Maple Pecan Pie Squares

This makes a fantastic dessert to share in potlucks and gatherings.

Ingredients
For the crust
1 cup unsalted butter, to room temperature (2 sticks)
2/3 cup sugar
2 2/3 cup flour
1/4 tea spoon salt

For the filling
1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick)
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 table spoon milk (or cream)
2 cups halved pecans

ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Use a paper towel to spread on any missed spots and remove the excess.
foil

2. In a mixer or food processor, cream together the sugar and butter.
crust1

3. Add the flour and salt. Mix on low speed.
crust2

4. You want to have pea-sized chunks of butter. crust3

5. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and press down into an even layer. Bake for 20 minutes.
crust4

6. While the crust is baking, combine the butter, maple syrup, brown sugar and milk into a sauce pot. Allow to simmer for 1 minute.
filling1

7. Stir in the pecans.
filling2

8. Remove the crust from the oven. it should barely be starting to get golden.
crust-cooked

9. Pour the hot filling unto the hot crust and spread the pecan as evenly as possible. Return to the oven for 12-18 minutes. It’s best not to overcook, the filling will thicken and set as it cools.
pour

10. Allow to cool fully.
cook

11. remove from the dish using the aluminum foil sling. Discard the foil.
remove

12. Cut into small squares and eat.
cut

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Oatmeal cookies with cranberries and chocolate

I wanted oatmeal cookies, but I didn’t want to make banana cookies. And I dislike raisins…

So a bit of poking around in my pantry made me reach for leftover cranberries (from making the cranberry sauce) that I had frozen and a bag of mini chocolate chips. The resulting cookies are a bit crunchy, a bit chewy, with bright burst of cranberry and just a hint of dark chocolate. Craving satisfied ūüôā

Ingredients :
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tea spoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tea spoon salt
1 tea spoon baking soda
1 tea spoon cinnamon
1/2 tea spoon nutmeg
Seeds of 3 green cardamon pods
3 cups oats
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 mini dark chocolate chips
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the over to 350F.
Combine the dry ingredients (flour, salt, oats, spices, baking soda)
dry

2. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the sugar, brown sugar and butter.
butter1

3. Cream together until lighter and fluffy. Then add the eggs one at the time, mixing well between additions.
butter2

4. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
combine

5. Add the chocolate chips and cranberries.
add

6. Fold into the batter.
fold

7. Spoon unto cookie trays lined with parchment paper.
balls

8. Bake for 12 minutes. They will be very soft coming out of the oven and will firm up as they cool.
baked

9. Allow to cool fully and transfer to a air thigh box.
box

Molasses Cookies

I’m an awesome big sister (or so I keep telling myself) and made the molasses cookies my little brother had been craving for a month or so. Rustic, sweet, soft molasses cookies. Perfect for dunking in milk or tea or coffee.

Ingredients
2 1/2 cup flour
1 tea spoon baking soda
1 tea spoon baking powder
1/2 tea spoon cinnamon
1/2 tea spoon ginger
scant pinch ground cloves
pinch of salt
1/2 cup non salted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
2 table spoon milk
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven for 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.
dry

2. Combine the butter, brown sugar and molasses in the bowl of a mixer.
sugar1

3. Beat until smooth then add the egg. Beat until combined.
sugar2

4. Add half the flour, mix to combine. Add the milk, mix in and add the rest of the flour until just combined.
combine

5. Portion out (about 1/8 of a cup per cookie) and flatten with the back of a fork.
portion

6. Bake for 15-18 minutes and enjoy.
cookies

Apple Chutney

Originally from the Preservation Society book but I tweaked it a bit, so getting a full post so I remember what I did.

I did two variants. The main one with Xeres vinegar, which tastes like something I will use anywhere onion jam would be used (in a grilled cheese or a burger comes to mind).

The second is a balsamic variant which I have dreams of using on some baked brie with walnuts…

Still, go buy the book!

Yield : 6 half pints

Ingredients
2 birds eyes peppers
3 cloves garlic
900g apples (cortland, spartan, empire, snow globe, gala)
450g onions
170g raisin*
550g brown sugar
1 1/2 table spoon salt
30 ml grated fresh ginger
10 ml allspice
10 ml cloves
10 ml black peppercorns
10 ml ground tumeric
2 ml dry mustard
375 ml apple cider vinegar
375 ml xeres vinegar **

Balsamic Variant :
* A bit less raisins, add dried apricots (cut in small pieces)
** Balsamic vinegar.
apple1
***

1. Grind the spices together.
apple2

2. Put the onions and apples through a food processor and chop finely. Transfer to a large pot and add the vinegar.
apple3

3. Finely chop the garlic and thai peppers. Add to the pot along with the raisins.
apple4

4. Add the rest of the spices.
apple6

The Balsamic variant will look darker like this :
apple6b

5. Turn the heat on medium until a slow boil form. Turn the heat down and simmer for 1 hour.
apple7

The balsamic version will start to look outright Halloween worthy. I added a finely minced jalapeno along the way to this one, as the sugar was getting too dominant.
apple7b

6. Scald the jars. Fill with hot chutney. Leave 1/4″ headspace. Process for 10 minutes.
apple8

And the darker balsamic.
apple8b

Peaches and Blackberries crumbe

Satisfying with a bit of a crunch from the almonds. I would probably remake this with less sugar. Will update the recipe if I do.

