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Aunty Helen's ginger biscuits recipe

Aunty Helen's ginger biscuits recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Biscuits and cookies
  • Ginger biscuits

This is a recipe my neighbour, Helen, gave me in 1970 and I have made for 40 years. The ingredients can easily be doubled.


Dumfriesshire, Scotland, UK

17 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 15 biscuits

  • 60g (2 oz) margarine or butter
  • 60g (2 oz) lard
  • 1 dessertspoon golden syrup
  • 180g (6 oz) self raising flour
  • 90g (3 oz) dark brown soft sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger, more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:15min ›Ready in:30min

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
  2. Heat margarine and lard in a pan with syrup until melted but do not boil. Remove from heat.
  3. Mix all dry ingredients and add to pan. Add more flour if the mix is oily.
  4. Mix well and form into small balls. Place on a greased baking tray.
  5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. When cooled, keep in airtight tin.

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Marco's

We are often being asked how a some of the dishes on Marco's menu were put together. So we thought we'd share some of them with you. We are adding a recipe here, pretty much on a monthly basis, for you to try out for yourselves at home. The fifth year. Enjoy!

If you do try any of them please let us know ( it's called 'feed'back ) how they turned out. Also if you come up with a variation and you are prepared to share it with us, email it to us and we'll perhaps add it as possible alternative to the original recipe on this page ( with an acknowledgement to the chef of course! ).

If you have dined with us before, you will know that we may be able change the way some of our dishes are prepared and cooked depending upon your requests. The recipes shown here are based on how we would usually prepare the dishes ( if / when they appear on our menu ).

By the way.

You may notice that as each year progresses more than a few recipes are being attributed to people, other than Mark. So if you have a favourite recipe you wouldn't mind sharing, tell us when you visit or send it to us ( with a photograph if possible ) and we'll certainly give it a try. It could end up here and maybe even on Marco's ( or the Wine Bar's ) menu!

Select a recipe by its picture ( or use the index top right )


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Mark White - May 2009

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The Recipes

Choose a year, then click on any of the recipes shown for the details. The latest addition for the year is shown by default.

Our Recipe's for 2012

Picnic Bar

Puff Pastry

Superbowl Supper ( Meatballs )

Extra Special Beef Biryani

Bacalhao a braz

Hot & Spicy Chicken Salad

Malteser Tray Bake

Seafood Lasagne

Chocolate Brownies

American Cheesecake

Clam Chowder

Spiced Parsnip Soup

January's scrummy offering from Marky & Auntie D.
see some photos we took whilst cooking!

Serves: This recipe serves 4.

A 12oz packet of puff pastry ( or Aunty D's ruff puff recipe, see below ),
1 large onion (finely chopped)
8oz sausage meat,
6oz cheddar cheese ( grated ),
2 tablespoons of tomato puree,
2 tablespoons of fresh bread crumbs,
1 egg beaten,
salt & pepper,
milk.

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 / 400 f
Roll out the pastry into an oblong approximately 14 inches x 10 inches ( 1/2 a cm thick ), then place this on to a 'dampened' and slightly floured baking tray.
Into a mixing bowl combine the onion, sausage meat, cheese, tomato puree, bread crumbs, egg, and salt and pepper.
then place this mixture in a strip down the centre of the pastry.
Dampen the edges of the pastry with a little milk, and seal together.
*Aunty D says. When putting the pastry parcel on to the baking tray, turn the pastry over so that the join is underneath, ( this will keep it neat and keep it sealed! )
Make diagonal cuts in to the pastry with a sharp knife,
brush with milk and bake for 35

Aunty D say's:

Cool slightly before cutting into slices, but it can be eaten hot or cold.

Puff Pastry
( January 2012 / II )

Do it yourself Puff Pastry for the Picnic Bar..

Serves: This recipe serves 4.

12oz plain flour,
3oz margarine,
3oz lard,
a little cold water,
a little extra flour for 'dusting and rolling'.

place the flour into a large mixing bowl.
then break the fats into lumps into the mixing bowl and then cut it down with a knife ( if you use your fingers then you are rubbing it and it will end up like crumble mix and we don't want that, as the mixture should still be lumpy!
Add a little cold water at a time to the dough mixture to gradually bring it together, still using your knife not your fingers.
You will need to lightly flour your pastry board before putting your dough ball on to it. Also flour your rolling pin.
Roll out to an oblong shape, folding and turning 3 times ( top to middle / then bottom to middle / then turn and repeat ). Do this 3 times.
then put it in the fridge to chill whilst making your main mixture.

Aunty D say's:

Cool slightly before cutting into slices, but it can be eaten hot or cold.

