Butter Tart Slice

Butter tart slice

Butter tarts are our all-time favourites, but we don’t always have time to make the pastry, roll, cut and fill individual tarts. Butter tarts in bar form is the perfect solution; this past weekend, having to bake for a gathering, they were quick to mix up and bake. And here’s a secret: when you’re making squares that have a sticky filling, like butter tart squares or lemon bars, if you freeze the whole thing in the pan before you slice them, they’ll cut much more cleanly. Let them sit on the countertop for 20 minutes to thaw – or if you’re bringing them with you, they’ll thaw en route.

Butter tarts are traditionally made with currants, but these call for coconut, raisins and/or pecans – a delicious combination on a buttery shortbread crust.Read More

Chocolate Peppermint Crackle Cookies

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Earlier this month, Mary, Julie and Elizabeth gathered at the Cookbook Company Cooks with a few dozen Best of Bridge fans for an epic baking party to raise money for the Calgary Food Bank. (Huge thanks to Gail for letting us use her space, and to Calgary Co-op for donating all the ingredients we needed!) We put a pot of mulled wine on the stove and had a blast of an afternoon baking together. Among old classics and new favourites, this was a new discovery we came up with that’s sure to stay in our holiday baking repertoire.

Chocolate Peppermint Crackle Cookies

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup shortening, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. peppermint extract (or substitute vanilla)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

extra sugar, for rolling

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, shortening and sugar for a few minutes, until light. Beat in the egg and peppermint extract.

In a small bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture and stir until the dough comes together.

Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls and roll in a shallow dish of sugar to coat. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes, until cracked and set around the edges, but still soft in the middle – they’ll firm up as they cool.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

chow mein cookies, no-bake cookies

Chow Mein Cookies

chow mein cookies, no-bake cookies

These no-bake cookies are a snap to make and come in handy when you need an extra treat to put into a box of holiday goodies. And they seem to be a favourite for many people — when we posted about them last week on our Facebook page, readers told us that they’ve been making these at Christmastime for years. There’s just something about the mingling of the flavours from the butterscotch and chocolate chips and the crunch of the noodles that make these little stacks of sweetness so nostalgic for so many people.

You should be able to find chow mein noodles in the Asian food aisle of most grocery stores — they typically come in a large plastic bag. Feel free to add other goodies like salted peanuts to the recipe (decreasing the amount of chow mein noodles or coconut to make sure there is enough melted chip mixture to cover everything). We kept the basic recipe here nut-free to make it safe for anyone with nut allergies.Read More

Toffee Cranberry Crisps

If you’re a chewy cookie fan, fire up the oven – you’re going to enjoy these

Toffee Cranberry Crisps
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup butter
  2. 3/4 cup sugar
  3. 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1 tsp. vanilla
  6. 2 cups flour
  7. 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  8. 1 tsp. baking soda
  9. 1/4 tsp. salt
  10. 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
  11. 1 cup toffee bits (check the baking section of your supermarket)
Instructions
  1. Cream together butter and sugars. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, oats, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Mix in cranberries and toffee bits. Place teaspoonfuls of dough 2″ apart on greased cookie sheets. Don’t make them too large – they spead! Bake at 350 F. for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 5 dozen.
  2. Book Reference – The Rest of the Best – Vol. 2 (Page: 263)
Instructions
  1. Cream together butter and sugars. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, oats, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Mix in cranberries and toffee bits. Place teaspoonfuls of dough 2″ apart on greased cookie sheets. Don’t make them too large – they spead! Bake at 350 F. for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 5 dozen.
The Best of Bridge http://www.bestofbridge.com/

Eat a live toad in the morning and nothing will happen to you for the rest of the day.

Whipped Shortbread

These melt in your mouth! The secret is in the beating

Whipped Shortbread
Whipped Shortbread
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup butter (do not use margarine)
  2. 1/2 cup icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  3. 1 1/2 cups flour
Instructions
  1. Cream butter and sugar. Add flour and beat for 10 minutes. Drop from small spoon onto cookie sheet. Decorate with maraschino cherry pieces if you wish. Bake at 350 F. for about 10-12 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned. makes about 3 dozen small cookies.
Notes
  1. This recipe doubles well
The Best of Bridge http://www.bestofbridge.com/

Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.

Ginger Cookies

This recipe makes about 6 dozen spicy cookies

Ginger Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups shortening
  2. 2 cups sugar
  3. 2 eggs, beaten
  4. 1/4 cup molasses
  5. 4 cups flour
  6. 4 tsp. baking soda
  7. 1/2 tsp. salt
  8. 4 tsp. ground ginger
  9. 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  10. 2 tsp. ground cloves
  11. 1/4 tsp. ground white pepper (optional)
  12. sugar
Instructions
  1. In large bowl, cream shortening and sugar together.
  2. Beat eggs and molasses together and blend with creamed sugar mixture.
  3. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and white pepper.
  4. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and blend well. Chill for 1 hour.
  5. Shape dough into 1″ balls and roll in sugar.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 F. Place balls on cookie sheets 2″ apart and bake for 8-9 minutes.
The Best of Bridge http://www.bestofbridge.com/
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