Category Archives: Christmas

Christmas Countdown- Christmas Morning Cranberry Muffins

Merry Christmas! Nothing says Christmas morning like a tasty baked good. When I saw the title of this recipe I knew I had to try it, especially because I have been on a cranberry kick these days. These muffins are in one of my most used cookbooks, Muffin Mania. If you don’t have one, I suggest you try and get your hands on one, it’s the best muffin cookbook around!

Six Christmas Morning Cranberry Muffins on a red plate with a Christmas plant in the background

Christmas Morning Cranberry Muffins (adapted from Muffin Mania)

1 cup cranberries
1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp all spice
1 beaten egg
1/2 tsp grated orange peel
3/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup melted butter or margarine

Coarsely chop cranberries. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar and set aside. Sift together flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, all spice and make a well in the centre.

Combine egg, orange peel, orange juice and melted butter. Add all at once to the flour mixture stirring to moisten. Fold in cranberry mixture. Bake in greased muffin pan at 375 for 15-20 minutes.

Close up of Christmas Morning Muffins

We hope that you have a wonderful Christmas Day filled with lots of love and good food. Happy Christmas!

Caroline & Claire

Christmas Countdown- The Great Pumpkin Loaf

It’s Christmas Eve!!!! Claire came over to my place today to finish up the Christmas baking. We had a few ideas of what we wanted to bake but due to my poor planning we were limited by the number of eggs I had on hand. We settled on this pumpkin loaf, as both of us have a soft spot for pumpkin. I really like this recipe because it calls for cream cheese in the batter. That makes for an extra tasty treat!

Pumpkin Loaf on a white plate with a red placemat underneath

The Great Pumpkin Loaf (adapted from Jean Pare’s Muffins and More)

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/4 all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice or cloves (I didn’t have cloves!)

Preheat oven to 350. Cream the cheese, butter and sugar in a mixing bowl (I used my stand mixer.) Beat in eggs one at a time until blended. Beat in pumpkin.
In another bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Stir until mixed. Pour into cheese/butter/sugar mixture and stir until just blended. Pour into greased 9×5 greased loaf pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes until tester comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan (I skipped this!) Place on rack to cool.

Merry Merry!

 

Christmas Countdown- Maple Squares

Well, Christmas is getting closer and I for one am becoming increasingly excited. Today I finished work for the holidays and I am looking forward to the next five days where the focus will be on festive fun! Earlier in the week I was looking for something quick and delicious as I was pressed for time. When I was at a loss for what to make I headed over to the good folks at King Arthur Flour. Ever since they provided me with excellent online chat assistance, I have been a fan. When I saw these squares I knew that KAF once again hadn’t let me down.

Nine maple squares on a red christmas plate with a gold plant pot in the background

What I loved about these squares was that they were super easy and super delicious. You can’t really ask for much more than that when you still have shopping, wrapping and more baking ahead of you. Head on over to King Arthur for the recipe.

Caroline

Close up view of nine maple squares on a red Christmas plate

Christmas Countdown- Lemon Bundt Cake with Lemon Curd Cream Cheese Frosting

Earlier this week I attended a lunch-time  Hanukkah party where my colleague treated us to latkes, homemade apple sauce and hummus. It was truly delicious. In preparation for the party I did a little research and I learned more about Hanukkah, including the tradition of eating fried foods (hence the latkes). I was a bit overwhelmed by recipes that involved frying and I was tempted by these marshmallow dreidels  but I ended up making this lemon cake. Nothing says Hanukkah like a lemon cake, right?

Lemon Bundt Cake

Now you may be wondering where the  delicious lemon curd frosting is. Well, here it is in a slightly fuzzy photo of a mini-bundt.

Fuzzy Mini Lemon Bundt with Lemon Curd Frosting

I could wax lyrically about this frosting, lemon curd and cream cheese where have  you been all my life???? Let’s face it, the frosting was what sold me on this recipe. The cake itself was ok, a bit on the dry side but I take full responsibility for that, as I think I baked it for too long. I highly recommend this frosting (or icing if you will) for any Hanukkah or Christmas feast. The recipe is available here.

Caroline

Christmas Countdown – Lime Coconut Squares

Hello again! Less than a week to go until Christmas and Caroline and I have decided to bring back the Christmas countdown that we had last year. Over the next few days, we will share some of our baking that we are doing to prepare for the holidays.

As I write this, I am in the midst of making another recipe that has already been featured on the blog and I have already messed it up but hopefully it will come together! I hope this is not a sign for future baking over the course of the week!

My first contribution are lime coconut squares from The Globe and Mail. I had great success with the these cookies from last year from The Globe and Mail and so I was excited to try this recipe. Since our mum is not a big fan of chocolate, I decided these would be a nice addition to my usual chocolate based desserts.

I just popped these into the freezer for safe-keeping. These squares are very lovely. They are tart but the coconut and shortbread base offer a great balance. These will definitely be something I make again and would also be nice in the middle of summer for a light fresh treat!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! These cookies have been a long standing tradition in the Stewart household at Christmas time. They are super easy to make and look great with candy canes sprinkled on top for some extra festive cheer.

Merry Merry!