Superbowl Supper
( February 2012 )

Our 'Superbowl XLVI Supper' - the New England Patriots vs the New York Giants.
Hot Turkey Meatball & Pastrami sandwich. It's a very 'east coast' thing and probably more New York than Boston, but it's good and we shall be watching and cheering our team! GO PATRIOTS!

Cooking time: Approx 25-30 minutes .

The Meatballs
500g of turkey mince,
1 egg,
4 tbsps of fresh bread crumbs,
250g finely grated cheese,
a good splash of Worcestershire sauce,
1/2 tsp of dried thyme,
salt and pepper to taste.

The Sauce
1 large onion peeled and finely chopped,
1 clove of garlic thinly sliced,
1 420g tin of chopped tomatoes,
1 200g carton of tomato pulp,
1 tbsp of sugar,
1 tsp of green pesto.

The Sauce
Heat a little oil in a large pan.
Fry the onion and garlic over a moderate heat adding the sugar caramelising the onions until lightly brown.
Stir in the tin chopped tomatoes together with the pulp and pesto mixing thoroughly together.
Turn down the heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes ( * then add the meatballs and continue to cook for a further 25 minutes ) until reduced to a nice thick sauce.

The Meatballs
Into a mixing bowl place in the turkey mince, making a small well in the middle.
adding the egg, breadcrumbs, thyme, cheese, salt and plenty of black pepper.
Using a fork fold in all the ingredients until well mixed.
With lightly floured hands, roll into bite sized meatballs ( slightly bigger than marbles ).500g should give you 40-50 meatballs.
( * gently drop the meatballs into the simmering sauce, cover and leave for 25 minutes on a low heat gently stirring occasionally. )

Serving Suggestion
In a warm baguette with either turkey ham or pastrami, with a side order of homemade coleslaw, dill pickles and crisps .
or they are just as good served normally with spaghetti pasta and topped with parmesan cheese.

Extra Special Beef Biryani
( March 2012 )

Extra special Beef Biryani, by 'the hairy bikers'. Yes it is from the T.V. show, we gave it a try and we loved it, so we're sharing it with you. Tender chunks of gently spiced beef in a fluffy saffron rice. If you like a bit more heat, don’t worry about deseeding both the chillies.

Cooking time: Overnight preparation.

100ml/3½oz full-fat milk,
1 heaped tsp saffron strands,
1kg/2lbs 2oz braising steak, cut into bite-sized chunks,
4 onions, peeled,
4 garlic cloves, peeled,
25g/1oz fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped,
2 fresh red chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped,
5 cloves,
2 tsp cumin seeds,
2 tsp coriander seeds,
¼ cinnamon stick,
12 cardamom pods,
2½ tsp sea salt flakes, plus extra to season,
½ whole nutmeg, finely grated,
135ml/4¾fl oz sunflower oil,
200ml/7fl oz natural yoghurt,
2 bay leaves,
2 tsp caster sugar,
325g/11½oz basmati rice,
4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander,
50g/2oz butter

50g/2oz sultanas
40g/1½oz flaked almonds,
3 large ( freshly hard boiled ) free-range eggs,
freshly ground black pepper,
fresh coriander

Pour the milk into a small saucepan, add the saffron threads and heat gently for two minutes without boiling. Remove from the heat and set aside for 2-3 hours, preferably overnight.
Trim the beef of any hard fat and cut into bite-sized pieces. Heat two tablespoons of oil in the frying pan. Season the beef with salt and freshly ground black pepper and fry in 2-3 batches over a medium-high heat until browned on all sides. Transfer to a large, lidded saucepan.
While the beef is frying, roughly chop two of the onions and put in a food processor with the garlic, ginger and chillies. Add 50ml/2fl oz cold water and blend to a smooth paste.
Put the cloves, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, 1½ teaspoons salt and seeds from the cardamom pods into a pestle and mortar. Grind until a fine powder. Grate the nutmeg into the mixture and tip into the onion paste. Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Mix until all the ingredients are combined.
Add a further three tablespoons of oil into the same frying pan that was used to cook the beef and fry the spiced onion paste over a medium heat for around 10 minutes until lightly browned, stirring often. Place the mixture into the pan with the beef. Stir in the yoghurt, 450ml/16fl oz water and bay leaves. Place the pan over a low heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover with a lid and simmer gently for 1½ hours or until the beef is tender, stirring occasionally.
Remove the lid from the pan and stir in the sugar. Increase the heat and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes, or until reduced and thick. Add a little more salt and pepper to taste.
Toast the almonds in a non-stick frying pan and cook over a medium heat for 4-6 minutes. Stir the sultanas into the almonds and immediately tip into a heatproof bowl. Set aside to cool.
Cut the remaining two onions in half and slice thinly. Pour two tablespoons of oil into a frying pan and fry the onions for 6-8 minutes over a fairly high heat until softened and golden-brown, stirring frequently. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Half-fill a large pan with water, add one teaspoon of salt and bring to the boil. Put the rice in a sieve and rinse under plenty of cold water. Stir the rice into the hot water and return to the boil. Cook for five minutes and drain well. Add the coriander and stir until well combined.
Transfer half the meat and sauce into a large, ovenproof dish. Spoon over half of the part-cooked rice and drizzle with half the soaked saffron threads and milk. Top with half the fried onions. Repeat the layers once more. Dot with the butter. Cover the dish with two layers of tightly fitting foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Hard-boil the eggs for nine minutes until firm and drain in a sieve under running water until cool enough to handle. Peel the eggs and cut into quarters.
Remove the dish from the oven and discard the foil. Use a fork to lightly fluff the rice. Garnish with the freshly boiled eggs, scatter with toasted almonds and sultanas. Add a few fresh coriander leaves and serve.

