Super Fast Cinnamon Rolls

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As you know, I’m on a quest to create the best cinnamon bun out there, for my tastes, at least. People are very particular about their cinnamon buns: some like them frosted, some like them dry, with nuts, with raisins, with nothing … I like mine soft and sticky AND frosted. Raisins are okay but nuts I can usually do without.

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I don’t make cinnamon buns very often because of all the kneading and rising that they entail (and my current house is a little too cold at the moment). But these ones were easy – they’re not actually cinnamon buns in the way you’d expect – and they served to assuage my craving until I have the time and the temperature to do another batch for real. Preheat your oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. I wouldn’t skip the parchment paper, as the sugar coming out of these will caramelize and stick, so it’s better that it sticks to the parchment and not your pans.

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Grab a small bowl and dump in about 3/4 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, and 1/2 cup softened butter. Or less. You might want slightly less, as mine oozed everywhere. But if you like to live dangerously, then follow me!

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Give that a good mooshing with a fork or pastry cutter or even your hands, doesn’t matter.

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Now grab a package of thawed puff pastry (you will need to think far enough ahead for this to grab the box out of your freezer and chuck it in the fridge the day before, but that’s not that hard) and roll out the two rectangular sheets. If you bought the stuff that comes in blocks, then just roll it out flat.

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Sprinkle the sugar mixture generously and evenly across the surface of the pastry.

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If you’re feeling like going further, add a sprinkling of raisins and crushed walnuts as well.

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Carefully roll each sheet up into a tube. Chuck that in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to stiffen up.

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Slice each tube into disks about 1 1/2″ thick. I think I ended up with 8 buns from each tube.

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Lay those flat on your baking sheets and shove them in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until the pastry is puffed and golden and the butter is all melted.

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Remove the sheets from the oven and carefully slip the still-hot buns onto a sheet of waxed paper or parchment to cool completely. Feel free to flip them upside down while they’re still warm and oozy if you like your sticky part to be on top.

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If you leave them in the pan they’ll stick to the caramelized sugar at the bottom and then they won’t come off and you’ll be sad.

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When they were cool, I mixed together about 1/2 cup icing sugar with 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste and a dribbling (probably 1 tablespoon) of whipping cream.

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Doesn’t that glaze make your mouth water?

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I dumped it into a small plastic bag.

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And piped it onto the cooled buns.

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Try not to eat them all at once, okay?

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Peppermint Patties

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This was yet another “baking” episode Cait and I got up to – except it involved no baking whatsoever. If you’re not a fan of peppermint patties, then you won’t like this. If you ARE a fan, well, then, maybe you’ll like these, which we made from a mish-mash of these two recipes. Just a warning: if you make these puppies around Christmas time, you may have to search a bit to find peppermint extract in the grocery store. Cait and the Pie and I went to three separate stores before we nabbed the very last one hidden at the back of a shelf. If you’re making these for your Valentine tomorrow you may have some better luck!

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Now, you’re basically making a peppermint-flavoured fondant as the centre of these babies, so let’s start with that.

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In the bowl of your electric mixer, dump in 2 1/4 cup icing sugar, 2 tablespoons softened butter, 2 teaspoons peppermint extract, and 2 tablespoons cream.

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Start beating it on low speed until incorporated (so you don’t get a face full of icing sugar), then increase the speed and beat until you have a solid, smooth mass.

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Now take your fondant and roll it into a long snake between 1″ and 1 1/2″ in diameter (any bigger and the patties will fall apart as you manipulate them).

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Wrap the snake in waxed paper and chill it for about 45 minutes or so. If you shove the snake into an old cardboard tube from a paper towel then it won’t deform while in the fridge.

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In the meantime, plop 12oz chocolate (dark is probably best, but it’s your choice) into a double boiler with 6 teaspoons shortening and let that melt. The shortening is what will give the chocolate a shiny, harder exterior once it hardens again. The magic ratio for shortening to chocolate, if you’d like to use it in other recipes, is 1/2 teaspoon shortening for every 1oz chocolate. And as it happens with every chocolate-dipping recipe, depending on the size of your patties and how quickly you get this done, you may need to melt more chocolate.

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Anyway, let the chocolate cool to almost room temperature (because otherwise you’ll melt the patties when you dip them and that would be bad). Take your snake out of the fridge and slice it into little disks about 1/4″ thick. To avoid the patties warming up and getting floopy, I put half of them back in the fridge.

