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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Christmas Candy Cane White Chocolate Skillet Cookie

Christmas Candy Cane White Chocolate Skillet Cookie - Candy Coated Culinista

Christmas Candy Cane White Chocolate Skillet Cookie – Candy Coated Culinista

I have wanted to make a skillet cookie for a long time now; I mean I even bought a smaller 10” cast iron skillet just for this recipe… 8 months later and I’m finally here and just in time for this perfect Christmas recipe.

Yield/Serving: 6 – 8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 18 – 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
• ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
• ¼ cup sugar
• ¼ cup golden brown sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 egg, room temperature
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• ¼ tsp baking soda
• ¼ tsp salt
• 1 cup peppermint white chocolate chips

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Butter skillet with 1 tbsp unsalted butter.
3. Using an electric mixer cream butter and sugars together for 1 to 2 minutes at a medium speed.
4. Add vanilla extract and egg until incorporated.
5. In a large bowl sift flour, baking soda and salt together.
6. Decrease speed to slow and add the flour mixture, and don’t overmix.
7. Using a spatula fold in the peppermint white chocolate chips.
8. Pour cookie dough into the prepared cast-iron skillet.
9. Smooth the top with a spatula and bake for 18 – 20 minutes.

Tips
• Add 2 – 3 minutes if you want a crispier cookie.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Once again I found this to be extremely sweet, but my taste tester thought the sugar level was fine. Another taste tester thought it was sweet also; so this recipe has mixed reviews on the sugar level. I have halved the sugar to my liking as the chocolate chips are sweet also. I found the skillet cookie very hard to remove from the skillet, even though it was well greased. The next time I think I will try adding a layer of parchment paper and test the result.

Shortbread Cookie Sandwiches with my Failed Fudge Filling

Shortbread Cookie Sandwiches with Failed Fudge Filling - Candy Coated Culinista

Shortbread Cookie Sandwiches with Failed Fudge Filling – Candy Coated Culinista

This recipe came about out of a sense of urgency. Here’s the story: I have successfully made a marshmallow chocolate fudge recipe. The recipe was perfect but it was also colder out; and as I’ve come to learn the hard way… fudge is very temperamental. If it’s humid the fudge will not set no matter what, not even in the freezer. Feeling the urge to not be wasteful and throw the failed attempts out I am using my two failed fudge recipes today: Cheesecake fudge attempt number 2 and Marshmallow Pecan fudge attempt number 2. I wanted to make something like an ice cream sandwich recipe, but without the ice cream and I thought to try making shortbread cookies, and break in my new cookie cutters, and also re-purpose my failed fudge as a decadent filling.

Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• 1 ¾ sticks butter, at room temperature
• ½ cup sugar
• 1 tbsp vanilla extract
• 1 egg
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• ¼ tsp salt
• 2 tsp baking powder

Assembly/Method
Shortbread Cookies
1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. Mix together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment for 4 minutes.
3. Add the egg and reduce speed to low then add the flour slowly along with the salt and baking powder until combined.
4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
5. Lightly flour your working surface and roll out the dough until its 1 inch thick.
6. Use the cookie cutters to stamp out cookies.
7. Now place dough on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
8. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden.
9. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
Cookie Assembly
1. Spread the fudge spread into the middle of each cookie and place a second cookie on top, making a sandwich. Keep in mind not to spread the filling all the way to the edges.
2. Let the cookies set for a couple of hours and enjoy.

Please Enjoy

Reviews
“ OMG, the shortbread is sooo insanely good!! Thank you. They look so yummy and shortbread is my weakness. oohhhhhhlalalalala!”
“Thank you for the yummy cookies … you are so thoughtful!! “

My thoughts
It felt great not wasting my failed recipes. The shortbread turned out well, just golden on the edges and crumbly. Mr. C loved these so much; he ate some of my cookies I had stashed away to practice my cookie decorating skills on. Luckily I caught him before he had the chance to eat them all.