Mark say's:

The flaked almonds are a personal choice thing. we tried it but liked it better without.

Bacalhao a braz
( April 2012 )

This recipe was requested by a lovely couple staying at "foz" in Praia da Rocha in February, hope they like it!

2 Onions,
Cloves of Garlic,
Olive oil ( 1 full cup ),
500g of white fish ( preferably Cod and not the salted stuff! ),
300

400g of straw crisps,
3 Egg yokes
a bunch of Parsley
a can of Black Olives.

Peel and dice the onion as well as peeling and thinly slicing the garlic.
place these together into a saucepan and cover with olive oil.
cook over a moderate heat until the onions and garlic are cooked but NOT browned.
To this add 1/2 the bag of straw crisps, using a spoon mix well, then leave to soften for approximately 5mins. shred or cube the white fish and sprinkle this into the crisp mixture..FOLD it in so as not to break it up too much. now add the remaining crisps, leave for another 5 mins.
To finish the dish add the can of ( drained ) black olives, a bunch of fresh roughly chopped parsley and one by one the egg yokes.
Leave over a low heat, stirring occasionally making sure that the eggs and fish are cooked through.
Season well with sea salt and black pepper.
Cover and take off the heat and leave to stand.

Marky's top tip:

The longer you leave it before serving, the better the flavour will be. It can be eaten hot or cold.

Hot & Spicy Chicken Salad
( May 2012 )

A recipe from Richie, Candy and Molly

1 chicken breast per person is about right,
1 red onion finely chopped,
2 red chillies finely diced,
3 cloves of garlic finely diced,
1 inch of stem ginger finely diced,
cherry tomatoes halved,
iceberg lettuce (or mixed leaves) shredded.

Put all the above ingredients into a BIG bowl and mix thoroughly.
2 large chicken breasts cooked and sliced ( can be hot or cold ), then add this to the big bowl.
Add 1 and a half tablespoons of NAM

PLAH ( fish sauce )and fresh lemon juice ( as much as to taste ) . mix well.
Serve with lemon wedges ( to dress the salad or to add that extra zing. )

Rich's top tip:

Serve with warm crusty bread. YUMMY! The Chicken can be eaten hot or cold.

Malteser Tray (no) Bake
( June 2012 )

A recipe from Sherron and Kev

100g (4oz) butter,
200g (8oz )milk chocolate,
3 tablespoons of golden syrup,
225g (9oz) crushed digestive biscuits,
225g (9oz) Maltesers.

Place the butter, chocolate (broken into smallish pieces) and golden syrup into a large pan.
Melt all these over a LOW heat stirring occasionally so that the syrup doesn´t stick.
When melted add the digestive biscuits and mix together.
Add the chocolate maltesers and stir breifly so as not to break them up too much.
Tip the mixture into a small ( 9x7x1 inch approx ) tin. it should be lined with gresae proof so as to make it easier to get out.
Smooth the mixture down alittle and put in the fridge to chill.

Ready to eat in about an hour and lasts in the fridge up to a week (no way!)

Jackie's tip:

When I made this the other day for Pam and I, we thought may be it needed a few more digestives and I used a mixture of normal / white and malt maltesers.