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Using chopsticks or a fork, dip the cold patty into the cool chocolate and flip to coat. Lift it out of the chocolate and let it drip for a few seconds. Set the patty on a sheet of waxed paper to harden completely.

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The demented ones are the ones that Cait did. I take no responsibility for them.

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Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Enjoy!

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Salted Butter Caramels

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I had planned to include some form of caramels as part of my holiday baking this past season, and when I saw this one posted on A Beautiful Mess I knew that this was the version I would try out this time round. I quadrupled the amounts below because I have a lot of people clamouring for my candies, but this recipe will give you about 20 or so caramels, depending on how you cut them. My four batches yielded about 102 whole pieces and a handful of broken ones or end bits.

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As with most candy, it’s handy to have all your ingredients at the ready before you begin, because you often have to act fast. So gather together 3/4 cup granulated sugar (divided), 7 tablespoons heavy cream, 2 tablespoons honey, 3 tablespoons butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

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You may also want to have some more salt or fleur de sel on hand for topping the caramels when they’re done. Now that your ingredients are ready, you should line a loaf pan with parchment paper.

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Now, take half of the sugar (3/8 cup sugar) and plop it in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons water.

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With the burner on medium, heat the sugar and water until they start to bubble and turn a deep amber brown.

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Then remove the pot temporarily from the heat and add in the rest of the ingredients – they will fizz up on you. Return the pot to the heat and stir to melt and combine all the remaining ingredients.

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Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot and let the mix bubble away. Stir it occasionally so it doesn’t burn. You want the temperature to reach 260°F, which is the “hard ball” stage. It won’t take very long, so pay attention.

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Pour the finished caramel into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the surface with salt. Let that cool for at least an hour, but probably not much longer than that.

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Cut it into little pieces (it’s easier if you don’t let it sit much longer than an hour).

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Then you can wrap the little pieces in twists of waxed paper and either hoard them to yourself or give them all away! Or both.

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The Molly Cake

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Mrs. Nice’s birthday was back in November and the Pie and I wanted to make her birthday cake a little more personal this year. Papa John and Mrs. Nice now live next to a farm and so their backyard faces a huge field full of very curious cows. At a craft fair recently, Mrs. Nice picked up this gorgeous painting of a cow named Molly, and so the Pie and I tried to re-create at least the sentiment of it as best we could, considering our utter lack of artistic skill.

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My frame of reference. NAILED IT.

Start at the beginning first. Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. Bring 3 egg whites to room temperature in a decent-sized bowl. You can drop in 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar too, while you’re at it. Leave that alone for a while.

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Grab yourself some frozen strawberries. This is from a 1kg package frozen strawberries, which is about 5 cups’ worth.

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Plop those in a pot with 1/2 cup granulated sugar and stew them over medium heat until they’re all melted and gooey and lovely.

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You can purée them at this point if you wish but I wanted some strawberry chunks in the cake batter so I mashed the goo with a potato masher instead.

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Now you can turn your oven on to 350°F and butter and parchment up your cake pan(s). I used my trusty 17″ round cake pan but there is enough batter here if you wanted to use 3-8″ round pans instead and create a layer cake.

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Sift together 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, and 2 teaspoons baking soda and set that aside for a minute.

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In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat together 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup vegetable shortening until fluffy and amazing.

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Next, beat in 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar until it’s also fluffy and amazing. Then you can add in 2 teaspoons vanilla (I used vanilla bean paste, my new favourite thing).

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Now scrape down the sides of the bowl and plop in 1 egg. Just one. It looks so lonely. Beat it up. Show it who’s boss.

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Okay now we put all this jazz together. Take your strawberry goo. And your flour.

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Starting with the flour, add about a third of it to your mix and stir to combine.

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Add half the strawberries, then another third of the flour (mixing it all in), then the final half of the strawberries, and the last of the flour.

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I decided to disobey my normal rules about colouring food and added a bit of red gel paste colouring to the batter to make the strawberries pop.

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Then stir in 1 cup sour cream.

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Look at that gorgeousness.

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Beat your room temperature egg whites until stiff peaks form. Yay, meringue!

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Ever so gently fold those fluffy whites into your batter. This batter is pretty dense and produces a pretty thin cake so you need all the fluff you can get.

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Smooth the batter into your cake pan(s) and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the pan comes out clean.

