Creme Eggs.

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Sweet and tasty!

I am 38 years old and I still love Cadbury Easter Creme Eggs. I am also a huge life-long fan of Laura Secord Easter Eggs. This recipe is basically a combination of the two.

I found the recipe here.

For my own records, here’s how I adapted it slightly (and, below, some notes on what I’d do differently next time).

Creme Eggs

Makes about 15 eggs.

1/2 cup Lyle’s golden syrup
6 tablespoons butter, softened
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
small blob of yellow gel food colouring
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 ounces milk chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Cream together butter, golden syrup, salt, vanilla bean paste, and vanilla extract in stand mixer.
  2. Mix on medium and make sure to scrape down the sides repeatedly.
  3. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Mix until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  4. Place 1/4 of the mixture into a small bowl and add enough yellow food coloring gel to obtain your desired color. Cover both bowls with plastic wrap and put into the freezer for at least 15 minutes; your mixture must be very cold while you work with it.
  5. When the sugar mixture is thoroughly chilled, remove from the freezer.  Make small balls out of the yellow mixture. Place them on a bit of parchment paper, on a cookie tray, and put them in the freezer.
  6. Scoop out blobs of your “whites” and roll them into balls.
  7. Remove the yolks from the freezer. Place a white in the palm of your hand and gently flatten it a bit. Press a yolk into the centre and carefully mush the white around to hide the yolk.
  8. Continue this process until all your eggs are complete. Return them to the freezer.
  9. Microwave the chocolate chips in a large bowl  in 30 second intervals, stirring very well in between.
  10. Remove eggs from the freezer and dunk them in the melted chocolate. Place them on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. When they’re all finished, put the tray into the fridge for about 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to set.

 

Notes:
I adjusted this recipe for ease of use – no toothpicks! my eggs are sorta’ round! If I were making this as a gift for someone, I’d probably try harder to make them look like actual eggs.
Next time, I’ll make them much smaller. I think you could easily make 30 eggs out of this recipe.
Next time, I’ll try using homemade icing sugar (better flavour)
Put the mixtures in the freezer for a few minutes any time it gets a bit soft – it’s much easier to work with when it’s harder.
Lyle’s Golden Syrup is available in my grocery store and at the Bulk Barn.

 

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Guest Post: Abby’s Christmas Crack.

This is a guest post from my delightful friend Abby. She made this recipe for our work holiday drop-in; I am pretty sure that all of it was gone into the bellies of our staff before anyone managed to drop in. It’s called “Christmas Crack” but I feel confident that we could rename it “Violet’s Birthday Crack” or “Monday Crack”. Whatever. Here we go. Let’s start with a photo that Abby stole from the internet..

Mmmm.. Crack!

Mmmm.. Crack!

Christmas Crack

Ingredients:

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar (use light probably – dark was kinda weird)
about a half a bag of pretzels (mini ones or square ones are best but in a pinch just rough crush sticks or regular pretzels in your hands)
1 bag chocolate chips (mini work best)
coarse sea salt

Directions:

  1. First and foremost – relax! this is kind of a no-brainer type of recipe so don’t freak out about it. don’t go all A-type or freak-out – just make the damn thing. Maybe have a drink to help with the relaxing (this part is optional but recommended).
  2. Start by lining a medium-size/regular cookie sheet with tinfoil. The thing needs to have sides. Don’t be all Martha Stewart-y and think parchment is better here – it will stick. $.50 dollarstore tin foil will do the job, just make sure it covers the cookie sheet (and up the sides) to make for easy clean-up.
  3. Dump the pretzels onto the cookie sheet and give’r a shake. Aim for about a single layer – roughly half of the bags I buy. But again, refer back to step 1.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350F. Meanwhile, melt the butter and stir in the sugar in a pot. Again, go back to step one. This isn’t rocket science folks. Melt the butter however you want – hi, medium heat – doesn’t matter. Add in the sugar and stir until the butter is fully incorporated. This takes a few minutes but really, just take a breath (or a drink) and it will happen. Keep stirring til it comes to a pretty decent bubble, then turn down the heat to low. Watch the pretty bubbles and stir for about 2 minutes.
  5. Pour the bubbly sugar/butter mixture over the pretzels. You guessed it – refer back to #1. Try to pour it over most of the pan but the stuff will spread out in the oven. Promise.
  6. Pop the pan into the oven for 5 minutes.
  7. Turn off the oven. Pull out the pan – that delicious goo spread out didn’t it? Evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips over the whole bubbly thing. Pop back into the (now off but still hot) oven for a minute-ish to melt the chocolate. Remove from oven – use a spatula to spread out the chocolate. Some of the pretzels might not be fully covered, some might shift – this ain’t a beauty pageant kids. Relax. Sprinkle with coarse sea-salt – however much you want.
  8. Let sit for a few minutes while you clean up (one pot. nice.) and then pop in the freezer for about an hour. Remove from tinfoil and break into piece. Done!

