still alive, would you believe it?

I think it’s about time to take this blog off hold, don’t you? I’ve been in Calgary for a couple months now and it’s going really well. I’ve been doing tonnes of baking and I have some great stuff to share with you. For now, it’s two components to the cookie platters I’m bringing to my family Christmas dinners. My plan is to do butter tarts, peppermint patties, german gingerbread, sugar cookies, chocolate pinwheels, and anything else I can bake up before Friday night. I’m also hoping to fit in a solstice-feast on Tuesday (since G is working till 12 am on Monday) consisting of Tofurky with stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, another side (corn? asparagus?) and a pear-cranberry tart for dessert.

Today I tackled peppermint patties and pinwheels! it’s not quite the feat it seems: I prepared the pinwheel dough yesterday. The recipe is kind of slow, so it’s a good cookie to spread out over a day or two. My camera is kind of going haywire right now, so I will add photos later.

chocolate pinwheels
2 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 c granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

1.) In a medium bowl, with a fork, stir the flour with baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar. Beat in egg, vanilla and juice. Using a wooden spoon, gradually beat in flour mixture just until it can be formed into a ball. Divide dough in half. Place in separate bowls. Sprinkle one with 1/4 c cocoa. Gently ked until dough is an even colour. Divide chocolate and plain doughs in half and wrap the four pieces separately in plastic wrap. Put in the fridge until firm enough to roll out, at least 2 hours.

2.) Place 1 portion of plain dough between 2 pieces of wax paper. Roll into a 6×8 in / 15×20 cm rectangle. Repeat with remaining doughs. Lay one chocolate dough on top of a plain dough. Press down gently. starting at shorter side, tightly roll layers into a log. Repeat with two remaining doughs. Wrap separately in plastic wrap and refridgerate until firm, at least one hour or up to one week.

3.) Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Slice logs into rounds and place on baking sheet 2 in / 5 cm apart. Bake in centre of preheated oven until cookie edges are golden, 8-10 minutes. Remove cookies to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.

and now on to some delightful little vegan yummies! These were super easy, so I know you’ll be able to whip up a prettier batch than me very easily. Mine look very…experimental, but they taste great. I know the next batch will look a lot smoother.

peppermint patties
– recipe from new 10th anniversary addition of how it all vegan
2 c powdered icing sugar
1 tbsp vegan margarine
2 tsp peppermint extract
2 tbsp vegan milk

coating: 1 1/2 tsp vegan marg
4 – 1 oz squares (28 g) unsweetened or semi-sweet chocolate

1.) Line cookie sheet with wax paper. Mix till doughy milk, sugar, marg & peppermint extract.

2.) Spoon out 1 tsp onto sheet or roll onto a surface lightly covered with icing sugar & cut. Freeze on sheet for 15 mins.

3.) Remove from freezer, roll each into a ball shape & gently flatten (if not shaped already). Handle as little as possible to keep from melting. Freeze 15 min more.

4.) While dough is in freezer, over medium heat in a small pot, melt margarine. Add chocolate and melt, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Once melted, set aside to cool a bit. The chocolate mix should have a slightly runny texture so add a bit more margarine if you need to thin it.

5.) Using a dinner fork, lift a patty off the sheet and quickly dip in chocolate until fully covered. Hold over pot for a moment and let excess chocolate drain off through fork tines. Lay on wax paper. Repeat for all.

6.) Let chill one hour in fridge before serving.

(they are going to blow your mind!)

Oh, and before I forget: I made some beautiful pancakes this morning. Eggnog pancakes. For reals. They were so good my eggnog- and pancake-hating husband ate two of them. I even used egg replacer! If you don’t follow the link and make the recipe you are denying yourself a serious treat.


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