Saturday, 22 November 2014

Cinnamon Biscuit Rolls

Requested by my son, this is one of his favourites. They are similar to traditional cinnamon rolls with an easier, quicker dough.These rolls are great for breakfast or a simple dessert. The recipe is my basic buttermilk biscuit recipe. It is very versatile and easy. Sometimes I make sweet rolls, such as these, and sometimes I make savoury biscuits by adding cheese or herbs. The savoury ones are great to have with soup or salad. See the recipe for pizza biscuit rolls.

 I like to have my kids help in the kitchen. I think that knowing how to cook basic food is a life skill that everyone should know. Not only will they be able to feed themselves but they will be less likely to reach for unhealthy, pre-packaged foods. Watch my son and I make them on You Tube.
Combine the dry ingredients. Cut the cold butter into one inch cubes and add them to the flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter or knives, cut the butter into the flour. Keep cutting the butter until it is the size of small peas. Work quickly so that the butter does not  become too warm.
You want small pieces of butter, surrounded by the flour mixture. This is what helps these biscuits to be light and fluffy
Make a well in the centre of the flour/butter mixture. Add the buttermilk to the bowl. Buttermilk is acidic. The acid in the buttermilk help to create a tender biscuit. If you don't have buttermilk, you can make buttermilk by adding one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to the milk. Let the milk sit with the vinegar for about 10 minutes. The acid in the vinegar will curdle the cream in the milk making a sort of pseudo-buttermilk.  Stir the milk into the flour mixture until the mixture comes together in a ball. Turn the ball out onto a floured counter and kneed gently until it comes together.
Roll dough out to a rough 10x5x1/4 inch rectangle. Dust with flour as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking to the counter.
Spread the surface of the dough with the softened butter. Use real butter. Do not substitute margarine. Butter is a natural product with no preservatives or chemicals. Have a look at the ingredients of   margarine. 
Rule of thumb, if you can't pronounce the ingredients, do not eat the food.
If you're going to eat fat, eat natural fat.
Sprinkle the butter with brown sugar
Sprinkle the sugar with cinnamon
Starting at the edge that is furthest away from you, gently roll the dough.
Squeeze the dough to seal the edge. I slice each end off (Seth usually eats them, he loves raw dough)
Slice the dough into one inch slices. See a great tip on my video on how to get even slices.

Place the slices onto a parchment lined baking sheet
Bake the rolls in a 375 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown
Approved by Seth

Cinnamon Biscuit Rolls

Basic Buttermilk Biscuits
3 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons  sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup cold butter
1 1/2 cup buttermilk

The cinnamon part
1/2 cup soft butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine the first six ingredients into a large bowl. Mix to combine. Cut the butter into one inch cubes. Add butter to flour mixture. Using a pastry blender on two knife cut the butter into pea sized pieces. Make a well in the centre of flour/butter mixture. Pour buttermilk into the well. Mix until a ball forms and most of the dry ingredients are wet. Turn ball out onto a floured counter and need a few times until everything has come together, adding flour as necessary to stop the dough from sticking to the counter. Roll dough out into a 10x15x1/4 inch rectangle. Spread the butter evenly over the dough. Spread the brown sugar evenly over the butter. Sprinkle the sugar evenly with the cinnamon.
Roll the dough into a spiral. Slice it into 1 inch slices. Place slices onto a parchment lined baking sheet, spacing them about an inch apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies

I love these cookies. My kids love these cookies, too. They freeze well, they're quick and easy to put together and safe to send to school(no nuts). They don't last long in my house. Made from simple, basic ingredients, these cookies are a staple in my freezer.

Make them soft and chewy or crispy, however you prefer. Just increase the baking time a bit for a crispier cookie. My family likes their cookies soft and chewy.

They are really easy to make. Watch my 11 year old make them on you tube.

Like most cookies, start by combining room temperature butter and the sugar. In this case it's both white and brown sugar. Mix with an electric mixture for 2 or 3 minutes until lit is well combined and the colour lightens a bit. This technique is called creaming.

Next, add the eggs and vanilla to the butter mixture

Combine the flour, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Or do like I do and just add these ingredients to the bowl. Mix gently on low speed to just combine.
Add the butterscotch chips, mix to just combine.

Drop by tablespoon onto an unbaked baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.

 Let the cookies sit on the hot pan for a minute or two then remove them to a cooling rack. Repeat the process. Make sure that you let the baking pan cool before you drop more cookie dough onto it.

Dip the cookie in the batter! Brilliant!

Seth approved. He likes his quality control job.

Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies

1cup room temperature butter
1/2 granulated sugar
1cup brown sugar, packed
1teaspoon vanilla
2cups all purpose flour
2cups oatmeal, large flake
1 teaspoon baking powder
1teaspoon baking soda
 1/2teaspoon salt
2cups butterscotch chips

Combing the butter and sugars in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugars. Start on low speed and gradually increasing to high speed for 2 or 3 minutes until well mixed. Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Combine the flour, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture. Mix on low until just combined. Add butterscotch chips. Mix briefly, to combine all. Drop onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for 8-10 minutes until they are golden brown.

Makes about 6 dozen cookies
They freeze very well, if they make it to the freezer that is.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

Just simple, basic ingredients that, when combined, make a delicious comforting dessert. The early apples are just coming of the tree and are perfect for this crisp. Choose any apple that you like. Try using a combination of different types of apples and see how it changes the flavour of the finished product.

