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

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Pumpkin and cranberries muffin

I am not a huge fan of pumpkin pie. But I can eat a whole tray of these muffin without blinking… you have been warned.

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 tea spoon baking soda
1 tea spoon baking powder
1 tea spoon salt
1/2 tea spoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tea spoon ground cloves
1/2 tea spoon ground ginger
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
zest of one orange
1 tea spoon vanilla
1 cup orange juice
2 cups cranberries
ingredients

***
1. Pre-heat the oven to 325F
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.
dry

2. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Cream the butter until light and fluffy, scrapping down the sides a few times.
butter

3 . Add the eggs one at the time, mixing well between each.
eggs

4. Add the puree, orange zest and vanilla extract.
add-puree

5. Add the orange juice and stir well to combine.
add-juice

6. Stir in the flours in 3 times.
flour

7.  Remove from the mixer. Fold in the cranberries with a spatula.
cranberries

8. Spoon into a muffin tin lined with paper liners (or a good non-stick muffin tin).
fill-cups

9.  Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool in the tins for 5 minutes or so then transfer to a cooling rack. Allow to cool to room temperature.
baked

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

Mango Chutney

A delicious condiment with grilled meats, or in a roast pork sandwich.

Yield : 5 half pints.

Ingredients
5 lb under ripe (but not green) mangoes
3 cups white sugar
1 table spoon molasses
1-2 jalapenos
1 shallot
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
4 oz tamarind paste
2 tea spoon brown mustard seeds
1 tea spoon yellow mustard seeds
10 green cardamom pods
12 black peppercorns
1 tea spoon kalonji
10 cloves
1/2 tea spoon fenugreek
1/2 tea spoon salt

***
1. Peel and dice the mangoes. In a large bowl, combine the mangoes with the sugar, jalapenos, molasses, shallot and garlic. Allow to macerate for a minimum of 30 minutes. You can adda few pits in there as well. They will give you more pectin however, resulting in a very firm chutney.
mango1

2. Transfer into a large pot. Roughly grind all the spices with a mortar and pestle and add to the pot. Add the tamarind and vinegar. Heat on medium-low heat until the mangoes are soft.
mango2b

3. After 30-40 minutes the mangoes should be ready. Remove the pits and scrape off the flesh.
mangopits

4. Either using a potato masher or an immersion blender, break down the mangoes until no chunk remains.
mango2c

5. Scald the jars. Bring back the chutney to a boil and cook for 5 minutes (while the jars are scalding). This is a picture of teh chutney itself as I was filling the jars.
mango3

6. Process for 10 minutes.
mangos-done

Bread and Butter Pickles

And the last of my week-end of canning stuff according to my grand-mother’s recipe (for the first two installments see the Sweet Relish and Fruit Ketchup). These  are crunchy and sweet bread and butter pickles. I made small round slices, but you can make long slices to put on sandwiches.

Total Yield : 7-8 pints.

Ingredients :
8 lbs small pickling cucumbers
4 onions
1/2 cup salt
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
5 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoon celery seeds
2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
5 cups white vinegar
pickles-1

***

1. Wash and brush the cucumbers. Remove both ends. Slice thinly (I used a mandoline). Dice the red and green bell peppers and 4 onions and add to the bowl.
pickles-2

2. Add 1/2 cup salt.
pickles-3

3. Add water to cover the vegetables. Then crack a tray of ice or two over them.
pickles-4

4. Put something over the whole mess then weigh it down (here using a full jug of vinegar as a weight).
Leave to brine for 2 hours, turning over the layers once in a while.
pickles-5

5. Here is after the two hours. I was able to switch my plate after 30 minutes to get better compression.
pickle-6

6. In a large pot, combine the vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, celery seed, cloves and turmeric. Bring to a boil
pickles-7

7. Remove the weight from the vegetables. Drain the brine. Rinse twice with clear water and drain well.
pickles-8

8. Scald 7 jars. Stuff the vegetables into the jar. Depending on how much water you got out of them your yield might be 7 or 8 pints.
pickles-9

9. Cover with the vinegar pickling liquid,
pickles-10

10. Process for 10 minutes then allow to cool fully.
(And yes, I totally lost the light for this).
pickles-11

Hibiscus Infusion

Tasty and fresh and a good alternative to iced tea or lemonade.

Ingredients
4 cups of water
Cinnamon
3 Cloves
50g dried hibiscus flowers
1/2 cup sugar
ingredients

***

1. Pour the water in a large pot. Add the cloves and about a thumbs worth of cinnamon. Bring to a boil
spices

2. Meanwhile, weight the flowers.
sorrel-flowers

3. Add the flowers to the boiling water. Remove from heat, cover and allow to steep for several hours as the water cools (up to overnight)
boiling

4. Strain to remove the flowers and spices. Sweeten to taste.
strain

5. Serve cold, over ice.
save

Oven roasted butternut squash soup

Totally stole this recipe from Ros. But she has the right idea of Fall being for soups.

Ingredients
1 huge butternut squash
2 medium-large onions
3 small garlic cloves
2 box of chicken stock
4 small, tart apples (empire and spartan in my case)
2-3 table spoon maple syrup (or more, to taste)
Fresh ginger
Allspice
cinnamon
salt & pepper
olive oil
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 385F.

Slice the squash in half, and scoop out the seeds and membrane.
scoop

2. Slice in wedges and spread on baking sheets lined with aluminum foil. If your butternut is a normal size you’ll get way with just quartering it… mine was huge so I went with wedges and 2 baking sheets.
wedges

3. Drizzle the wedges generously with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. You can also use melted butter, if you prefer. Put in the oven and roast for 45-50 minutes.
drizzle

4. About 20 minutes before the end of the timer, chop the onions and garlic and sweat for a few minutes with about a table spoon of olive oil.
sweat

5. While the onions are cooking down, peel and slice the apples.
apples

6.  Add the apples to the onions along with the ginger, allspice and cinnamon (I used about 1/2 teaspoon of allspice and 1/4 tea spoon of cinnamon, but really use as little or as much as you want)
spices

7. By now the squash should be ready. Take it out of the oven and allow to cool so you can manipulate it. Peel the squash and cut it in chunks. Add to the pot with the onions and apples.
chunks

8. Add 1 box of chicken stock and the maple syrup and bring to a boil.
stock

9. Blend down, adding stock as needed to get to the desired texture. Taste and adjust seasoning (it will likely be missing salt).
blend

10. Serve with croutons. It’s even better with a dollop of sour cream, or just some cream, but I was out.
serve