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Set the whole shebang on a wire rack to cool completely.

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Now, if you’re not making a giant cow out of your cake, you can skip this whole segment. If you are making a giant cow out of your cake, then I hope yours turns out better than mine because you are less terrible at art.

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So with the giant cake laid out on a board, I cut out the shape of the cow’s head, and then from what was left I cut out the horns and the ears. It’s all symmetrical.

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Then I laid it out.

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I had to move everything around on the board to get it to fit, and the cake was so sticky it was a hard job to do it without disaster. And now it looks like the Chicago Bulls logo (GREAT GIFT IDEA FOR BULLS FANS FOLKS!).

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The Pie thought we should add a bit of extra cake at the snout. Now we need some frosting.

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I needed two colours of icing, so in two double boilers I melted 4 oz dark chocolate and 4 oz white chocolate, respectively. If you’re just doing one colour then obviously just use one double boiler and 8 oz chocolate. When that’s all melty and smooth, set it aside to become less horribly hot.

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In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 2-250g packages plain cream cheese (room temperature) until they’re silky smooth. Remember, the warmer your cream cheese is, the less lumpy the frosting will be.

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Beat in as well 1 tablespoon vanilla (again I used the paste because I love it), 3/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream, and 3/4 cup icing sugar.

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Then I split the frosting between two bowls. Hello, beautiful. Look at those little flecks of vanilla seeds.

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Then I poured the now-cooler white chocolate into one bowl, and the now-cooler dark chocolate into the other and stirred them up.

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Ready to decorate!

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I started with the white, because … well, I just did.

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Then I filled it in with the dark chocolate. The nostrils are wonky because I dropped a huge gob of icing accidentally and so that’s just how it had to be. TADA! Not fine art, but highly tasty, and Mrs. Nice loved it.

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Egg Nog?

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I love egg nog.  So much so that I wish I could have it all year ’round.  So of course I learned to make my own.  And every time I offer it to people, I try to do it in Denholm Elliott’s voice from (my favourite movie of all time — don’t judge) Trading Places.  He’s just so emphatic.

I know.  I don’t know why I showed you that. I just love egg nog that much. So when I found this recipe on Design*Sponge I knew the time had come. THIS WAS IT.

So first you start by creating an ice bath. That means either filling your sink with water and ice cubes, or a large bowl that will hold your pot. My sink is terrible at retaining water (not my sink, not my problem), so I opted for a heat-proof bowl.

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Then grab a medium-sized pot and crack in 6 whole eggs. Give those a thorough whisking.

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Pour in as well 2 cups whole milk (we call it homogenized here in the Great White North), 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar.

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Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the custard (because that’s what it is) thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Resist the urge to speed things up by turning up the heat. That’s how you get scrambled eggs plus milk. Not cool.

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Plop the pot into the ice bath. Add in 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and whisk the whole shebang for about 3 or 4 minutes.

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Put the lid on the pot, haul it out of the ice bath, and let it come to room temperature, about an hour (I had some errands to run so I actually put mine in the fridge for about four hours and it was fine as well).

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Next, strain the egg solids (those lumpy bits) out of your custard by pouring it through a sieve over a bowl.

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You can throw these out. Or compost them like a good citizen.

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Now whisk in your booze***. The original recipe calls for brandy or rum plus bourbon, but the Pie and I are not bourbon fanatics like Trav, so we opted for 1/2 cup rum plus 1/2 cup maple whisky.

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Whisk that whisky right in there.

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Might as well add a few dashes of grated nutmeg as well.

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Now pour 1 cup whipping cream into a bowl and beat the crap out of it until it forms stiff peaks.

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Then fold that gorgeousness into your eggnog.

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Let your eggnog chill for a couple of hours before drinking. It’s like drinking whipped cream, essentially. I personally don’t think the recipe would be that good without the alcohol to kind of dilute it, so if you’re looking for a non-alcoholic version, this is probably not it.

*** That said, however, if you want to try this particular recipe without the booze, this is what I recommend: instead of adding 1 cup booze, add 1 cup whole milk, and then when it gets to the final 1 cup whipping cream, just add it in without whipping. Then the whole thing is much less solid and easier to drink on its own.