Cookie Diaries: Moo Milk Bar

Moo Milk Bar - Candy Coated Culinista

Moo Milk Bar – Candy Coated Culinista

One hot Saturday afternoon after a workshop I was in the area of Moo Milk Bar; according to Google maps and I decided to Explore Queen Street East. Well Google maps lied to me again and the travel time was off. I was told a 30 minute walk which was fine, but when I’ve been walking for one hour I get a little peeved, as I’m not a slow walker at all. I would have turned around and tried another day but I ventured on as I have a long quest list and I need to start tackling it.

Place: Moo Milk Bar
Location: 1918 Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4L 1H5
Phone: 647-343-4272
Hours: Monday Closed; Tuesday -Saturday 11:00 am – 7 pm; Sunday 12 pm-6 pm

My Selections:

Toffee Bit & Vanilla Ice Cream Sammie – $3.10 – This was sweet but delicious, and the ice cream was the perfect consistency, it was firm and didn’t melt out of the cookie as I ate it. I have cut a significant amount of sugar from my diet in the last few months and I think everything is too sugary now. Granted I have had their cookies twice before from Petite & Sweet Bakes before I cut my sugar content and I didn’t find it to be sugary..

Peanut Butter Coconut Cookie – $1.90 – I’m going to say that this is their healthiest cookie looking at the menu. There is a natural sweetness to this cookies and I could taste the coconut. It felt less like a dessert cookie to me.

Cookies & Cream Cookie – $1.90 – The hubby said this tasted like cookies & cream, which is one of his favourite flavours.

Red Velvet Cookie Dough – $9.50 for a 6 pack –I selected these as a dough batch because I have tried this flavour a couple of times at Petite & Sweet Bakes. Following the directions given these tasted exactly like the store bought, which made me very happy. I can now purchase the dough when I am in the area and save them for a later date.

Vanilla Bean Milk – $3.33 -355ml – I could see vanilla bean flecks in the milk and it only tasted a tad bit like vanilla flavored milk. I am comparing this to the best vanilla milk I have ever had in Barbados. In Barbados Vanilla flavoured milk comes in the litre cartons and taste amazing and are packed with the vanilla flavour.

Banana Chocolate Milk – $3.33 -355ml – Mr. C. said “I can taste the banana.” I grabbed this as this is also one of his favourite flavour combo’s, but I get the feeling it was just okay for him.

When I visit again I will stick to the sammie’s, cookies and give the bars a try perhaps.

Moo Milk Bar - Toffee Bit Sammie - Candy Coated Culinista

Moo Milk Bar – Toffee Bit Sammie – Candy Coated Culinista

Moo Milk Bar - Toffee Bit Sammie - Candy Coated Culinista

Moo Milk Bar – Toffee Bit Sammie – Candy Coated Culinista

Moo Milk Bar - Cookie Dough - Candy Coated Culinista

Moo Milk Bar – Cookie Dough – Candy Coated Culinista

Moo Milk Bar - Red Velvet Cookies - Candy Coated Culinista

Moo Milk Bar – Red Velvet Cookies – Candy Coated Culinista

Moo Milk Bar - Candy Coated Culinista

Moo Milk Bar – Candy Coated Culinista

Macaron & Cookie Diaries – Petite & Sweet Bakes

Petite & Sweet - Candy Coated Culinista

Petite & Sweet – Candy Coated Culinista

Place: Petite & Sweet Bakes
Location: 718 Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4M 2H5 (647-748-7704)
Hours: Monday: Closed; Tuesday- Thursday: 11am – 8pm; Friday & Saturday: 11am – 10pm; Sunday: 11am – 7pm
Website: http://www.petiteandsweet.ca
Prices: Macarons: $2.50 each; Cookies: $2.75 each.

