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Retro hilarity for the holidays

12 Jul

Legit I clipped this out of Seventeen magazine in 1985.


I had this one too but I can’t remember where it came from. Never tried!


La Chaumière Christmas cookies

16 Dec

We clipped these cookie recipes from La Chaumière years ago but have never tried them. Love the idea of a plate of little cookies.

1/2 cup EACH butter and shortening

2/3 cup ground almonds

1/3 cup sugar

12/3 cups sifted flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup icing sugar

1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon

melted chocolate

Cream butter, shortening and sugar well. Add almonds, then work in flour and salt; chill dough. Roll bits of dough into pencil thick, 21/2-inch/6cm lengths, then form each into a crescent shape. Place on ungreased baking sheets and bake at 325F/160 for 14 to 16 minutes or until set, but not brown. Cool on pan, then while still slightly warm, dip each crescent into a combined mixture of the sugar and cinnamon or melted chocolate.



1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup Robin Hood oats

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup butter


1/2 cup corn syrup

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup whipping cream or evaporated milk

11/2 cups sliced almonds

11/2 teaspoons vanilla

To make crust, combine all ingredients, mixing until crumbly. Press firmly into 13x9x2-inch/4L baking pan. Bake in 350F/180C oven for 10 minutes.

To make topping combine corn syrup, brown sugar, butter and cream in medium saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils; remove from heat. Stir in almonds and vanilla. Pour over crust, spreading evenly. Bake in 350F/180C oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire rack, then cut into triangles, bars or squares. Store in refrigerator. Makes 48.


If you prefer, Pat says you can make these using apricot jam and almonds.

1/2 cup butter at room temperature

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup seedless red raspberry jam.

1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a medium-size bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixture until fluffy. Beat in egg. Gradually stir in flour until blended. Divide dough in half. Wrap each half and chill one hour or until firm enough to roll. Heat oven to 350F/180C and have ungreased cookie sheet ready.

Put each piece of dough between two sheets of waxed paper and roll to 12×5-inch/30×12.5-cm rectangle. Peel off top paper sheets, and invert dough onto cookie sheet about 2inches/5cm apart. Peel off paper.

Fold long sides of each rectangle inward to make 1/2-inch/1cm wide side-borders; pat any cracks to seal. Carefully spread half the jam on each rectangle up to folded edges, then sprinkle nuts over jam.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes until edges are golden, then cool until warm. Cut each rectangle into 16 slices. Remove to wire rack to cool.

Melt chocolate in small pan over low heat. Dip plain edges of slices into chocolate, scraping off excess against side of pan. Arrange on waxed paper. Leave in a cool place or refrigerate for chocolate to set. Store airtight up to two weeks.

Cabernet and chocolate cookies

16 Dec

It’s Christmas cookie time around here.

We have our family-favourite go-to goodies, but we have been hanging onto a few fancy recipes, like this Napa Valley-inspired one which uses an entire bottle of reduced red wine and combines it with chocolate.

From Janet Webb J. Webb Wine Merchants

1 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon, reduced slowly to a thick syrup

1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted butter

2 eggs

1 1/4 cups (300 mL) all-purpose flour

1/2 (125 mL) cup cocoa

1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla

1 cup (250 mL) semi-sweet chocolate cut into 1/4-in. (0.5-cm) cubes

1/2 cup (125 mL) walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degreesF (175 degreesC).

In an electric mixer, combine all ingredients except chocolate chunks and walnuts. Mix at medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape sides of bowl and beat on high for three minutes.

Fold in chocolate and walnuts.

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 350 degreesF for about 10 minutes. Time may vary with ovens.

Mad Menu

20 Sep

Roger and Joan share a sky-high slice of New York cherry cheesecake at the Tip Toe Inn, a Jewish deli on the corner of Broadway and 86th Street.

We’re going to pretend it’s the old Lindy’s on Broadway, because that’s where our hoarded recipe comes from. Renowned for its sturgeon, corned beef and blintzes, Lindy’s was the place to be for a late night coffee and slice of cheesecake.

Carnegie Deli has posted its own cheesecake recipe on its site here.

Eat your heart out, Roger. Erm, New York…

From a 1961 copy of The World’s Best Recipes

1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tsp. grated lemon rind
1 Tsp. vanilla
1 egg yolk
1/4 lb. softened butter

2 1/2 lbs. cream cheese
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbs. flour
1 1/2 tsp. each of grated orange and lemon rind
5 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup heavy cream

In large bowl combine flour, sugar, lemon rind and vanilla. Make a well in the center of mixture, add egg yolk and butter and form into a dough (adding a little water if necessary to make it pliable).

Wrap in waxed paper and chill for 1 hour.
In another bowl combine the cream cheese, sugar, flour and orange and lemon rind with an electric mixer. Add eggs, egg yolks, vanilla and beat well.
Add heavy cream and blend thoroughly. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
Roll out 1/3 of dough to 1/8 inch thickness and mold to the pan’s bottom. Bake in preheated 400°F oven for 15 minutes until lightly browned, then remove and cool. Cut remaining dough to line the sides of the pan thoroughly.
Add cream cheese mixture, bake at 550°F for 10 minutes, then bake at 200°F for 1 hour. 

Allow cheese cake to cool.

