Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Chocolate Fudge Crackle Cookies

This Chocolate Fudge Crackle Cookie recipe is my all time favourite recipe to use during my Christmas baking. It's the cookie that gets even more raves than the Peanut Brittle Cookies! These are just so good! They are also good for freezing if you don't eat them right away (which is very hard to do, trust me).

This too, comes from 'The Love of Baking' recipe book from www.robinhood.ca. Lets get to it!

Prep Time: 15 mins + refrigeration I Bake Time: 13 mins per sheet I Makes: 48 crackles

¼         cup (50 mL) Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening
1          cup (250 mL) semi-sweet chocolate chips
¼         cup (50 mL) granulated sugar
2          eggs
2/3        cup (150 mL) Eagle Brand Regular or Low Fat Sweetened Condensed Milk
1          tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
½      cups (375 mL) Robin Hood All-Purpose Flour
½         tsp (2 mL) baking powder
¼         tsp (1 mL) salt
1 ½      cups (375 mL) Chipits Milk Chocolate Chips
¾         cup (174 mL) icing sugar


1. Preheat oven to 325oF (160 oC). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a glass bowl in microwave, melt shortening and semi-sweet chocolate chips on Medium (50%). Add in sugar and then eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Let cool 5 minutes.

3. Mix in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Add next four ingredients; mix well to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 ½ hours up to 8 hours.

4. Sift icing sugar in a shallow bowl. Between palms of hands, roll pieces of chilled dough to form 1 ¼" (3 cm) balls. Drop balls in icing sugar and toss lightly until well coated. Place on prepared baking sheets and flatten very slightly. Repeat with remaining dough and remaining icing sugar, spacing about 1 ½" (4 cm) apart.

5. Bake each sheet in preheated oven for 11 - 13 minutes or until just beginning to feel firm when pressed in centre. Let cool on baking sheet on wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer crackles to wire racks to cool completely.

I really hope you enjoy these cookies as much as we do here. Let me know how you like them!


Monday, December 30, 2013

Homemade Peanut Brittle Cookies

This is one of the recipes I used when I did my holiday baking and I have used this particular recipe since I started doing holiday baking with my sister years ago. It always gets rave reviews. The recipe itself comes from a small recipe book called 'The Love of Baking' from www.robinhood.ca. Actually, most of my holiday baking recipes come from this book. I can't recall exactly where I picked up the book from, but I'm sure you can find this recipe and more on their website. But let's get things started.

Prep Time: 10 mins I Bake Time: 12 minutes per sheet I Makes: 44 Cookies 

½       cup (125 mL) Crisco Golden All-Vegetable Shortening
½       cup (125 mL) light brown sugar, packed
¼       cup (50 mL) granulated suger
1        tbsp (15 mL) vanilla extract
1        egg
1 ¼    cup (300 mL) Robin Hood All Purpose Flour
½       tsp ( 2mL) each; baking soda and salt
1        pkg (300 g) Chipits REESE Peanut Butter Chips, divided
1        cup (125 mL) Chipits SKOR Toffee Bits
¾       cup (175 mL) unsalted peanuts


1. Preheat oven to 350oF (180oC). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, beat shortening with sugars and vanilla until creamy. Beat in egg. Add flour, baking soda and salt, mixing until incorporated. Stir in 1 cup (250 mL) peanut butter chips, all toffee bits and all peanuts.

3. Drop mixture by rounded tablespoons (15 mL) onto prepared baking sheets, about 2" apart.

4. Bake each sheet in preheated oven 10 - 12 minutes or until deep golden brown and just set. Cool on sheet for 3 minutes. Remove to wire racks and cool completely. Melt remaining peanut butter chips in microwave on High for about 45 seconds. Drizzle over cooled cookies.

These really are delicious, however, I do not drizzle the remaining peanut butter chips on the cookies as I skip this step. I just don't think it's necessary because the cookies are already so good without it, not to mention that it was very messy the first time I did it.

These cookies also freeze really well so you can bake early and freeze until you really need them. Just remember to label that freezer bag.