I was on the way to the gym and I took a different streetcar which forced me to start walking from Broadview & Queen or wait for the next streetcar. It was a nice evening so I decided to take a walk. I made it all of 10 steps from the corner when I was greeted by Macarons. Needless to say my next few steps found me in the Petite & Sweet Bakes shop. This tiny storefront is done up in a luxe, upscale motif, with little tiny & adorable decorations throughout with pops of colours with a high gloss shine. I went to the case and saw the offerings: French Macarons, Cake Pops, Mini Cupcakes, Truffles, Turkish Delights, Brownies, Meringues, Cakes, Cookies and finally Speciality Coffee’s. When I was looking through I noticed some of the cookies I was eyeing looked strangely familiar. You see, even though I have never had the pleasure of tasting one of these cookies before, I knew them from their distinct look. “They are selling Moo Milk Bar Cookies!” Moo Milk Bar is on my Quest list to go visit but getting out to Queen Street East & Woodbine Avenue is a little much when it is not spring or summer. I plan to get out there for sure in the summer with Mr. C as I must try their flavoured milks and more of their cookie flavours. Today I ordered the passion fruit macaron & cowgirl cookie (espresso powder, pretzels, toffee bits, semi-sweet chocolate chips & oats) for Mr. C., and for myself I got the peppermint macaron and the red velvet cookie (a hint of cocoa with white chocolate chips).
After finishing up my post I realized I know this logo from somewhere, but where. I watched a show on Food Network Canada called Sugar Stars about the ups and downs of an events planning company, which is the other half of Petite & Sweets Bakes.

Review
We both loved our treats. Mr. C. didn’t have much of a comment but he finished them. I thought the macaron was sweet, refreshing & cooling, a perfect treat in the winter season. I found it was a little sweet as my sweet tooth acted up, but I still enjoyed it. The red velvet cookie was so good, it was crunchy, chewy, thin & sweet and the first words after I ate it were mmmmmm so good.

Cookie Decorating – Practice #1

Royal Icing Decorating - Candy Coated Culinista

Royal Icing Decorating – Candy Coated Culinista

Truth be told I am about 3 months late practicing how to decorate cookies. The plan was to make El Dia Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Sugar Skull cookies, as I love all things macabre and skulls being my focal point in this genre. There should have been a post November 1st 2013, but I had so many Halloween posts leading up to that day that I thought I should relax a bit. I also put a hold on it as I haden’t practiced or got myself all the tools needed, even though I had the sugar skull cookie cutters from my prize money for my Mini-Jumble Berry Tarts. Christmas rolls around and Bulk Barn is now selling pre-made gingerbread cookies and houses and royal icing. That’s perfect for me as I can just concentrate on the decorating aspect and not worry about making the gingerbread. I bought my supplies and what happens again, I have so many Christmas recipes and posts that I run out of time. Now it’s the first week in January and I am practicing now. The only good thing to my procrastination was that everyone in my life for Christmas either gave me cooking, baking or photography related presents and my second mom (she’s more like big sister and mom – my mom has always said if anything should happen to her this is my new mom) and that’s exactly how it worked out. Anyway back to the story, she and one of her sons (my god-son) gave me a unique measuring cup set that looks like seashells, as my god son thought they were unique just like his aunty C.C. and an icing pen set with all the decorating tips and the much needed offset spatula. Now I had everything I needed and I had no excuse, and I broke in my new icing set.

Supplies
• Gingerbread cookies
• Royal icing
• Sprinkles, quinns, coloured sugar (as decorations you like)
• Offset spatula

Assembly
1. Lay out cookies.
2. Pipe outlines around the edges of the cookie.
3. Let the outline set for 1 hour before flooding the interior.
4. Thin the icing in the microwave or add a little water at a time until runny.
5. Let the icing stand for 5 minutes to allow bubbles to rise to the top and then flood the cookies inside your outlines.
6. Use an offset spatula along with a toothpick to help the icing reach the edges.
7. Let cookies set for 1 hour and then pipe details or the next colour on top. Or when you have finished flooding the cookie sprinkle the sprinkles, quinns or coloured sugar on top immediately so they can adhere to the icing.

Tips
• I found it easier to work with the royal icing if it was slightly warm to get a more liquid consistency.
• Another option is to add water, a little at a time until the runny texture is achieved.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
My first cookies was a real disaster, you can always tell your first when your practicing something new. By the second cookie I had the hang of it (I was expecting this to take me longer, but maybe my artistic background kicked it). For my first practice at cookie decorating I am quite pleased with myself. I just have to work on my flooding technique and using the offset spatula. I am now feeling more confident and by November 1st 2014 I will have that El Dia Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Sugar Skull cookies post up for you to try.

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