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Holiday Sandwich Cookies

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Cait and I seem to have developed a tradition in recent years of getting together and baking something in time for the holidays. Usually there’s much yelling (both at each other and at what we’re doing) and definitely too much giggling. Last year we made biscotti, and the year before that we came up with those rum balls that got us wasted. This year I got to pick, and, as I’ve been craving Oreos recently, I went with that for inspiration and found this recipe from Chatelaine.

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It started with us making a trip to Dollarama for some unrelated items, and Cait managed to find a three-pack of teeny tiny Santa hat hair clips. Note our manic expressions. I’m surprised mine actually stayed in my hair the whole night.

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It did not stay in Gren’s hair. He was not a fan.

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Start with your dough, because you’ll need to refrigerate it for a bit. In a bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (I doubled the recipe because there were two of us).

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Then, in the bowl of your mixer, plop 1 cup room temperature butter and beat it with 1 cup granulated sugar until it’s fluffy and lovely.

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Then drip in 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 egg and beat that until fluffy.

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Slowly, using a shield, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until well combined. The dough will be very stiff.

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Separate that into two sections, flatten them into discs, and chuck them in the fridge for at least an hour. I made ours into little logs, which we then labeled “poos” for the rest of the night. We are very mature.

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Now you can make your filling. Beat up 1/2 cup room temperature butter until soft and creamy, then add in 2 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar (slowly) and beat until combined. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons (or more) whipping cream until you have a nice thick fluffy icing. Then you add in 1/4 cup crushed hard candy.

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Now, Cait made hers with crushed candy canes (the recipe calls for peppermint candies but they’re pretty much the same).

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I, however, have a strong aversion to candy canes. So I used Werther’s hard candies instead.

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Here is Cait smashing up some Werther’s for me.

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So we split the icing into two parts and mixed the candy canes into one half and the hard caramels into the other.

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Now, when your dough is chilled enough, preheat your oven to 375°F and spray several baking sheets or line them with parchment (which is what I did). Grab one of your chilled discs of dough and roll it out on a floured surface (or between two sheets of waxed paper, which is what I’m doing here). Dust things with flour if they get sticky.

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Use cookie cutters to get some good sandwichy shapes. Cait was in charge of this as I rolled out the dough. She was very careful to make sure she made at least two of everything, for sandwichy purposes.

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Gather up your scraps and chuck them back in the fridge to re-roll after ten minutes or so. Make sure to use all the dough! Place the cut cookies on your baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through. The cookies will expand somewhat so don’t put them too close together.

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Set the baked cookies on a wire rack to cool completely.

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Cait made this cookie corgi specially for the Pie.

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Now sit down with your cooled cookies and your frosting and a small knife and start pasting icing onto one side of a cookie. We watched Elf as we did this, to get into the holiday spirit.

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Match it up and squish it down (not too hard – they will break if you press them too hard).

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And that’s it. Sandwiches! They’re supposedly best eaten the day they’re made but I actually preferred them the next day when they were a little chewier. But that’s up to you.

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Store whatever you can’t eat in an airtight container.

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Momofuku’s Crack Pie

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When I first saved this recipe in my Evernote folder, “crack pie” was super trendy. But that was like FOUR YEARS AGO. I am so not trendy. But I had 8 egg yolks left over from making meringues and this is a great way to use them up. The measurements are a bit finicky, probably, I suspect, because they were converted from metric for American audiences, but still workable. I made the cookie crust the day before, just because there are a lot of steps to follow.

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To make the oat cookie for the crust: Preheat your oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Technically you’re supposed to do this in a 9″ x 13″ pan but mine was dirty so what’re you gonna do …

In a bowl, whisk together 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, 1/8 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/8 teaspoon baking powder.

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In the bowl of your electric mixer, cream together 1/2 cup butter, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and 3 tablespoons granulated sugar.

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Beat in 1 egg until well combined.

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Then tip in your flour and mix that in well.

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Finally, add 1 cup oats and stir until fully blended.

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Press your cookie dough (because that’s what it is, surprise!) onto your pan.

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Bake for 20 minutes, then cool it completely on a wire rack.

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Those black spots are my buttery fingerprints, burned to a crisp.

Bust it into pieces.

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To construct the cookie crust: Take the crumbled bits of cookie and chuck them in your food processor together with 1/4 cup butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar and pulse until you have fine, clumpy crumbs.

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I actually found it easier (because my processor is super small) to pulse the cookie on its own and then add in the butter and sugar.

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The crumbs should stick to themselves when you press on them.