Seafood Lasagne
( July 2012 )

A recipe from Pat and Les

150ml or a 1/4 pint of white wine
1 tin of chopped tomatoes(400g)
a medium sized onion or small leek
2 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
Lasagne sheets
1 bag (2kg or 1lb) of mixed seafood (without shell and defrosted)
250 g / 8oz grated cheese

Into a large pan over a gentle heat melt the butter without colour, stir in the flour until butter is absorbed . making a roux!
Keep stirring for approximately 2-3 minutes until the flour is cooked out.
Slowly add the milk ( slightly warmed ) using a whisk, to make the sauce.
Finely dice or slice the onion / leek and garlic, frying them off in a little olive oil until soft without colour.
Divide the sauce into 2 halves. Into one half add the onion / leek and garlic mix together with the white wine chopped tomates, bay leaves and seafood. Mix well.
Cover the bottom of an oven proof dish with half the mixture, then cover with the lasagne sheets.
Repeat for a second time with the remainder of the sauce poured over the lasgne sheets and then sprinkle with cheese. and place into a pre heated moderate oven (180o) for approximately 45 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.
Take out, leave to stand and rest for about 5 minutes and serve with a light salad or vegetables of your choice.

Jackie's tip:

if you're not happy about making the sauce from scratch then a basic packet or tetro-pack of bechamel sauce will work just as well.

Chocolate Brownies
( August 2012 )

A recipe from Grace ( Helen's daughter )

100g plain flour
75g cocoa
250g margarine
1 tsp baking powder
4 large eggs
325g caster sugar
100g choc chips

Pre-heat oven to 160degree Celsius or gas mark 4
Sieve the flour , baking powder and cocoa into a bowl
Add all the other ingredients except the chocolate chips
Using the electric mixer on low speed beat the mixture for 3-4minutes.
Fold in the chocolate chips
Line a yorkshire tin with greaseproof paper then spoon mixture into the tin
Put in oven for 35-40 minutes
Cool in the tin for a few minutes then cut into squares and place on a wire tray.

Christiana´s Baked American Style Cheese Cake
( September 2012 )

More than a few people have asked about Christiana's homemade Baked American style Cheesecake which we have been serving this season. In fact we have been selling out of them as fast as she can make them.

serves. 12 portions comfortably. or unless you are Christiana´s mum & uncle Cyril and two more in which case just 4!

To turn up at Marcos because.
She could tell you, but then she´d have to kill you! :) ( joke, honestly )

The good news is she is taking bookings already for next year!

Marco's Clam Chowder
( October 2012 )

We are lucky to be in the right place to be able to use Alvor's own famous clams. However, using frozen or fresh from your local fishmonger is ok too.

100g / 3 3/4 oz salt pork or thinly sliced unsmoked bacon (diced)
( Marky used a pack of presunto ham roughly chopped, or he says parma is good too! )
1 large onion - chopped,
2 potatoes - peeled and cut into 1cm cubes,
1 bay leaf,
1 fresh thyme sprig,
300 ml / 1/2 pint of milk,
400g / 14oz cooked clams,
150ml 1/4 pint of double cream,
salt, ground white pepper, and cayennne pepper,
fresh chopped parsley to garnish.

1. Put the bacon / presunto / parma ham in a saucepan and heat gently.
Stir frequently until the fat runs and the meat starts to brown.
Add the chopped onionand fry over a low heat until softened BUT not browned.

2. Add the cubed potatoes, the bay leaf, and the thyme sprig,
stir well to coat with the fat.
Then pour in the milk and the reserved clam liquid and bring to the boil.
Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 mins, until the potatoes are tender but still firm.
Lift out the bay leaf and thyme sprig and discard.

3. Remove the shells from most of the clams.
Add all the clams to the pan and season with salt & pepper and cayennne pepper.
Simmer gently for a further 5 minutes more, then stir in the cream.
Heat until the soup is very hot, but NOT boiling.
Pour into a tureen and garnish with fresh chopped parsley .


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Sweet Seasons / December 2006 - Camellia -


Sorry! I cheated. You all know that I didn’t post this entry on Dec. 31, 2006. On that day, I was about a hundred kilometers away from my PC and busy cooking all day. But I made it a rule here to post a wagashi entry on the last day of every month, so here it is )

I know. I chose camellia for Dec in 2005, too. Here’s another one. Enjoy! :D

*Wagashi by Shingetsu


Aunty Helen's ginger biscuits recipe - Recipes

Winter arrived in Sydney this week with a bone-chilling shiver. Antipodeans don't like the cold. Not unless it's amber and comes in a schooner.

So I was more than pleased when an invite to dinner this week promised a heart-warming offer of home-cooked pizza. Rather than bring an obligatory box of choccies, I took a couple of apples and a block of butter with me--the intent to rustle up a thank you dessert of apple crumble. In the host's kitchen, I discovered a bunch of rhubarb in urgent need of cooking. Apple and rhubarb? Even better! And a pinch of ginger to give it even more warmth, as well as qualifying it for the latest ginger-themed Sugar High Friday online cook-off!