Happy baking!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Holiday Gift Idea's

This year I have two holiday gift idea's to share. The first one is a gift box that I put together for a lovely colleague of mine and the second one is related to all my holiday baking.

You may recall my gift idea from last year, so the first idea follows along the same lines.

My colleague is actually on the same training team I'm on and I consider us to be pretty good work friends. We laugh, we share, and our love for Starbucks seems to be growing together. We both have a thing for London Fogs (or Earl Grey Tea Latte's as Starbucks calls them), so I based her gift on that fact.

I bought a pretty pink gift box from Target for only $4.99 and then filled it with items she needs to make a London Fog at home. She is also new to baking so I included some home made cookies and her very first cookie scoop (she laughed at that one). Here's how it turned out.

The jingle bells on top of the gift is from Target.

The second gift idea was for Eric's daycare provider and included a lot of baking on mine and my sister's part. We typically have a baking day at my place every Christmas but unfortunately the year the weather spoiled our plans so we had to do our baking on our own. We made cookies, squares, chocolate bark, and shortbread. All delicious, since I tried at least of couple of everything :)

I then picked up a cute container from the dollar store, added some tissue paper and filled it with goodies. I also attached a really cute label I got from Sweet Metel Moments. Rehana (our day care provider), absolutely loved it and it was all home made so it's very touching for someone to receive gifts like this. I'll post some of the recipes we used soon!


The other good thing about these gifts is that they are great gifts for any time of the year and for any occasion.

Happy gift giving!

Holiday Home Tour 2013

Good morning, and welcome to our home!

I am pleased to give you a tour of how I decorated for Christmas this year. I didn't get to do as much as I had wanted to due to my husband travelling, but I am happy with what I did manage to get done. I hope you enjoy.

Front Entrance:

Our front entrance is all about simplicity. I do the garland and red bows on the railings every year and also add a wreath to our front door. This wreath is new this year since a leak in our garage ruined the other one we had. This one is from Target. I also added a nice potted plant in front, which is from Canadian Tire.

Our Living Room:

I decorate our mantel every year and try to do something different each time. This year I added these beautiful dear I picked up at Costco. My sister Shannon gave me this home made snow globe on Christmas day (she's very crafty) and it is a nice touch to the mantle.

Then there is our tree. We actually put it up by our patio door because it has the most space available. We then like to put all of the Christmas cards we receive on the bookshelf beside it.

I didn't get to do much else around the house this year, but I did manage to put a few small items in our basement. We have a big screen TV there so I just put a couple of items on either side of it on the TV stand. 

The first photo is a black decorative bowl with sparkly balls inside placed next to a picture of our nieces and a foam tree that Eric made last Christmas.

The second picture is a grey vase with sparkly floral pieces. I think placing photo's around it give it a really nice touch.

The last thing I'd like to share is our dining room set-up that I put together for Christmas dinner. It turned out beautifully. We had 10 adults and three kids over for Christmas dinner. It was lovely.


I hope you enjoyed this small home tour. I am already excited about going bigger and better for next year.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

From my family to yours, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

I hope yours wishes come true and that you are filled with happiness on this day and throughout the year.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Quick Update

Well, it has been several weeks since I've been able to post anything; and I feel so guilty inside!

However, I can now come back in full swing - but let me give you a slight update first.

My company Holiday Party was on November 30th, and you may recall that I had been busy planning. However, the week before the party my husband had to go away for work (for two and a half weeks!), so I was on my own with Eric while trying to finish all the party details. Let me tell you, it was pretty challenging to say the least. The party itself was a great success and everyone had a great time, but I was literally left with no time to keep up with my blog.

During the time Doug was away, Eric was a pretty good boy but man, does he ever drag out bedtime. After working an 8 hour day, coming home and making dinner and then struggling for an hour and a half to get your toddler to bed just wore me right out.

So, I really apologize for the lack of posts these past few weeks and I promise I'll make it up to you. I have posts planned for gift idea's, Christmas baking and so much more!

Happy Holidays!