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Divide the crumbs between 2 10″ pie pans. These are 9″, which will make the filling a bit thicker which means I will have to bake them for a little longer but that’s fine. I rarely use my 9″ pans as it is, so don’t freak out and buy a 10″ one unless you plan on making a lot of skinny pies.

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Press the crumbs onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. I may have gone a bit too high up the sides. Crack pies are pretty low-profile.

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Now, in a bowl (don’t use a mixer for this as you’ll beat in too much air), whisk together 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons brown sugar, and 1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon powdered milk (if you are unfamiliar with powdered milk, you can usually find it in the coffee/tea aisle of the grocery store).

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Melt 1 cup butter (it’s a lot, I know) and stir into it 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy (whipping) cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

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Gently whisk the butter/cream into the sugar/powdered milk.

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Then grab your 8 egg yolks. I am so pleased with how these fit into my storage container. It’s highly satisfying.

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Ever-so-gently whisk the yolks into the rest of the mixture, careful again not to mix in too much air (fluffy crack pie filling will puff up and be way not as good).

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Divide the filling between the two crusts.

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The recipe told me to bake the pies one at a time, but as it involves temperature changes I decided it would be a waste of energy to do so, so I did them both at once. Bake the pies for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 325°F and bake for a further 10 minutes, until the surface of the filling is a nice even brown and bubbling. I had to bake the one in the white pan for an extra 5 minutes, simply because it was thicker.

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Set the pies on a wire rack to cool and then cover them and shove them into the fridge. Crack pie is meant to be served cold, and even cold it’s gooey, like a giant butter tart. It’s a bit obscene, actually.

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Before serving, dust the surface of the pie with icing sugar.

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Slice and serve!

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Gluten-Free Choco-Fudge Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

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I hadn’t baked anything since before we left for NYC so I was kind of jonesing for some cupcakes, and these were a perfect match. They actually came straight off the package of Bob’s Red Mill quinoa flour that I was using. As far as gluten-free flours go, quinoa flour is probably one of the closest you can get, consistency-wise, to real wheat flour. When you bake with quinoa flour you end up with lovely fluffy sponge-y cakes. They do, however, taste like quinoa. So if you’re cool with that, then have at her.

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Start by preheating your oven to 375°F and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In a medium pot, melt 1/4 cup butter with 1/2 cup water and bring that to a low boil.

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Whisk in 1/4 cup cocoa and remove it from the heat. Let it cool down from molten temperatures.

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Sift 1 cup sugar, 1 1/4 cup quinoa flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda into a bowl.

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Add in the slightly cooled cocoa mixture and mix that around.

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Separate yourself 2 eggs. Leave the whites to come to room temperature, and mix the yolks together with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 cup sour cream. Mix those into the cocoa mixture (make sure it’s not too hot so you don’t curdle your yolks).

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Now, whip up those egg whites until stiff and foamy and then fold them into the mixture.

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Drop that into your prepared baking cups and bake for  20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the centre cupcake comes out clean. Let those cool completely on a wire rack.

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While that’s baking, why not start with your icing?  I pulled this from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

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Melt 1/2 cup butter in a medium pot over medium heat.

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Add in  1 cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup heavy (whipping) cream and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

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Add in 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt and stir that in. Stirring occasionally, let the whole thing come to a bubble, and stay at a bubble for about 2 minutes, then remove it from the heat and let it cool enough that you won’t burn yourself on it. Because being burned by hot sugar is bad.

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Beat in about 2-3 cups icing sugar, a little at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. If you find you’ve added too much, don’t freak out – just add a bit more cream and you’re all set.

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Slather the icing all over your cupcakes. I tried to pipe mine but it was too thick so I went with slathering, but you can pipe it if you want. Giv’er!

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Creamy Ricotta, Mint, and Garlic Pasta with Peas: In the Woods

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This particular dish, from The Camping Cookbook, is supposed to be served hot, but I thought it would make a nice cold lunch for us to eat after setting up camp on the first day.  So I ended up making all of this ahead of time, at home (which means that technically I didn’t make it in the woods).

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Start by boiling up about 150g of your favourite short pasta. The original recipe calls for ziti, but I love fusili so that’s what I used. Cook it according to the package directions, and drain it and return it to the pot when it’s ready.

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While that’s cooking, cut yourself about 1 tablespoon fresh mint and chop that up.