Apple, Rhubarb and Ginger Crumble

Crumbles must be one of the easiest desserts in the world. No measuring is required. Just rough guesstimates will suffice. A little bit of experimentation with different flavours never hurt anyone either.

Peel and chop enough apples and rhubarb into even-sized chunks to just fill your baking dish. Tart apples (granny smith or Bramley) have better flavour, but the rhubarb will provide some tartness otherwise.

Sprinkle mixture with plenty of brown sugar, a heavy dusting of cinnamon and several pinches of ground ginger (for three large apples and five stalks of rhubarb I probably used about 2/3 cup brown sugar). Add a few extra slices of fresh ginger if preferred, then toss mixture and set aside.

To prepare the crumble, rub in about 60g of softened butter into 100g of plain flour. Add 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon ground ginger and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and combine.

Gently pile crumble mixture on top of fruit, then bake at 180C for about 45min or until fruit is cooked and crumble is nicely browned.

Serve with cream or ice cream, or enjoy it on its own. Alas there was no ice cream in the host's freezer compartment, but I found the ginger added a pleasing warm spiciness which cut through any sense of excessive sweetness or tartness.


Technoratic tags: SHF Sugar High Friday recipes ginger food + drink


Christmas Baking & Cookie Cutter Giveaway!

You know it’s Christmas time when you have the smells of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves wafting around the house! I ended up using my own gingerbread recipe, and didn’t decorate them. I was going to, but then I thought meh I can’t be bothered. I find it hard to get motivated to go to that much trouble when there aren’t small children around anymore. When my kids were little I would spend the first weekend in December baking up a storm, but now they don’t live in the same state as me and I only see them a couple of times a year.

One day when there are (hopefully) grandchildren in my life, I will again get really into the Christmas sweet baking, but for this week just a batch of gingerbread to take to work was enough for me.

The cookie cutters worked really well. Don’t forget to “like” this posting (or make a comment) to be in the running for a free set! I will draw the 2 winners’ names out of a hat next Sunday.

My recipe did not turn out as sweet as I thought it should – but it all got eaten at work on Monday so I guess it tasted okay! It makes quite a large batch, but can be halved easily (the photo below shows half a batch). Or use your own favourite recipe, or the one I shared from the cookie cutters the other day.

Gingerbread

4 cups plain flour, sifted

1 tsp bi-carbonate of soda

approx 1 cup plain flour, extra

Melt butter in a saucepan until just melted. Remove from heat and add brown sugar, treacle and eggs. Mix well and cool for a few minutes, then add flour and spices and mix well.

Turn mixture out onto a floured board (it will be quite gooey still), and knead extra flour in by hand, to make a firm dough. Set aside in fridge for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180C (160C for fan forced).

Roll dough out on a floured board (work in more extra flour if you need it) to 4-5mm thickness and cut into shapes with cookie cutters.

Place shapes on a greased or lined tray (baking paper works brilliantly) and bake for about 10 minutes depending on how hot an oven you have.

Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Note: you can make the dough beforehand and keep in fridge, wrapped in plastic, for a few days – soften to roll out then cut and bake as above.

I threw in a couple of stars & angels as well.

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Christmas Baking & Cookie Cutter Giveaway!

You know it’s Christmas time when you have the smells of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves wafting around the house! I ended up using my own gingerbread recipe, and didn’t decorate them. I was going to, but then I thought meh I can’t be bothered. I find it hard to get motivated to go to that much trouble when there aren’t small children around anymore. When my kids were little I would spend the first weekend in December baking up a storm, but now they don’t live in the same state as me and I only see them a couple of times a year.

One day when there are (hopefully) grandchildren in my life, I will again get really into the Christmas sweet baking, but for this week just a batch of gingerbread to take to work was enough for me.

The cookie cutters worked really well. Don’t forget to “like” this posting (or make a comment) to be in the running for a free set! I will draw the 2 winners’ names out of a hat next Sunday.

My recipe did not turn out as sweet as I thought it should – but it all got eaten at work on Monday so I guess it tasted okay! It makes quite a large batch, but can be halved easily (the photo below shows half a batch). Or use your own favourite recipe, or the one I shared from the cookie cutters the other day.

Gingerbread

4 cups plain flour, sifted

1 tsp bi-carbonate of soda

approx 1 cup plain flour, extra

Melt butter in a saucepan until just melted. Remove from heat and add brown sugar, treacle and eggs. Mix well and cool for a few minutes, then add flour and spices and mix well.

