Canada 150 Sugar Cookies

Canada 150 Sugar Cookies – Candy Coated Culinista

Since its Canada’s 150th birthday this was my push to do something I have never done before. This is the first time I have ever attempted to make a sugar cookie as I seem to have an aversion to rolling out doughs; whether cookie or pie. My cooking dreams have been filled of me making sugar cookies for two plus years now. Visions of these perfectly decorated cookies that I see in the shops and I just never tackled it in fear of a terrible finished product.

Yield/Serving: 16-20 cookies depending on size
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 12 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, and time consuming and much patience

Ingredients
Cookies
• ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
• ½ tsp baking powder
• Pinch of seas salt
• 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
• ¼ granulated sugar
• 1 egg yolk
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• ½ tsp almond extract
• 3 tbsp of milk
Icing
Red Icing
• ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
• 2 tsp milk
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• 1 tsp red food colouring
White Icing
• ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
• 2 tsp milk

Assembly
Cookies
1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and sea salt.
2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together using the paddle attachment.
3. Once the butter and sugar is fluffy and light and pale in colour, add in the egg yolk and extracts until well incorporated.
4. Pour in over half the flour mixture and combine and then add the remaining flour mixture remaining.
5. Add milk and allow the dough to come together.
6. Preheat oven to 350°F.
7. Place parchment paper onto cookie sheets.
8. Sprinkle flour onto a marble pastry board or floured clean counter top and over rolling pin and roll out dough.
9. Cut out cookies and place on the cookie sheets.
10. Gather the dough scraps and re-roll and cut more cookies.
11. Continue step 10 until all the dough has been used up.
12. Place cookies on the cookie sheet in the freezer for 5 minutes.
13. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are golden brown.
14. Let the cookies remain on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before moving them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
15. Prepare the icing and first outline the cookies and let that icing dry before flooding the interior with icing and then let that dry. (Ensure the icing isn’t too runny as it will run off the cookie. There is a subtle balance regarding the consistency of the border icing and flooding icing. You may want to add a touch more milk after doing the borders to get the icing to flood across the cookie easier.)

Tips
• Add more or less milk depending on how your dough is coming together.
• Don’t add vanilla extract to white icing as then the icing will lose its white colour.
• You can make the cookies ahead of time and decorate the next day.
• Sprinkle flour onto cookie cutters to minimize sticking.
• Remember you will need to set aside a nice chunk of time to decorate.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I made a test run recipe to see how everything would come together and I was almost annoyed. I knew I couldn’t use my own recipe as I have no clue how to make a sugar cookie and yet the recipe didn’t turn out well at all. The cookies were floury and I wasted way to much butter, egg yolks and flour; which is why I could make the meringue cookies recipe last week. I had 7 egg whites to use from all the fails for this recipe. Since I had already purchased two specialty cookie cutters from the U.S. months ago and I wasn’t going to waste that money; I just persevered. In the end I used another recipe and it still was too crumbly and the dough didn’t come together. Was it a humidity thing? Not today as it wasn’t humid; so I did my own thing and adjusted to my needs. For the next time I have to work on my finer lettering and decorating skills; but for my first go I’m happy with how it turned out. These are decent enough to give away to my friends for Canada Day celebrations. Everyone enjoyed the look of the cookies and even figured out the shape of Canada. The Ontario cookie shape was a litter harder to distinguish; even with my “x marks the sport” on Toronto where we live lol. Overall the Canadians did well in my book and these were not to sugary, which I liked. I’m excited to make another batch soon and keep refining my skills as I have 50 plus cookie cutters to my name and they’ve been in my cooking box for 7 years now unused sadly.

Canada 150 Sugar Cookies – Candy Coated Culinista

Canada 150 Sugar Cookies – Candy Coated Culinista

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Meringue Nests with Rhubarb Curd

Meringue Nests with Rhubarb Curd – Candy Coated Culinista

A trip to St. Lawrence Market had me excited to use a particular ingredient I have wanted to cook with for years. I have searched at many different markets over the past 3 years all over the GTA and I could never find them. I was always being told, “We had them yesterday or just sold the last bunch.” Not to mention there is this fear associated with rhubarb as the leaves are poisonous; which of course had me a little apprehensive. Let’s face it I have ackee all the time and I’m actually consuming the poisonous pieces if they were picked to early and here I’m not even touching the rhubarb leaves, so those fears were quelled and I carried on.