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Thaw about 1/2 cup frozen peas (or fresh, if you’ve got ’em). I added this element to the recipe for the sake of vitamins. Don’t want to get scurvy while camping.

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Mash up as well some roasted garlic (I roasted a few heads of this the week before and it pretty much went into everything).

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While the cooked pasta is still hot, stir in 1/3 cup ricotta cheese and 1/3 cup heavy cream (I wimped out here and used half and half).

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Add in your mint, peas, and garlic and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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We served this cold with a nice toasted garlic bread I prepared in advance: slice up a small baguette so that you have individual pieces but they’re still stuck together at the bottom.

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Chop up some fresh herbs: parsley, basil, and oregano (dried is also fine).

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Mush up some roasted garlic.

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Smush those all together with some pepper.

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Add softened (this is too softened) butter and mix.

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Insert the butter between the slices and wrap in tin foil until you’re ready to eat.

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You can toast the bread directly on your camp stove, or you can put it in an Outback Oven, or you can roast it directly over the campfire.

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Either way, it’s excellent.

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Atlas’ Giant Stacked Cookie Cake

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This past Father’s Day was a first for Krystopf, but it was also his lovely wife’s birthday, so we of course celebrated in style.  She requested cookies instead of a cake, but I can’t just make cookies for someone’s birthday, now can I?  Pshht.  NO.

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While I do excel at making cookies from scratch, from my brain meats only, for my first foray into the physics of cookie stacking I decided to stick to a recipe.  I picked this one from Big Girls Small Kitchen, which is an adaptation of a Martha Stewart favourite.  Like many Martha recipes it’s persnickety with its rules, but worth it in order to learn the proper technique.

Start by preheating your oven to 350°F and grab some baking sheets and some parchment paper.  Find something that is 8″ in diameter (like a cake pan) and use it to draw circles on your parchment to fit the baking sheet.  You’ll need five circles.

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One of my baking sheets is big enough to fit two circles, but the rest only fit one.

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Whisk together 4 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, and a teaspoon or so ground cinnamon.  Set that aside for the nonce.

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In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together 6 tablespoons butter, 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, and 3/4 cup granulated sugar.  Keep going until it starts to stick together — there’s not enough butter to make it truly creamed, so don’t worry if after 3 minutes or so you just have sugar and butter mixed together and nothing super fluffy.

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Add in 3 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and keep beating that until it’s smooth.

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Dump in half your flour mixture and stir that in on low for a while; then, drizzle in 3/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream.

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Once that’s mixed in you can add the rest of the flour.  Mix that until it’s fully combined.

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Now you’ll want to stir in at least 2 cups chocolate chips.  Atlas likes a mixture, so I have about 1/3 each of milk chocolate, white chocolate, and butterscotch — her favourite!

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Scoop out a level cupful of your cookie dough. Or as level as you can get, with cookie dough.

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Dump that into the centre of one of your circle outlines.

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Use a spatula (or a knife) to spread the dough into a level circle within the confines of the outline.  Do that four more times (confession: I actually had enough dough for exactly six circles, but this did make the “cake” absolutely huge).

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Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are a light brown, then pull them out and check them over.  If your cookie isn’t as circular as it should be, use a clean spatula (or knife) to gently nudge the cookie back into shape.

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Shove that back into the oven and bake a further 6-8 minutes, until the whole cookie is a nice light brown. Leave the cookies on the baking sheet for a few minutes to firm up before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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While the cookies are doing their thing, you can mix up some frosting.  Beat together 2 8oz packages cream cheese with 1 cup icing sugar, then add in a drizzle of cream to smooth things out.

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The original recipe called for FOUR packages of cream cheese but I think there was enough going on with this cake without adding double the icing.  And I normally never say that there’s too much icing on something.

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Spread the frosting on the top of four of the cookies. Or five, if you ended up with extra like me.

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As you can see I used some commercial cookie icing to write on the top.  Forgive my handwriting and the weird run in icing at the beginning of the B.

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Stack the frosted cookies on top of each other and then put the unfrosted (or decorated) one on top.  Chuck that in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes, and bring it to room temperature before serving.

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It was a hit!  Having made it though, I think I’d like to try it again with some of those lovely thin greasy/chewy/crispy chocolate chip cookies you make with melted butter.  The cakey ones were nice, but there was just too much cake and it was hard to cut thin slices of it.

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