have imagined it to be, so I’m officially going to give it a go.

I love some of the images or notes I get from our bakers, with recipes dug up from obscure books or magazines. Here is the choux pastry recipe – notice the note “April 85.” (click to embiggen) Nearly 30 years and still churning out perfect Cream Puffs!

Cream puff recipe

Now you have two fillings to choose from:

Hazelnut Cream Filling
1 egg
1 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp instant coffee
1/8 cup finely chopped hazelnuts (filberts)
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp hot water
2 Tbsp heavy cream, whipped

In a large bowl, beat egg with flour, sugar, instant coffee, hazelnuts and cornstarch until well blended.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add milk and bring almost to a boil. Remove from heat and slowly whisky the hot milk into the egg mixture. Return all the ingredients to the saucepan, cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly until thickened and comes to a boil. Remove from the heat.

Add vanilla extract and hot water to the thickened mixture, stirring to combine. Set aside to cool until firm. Fold in the whipped cream. Refrigerate until thick.

When ready to serve, horizontally slice the top of the cream puff to create two pieces, a top and a bottom. Fill each cream puff bottom with a spoonful of the filling. Close with the top section.

Additions to this recipe may include flavoured extracts for liquors, cocoa, food colourings, or flavoured waters.

cream puffs with hazelnut cream

Maple Crème Filling
1 egg
1 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp hot water
3 tsp pure maple surup
2 Tbsp heavy cream, whipped

In a large bowl, beat egg with flour, sugar and cornstarch until well blended.

In a large saucepan over medium high heat, add milk and bring almost to a boil. Remove from heat and slowly mix the hot milk into the egg mixture. Return all the ingredients to the saucepan, cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened and comes to a boil. Remove from heat.

Add vanilla extract, hot water and maple syrup to the thickened mixture, stirring to combine until dissolved. Set aside to cool until firm. Fold in the whipped cream. Refrigerate until thick.

When ready to serve, prepare cream puffs as with hazelnut filling.

Ming’s Lavender Lemon Shortbread

I forgot to take a photo of these very pretty cookies! These are the very same shortbread biscuits that Ming to which treats her B&B when they arrive. It’s important to remember to use culinary lavender. Ming’s trick to never overdoing the lavender flavour is to add lavender to her sugar and give the flavour time to mingle, guaranteeing a subtle and aromatic cookie experience.

Makes 1-1/2 dozen cookies

½ cup (113 grams) butter, room temperature
1/3 cup (45 grams) powdered sugar
Zest of 2 lemons, divided
1/2 teaspoon lavender buds, ground or chopped finely
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
In large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, powdered sugar, zest of 1 lemon, lavender, vanilla, and salt until the mixture looks like a coarse sand.
Mix in the flour until the dough comes together.
In a small bowl, mix together the remaining lemon zest and granulated sugar with your fingers until fragrant. Set aside.
Lightly flour surface, and roll out shortbread to ¼ inch thick.
Sprinkle on the lemon scented sugar and lightly press it into the shortbread with the rolling pin.
Cut out shapes and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Finger Sandwiches

With so many sweets on offer, we all dove in to the plates of finger sandwiches provided by Vanora and Sandra. Vanora carved out quaint cucumber and tomato sandwiches into little triangles. And because finger sandwiches can dry out quickly, you don’t have to feel bad about eating a lot of them really quickly. In between you can cover them with a London-inspired tea towel!

baked goodies London Underground tea towel

Notes from Sandra: When you’re ordering bread ask for the white sandwich loaves sliced lengthwise and order a few days in advance . Two loaves will make enough for a full serving plate of sandwiches…I usually order 3 loaves – any leftovers are great for bread stuffing. I usually make ham and egg ribbons, rolled egg with olives, rolled salmon with gherkins, and cream cheese and asparagus.

finger sandwichesSandra’s Finger Sandwich Fillings

Egg Salad
4 eggs, salt and pepper, chopped chives, dash of prepared mustard, mayonnaise
salt and pepper, dill, mayonnaise

Chopped gherkins or pickles, salt & pepper, and mayonnaise.
Mix cream cheese and butter until fluffy and easy to spread – usually 1/2 and 1/2

For ribbons – leave crusts on – and butter three long slices with Cream cheese and butter mixture – and then use egg filling between 2 slices and then ham filling. Makes a 3 layered sandwich – cover these with a damp linen tea towel as you make them, as the bread drys out quickly. I usually make the night before — leave the large sandwich whole and then slice the next day. To slice – first remove all crusts and then slice into equal size fingers. Put in a container – back in the fridge – and keep covered with damp tea towel until ready to serve.