Ingredients :

For the filling:
6 peaches
2 pints of blackberries
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
zest of 1 lime
Juice from 1/2 lime

For the crumble:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1/2 almond meal
5 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 tea spoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 slivered almonds
pinch of nutmeg and ground cardamom
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
Rinse the blackberries. Slice the peaches and combine in a bowl.
slices

2. Combine the sugar, flour and cornstarch in a mixing bowl.
dry-filling

3. Add the zest, lemon juice and vanilla to the fruits.
zest

4. Add the dry ingredients and gently mix to coat the fruits.
combine

5. Turn the fruits into a baking dish (about 11×7).
turn

6. Start on the crumble. Combine the flour, almond meal, brown sugar, oats and salt. Add the spices, to taste.
crumble1

7. Add the butter. Mix until the dry ingredients are well combined and the whole thing turns to a pebbly texture.
crumble2

8. Fold in the almonds.
crumble3

9. Add the crumble on top of the fruits.
Bake 35-40 minutes.
add-crumble

10. Take out of the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
baked

11. I never mastered the art of serving a crumble prettily. Tastes good anyways.
serve

Sucre √† la cr√®me

Achingly sweet and decadent. Simple ingredient list, but a bit finicky, just keep trying if you mess it up, even failures are tasty.

Ingredients
1 cup 35% cream
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tea spoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Optional :
1/2 cup to 1 cup toasted walnuts.
ingredients

***

1. Line a square mold (8 inch) with parchment paper to that paper extrude on two sides. Butter the other two sides.
In a large, thick bottom pot, combine the cream, sugars and salt. Insert¬†a candy thermometer making sure it’s not touching the sides or bottom.
sugars1

2. Stir until the sugar and cream combine. Then put that spoon away. Using a wet pastry brush remove as much of the sugar crystals from the side of the pot as possible. Turn the heat on medium until the mixture reaches 237F. Absolutely no stirring.
stir

3. Once it has reached temperature, remove from heat. Add the vanilla, without stirring. Gently lower the entire pot into a bowl of lukewarm water. try to keep it as level as possible so you don’t contaminate the syrup with the crystal along the edges. Allow to cool to 110F.
cool

4. Using a wooden spoon, stir the hell out of the cooled syrup. It will look like thick caramel at first and get harder to mix as you go. You want it to lighten and loose it’s shine but not “clump” on your spoon. This is the part that takes practice and some muscle. Overstir and it will turn too hard. Understir and it will not set properly (but will be tasty on toast). If using the walnuts, fold them in at this stage.

As soon as the color change, pour/spoon into the prepared mold and even as best as possible.
smush

5. Fold the parchment paper back over the surface and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes in the fridge. Remove from mold (the parchment paper will help) and cut into small squares. Keep in a sealed container in the fridge. The squares can also be frozen.
cubes

Date Squares

Simple, old fashioned date squares.

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups dates, pitted (lightly packed)
1 cup water
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cups oats
1 cup flour
3/4 cup + 2 table spoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup butter
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Line a 8-inch square baking dish with a strip of parchment paper, letting it hang over both sides. Butter the other two sides.
line-mold

2. In a pan, combine the dates, water, lemon juice and 2 tbs brown sugar. Bring to a boil.
date1

3. Add the baking soda. it will react to the acidity of the lemon juice and foam up. Keep stirring the whole thing.
date2

4.Keep cooking the mix over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. The dates will fall apart and turn into paste.
Set aside to cool.
date3

5. In a bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, and baking powder.
crumble1

6. Cut the butter into chunks and add to the bowl. The butter needs to be soft but not melted.
crumble2

7.¬†With a pasty cutter (or your fingers if you don’t have one, like I did) combine the butter to the dry ingredients until no big chunks of butter remain nor any loose flour.
crumble3

8. Press half of the toppings mixture at the bottom of the mold. Try not to leave any gaps.
assemble1

9.¬†Spread the date mixture over that base. try to even it out as best you can. You don’t want it to be too hot so it doesn’t melt the butter.
assemble2

10.¬†Gently press the remaining crumble mix on top. Don’t press to hard, you don’t want the date mix to overflow. But try to get it compacted some so it gets crunchy.
asemble3

11. Bake on the center rack for 40-50 minutes until the crumble is a nice uniform golden color.
baked

12. Allow to cool. This will likely take a few hours, up to overnight. If you can, let the whole thing cool on a mesh rack (like for cookies) so the bottom cools at the same rate and doesn’t get mushy.
Once cool, turn over on a cutting board and remove the parchment paper.
unmold

13. Cut into squares according to your preference. I like smaller ones, so I got 25 out of this recipe.
squares

14. And enjoy!
eat