Curd
Yield/Serving: 750 ml to 1 liter
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 45 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Meringue Nests
Yield/Serving: 20
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 2 hrs.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Curd
• 2 eggs
• ¾ cup granulated sugar
• 2 cups of rhubarb, shopped, about 6 stalks
• ¼ cup water
• Juice from half a lemon
• ¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pats
Meringue
• 7 egg whites
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 2 tbsp cornstarch
• 2 tsp white vinegar
• 2 tsp vanilla extract

Assembly
Curd
1. Whisk eggs with 1/ cup of sugar in a medium sized bowl.
2. Using a medium sized saucepan add rhubarb with the remaining ¼ cup of sugar and water over medium-high heat.
3. Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium heat for 8 minutes.
4. Then whisk rhubarb until smooth and squeeze in lemon juice.
5. Ladle in the rhubarb into the egg mixture and slowly incorporate.
6. Add mixture back into the saucepan over low heat and continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly using a wooden spoon until mixture thickens.
7. Remove mixture from heat and stir in pats of butter one at a time allowing each pat to melt before adding the next.
8. Blender mixture for 30 to 45 seconds to achieve a smoother texture.
9. Pour into a jar and place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd.
Meringue
1. Pre-heat over to 250°F.
2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat eggs on high until soft peaks are formed about 2 minutes.
4. Slowly add in sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until stiff glossy peak have formed. About 2 more minutes.
5. Beat in the cornstarch, vinegar and vanilla until combined.
6. Pipe meringue into nests and bake for 2 hours.
7. Turn off the oven and let them dry in the oven for one more hour and leave on the parchment paper to completely cool.

Tips
• Blend the curd just before pouring into a jar to cool to achieve a smoother texture if desired.
• Let meringue cool in oven over night.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Rhubarb is a fibrous vegetable and I highly recommend blending the curd, especially if you are using it in a tart or topping a pavlova, meringue cookies, macaron, pancakes or crepes. You’re really going to want that smooth creamy texture to the curd. The meringue cookies were crispy, chewy and marshmallowy and with the addition of the tart silky curd it balances out the sweetness of the cookies. I loved that I got to practice my piping skills and it was enjoyed by all who had and this is a perfect summer recipe. I really wish I knew someone who had rhubarb in the backyard garden though as these sell at a premium. I paid 3.99 a pound, which came to $9.50 for seven stalks. As this has such a small season a splurge once a season is ok; but still it’s so pricy. If you want an eye-catching seasonal dessert to catch the eye; this is a must make.

Rhubarb Ice Cream

Rhubarb Ice Cream – Candy Coated Culinista

A seasonally flavoured ice cream that hits the spot if you love the tart flavours of rhubarb like myself.

Yield/Serving: 1 pint
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: approx. 30 min.
Inactive Time: 2-3 hours for a creamy ice cream
Freeze Time: Overnight
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 ½ cups rhubarb chopped
• 1 cup 2% milk
• 6 egg yolks
• ¾ cup granulated sugar
• Pinch of salt
• 2 cup heavy cream
• 1 vanilla bean, sliced in half and insides scrapped out

Assembly
1. Using a small saucepan; boil rhubarb and don’t add water over medium-high heat until tender and all the liquid has evaporated, about 10 min.
2. Chill rhubarb until cooled completely in the refrigerator.
3. Using medium saucepan add egg yolks and sugar and whisk until mixture turns a pale yellow and is smooth.
4. In a small saucepan heat milk over medium-low heat until it begins to simmer and do not stir.
5. Slowly add milk to egg and sugar mixture stirring constantly and then return to heat until it reaches 165°F.
6. Immediately remove from heat once it reaches back up to 165°F. (The mixture should have thickened up and coats the back of the spoon.)
7. Pour custard base into a container and allow to chill in the refrigerator until it reaches 65°F. Once custard has chilled pour into the ice cream maker and process accordingly to your machine.
8. Add the rhubarb pieces in the last few 5 minutes of churning.
9. Transfer ice cream to a chilled container and let firm.

Tips
• The longer the custard base is allowed to chill; the creamier the ice cream will be.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I never purchase ice cream any more. If I’m having ice cream it is homemade because it tastes that much better. It takes more time; but it’s worth the effort every single time.

Spring Asparagus Medley

Spring Asparagus Medley – Candy Coated Culinista

An easy peasy evening spring vegetable medley to accompany a chicken or beef dish.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 5 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
• 20 Asparagus; hard bottoms cut off
• 5 button mushrooms, sliced
• 10 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
• ½ small red onion, sliced
• Celery salt, to taste

Assembly
1. In a large frying pan pour olive oil over medium-high heat.
2. Add asparagus, mushrooms. Tomatoes, red onion and fry for 5 minutes until tender.
3. Add celery salt.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
A simple yet satisfying spring dish. This would be a great side dish for a springtime BBQ. Crunchy asparagus, and softened mushrooms, tomatoes and onions is a great combination.

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