Recipe File

Recipe of the Month: November - Gingerbread Biscotti

The recipe below is a bit fiddly and involved, but most of the ingredients are spices and fruit, so once those are combined, it's much easier.  Don't skip the processing of the rolled oats; this makes for a firmer cookie.

Gingerbread Biscotti



Yield: approximately 30 biscotti

  • 1 cup (100g) old fashioned rolled oats, divided
  • 1 ¾ cups (225g) all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (160g) dark brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup (60ml) fancy molasses
  • 2 tbsp light oil
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp crystallized ginger, minced
  • 2 cups of three of the following: raisins (any kind), dried cranberries, dried blueberries, currants, pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds), chopped dates, chopped dried apricots, white chocolate chips, mixed nuts, lightly toasted and chopped
Topping:
  • 2 (60 g) egg whites, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup white sanding sugar


Preheat oven to 350˚F and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat (silicone baking mat). 

In a food processor, finely grind ½ cup (50 grams) of the rolled oats. Combine the finely ground oats with the remaining whole oats and the other dry ingredients.
 

Whisk together the eggs, molasses, oil, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl. Slowly add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients, and beat just until combined. Mix in the chopped mix-ins until just incorporated.
 

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Form each half into a flattened bar about 12” long and 5” wide. Transfer the bars to the prepared baking sheet, spacing at least 3” apart.




Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges and firm to the touch. Remove from oven, immediately brush the top lightly with beaten egg white, and sprinkle generously with sanding sugar; let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, or just long enough so you can hold the cookie bar for cutting without burning your fingers.


Reduce oven temperature to 300˚F.  Transfer the partially cooled bars to a cutting board and cut into ¾” slices.  Place the biscotti back on the baking sheet face-up, leaving about ½” between each cookie.

Bake for 6-8 minutes, rotate pan, and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until dry and firm. Remove and let cool completely.


Can be stored in an airtight container for several weeks.

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Recipe of the Month: October - Rolled Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing

Rolled Sugar Cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 8-10 minutes
Yield: ~60 - 2.5" cookies

1 1/2 cups butter, room temp
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, room temp
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
5 all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Scrape bowl, and mix in vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; pour entire contents of dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until combined, but do not overmix. Wrap dough in plastic wrap in a flattened disk shape and let chill for minimum one hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degreesF (200 degC). Cover cookie sheets (ideally rimless) with parchment paper. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface 1/4" thick. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters, and place 1" apart on cookie sheets. Bake 6-10 minutes (depending on size), turning and rotating once. Cool completely on cooling racks.

Royal Icing

Original recipe with thanks to Sprinklebakes!
I love love LOVE this royal icing; while RI recipes are quite simple in themselves, this one works perfectly, is incredibly stable, and doesn't separate. I also like to use pasteurized egg whites from a carton for these instead of freshly cracked eggs to eliminate the potential for foodborne illness from raw egg whites.

This recipe makes stiff-peak icing; to make piping or flooding icing, add water teaspoon by teaspoon to the amount you need and stir in completely to achieve the desired consistency. This recipe is scalable to the amount you need

2 egg whites (or 4 tablespoons pasteurized egg whites from a carton), room temperature
2 tsp lemon juice (fresh squeezed is best, but bottled works too)
3 cups confectioner's/icing sugar, well-sifted
1/2 tsp lemon, clear vanilla, or any clear flavouring
Gel or paste food colouring
Warm water for thinning to piping or flood consistency

Beat egg whites and lemon juice with electric mixer with the whisk attachment until combined.

Add sifted confectioner's/icing sugar all at once and beat on low speed until all combined and smooth. Add desired flavouring and mix on medium speed until thick and opaque. Divide as necessary and tint portions as desired.

Bring to desired consistency with warm water; to keep surface from forming a crust, be sure to drape a damp towel over the bowl, or enclose in a tight-lidded container. Use within 24 hours.

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Recipe of the Month: September - Angel Food Cake

Angel food cake is a challenging cake to master; it really requires patience, a light touch, and an understanding of the fine line (and short duration) between medium-whipped egg whites, stiffly-whipped egg whites. and over-whipped egg whites.