Fruit Cake*

3 Sep

browned butter plum cake
* From the I Don’t Want To Make Babies, I Want to Make Dinner files

Labour Day long weekend — a.k.a. summer’s last hurrah — is upon us.

How very sad to be packing away our summer clothes (whites and Lilly Pulitzer), books (The Great Gatsby, Archie Digests, Nancy Drew) and general happiness. Wah.

We have one last kick at the cat where summer lounging is concerned. Time to celebrate summer’s fruit bounty.

Slip into your Nantucket Reds (cuffs rolled, obviously), pour yourself a tall Cape Cod (more cape than cod, please), and tuck into this lovely plum cobbler.

This is the easiest dessert we’ve ever made. Seriously. This is a keeper.

The secret is browned butter and plums. The original recipe calls for apples, which we’re keen on trying this fall.

But for summer, nothing is better than luscious, tart plums.

We substitute eight sliced plums sprinkled with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg for the apples and lemon juice.

UPDATE: Now we’re thinking about five-spice powder in place of the spice additions?

FullSizeRender (46)

from: Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax

10-inch single layer cake; serves 8

3 medium-size tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (about 3 cups) with 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour

Vanilla ice cream, for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 10-inch Pyrex pie pan. Update: we prefer an 8-inch sq Pyrex square dish. You can cut nine squares or six rectangles.
2. Toss the apples in a bowl with the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the cinnamon. Spread the apples evenly in the prepared pan.
3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook until lightly golden, about 7 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid burning. Pour the clear, browned butter into a bowl, leaving any sediment or foam in the pan.
4. Stir the 3/4 cup sugar into the butter. Gently stir in the eggs; stir in the flour until blended. Spoon the batter evenly over the apples and spread into a layer. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
5. Bake until lightly golden and crusty, 40 to 45 minutes.
6. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into wedges and serve from the pan warm or at room temperature, with vanilla ice cream.

A Summer Place

2 Aug

The year: 1983, summertime.

The place: our best pal’s lakeside cabin.

The soundtrack (rather horrifying, courtesy of ever present Top 40 AM radio):

Our House – Madness
Come Dancing – Kinks
China Girl – David Bowie
Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) – Eurythmics
Too Shy – Kajagoogoo
Rock The Casbah – Clash
Goody Two Shoes – Adam Ant
Let’s Dance – David Bowie
Beat It – Michael Jackson
Total Eclipse Of The Heart – Bonnie Tyler
The Safety Dance – Men Without Hats

When we weren’t waterskiing or holed up in the cabin reading Archie comics, People, and Seventeen, there was baking to do — that’s what 14-year-old girls do.

This is an especially good project for a rainy summer day. Here’s a perfect farmer’s stand classic. It’s light as air, and as we snacked on this last night, we sprinkled a touch of icing sugar over top. We later wondered if we shouldn’t have split the slices and filled them with whipped cream and summer berries. Or added orange zest to the batter, or copied Dave Lebovitz and drizzled a puckery lemon glaze over top.

Recipes from Best of Bridge: Winners
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk (or sour milk)
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
2 cups grated zucchini
1/4 cup chocolate chips (we upped to a full cup, naturally.)

Cream butter, oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk. Sift dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture. Mix in zucchini and chocolate chips. Bake in a greased and floured bundt pan or a 9″x13″ greased pan at 325 F. for 45 minutes.

Happy Canada Day!

1 Jul

Happy Canada Day!

Here are two of the best treats we know: Butter Tart Squares and Naniamo Bars.

We have to give credit to Canadian Living for their great holiday menus. Year after year, they always have an interesting selection of patriotic recipes, like this one which includes bite-sized Cedar-Planked Salmon with Maple Mustard Glaze, Beer and Bacon-Steamed Mussels, Mini Lobster Rolls, and Green Bean and Barley Salad.

Nanaimo Bars

Nobody disputes the origin of these treats (Nanaimo, B.C.), but there’s always an opinion on the exact ingredients. This recipe makes 18 pieces servings

Naniamo Bars
Bottom Layer
½ cup unsalted butter (European style cultured)
¼ cup sugar
5 tbsp. cocoa
1 egg beaten
1 ¼ cups graham wafer crumbs
½ c. finely chopped almonds
1 cup coconut

Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8″ x 8″ pan.

Second Layer
½ cup unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. and 2 Tsp. cream
2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder
2 cups icing sugar

Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.

Third Layer
4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Melt chocolate and butter overlow heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator.

By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen
These uniquely Canadian squares are a must for any Canada Day celebration. This recipe makes 16 squares servings

1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (50 mL) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter
2 tbsp (25 mL) butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup (250 mL) packed brown sugar
2 tbsp (25 mL) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp(2 mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp(2 mL) (2 mL) vanilla
1 pinch salt
1 cup (250 mL) raisins
1/2 cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped pecan
In bowl, combine flour with sugar; with pastry blender, cut in butter until crumbly. Press into 9-inch (2.5 L) square cake pan; bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 15 minutes.

Topping: In bowl, mix together butter and eggs; blend in sugar, flour, baking powder, vanilla and salt. Stir in raisins and pecans; pour over base.

Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Let cool on rack. (Make-ahead: Wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 days or overwrap in heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks.) Cut into squares.