Turn mixture out onto a floured board (it will be quite gooey still), and knead extra flour in by hand, to make a firm dough. Set aside in fridge for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180C (160C for fan forced).

Roll dough out on a floured board (work in more extra flour if you need it) to 4-5mm thickness and cut into shapes with cookie cutters.

Place shapes on a greased or lined tray (baking paper works brilliantly) and bake for about 10 minutes depending on how hot an oven you have.

Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Note: you can make the dough beforehand and keep in fridge, wrapped in plastic, for a few days – soften to roll out then cut and bake as above.

I threw in a couple of stars & angels as well.

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Like this:


Grandma Maude’s Great Big Soft Gingerbread Cookies

Grandma Maude used to make these cookies, often, but not in the shape of gingerbread men. She would make huge rounds of this gingerbread and then slather each with a generous amount of butter icing with orange zest in it. This is the flavour of fall in Alberta. Then I started making them for Christmas. My first attempt was a house. It was the biggest, fattest house you ever saw. It took me forever and I never made another. After that, the recipe was destined to gingerbread men. I made them for my students when I taught elementary school and we would nibble on them as I read the story about the gingerbread man all chanting together: Run, run, as fast as you can! You can&rsquot catch me, I&rsquom the gingerbread man!

I still chant that when I make my cookies. Doesn&rsquot everyone?

Truly, this is the best recipe you will find for these cookies. It is not sweet and it truly a bread type of cookie. The icing takes this traditional treat to a whole other level. We are addicted to them in my family. Every year, we must have these at Christmas. They are so wonderful in the morning or any time of day&hellip with milk, coffee, tea, and cider!

Here are your pictorial instructions. I used the Thermomix and folded the flour in by hand, but the instructions for making them in the traditional manner are also below.

Grandma Maude&rsquos Great Big Soft Gingerbread Cookies: Making the Dough

Cream your room temperature butter and sugar.

Add the egg and the molasses.

Add the baking soda to the sour milk add the vinegar, next, and stir.

Pour the sour milk with the soda and the vinegar into the mixture and mix together.

Transfer the batter to a bowl.

Add four cups of flour and fold into the batter.

You will see the batter is still sticky.

Add the fifth cup of flour and fold into the batter.

The batter should become a dough and will easily hold its shape without being too sticky.

I can form a ball with it though it does stick to my fingers. This is the correct consistency. Not too sticky. Wrap it up and chill it until firm enough to roll.

Grandma Maude&rsquos Great Big Soft Gingerbread Cookies: Rolling out the Dough and Cutting the Cookies

Roll on a lightly floured surface and cut into shapes bake for 10 minutes at 350°F. If the cookies are really fat (thick) it may take 12 to 13 minutes. Keep an eye on the oven. They will not indent when you touch them when ready to come out.

Somebody is excited to have some playmates.

Now, this is what I am talking about.

Grandma Maude&rsquos Great Big Soft Gingerbread Cookies: Decorating the Cookies

What I do to ice these is to chill the icing after making it. Then I used powdered sugar on parchment paper and another on top to roll out the icing to a thin layer. Cut it out the same shape as the cookie, remove the excess icing, and refrigerate again. Remove from fridge and peel the form away from the paper. Brush the cookie with water or sugar water and lay the layer of icing on top of the cookie, pressing in and twisting it a bit to ensure it adheres.

Below, left, is a pile of icing forms layered between parchment. Right&hellip Run, run, as fast as you can&hellip.!

The adult verstion is a little different. Extra orange zest and you have a lovely fragrant cuddle on your plate.


Ragan’s Canadian Cookie Exchange 2015

As I have lived a longer life than my darling daughter, I had come to detest the cookie exchange having participated in more than my share in my life. Usually there are 10-12 people. You make 11-13 dozen (one to share at the exhange for all to taste). You cannot even see straight after forming, shaping, perfecting, and talking to 144 little festive morsels of divinity. Arrive so proud to unveil your labour of love and to take a peek at the others&hellip. when (drum roll, please) your heart sinks as you now have 9-11 dozen little crispy cakes of crap. Think about it, really. Who else is going to labour over 144 cookies with such acute precision, focus, and infinite enthusiastic passion?