I have several recipes for angel food cake -- some good, some not-so-much -- but the best recipe in my humble opinion is from that Master of Food Chemistry, Alton Brown.  Following his recipe to a T will result in a perfectly risen, perfectly baked angel food cake that I swear is like eating vanilla clouds.  No more synthetic, chewy, nasty pre-baked cakes or box mixes; this recipe is the Real Deal.

Source: Good Eats; Episode "Let Them Eat Foam (Angel Food Cake)"; host Alton Brown
Yield: 10 servings
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup cake flour, sifted
  • 12 egg whites (room temperature - don't skip this step!)
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon orange, almond, or vanilla extract, or extract of your choice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2.  In a food processor spin sugar about 2 minutes until it is superfine. Sift half of the sugar with the salt and the cake flour, setting the remaining sugar aside. 
  3.  In a large bowl, use a balloon whisk to thoroughly combine egg whites, water, orange extract, and cream of tartar. After 2 minutes, switch to a hand or tabletop mixer. Slowly sift the reserved sugar, beating continuously at medium speed.
  4. Once you have achieved medium peaks, sift enough of the flour mixture in to dust the top of the foam. Using a spatula fold in gently. Continue until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.
  5. Carefully spoon mixture into an ungreased tube pan.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes before checking for doneness with a wooden skewer. (When inserted halfway between the inner and outer wall, the skewer should come out dry).  
  7. Cool upside down on the pan's pegs or a cooling rack for at least an hour before removing from pan. If cake has risen over the top of your pan, carefully balance the centre tube on a wine bottle.
  8. Once completely cool, place right-side up, and slip a very fine palette knife or other thin-bladed implement between the pan and the cake. Carefully and gently work around the cake without pulling or tearing the cake's outer surface, until you can be sure it is completely separated from the sides of the pan. Gently pull the centre core up (if you have a two-piece tube pan) and out of the body of the cake pan, then gently loosen and separate from the core piece. At this point you can start work on it right away or carefully wrap in plastic wrap and chill for torting and filling later.
Per Serving (based on 10 servings): Calories: 208; Total Fat: 0 grams; Saturated Fat: 0 grams; Protein: 5 grams; Total carbohydrates: 47 grams; Sugar: 36 grams; Fiber: 0 grams; Cholesterol: 0 milligrams; Sodium: 115 milligrams 

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Recipe of the Month: August - Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies




I loves me some chocolate chip cookies! I'm always poring over recipe books looking for a new ccc recipe that gives me the best ratio of cookie to chocolate. I personally love the chewy type of chocolate chip cookie, so I'm always trying to perfect that as well.

There are two chocolate chip cookie recipes that I love, and this is one of them.  Surprisingly, this recipe originally came to me on the back of a bag Chipits Milk Chocolate Chips; I've made some minor changes to suit my tastes, which I have indicated in Italics, but otherwise this recipe is spot-on.

Chipits Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: Approximately 5 dozen small (1 tsp dough) cookies

    ·         2/3 cup/150 mL melted butter (*I use unsalted*)
    ·         2 cups/500 mL lightly packed brown sugar(*dark or light brown sugar is fine*)
    ·         2 eggs (*room temp*)
    ·         2 tbsp/30 mL hot water
    ·         2 2/3 cups/650 mL all-purpose flour
    ·         1 tsp/5mL baking powder
    ·         1 tsp/5mL baking soda
    ·         1/4 tsp/1mL salt
    ·         1 3/4 cups Milk Chocolate Chips 
     (*I also add 1 tsp/5 mL instant espresso powder, but it's optional*)

    1.      Heat oven to 375°F (190°C).
    2.      In large bowl, beat melted butter, brown sugar, eggs and hot water until smooth.
    3.      In medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir into butter mixture until just blended.
    4.      Stir in milk chocolate chips. Drop from small tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheet.
    5.      Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool 1 minute; remove to wire rack and cool completely.