For rolled (Pinwheel) sandwiches – take a slice on bread – cut off the crusts at the short end – spread with cream cheese mixture and top with filling. Line up olives or gherkins at one short end and then roll – keep in the roll – overnight – with damp tea towel covering. Cut the next day. Cut end crusts off first and then cut each roll into 4 or 5 pinwheels. I usually fiddle with the olives so that you get the pimento showing on each sandwich (like a bullseye).

Salmon with gherkins – do the same as above – when lining up gherkins – cut the end of both end of the pickles to give them a flat edge – it looks nicer when sandwiches are sliced.

Asparagus – Add a bit more cream cheese to butter/cream cheese mixture – take long slice of bread – cut off all crusts and then cut long slice into squares – usually will make 4 squares – spread with cream cheese mixture – then lay two asparagus spears diagonally (and top to tail) then fold corner to corner and fasten with a toothpick – keep in fridge with covered with tea towel – slice in two when ready to serve.

I usually make them the day before – slice them the next morning – and then they can keep all day in the fridge until ready to serve.

mini bakewell tartsSophia’s mini bakewell tarts

Another UK recipe from BBC Goodfood, and not surprisingly the photo on the website looks much more lovely than how mine turned out.

And finally we have Judith’s Mini Lemon Tarts! I don’t have the recipe but the secret is they are made with a shortbread case. Judith reported that these are were more than a little difficult when it came to trying to extract them from the tin when they were finished. Apparently greasing is still a requirement even when dealing with something that is made of almost pure butter!

Mini lemon tarts



Filed under cookies, Recipes, scones, Tarts, tea

Baking with Ancient Grains #2

Finally – a follow-up post of ancient grain deliciousness. Also, we made the paper! If you missed it, here we are in all our baking glory.

Summerland Bakers

So far I have tried out Lisa’s pizza recipe using a quinoa-based crust, and it was fantastic. It is now my new pizza recipe for a quick mid-week meal – super filling and very healthy. In this second batch of recipes, there are a few recipes I’m still missing, so you’ll just have to enjoy the photos!

Barley Pilaf

From Jan: Auntie Irma’s Barley Pilaf – Summerland version

2 cups of pot barley, rinsed twice in cold water
• Heat a large skillet. Put the barley into the hot skillet to dry & roast
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
2 Tablespoons butter
• Add the oils to the skillet and turn on the heat
1 onion, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
• Add the onion and pepper to skillet and sauté for 2 minutes
1 Tablespoon of brown sugar
1 Tablespoon of fish sauce, or something salty
1 Tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar, or something sour
A dash of Frank’s hot sauce, or something spicy
Course ground black pepper
• Add flavour-making things to the skillet & mix evenly
• Put the barley mix in a well-greased casserole dish with a snug fitting lid, or a Dutch oven.
4 cups of water
• Rinse the skillet with the water
• Add the water to the barley in the casserole; put the lid on
• Bake for 90 minutes* at 325 degrees F
• Add more liquid as it cooks; ¼ cup, periodically. Use broth or water

*Cook time will depend on your casserole dish; keep the lid on.

Larry CookiesJennifer’s “Larry Cookies”

These are named after Jennifer’s colleague Larry (surprise, surprise), who often brings them into work. She substituted ground spelt flour for the regular flour.

1 cup soft margarine (non-hydrogenated)
1.5 cups brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Cream together until light and fluffy. An electric mixer works wonderfully.

2.5 cups flour
2.5 cups oats (1.5c quick oats + 1c large flake oats)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips (semi sweet or milk or butterscotch)

Add to creamed mixture and mix well. Scoop onto cookie sheets using a size 30 scoop. Flatten slightly. Bake at 325’F until barely golden brown on the edges. Remove from oven, cool for five minutes then transfer to cooling rack to finish cooling. Freeze.

My optionals were:
1/2 cup hemp seeds, 1 cup coconut, 1/4 cup of flax seeds, the rest of your craisins and sunflower seeds (1/4 cup each?) I reduced the flour by 1/2 cup in order to accommodate optionals.