That certainly was not the case with this exchange! I was thrilled when I saw each cookie! Ragan loves these parties and they are so much fun for her. She was planning her first one after moving into her new gorgeous little nest, and a couple of the people she had counted on to participate were not able. I am not baking cookies this year. Of any kind. It is a first. For my entire life, I think. When I heard AA, L and Prince William were not able to make it for Christmas, the spirit of Christmas preparation that invades my soul and motivates my every move from September to December, evaporated. I sat in a heap, deflated, like a sulking prepubescent teen. I recovered, but not with any ambition to prepare my usual festive fare. So, when Ragan was sharing her party list concerns, I asked her if she would like me to make a batch of chocolate salami for everyone. That, I could handle. It would be a labour of love (well deserved) for her, and I would actually be going through some Christmasy motions this season. Lovely! She was thrilled. I was happy she was happy. Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!

In the end, there were 5 of us making cookies. That is a number I can handle. Three batches of Chocolate Salami. A generous log per gal. Not too labour intensive for me. Above, my holiday salami.

What a great group of gals. I had such a lovely time! Ragan&rsquos great gal pal and former colleague, Jeannine came with her mom, Andrea, and her cousin, Michele. My mom came to sample!

Her new home was set up with all the Traditional Cookie Party Exchange fixin&rsquos: nibbles, drinks and cookies!

You bet I took her some of my Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur!

See the three of us in the mirror? Cheeeese -y!

Such a pleasure to go into your daughter&rsquos home and see it so festive during the holiday season (and clean, and organized) as every mother would hope for.

Her tree is gorgeous! Decorated so beautifully and added that magic to her home on this day. (I confess, my tree has been up for 4 weeks now with only the lights. I was going to decorate it, but just don&rsquot feel like it. I am not being a pouty puss. Ragan decided to go to her dad&rsquos this year as L and AA aren&rsquot coming, so there will just be mom and Vanja and I here. We are renovating our basement immediately after the new year, and I am just not in the mood.) I loved the twinkly lights on her tree with the spirit of the season tingling tangibly in the air. Such a treat to go to Ragan&rsquos home and sit under such a lovely tree.

Fire was crackling and warming the room.

Guests arrived and the mulled wine was ready. It was a hit. Delicious! The aroma was intoxicating!

I had brought a wheel of brie wrapped in puffed pastry with sun dried tomato pesto and garlic for a little savory bite prior to our sugar high. (I just looked and don&rsquot have a post of this recipe. I am in shock. Soon. If you scroll down you will see lousy photos of how I made it for another party a few years ago.)

It is so delicious, satisfying, flavourful, makes a nice presentation and super easy to make.

Ok. So it has one flaw. Mega calories. It&rsquos the holidays. Fuhgeddaboudit!

Oooh! One of the pure pleasure of a cookie exchange is not just the cookie, but the packaging. Isn&rsquot each one ever so cute? Harder to see all, but take my word for it: AH-DOOR-AWE-BLE!

Except mine. I did the best I could, under the circumstances which means: I made a log, not cookies. I could have wrapped each in wrapping paper. Instead, chose a festive bamboo mat with a bow tied around each. Every elegant party needs a little tacky somethin&rsquo somethin&rsquo &ndash no?

Carrying my favourite little &ldquotacky theme&rdquo to the hilt, I demonstrated how to unwrap and prepare each salami for their cookie plates or for serving on its own. See my business card. That is my contribution to a more &ldquotacky-tacky&rdquo. (Mom. )

Ragan made the most delectable truffles and packaged them in a little lunch box gift box, rolling in two different toppings which increased their presentation value by two! (I do know my math!) The ones in crystal shimmer sugar added a nice crunchy contrast to the creamy dark rich chocolate and Canadian Whiskey center. The ginger cookie and cocoa rolled truffles just melt on the tongue. Each presents a very different textural contrast which I really enjoyed.

These were actually my favourite cookie due to the learning experience, their story and I how tasty they are. Never heard of a Maid of Honour Cookie. &ldquoTell me the story of this cookie, Michele?&rdquo Not sure. Her maternal grandmother had made them, then her mother and she carries on the beloved family tradition. &ldquoWhy the name?&rdquo A silent pause, and then Jeannine&rsquos mom and Michele&rsquos aunty, Andrea, replied with clarity, &ldquoNo nuts in &rsquoem!&rdquo to peels of laughter. I have come to learn through my extensive and exhaustive couple of hours sitting in my comfy chair researching these little ditties, that they were most likely originally tarts. I would imagine that this recipe has morphed into what it now is from the traditional and iconic Maids of Honour Tart. There is plenty of evidence to make this a logical guess. Filled with raspberries, a beloved sweet treat changed during war times and the depression, made from what was available at the time. Or, when first spied by one familiar with the Maids of Honour Tarts, as the appearance is similar, they could have been dubbed &ldquoMaid of Honour Cookies&rdquo simply due to the resemblance. As, they are all too obviously in the thimble cookie family, as well. Yet, these are soft, not crisp, very reminiscent of home and simpler times, yet completely new to my cookie palate. The raspberry jam was the crowing glory and most definitely introduced a perky little personality to this almost bread like cookie. I became immediately addicted, to be honest.

