Brown Sugar Shortbread

Have you ever made Scottish Shortbread? It is basically the easiest thing in the whole world. You need 3 ingredients and you mix it all together and bake it. No decorating or icing or anything. And its soooo good. Probably because 1 batch has a whole pound of butter. yum.

This Christmas, my G-ma told me she did not want anything for christmas except Scottish Shortbread because her and G-pa love it. Seeming how I asked her for butter, I was sure I could whip her up a batch or two. So I did. And it was great! I put all shortbread in a basket and wrapped it all up nice. G-ma says she isn’t going to share. haha 🙂

I had never actually made ” Scottish” shortbread before and now I don’t think I would ever go back. Its so rich, and smooth and easy! Try it!

On a side note, I have made a small promise to make only healthy recipes for the month of January. Expect things like granola bars, whole grain pancakes, carrot muffins, oatmeal cookies, rhubarb pie, raspberry scones. You know healthy fruit stuff. THEN when February hits…well I can’t predict the future but a month of healthy recipes will leave me crying for chocolate. Hmm maybe February will be ALL chocolate. Hmmm….

Anyways, Brown Sugar Scottish Shortbread – ( G-mas recipe)

2 cups Butter – Softened
1 cup Brown Sugar ( packed)
4 cups Flour

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
2. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
3. Add 3 cups of flour and mix well, add 3/4 cup flour and mix again
4. Sprinkle counter with remaining 1/4 cup and dump dough out onto it.
5. Knead dough to make a soft dough.
6. Roll to about 1/2inch thick rectangle and cut into strips then rectangles about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide
OR divide dough into quarters and flatten into disks and slice into 8 triangles.
7. Place on ungreased, unlined cookie sheets and prick with a fork.
8. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly firm and barely brown.

Andes Mint Brownies

Inspiration and basic recipe from Sugar Plum Blog!

Today is Christmas at my Grandmas and Grandpas. We spread out our Christmas over many days which is actually reallllyyy nice. Currently I am at my grandparents with my cousins planning our traditional Christmas skit.  You see, at my Grandparents, every Christmas we are expected to perform some sort of skit/song/play. My two sisters and two closets cousins and I ALWAY do a skit/song combo. We have done the 12 Days of Christmas ( in versions ranging from New Zealand Christmas’s, Canadian Christmas,  Christmas at Grandmas, Christmas at Grandmas Rap…and who knows what else). Basically 90% of the time our plays are extremely lame, or we are laughing so hard that our poor family members can not understand a word we are saying.

This year we are doing our own rendition of the Potter Puppet Pals…but not Harry Potter and Christmassy.

As you can imagine…this is going to be quite a challenge.
Dinner is in 1.5 hours. We started planning about 30 minutes ago 
On other topics, I made Mint Brownies today.
They are so yummy. I used a recipe I found on a blog called Sugar Plum which is super cute and really good! 
She made hers into yummy little brownie balls dipped in white chocolate. YUM! I just made mine into brownies with a little chocolate drizzle. 
Here is the recipe: 
1/3 cup Oil
3/4 cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/3 cup Milk 
1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1 cup Flour
1/3 cup Ades Mint Pieces ( I had to buy these in the US…not in my canada grocery stores) 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
Coat a 8-inch square cake pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
1. Mix oil, sugar, vanilla, milk, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl of a mixer. Or you could totally do it by hand I think. Mix together until well combined.
2. Add flour slowely and mix until just combined. 
3. Scrape into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the mint pieces. 
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes ( mine took exactly 20) or until its set and not jiggly. 
5. I melted more mint pieces with some butter and drizzled them over the cooled brownies. 
To make the pretty brownie balls that Sugar Plum made, check out her blog for the instructions. Sugar Plum.
Finished product! Yum Yum Yum!!!