 

These cookies are also great with chocolate chips. Conveniently, since they have no flour in them, they are also a gluten-free treat! I have never tried piping the meringue but if you are looking for a slightly prettier looking version, you could give that a whirl! I think next time I will.

Forgotten Cookies
2 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
6 oz chocolate chips (optional – we didn’t use this time)

Preheat oven to 350. Beat egg whites until stiff. Add sugar gradually. Beat at high speed for 5 minutes. Fold in vanilla and chips (if using). Drop from teaspoon onto foil lined cookie sheet. Put in oven and turn off heat. Leave overnight or at least 8 hours. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Cheers and Merry Christmas from Bake with Us!

Shortbread Cookies

I must admit that shortbread is not one of my favourite cookies, unless perhaps it is combined with chocolate! However, it is a staple within our Stewart family Christmas cookie selection. My dad is a particularly big fan of shortbread and of course, he was the first to taste test this batch.

My mum has tried numerous recipes over the years, but this one is her current favourite. This recipe comes from the Harrowsmith Cookbook Volume 1, which I just noticed was printed before I was even born!

Shortbread
1/2 lb butter
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 cup flour

Beat butter until light and add remain ingredients one at a time, beating well after each addition. Roll into small balls and flatten with fork (note: we dipped the fork in some flour to help prevent the fork from sticking).

Bake at 300 degrees F for 30 minutes. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Cheers,
Claire

Terry’s Chocolate Orange Cookies

As the Countdown to Christmas continues, I thought I would share my current favorite Christmas cookie. My brother-in-law sent this recipe to my older sister with the following message: “Please pass this recipe on to your sisters.” Sarah is not much of a baker and thus, he was wise pass it on to other Stewart women. I made these last week and they are now in Kingston (with me) waiting for Brendan to come and eat them.

Terry's Chocolate Orange Cookies

Terry’ s Chocolate Orange Cookies

Makes 20 cookies.

1 cup butter, softened
½ cup fine sugar
2 cups flour
½ tsp. grated orange peel
1 Terry’s Chocolate Orange, separated into segments, cut in half

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy.  Gradually add flour, beating until well blended after each addition. Roll dough into 20 balls, approx. 3.5 cm in diameter.  Flatten with palm of hand.  Top each with 1 piece of chocolate, wrap dough around chocolate to completely enclose the chocolate.  Place 5 cm apart on ungreased baking sheets.  Flatten slightly.

Bake 20 minutes.  Remove from oven; immediately place 1 of the remaining chocolate pieces on each cookie.  Transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

I have also made these with Caramilk bars and mini Reese Peanut Butter Cups. My favorite is the Chocolate Orange, a classic really.

Mint Brownie Bites

Well this is Day 2 of our Christmas baking posting spree. This weekend I spent some time with my mum baking. I am happy to say she only has one last thing to make this week but otherwise she has no more baking to worry about!

My mum found this recipe in the December Good Housekeeping issue and they looked so cute! Her and I (like many) love mint and chocolate so this was an obvious choice. And there will be many more mint chocolate posts to come this week:)

We had a little taste test and we decided that these were definately a make-again sort of thing! They are both pretty and yummy and will look great on a tray of Christmas baking. My dad also had a taste and his only complaint was “you should warn people about the hard mint on top”. I thought it was sort of obvious but oh well.

Mint Brownie Bites
Source: Good Housekeeping, December 2009

Bites
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg white


Topping
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
2 oz white chocolate, melted and cooled
2 oz round hard peppermint candies, broken into chunks

  1. Prepare Brownie bites: Preheat oven to 350. Grease large cookie sheet.
  2. In large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. In medium bowl, whisk sugar, butter, honey, vanilla and egg white until blended. Stir sugar mixture into flour mixture; then, with hand, press dough just until blended.
  3. With greased hands, shape dough into 1 inch balls and place on prepared cookie sheet 2 inches apart; press to flatten slightly. Bake 7-8 minutes or until brownies have cracked slightly. Transfer to whire rack to cool.
  4. Prepare Topping: In medium bowl, whisk confectioner’s sugar and milk until smooth. Whisk in butter and extract, then whisk in melte chocolate until smooth. Swith 1 tsp of topping on each cookie. Top each frosted cookie with 1 candy piece. Store in tightly seeled container with waxed paper between layers at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

White Chocolate Peppermint Chippers

Christmas is my very favorite time of year. I love it all, from the music to the decorations to visits with friends and family. (Okay, I guess I don’t love it all, I can’t stand the mall- bring on the internet shopping!) And of course, I love Christmas baking. This year in honor of our first year blogging Christmas, we thought we do a Christmas Countdown and share our holiday baking with you.

I did most of my baking alone but this recipe I baked with my niece and older sister. I love these cookies, two different types of chocolate and candy canes, what is not to love?

Christmas Cookies at Sarah's House

White Chocolate Peppermint Chippers

3/4 cup white chocolate chips
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
4 candy canes or 12 peppermint candies, crushed
3/4 cup semi sweet (or milk) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Grease cookie sheet. In a large bowl, melt 1/3 cup white chocolate chips. Add butter to bowl. With mixer, beat until creamy. Add sugar, beat until fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix until blended. Add remaining white chocolate chips, semi sweet chips and crushed candy canes.  Drop batter on to cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.  Cool and share with people you love.