1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans or hazelnuts)
1/3 cup ground flax
1/2 cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, figs, and/or apricots)
1 cup flaked coconut

Note from Jennifer: Play with the amount of flour if you don’t like the product – too much makes them dry and hard to put out – too little makes them flat and greasy.

spelt bread

Diana’s Bread with Ancient Grains
1.25 cup warm water
2.5 tsp yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp vital wheat gluten
1 cup spelt flour
2.25 cup unbleached white flour

Combine the flours, gluten, water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixed. Knead with the dough hook until you have an elastic dough. Add the salt and olive oil and continue kneading until both are fully incorporated.
Form the dough into a ball, drizzle with additional olive oil, and return the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in size – about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and sprinkle cornmeal on a baking sheet. Sprinkle some flour on your work surface and turn out the dough.

Knead the dough briefly, then shape it into a ball. Place it, seam-side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in size – about 40 minutes.

Slash the loaf as desired, then bake until nicely browned, about 35 minutes.

Remove the loaf to a rack to cool completely before slicing.

Read more:

This is what I followed by added an extra raising at the bowl and plastic wrap stage. The second rising at this stage was about 45 minutes (did not take as long as the first).

spelt bulgar kamut breadAl’s Ancient Grains Bread

1.25 cup warm water
1 Tbsp yeast
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp sea salt
1.5 tsp lemon juice
1.5 Tbsp grapeseed oil
3 Tbsp vital wheat gluten
2.25 cup spelt flour
.33 cup buckwheat flour
.33 cup bulgur flour
.33 cup kamut flour


NOTE: buckwheat, bulgur and kamut flour were all ground freshly from grain in a Blendtec blender.

Add water, yeast and honey to bowl and mix. Allow to proof for 5-10 minutes.

Add sea salt, lemon juice, oil and gluten to bowl and mix.

Add 1 cup Spelt flour to bowl and mix in.

Gradually add the rest of all the flours and mix together to form a dough ball.

Let rest and rise for 10-15 minutes in a warm place (about 29 C or 84 F)

Punch down, put into oiled loaf pan with corn meal sprinkled on bottom (to avoid sticking) and let rise again until dough has topped the pan by about an inch.

Bake in preheated (350 F) oven until done (about 25-30 minutes)

chocolate chip breakffast cookies with farroVanora’s Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies with Farro

Before you attempt this recipe, Vanora has compiled some tips for cooking with farro.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: 3 dozen of cookies

From Vanora: These are a combo between a soft cookie and a muffin top. They are sweet, but not too sweet, packed with chocolate chips and farro for a chewy bite.

1/3 cup uncooked Tuscan Fields Pearl Farro
1/2 cup diced cold butter
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup sugar in the raw
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp almond extract
1 1/3 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

In a small saucepan add the farro and 1 1/2 cups of water and boil for about 20 minutes until cooked.
Drain and leave to cool completely.
When the farro is cold, heat the oven to 400F.
Line 2-3 cookie baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a food processor add the butter, applesauce and sugar and blend for about 2-3 minutes until creamy.
Add the baking soda, almond extract and oats and keep pulsing, slowly adding the boiling water through the feeding tube.
Turn the food processor off and add the flour. Pulse until just combined.
Place the batter into a mixing bowl and add the cooled farro and chocolate chips – with a spatula, fold them in.
Using a medium ice-cream scoop, drop cookie dough on the prepared sheets.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes or until the top is firm to touch and slightly golden.
Remove from the oven, leave to cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheets before placing them to cool completely on wire racks.

Kim’s Ancient Grain batards

I don’t have the recipes for the incredible flavourful breads that Kim shared with us last month. I regretted not snagging extra pieces to take home. For dedication (3 days in the making and several different flours used!), attention to detail, flavour and display, I think we can agree that Kim deserves the “Star Baker” accolade for April. A wee reminder of

Ancient Grain BreadAncient Grain BreadsA reminder of some of the other delicious bakes we enjoyed:

Leah’s Quinoa Chocolate Cake (we really demolished this one):

Chcoolate Quinoa Cake

Judith’s Einkorn Bread (Todd reported that True Grain is working toward a new bread using Einkorn in the near future)

Einkorn bread

Kim L’s Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Hemp Cookies (The recipe is borrowed and is a secret- sorry!)

chocolate chip peanut butter hemp cookies


Jo’s Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins:

vegan spelt banana chocolate chip muffins


Wendy’s Breakfast Cookies With Red River Cereal (Quote: I don’t know if it’s ancient grains, but it was in my cupboard for a long time)

Breakfast Cookies with red river cereal


And finally this lovely loaf of spelt and Sundried Tomato Bread, which I loved!

spelt sundried tomato bread


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Filed under Ancient Grains, Bread, cookies, Healthy bakes, Recipes

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.

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