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Easter PREP

Easter preparations are under way for most keeners like me.

I like to do things simple… but simple doesn’t mean not cute or darn right adorable! This year, I am making paper bag bunnies to hold each place setting’s cutlery, complete with cottonball tails!

Easter is one of my favourite holidays to decorate – after a long winter, the practice of adding spring-like colour back in to our decor is a welcome guest!

Here are some of my favourite Easter place setting ideas.

Happy Easter Everyone!

Posted in dish, Uncategorized

Pretty Jam Cookies

These cookies are the prettiest cookies to give and a favourite to eat!  Experiment with cutting different shapes for the top (letters, flowers, circles, snowflakes – any smallish cookie cutter works). I like keeping the little cutouts and baking them up as they are – but, you can also incorporate them back in to the dough.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 5 cups White Flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam, strained
  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  2. Add eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition. Sieve in the flour, baking powder and salt and mix well until a dough forms.
  3. Store the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut out 25 – 30 rounds using a round cookie cutter. Cut smaller shapes out of the center of half of the rounds. Place them all on a parchement lined baking tray.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat jam in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced and thickened, about 6 minutes, leave to cool.
  6. When the cookies are done,  remove the tray from oven and allow to cool.
  7. To assemble, sandwich the whole rounds and the cut-out rounds together with prepared jam.
  8. Once the jam is set, dust with icing sugar.
Posted in dish

oh bagel!

One my favourite memories from pastry school was the bread making session. I particularly loved making bagels. Don’t be intimidated by the steps in this recipe – it isn’t difficult and the results are delicious!

WARNING: you may not want to buy store bought bagels ever again!

Ingredients:

    • 2 cups warm water (about 110 degrees F)
    •  2 packets active dry yeast
    •  3 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
    • 5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 2 teaspoons oil
Posted in Uncategorized

Set the table in style!

I host Christmas dinner at my home every year. I love making special touches to the table settings that capture the magic of Christmas and coordinate with my playful decorations already in my home.

Think outside-of-the-box and use unexpected items like miniature stockings (or mittens) for napkin rings, personalized cookies for placecards, and make party hats or Christmas crackers.

Here are some of the cutest ideas I’ve found for setting your festive table in style this season!

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Sweet tooth.

As a pastry arts graduate, Holiday baking is probably my favourite activity pre-Christmas. This past weekend, I was in butter and sugar heaven as I baked my gingerbread men and white chocolate shortbreads for gift giving. I like to keep colours neutral and traditional but, still have a bit of quirkiness to them).

My favourite shortbread recipe is fail proof and I am sharing the recipe with you today! Try different mix-ins (dried cranberries, chocolate (I use white chips) or lemon zest, to taste).

Simply cream sugar and butter together until creamy; add yolk. Slowly add flour. Form a dough and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Roll out using wax paper, cut into holiday shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 12 minutes – until slightly golden.

1 3/4 cup white flour

1 cup salted butter

1/2 packed brown sugar

1 egg yolk

Here are some of my favourite holiday treat ideas…