Showing posts with label Christmas cookies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas cookies. Show all posts

Friday, December 22, 2017

A Month of Christmas Baking: Coconut Lemon Crumble Bars #FoodwaysFriday

Coconut Lemon Crumble Bars. Photo courtesy Rock Recipes.

This is the final post for the month of Christmas baking series. My freezer is filled with cookies and Christmas is only two days away!

These squares are a twist on the classic date square which we all know and love. Lemon is something I had never really associated with Christmastime, but other people have told me a cookie like this is a staple in their homes for the holidays. So here is the recipe (from Rock Recipes):

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups dried coconut medium cut
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup butter cut in small pieces

  • 1/3 cup cake flour
  • 1/3 cup corn starch
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 egg yolks slightly beaten
  • Zest of 2 large or 3 small lemons, very finely chopped
  • Juice of 2 large or 3 small lemons
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • pinch salt

  1. TO MAKE THE LEMON FILLING combine the corn starch, salt, cake flour, sugar and water in a medium saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  3. Pour about 1/2 cup of the thickened mixture over the beaten egg yolks and whisk together quickly. This tempers the egg yolks so that they do not scramble.
  4. Pour this mixture back into the pot and whisk it in quickly. Return the pot to the heat and stir constantly for a few minutes until the mixture is thick and evenly smooth.
  5. Whisk in the lemon juice and zest and remove from the heat.
  6. Finally whisk in the butter and set aside to cool while you prepare the crumble mixture.
  7. FOR THE CRUMBLE mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, coconut and salt.
  8. Using your hands or a pastry blender cut in the butter until the it is completely incorporated into the dry ingredients.
  9. Press half of the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch well greased baking pan. Pour the lemon filling evenly over the bottom crumbs. Gently sprinkle the remaining crumbs over the lemon filling and press down gently.
  10. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 40 - 45 minutes or until light golden brown in color. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares and serving.

Recipe Notes
If you plan to freeze these cookie bars, for all crumble type cookies, I always thaw them on a wire cake rack and never in a closed container. There's a lot of humidity in some freezers that gets trapped inside and can start to make baked goods soggy as they thaw. My method always avoids that problem for me.

Enjoy and have a very Merry Christmas!

-Katie Harvey

Friday, December 8, 2017

A Month of Christmas Baking: Devil Bars #FoodwaysFriday

Photo by Katie Harvey.

The Christmas cookies I remember best from my childhood were affectionately nicknamed "Devil Bars" by my family. They were called this due to the fact that whenever my mother made them they were impossible to stop eating because they were so delicious. The base of this cookie is shortbread, a thick layer of caramel lies in the middle, and the bar is topped with milk chocolate.

I always make Devil Bars over Christmas, and this year is no acceptation. They freeze well and are easy to make. The caramel is the trickiest part, but using condensed milk makes it much easier than making it from scratch, and it may even be more delicious. I find it is best to make them the day before and leave them to chill in the fridge overnight.

Here is my recipe:

  • 2/3 cup butter, softened 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together 2/3 cup butter, white sugar, and flour until evenly crumbly. Press into a 9 inch square baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
  3. In a 2 quart saucepan, combine 1/2 cup butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk. Bring to a boil. Continue to boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes. Pour over baked crust (warm or cool). Cool until it begins to firm.
  4. Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute, then stir and continue to heat and stir at 20 second intervals until chocolate is melted and smooth. Pour chocolate over the caramel layer and spread evenly to cover completely. Chill in the fridge overnight.
Have you ever eaten this cookie? What do you call them?

-Katie Harvey

Friday, December 1, 2017

A Month of Christmas Baking: Lassy Mogs #FoodwaysFriday

Photo courtesy Rock Recipes.

December has begun, and Christmas is in the air. If you're anything like me, you've already started your Christmas baking. I love having a variety of cookies, cakes and baked goods for my guests over the holidays. So, for the month of December I will post various traditional Newfoundland recipes that are sure to please any crowd.

Molasses is a staple in the diet of Newfoundlanders, and lassy is simply short for molasses. The origin of 'mog' is a little less clear. Some people believe it means girl, while others say a mog is a small, slow rising cake. Historically, molasses were used as the main form of sweetener for baked goods in Newfoundland. White sugar was more expensive, and so it was saved for special use or for teatime.

Here is the recipe, which yields a dozen cookies (courtesy of Rock Recipes). You can alter the amount of molasses you use based on how dark you want your cookies to turn out.

  • 2 1/4 cups + 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp powdered ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup molasses
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates chopped to the size of raisins
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup toasted pecan pieces

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. First, toast the pecans at 350 degrees F so that they can cool to room temperature while you prepare the rest of the recipe.I toast whole pecans on a baking sheet for 10-12 minutes tossing them at the half way point. I then cool them and break each one into 2-4 pieces by hand. This little extra effort ensures nice big crunchy bits of pecan in every bite.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking soda and spices and set aside.
  4. Cream together the butter and brown sugar for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  5. Beat in the egg for another minute or so.
  6. Blend in the molasses and vinegar. (The vinegar often occurs in old recipes as a way to boost eh rising action of baking soda.)
  7. Fold in the dry ingredients by hand and when almost incorporated fold in the dates, raisins and pecans.
  8. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto the parchment lined cookie sheets about 2 1/2 inches apart.
  9. Bake for 14 minutes and let the cookies cool on the pan for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Store in airtight containers. These cookies will freeze very well.

Enjoy, and let us know how they turn out!

-Katie Harvey

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tuesday's Folklore Photo: Christmas Cookies for Santa

Courtesy of: The Rooms Provincial Archives
VA 73-8.4; John B. Bisbee dressed as Santa Claus.
John B. Bisbee, medical student and theological volunteer.
The costume, trimmed in rabbit fur, was made by nurse Alice Bates.
Date of Creation: December 25, 1913
It's just 22 more sleeps until the big guy dressed in red shimmies down all our respective chimneys, with gifts for all the good little boys and girls. In order to butter up Santa for a heftier stocking and to thank the jolly old elf for his hard work, a common Christmas tradition is to leave cookies for Santa to snack on. Below are recipes for cookies one might commonly see around the Christmas holidays in Newfoundland and Labrador. So if you don't have your baking started, here's some inspiration to get you going!

Recipes of Newfoundland Dishes. Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's. 1971.

Cookbook: Featuring Favorite Newfoundland Recipes. Compiled by George Street United Church Women's Association. Revised Edition. 1956-1957.
Cookbook: Featuring Favorite Newfoundland Recipes. Compiled by George Street United Church Women's Association. Revised Edition. 1956-1957.
Christmas Card from G.S. Doyle to Job Kean. Ca. 1900-1920
Courtesy of: Centre for Newfoundland Studies, Archives and Special Collections Division