Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookies
I think I might be late to the sweater cookie party on the intertubes but in my world they are a brand new idea. Several weeks ago a post showed up on my facebook feed about hosting an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, complete with Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookies.
I shared it with a friend whom had mentioned how she had been baking up holiday treats with her kids and she picked up a whole buncha' fun sprinkles for decorating and we both agreed it looked like fun.
After that post I searched online to source a couple of sweater cutters but everywhere was either sold out or backordered (and in the US) so I gave up. Fast forward to last Wednesday and lo and behold - what is this in the bargain bin at the grocery store? Dozens of sweater cookie cutters, and only $1!
So with a budget of $5 I splurged on some holiday sprinkles to go with my decade old food dyes and whipped up a batch of sugar cookie dough and royal icing.
Now, I have no desire to eat these cookies. I avoid the additives in artificial food dyes as much as possible but for once or twice a year (Easter being the other), it's fun to play with the stuff. Maybe I can put a hole in the top and hang them from the tree?
Sugar Cookies - Recipe
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup fine white sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups pastry flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Makes approx. 36 sweater size cookies
Royal Icing - Recipe
1 lb icing sugar
5 tbsps meringue powder or 2 large egg whites
2-5 tbsp water (as needed)
Everyone is busy, me included. I've made time to do some holiday baking this year though and I would be delighted to share my wares with you. A few favourites on the list as well as a couple of new treats (photos posted below). Something missing? Send your requests to Cindy@ElginHarvest.ca . Sorry, no tourtieres this year. Beer brined cheese curds will be available in limited quantities.
White Chocolate Mousse with Blueberry-Lemon Jam and Brandy-snap Cookies
Day 13 brings us blueberries!
Elgin County is thriving with blueberry farms. Whether you would like to pick your own, or let someone else to the chore, nothing beats the taste of these fresh, juicy, sweet & dark gems.
Dried Lavender Flowers
It's the middle of December, and it feels like summer. Kind of.
Not only because there still isn't any snow on the ground, but baking with dried lavender makes me think of sitting in the backyard watching the butterflies and bumble bees buzz through the gardens in the scorching heat of July.
For day #12, I've chosen to make a treat inspired by a client's shared tale of a trip to France: Lavender Meringue Cookies. With a crispy outer shell and fragrant aroma of lavender, these light & airy cookies melt in your mouth and provide a wonderful contrast in texture to your holiday dessert table.
Tourtière with Tomatillo Chutney
We're down to the final 5 in our 15 Days of Elgin Christmas. With one week left until Christmas, I hope you have been inspired to shop local this holiday season and support the growers, bakers, harvesters, and artisans that offer up the taste of home- right in our backyard.
Day #10 in our 15 Days of Elgin Christmas and I am duplicating a local artisan food product in the list- because I like it that much. Crossroad Cheese is my inspiration for this dish: Mac 'n cheese pie with bacon & broccoli.
Did you know: Canadians top the US in Kraft Dinner consumption? Consumers in this country have been eating the mass manufactured KD ,with its glowing orange colour and squishing, tubular noodles for over 60 years and there is no sign of slowing down. It's convenient to not only buy (it's everywhere), but also to prepare, kids like it, and it's cheap.
White Bean & Sunflower Dip with Toasted Pita Bread
12/12/12 Just in case you were getting worried about calories, Day #8 brings you plenty of flavour for your holiday get together without the sugar. It's a dip! White Bean & Sunflower Dip.
To make this spread, I boiled white beans until they were tender, then puree them with lemon juice, garlic and fresh-pressed sunflower oil. It's an incredibly satisfying dip for toasted pita bread or veggies, and also works well as a sandwich spread. Naturally gluten, egg, meat, and dairy free. Skip the garlic if you prefer and garnish with toasted sunflower seeds.
Hoping you are still inspired to buy local this Christmas; both the beans and oil were sourced from within Elgin County.
Hello, Monday! It's a new week and Elgin Harvest will be bringing you five more holiday temptations to continue on with the 15 Days of Elgin Christmas. Using as many local ingredients as possible, each day we feature one local artisan food product from Elgin County and use it in a chef prepared dish. From sweet to savoury, from appetizer to dessert, our region is speckled with delicious culinary gems just waiting to be discovered and devoured. Inspired by local food ambassador Lynn Ogryzlo's Holiday Challenge, we hope our posts entice you to spend just 10% of your holiday budget on edible artisan products from within the community. If you would like to order the treats featured (or anything from our Holiday Baking List), our contact information can be found here.
For Day #6, we've made another traditional holiday favourite cookie --shortbread-- and married it with a soothing blend of organic tea from Wildflowers Tea in St. Thomas, Ontario. With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays approaching, it's important to stay calm, and that's the blend we've used to make Lavender shortbread cookies glazed with lemon icing. "Calm" tea blend uses a lovely combination of lavender, nettle, skullcap and lemon balm to create an incredibly balanced and soothing herbal infusion. To flavour the biscuits, the tea is powdered and baked into tender, buttery cookies. Each finger is then glazed and sprinkled with dried lavender flowers (from my backyard).
Friday, December 7
Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)
On the 5th Day of Elgin Christmas, my true love gave to me:
FIVE GOLDEN CHEESE-PUFFS!
It's the first Friday in December and the holiday party season has officially begun. Whether you're heading out to a potluck or having the neighbours over for a cocktail, entertaining requires more than just sweets and candies. Among the platters of tarts and bowls of nuts, cheese is a must-have on every table.
All over the world, there are cheeses that are made regionally, specifically, and lawfully. Each style offers a taste of the land and each one is different from the next depending on the milk used, what the animal ate, how the curd was developed, how long the cheese was aged and hundreds of other factors. Here in Elgin County, attempting to source small-batch prepared cheese made from locally derived milk to serve at a get-together just wasn't possible. That is until now.
Eating. Drinking. Sharing.