Jeannine&rsquos cookies took my breath away. I could see the hours she had spent on these! Oh, my! This reminded me of myself when I would develop a personal long term relationship with each of my 144 ditties as each took so long to make. Lucky me! This time, I took the short cut and made lovely holiday gifts exponentially less labour intensive than hers. Not close to &ldquocrispy cakes of crap&rdquo, but certainly in tune with that shortcut theme. And these were DE-licious! Tasted just like mom&rsquos and mine. So, maybe I was a little biased due to that familiar flavour I call &ldquoperfect&rdquo.

Ginger Cookies. Made with lard &ndash and love by Andrea, Jeannine&rsquos mom and Michele&rsquos aunt. From the depression era. Simple and soooo delicious. So truly Canadian. I learned this family immigrated to Quebec in the 1700&rsquos most likely from Paris. Motivated to Alberta in the 1800&rsquos by the promise of free land and settled on a prime section of our rich black gold, farming initially on land that is now well inside of Edmonton. Their food culture is steeped in a heady mix of Quebec specialties: tourtière, pea soup, baked beans with maple syrup, Shepherd&rsquos Pie aka pâté chinois and Canadian prairie simplicity. Theirs is the quintessential Canadian story and these soft and tender delicious ginger cookies perfectly personify that. MMM-mmm-yummy!

So, there you have it. I have introduced each cookie, each gal, and had a truly lovely afternoon. The recipes should be coming in photo form and will be added to this post as each arrives. Me? I am tickled. This was an incredible success. I got a gorgeous delicious cache of crisp little cakes of wonder, each with a lovely story, friendships formed, the Spirit of the Season clearly evident as everyone (but me) also left a box of cookies for Mom and Kathryn, as well. They had been invited to enjoy the experience and revel in the tasting, but took home cookies, too. Only in Canada, I say! Below, the entire crew. Everyone&rsquos already talking about next year. I am scared. I know Jeannine will not be making sugar cookies. When I asked her how many hours, she almost got the shakes but reached for her homemade Irish cream and mulled wine at the same time, instead, before answering. I don&rsquot have another little recipe to share that will be as time effective as my salami recipe. I am not sure I will be part of this exchange next year, and have learned not to make promises so far in advance at my age, but I will certainly want to be there&hellip so&hellip.?

The &ldquoMaids of Honour Tart&rdquo is a traditional English tart with a puff pastry shell most often filled with cheese curd. Variations include jam or almonds in the filling. The tart is said to date back to King Henry VIII and tales abound as to their origin. &ldquoThe Original Maids of Honour&rdquo is a tea room in Kew, Surrey,UK and dates back to the 18th century, created to specifically to sell these tarts.


Kitchen flavours

I cooked this Fried Mee Suah with whatever veggies I have in the fridge, and I always have a head of cabbage, my favourite "emergency veggie"! I love storing cabbage as they keep well in the fridge and very good as a stir-fry veggie dish or use them up for simple noodles dish like this. I have used slices of chicken meat, shiitake mushroom, carrots cut to julienned strips, spring onions and fried crispy shallots for garnishing. Though it can't be seen from the picture, there is an egg used!

I enjoyed this noodle very much .

that I cooked this again, two weeks later, this time using some pork fillet meat and added in some bean sprouts, I love bean sprouts, crispy and crunchy, gives that added umph.. to noodles!


Fried Mee Suah
(adapted from "Tasty Noodles" with some changes)
4-5 skeins of mee suah

300gm chicken or pork fillet, sliced thinly to small pieces
2 tsp cornflour
2 tsp water
pinch of salt
1 egg white
2 tsp sesame oil

150gm cabbage (cut to small pieces)
200gm bean sprouts
6 dried shiitake mushrooms (soaked to soften, remove stalk and sliced caps thinly)
1 small carrot (cut to julienned strips)
1 medium onion, peeled, halved and sliced thinly
2 eggs, beaten lightly
2 teaspoon black soy sauce (or more depending on how dark you want your noodles)
2-3 tablespoons light soy sauce, or to taste
dash of white pepper powder
1 tsp chicken stock powder
cooking oil

Getting the Mee Suah ready (same steps from above, refer to the photos) :
Boil some water in medium pot, and let it come to a simmer before you proceed with the steps below.


Watch the video: How Traditional Italian Focaccia Bread Is Made In Genoa, Italy. Regional Eats (October 2021).