Store in a container in the freezer. Best served if it’s sit out at room temp for a little bit but I’ve been known to grab a piece every time I pass by the freezer. Ain’t no shame.

Looks like a lot of steps but to review: Line a pan. Dump pretzels. Shake. Let butter and sugar make pretty bubbles. Pour. Oven. Chocolate. Oven. Salt. Freezer. BAM.

Sugar Cookies and Frosting.

‘Tis the season to make cookies, right? So I searched all over the place to find a sugar cookie that wasn’t too crisp, wasn’t too soft, and wasn’t too difficult to make. I’m okay with making dough and putting it in the fridge for a bit – I’m not okay with anything that requires me to scald milk or anything along those lines.

And so, I present some soft, sweet, really tasty sugar cookies. The recipe is below – and I’m including the recipe for the frosting that I used because it, too, turned out to be quite lovely!

Unfrosted stars!

Unfrosted stars!

Sugar Cookies

Makes about 4-5 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

5 1/2 cups flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup sour cream, room temperature
    1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
    2 cups sugar
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set this bowl aside for a bit.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream the sour cream and butter at a low speed. Add the sugar, eggs, and vanilla and mix until combined.
  3. Sloooooooowly add the flour mixture to the sour cream mixture, and mix until everything is combined. The dough will be sticky to touch.  Your mixer will probably protest a little. Scrape down the sides and make sure everything is combined!
  4. Divide dough into two chunks. Wrap each chunk in some plastic wrap and flatten them. Put them in the fridge for at least 2 hours – or up to 3 days.
  5. When you’re ready to bake them, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Flour the crap out of your counter or work surface – this dough is sticky! Cover your rolling pin in flour, too.
  7. Set one of the chilled dough chunks on top of the floured surface and liberally coat the top with even more flour. Roll the dough out until it’s about 1/4″ thick.
  8. Cut out dough shapes using a cookie cutter. If needed, put flour on that, too.  Put the cut-outs onto your baking sheets.
  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  10. Here’s the trick – bake them until there’s just the tiniest hint of brown on the bottom. This will keep them soft.
  11. Move the cookies to a rack to cool, then frost them!

 

When you frost them, the stars turn into circles! (No, not really.)

When you frost them, the stars turn into circles! (No, not really.)

Sugar Cookie Frosting

Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients:
1  package cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar (plus more to taste)
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Beat cream cheese on medium speed for 1 minute, or until creamy and soft. Add powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Beat for another minute or two, to make sure everything is smooth and fluffy.
  2. Crank the mixer speed up to high and beat for 2 more minutes. Taste. Try not to eat all of it with a spoon. Add more powdered sugar if needed (for taste).

Pumpkin Donuts? Donut Pumpkins?

Now I'm hungry for donuts.

Now I’m hungry for donuts.

My friend Rebs sent me this link. They’re not difficult to make – just paint some pumpkins – but the entire Universe was conspiring against me actually doing it.  The dollar store, where I went to buy paint, didn’t have many colours (so all 3 of mine are frosted with pink icing). The grocery store where we normally get pumpkins didn’t have any that were the right shape (so I bought squash instead).

But, all that aside, they turned out nicely and I’m pleased.