Lemon Curd

This is lemon curd…some people call it lemon…oh darn, I can’t remember. My mom was calling it something else the other day, but I now have completely forgotten. 
Lemon…something. 
Anyways, it’s very tasty and very versatile. I like it on toast or pancakes or scones ( I ❤ scones) or just plain bread, in tart shells, mixed with icing and spread as a cake filling, piped into the center of cupcakes or my personal fav, by itself straight from the jar on a spoon ( similar fashion to eating peanut butter and Nutella only this is sooo much healthier cause it’s fruit!) 
I made a batch of this the other day and packaged it into some of the baskets I made. Oh wait…no…its still sitting mostly on my kitchen table getting ready to be packages for tomorrows Christmas celebrations! ( we are all about spreading Christmas out in my family) Shhhh… the recipients don’t know yet. Well they probably do now. But thats ok 🙂 
I was whipping up a quick batch this afternoon because I really wanted to show the step by step process of making the Lemon Curd. Well that was a bit of a problem. I was getting all set up to start cooking when my husband walks through the door with a fellow hay broker. They were going to sit and have coffee etc etc. Ok, well thats all well and good, but I felt veerryyy funny having this stranger sitting at my kitchen table while I was trying to take pictures of myself zesting lemons… I don’t think that he knew quite what to think. Needless to say, I didn’t just snap away like I normally do. After I crossed that bridge, it was just about time to add the eggs, so I swung open the fridge door…and there was only 5 eggs. This recipe needs 8. NEEDS 8. There is no getting away with 7 or 5 or 6. I tried thinking “maybe 5 will do the trick” . It didn’t. So as a result. I have a few lovely pictures of the finished product from batch number 1. And no step by step pictures. I like step by step pictures. 
I also grated my thumb while I was zesting the lemons. I had to pick my skin out of the grater. Don’t worry, I will strain it before I can it so there wont be any thumb skin in your curd! 
Is that gross? It kinda is…
But its cooked. 
You know whats worse? One time, I was grating cheese and that happened on the big holes in the cheese grater…I hope I got it all out. Because that was not cooked. Yum skin taco cheese. 
Ok enough of the grossness and on to the lemony goodness
I found this recipe…well I found many different recipes and compiled and changed things around to make a lemon curd that I love ( and isn’t that the point?). 
So, you need
2 Large or 3 smallish lemons
1 1/2 cups Lemon Juice ( you can squeeze the lemons or just use the bought stuff. Thats what I do, because I am lazy Because I grated my thumb and lemon juice in cuts stings like crazzzyyy) 
1/8-1/4 tsp Lemon Extract (totally not needed but adds a nice zing) 
2 1/2 cups of Sugar
2 cups of butter or marg  ( 4 blocks of sticks) 
a touch of Yellow food coloring gel
8 Eggs
You will also need, about 7 1/2 pint jars, jar rings and seals, a canner
* You can make this without canning the curd too! Instead of canning you would put the lemon curd into freezer containers and freeze. 
So, we start by zesting our lemons. I use the small holes on my cheese grater 
( I actually did juice 2 of the lemons this time) 
Throw the lemon zest from the 3 lemons, 1 1/2 cups of lemon juice and 2 1/2 cups of sugar to a medium pot. Place over medium heat and stir until the sugar it melted. ( by the way, 3 lemons will not give you 1 1/2 cups of juice, you will always have to add more regular juice) 
(sorrryyy its blurry 😦 ) 

Cut the butter up into chunks and add to the melted lemony mixture. Stir until the butter is also melted. Add the yellow food coloring and optional lemon extract.

This is where the pictures end and I realize I only have 5 eggs. 
But what you are supposed to do now is, 
Pour the mixture into a bowl, then strain out the lemon zest and pour it back into the pot. This is a totally unnecessary step, but I do it because I do not like lemon zesty chunkies.
Crack eggs into a bowl and beat up. 
Hold a fine mesh strainer over the pot (perhaps the same one you used to take out the lemon zest)
and pour the beat up eggs into the strainer. While they run into the pot in thin streams, stir the lemony mixture quickly. This will help reduce the chance of having cooked egg pieces in your lemon curd. If you do get egg chunkies you will have to strain it again.
Well you don’t have to do anything, but I would strongly recommend it. 
Cook this for about 10-15 minutes until it is quite thick and coats the back of a spoon nicely. 
While the curd is cooking, heat clean jars in a oven on low heat and heat the jar rings in almost boiling water. 
The other day I heated my jars waayyyy to hot and then poured in some pear butter I was making. My jar shattered in my hand. Don’t do that. It was the cutest jar ever too. 
When the lemon curd is thickened, remove from heat. 
Fill jars to about 1/4 inch from the top and place seal and ring on the jar. 
Once all the jars are filled, place in a canner and pour in boiling water till jars are covered in about 1 inch of water. Boil for 10 minutes and remove from canner. Let sit for 12 hours without moving. 
This should last for about a year in the pantry although there is some information that I have read says it should be used within a couple of months. 
YUM!

Honey Bun Cake

I love cake that is acceptable to eat for breakfast.

I found this delicious recipe on Tasty Kitchen, which is a food community kinda like AllRecipes but hosted by Pioneer Woman. The recipes are usually original and creative. Almost everything is very very yummy!

Last night I made this cake. Honey Bun Cake. Its so yummy. Its a lot like a coffee cake but so much easier and fast and still just as tasty. I forgot to pour the icing on right when it came out of the oven, but it was so sweet already it didn’t really need it.

The lady who posted this recipe on tasty kitchen also has a blog. So for the recipe please visit her blog  called Serve at Once. This is super yummy. Make it for breakfast tomorrow. Yum. Christmas morning cake.

Ok So I also know it has been 100 years since I last posted 😦 . I am sorry! How do I ever expect to get any sort of blog following with that major lack of commitment!
But you see I have been making so many tasty things…I havent had time to share them!

I have been making things like this:

and this: 
and these: 
yummy candy like this: 

and tasty tarts like this: 
and then packaging them allll up in baskets like these
Everything is super tasty and turned out great. I have lots of picture to share coming really soon. Perhaps sporadically around Christmas.