I have tried to change this recipe and 'jazz it up'. Using different fruit like strawberries and blueberries, and anding nuts to the topping works well. My family still prefers it the basic way so that is how I make it most of the time. "Don't mess with a good thing, Mom" they say. So I don't.

Start by peeling, coring and slicing the apples. As you peal your apples, put them in a bowl of water with the juice of half a lemon. This will prevent them from turning brown.

Drain the apple slices and put them into a 2 litre baking dish. Sprinkle the apples with a teaspoon of cinnamon. Combine 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Mix the sugar and the cornstarch well so that you don't have any lumps in the sauce. Add the sugar mixture on top of the apples and mix. Pour 1/2 cup water gently on top of the apples. The water really helps to soften the apples and brings out the apple juice to make a yummy, luscious sauce.

Make the topping next. Combine the oats, flour, and brown sugar. Mix well. Drizzle the melted butter on top. Mix oat mixture to incorporate the butter.

Crumble the topping onto the apples. Bake for 40-50 minutes in a 350 degree oven, or until the apples have softened and the sauce has thickened.

The top will be golden brown.

Of course good vanilla ice-cream is a must.

Serve warm, out of the oven topped with ice-cream. What could be better than that?

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

4 cups apples, sliced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1 cup old fashioned oatmeal, not quick cooking
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup melted butter

Friday, 11 July 2014

Jam Jams

This is a very old recipe. I think it originally came to our family via one of my Grandmothers friends. We have been making this cookie for about 50 years or more, so you know it  must be good.

Really just a butterscotch cookie with a jam filling, its pretty basic in its ingredients but complex in flavour. My family loves them especially my nephew, Arden. These are special cookies that require a bit of extra effort so I usually only make them at Christmas time.

I hope your family loves them as much as mine does.
Watch me make them on Youtube

 It really comes from basic ingredients. No chemicals in this cookie.

As with most cookie recipes, start by creaming the butter and sugar. Mix for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture becomes lighter in colour and texture. This recipe uses only brown sugar to produce a butterscotch flavour.

Add the eggs, corn syrup  and vanilla next. If the eggs are too cold the butter may become cold. Sometimes it makes the dough look curdled. Don't worry it will be fine in the end. Take the eggs out of the fridge a bit before you add them to the mixture and let them warm a little.

I think that the corn syrup is the secret ingredient in this cookie. It adds to the butterscotch flavour and keeps these cookies soft.

Combine the dry ingredients and add to the butter mixture.
Mix on low until combined

Form the dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. You can roll this dough immediately following mixing but it will be much easier to handle if you let it rest  bit.

Separate the dough into softball sized portions and roll on a floured countertop to about 1/4 inch thick

Cut the dough using any cookie cutter that you wish.  I like the small star shape as seen in the photo. The cookies with the star shape cutout will be the top cookie and the cookies without the star shape will be the bottom cookie. Remember that the cookies will be sandwiched with jam. So one cookie will become two.

Put the unbaked cookies onto an unbuttered sheet pan. Bake them at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes, until they are golden brown.

Make sure that each top cookie has a bottom cookie.

After removing the pan from the oven, let the cookies sit for a couple of minutes. Remove them to a baking rack or, like I did, onto clean tea towels.

That's a lot of cookies. I made a double batch of dough in tis photo.

When the cookies are cooled, spread the bottom cookie with about 1 teaspoon of jam. Use really good jam, homemade if you can get it. Any red jam will do. I am using raspberry freezer jam in the photo. My favourite is chokecherry jam, sadly I had none left. I will be making some this year

Place a top cookie on the jam.

Stacks of cookies

Store the cookies in a airtight container. They freeze beautifully and I think they have a better flavour after they have been frozen.

MMMmmmm. Jam jams. Don't they look festive.

Watch me make the me on Youtube.

Jam Jams

1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup of butter or margarine
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons corn syrup
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup of good quality jam or jelly. Red is best. I have used raspberry freezer jam in the photos.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Sprinkle Cookies

My youngest son's favourite. I don't know if its the sprinkles or maybe its the soft sugar cookie but this cookie appeals to all kids. I love to serve cookies for dessert at family gatherings. People can just grab a cookie and continue to visit and the kids don't make a mess. There is no need for plates or forks. It's a win-win.

Start by creaming the butter and the sugar. Mix well until they are well combined and have lightened in colour.

Add the eggs, vanilla and almond extract. Mix well.

Add the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and freshly grated nutmeg.  combine gently until well mixed.

The nutmeg is the secret ingredient. It will have a far superior flavour if it is freshly grated.

Spread a whole jar of round, multi colored sprinkles into a shallow plate. I have used a pie plate here. Drop the balls of cookie dough right onto the sprinkles. I like to use a small ice cream scoop to make the job go faster.

Press the dough into the sprinkles gently so that the whole bottom surface is covered with the sprinkles.

Flp the cookies over so that the sprinkles are on the top. Put them onto an ungreased cookie sheet pan. Bake them for 8-10 minutes.

I like to bake these cookies until they just start to turn golden.

They are just so delicious. A great treat to share with the class. Excellent for bake sales.

They freeze very well too, if they last that long.

Sprinkle Cookies

1 cup room temperature butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 large container multi coloured round sprinkles