I’m not going to lie…one of the reasons I love the holiday season is the 12 Days of Cookies emails I receive from the Food Network. Just when you think you’ve seen all the Christmas baking recipes there is, another one lands in my inbox and become nearly giddy. Yeah, I probably could use a hobby besides baking. But who has the time?!
I finally found time in Claudia’s busy retirement schedule (I swear she’s busier now that she doesn’t work full time!) to fit in some quality baking with her for this blog. Last night she came over and we decided to try a couple new butter cookie recipes we have been eyeing. This one was the big hit. You really cannot lose when you incorporate cream cheese into the dough and dipping the cookie in chocolate! These are a nice twist on the traditional holiday butter/sugar cookie. The cream cheese makes the cookie a little denser and the chocolate adds a nice sweetness. Because the dough needed to be chilled, Claudia decided to make the dough prior to us getting together, so I do not have any pictures of these steps. I figured combining all ingredients into a bowl didn’t really require visual representation anyway.
Although my love of baking started at home with Claudia at a very young age, it was reinforced when Food Network Canada was part of our cable TV package. I was in university and still living with my parents when I discovered how wonderful the channel is. I remember watching Rachael Ray with Claudia and us both loving the food she would make and her energetic charm. When Rachael wasn’t on, we would turn the channel and eagerly watch the Queen – Martha Stewart. To this day, I love Martha. She defines everything that is classic and elegant in food and home.
I subscribe to Rachael Ray’s e-newsletter. This recipe that we are featuring in this post is adapted from one that Rachael featured a few weeks ago. I didn’t really like the idea of using jarred lemon curd, so I decided to make my own. With a little help from Martha of course. This cake is delightful. It’s full of bright lemon flavour, with a hint of sweetness from the raspberries. The cake is dense yet soft.
Today is National Cookie Day! Did you know that the English word “cookie” is derived from the Dutch word “koekje,” which means little cake? Neither did we. You can’t say you don’t learn something when you visit this blog!
Every year I sign up for Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies, where I am emailed a new cookie recipe every day from December 1 – 12. Seeing a new cookie recipe in my inbox makes me extremely happy. Not only does it allow me to try new recipes by celebrity chefs, it also gives me new ideas for my holiday baking. The recipe I am featuring for National Cookie Day is Paula Deen’s Loaded Oatmeal Cookies. I received this recipe on Day 3 of the 12 Days of Cookies. These beauties are soft, chewy and have the perfect mix of spices that make your taste buds dance. The brown butter icing on top of each cookie is also to die for.
With Canadian Thanksgiving coming up this weekend, we decided it was a perfect opportunity to share Claudia’s special pumpkin pie recipe.
Now, there is a furious debate in our household on whether or not pumpkin pie should be eaten warmed up with vanilla ice cream or with whip cream. Now, when I say in our “household” I mean it’s a debate between my immediate family (i.e. my brother, Claudia, my Dad and me) against the newcomers – my boyfriend and my brother’s girlfriend. My family feels that anything other than vanilla ice cream on pumpkin pie is simply absurd. The newcomers (and apparently everybody poled on our Facebook fan page) think otherwise. I still stand by my ice cream opinion.