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Sunday, November 28, 2010

30th Birthday Cookies

We officially welcomed the last of my girlfriends to "Club 30" last night.

What a fun night out!

This one is for you Adrienne...

And this one is for you Carly!

For my favourite sugar cookie recipe click here.
To learn how to make royal icing, click here.

Happy Birthday Ladies!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cookies for Julie's Baby Shower

My friend Julie had a Baby Shower today.  She is due in January.  She is keeping the sex of the baby a surprise. So, I stuck with her favourite color, blue, and combined it with yellow.

Love the latest cookie experiment. I bought so many animal cutters over the summer and love this little "rubber ducky" cutter.

Pipe...then flood...
Really adorable...

Baby Z...will you be a boy or a girl?
Happy Shower Julie!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

How to Dry and Store Your Cookie Cutters

There are so many cookie cutters out there!  I began my collection quite a while ago, but it has multiplied significantly over the past few years. No one really told me how to organize my cutters. Here is what I have come up with.  But before I explain how I organize my cookie cutters, I'll explain how to prevent metal cutters from rusting. 

After using any cutters, I always soak them in a bowl with warm water and soap.  I then clean each cutter with a sponge and more soap and water to ensure that all of the grease is removed. 

A great tip that I learned from the book Cookie Craft is how to keep metal cookie cutters and icing tips from rusting. 

After individually washing and towel drying each cutter, place metal cutters on a cookie sheet, cut side down. Next, place the sheet in the oven for 10 minutes at 200 degrees. This will absorb any remaining moisture.

Finally, set warm cutters on a towel to cool before putting them away.

The way that I organize my cutters is usually by theme. I write the name of the theme on a Ziploc bag and store the bag in a plastic container.  Inside the front of the container I write down the names of the themes on a piece of paper facing outward. 

This way, I can see which cutters are in which container.

Other suggestions may be to organize your cutters by shape or size.
Hope this helps!
Melissa :) 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fig Oat Squares

I was over at my friend Jason's a couple of weeks ago.  Little did I know that I would eat half of the squares he had made.  I can't even remember if they were date or fig squares.  Nonetheless, I was inspired.

I bought these figs at Costco. I knew that they would be the perfect filling for these sweet squares.

I had to sample a few figs before beginning to prepare this recipe. They were so delicious!

I boiled the package of figs with brown sugar and water.

After about 10 minutes, the consistency was soft, but not quite soft enough.  I poured it into my Magic Bullet and blended the mixture to form the consistency of a smooth paste. While I prepared the dry ingredients, the fig paste was left to cool.

Don't you just love the combination of oats, sugar, flour and butter?

After combining the dry ingredients with butter, this is what the bottom layer of the squares looked like.

I used an offset spatula to evenly spread the filling over the crust.

...and sprinkled the remaining crumbs over top. 

Boy were these delicious!

Fig Oat Squares (adapted from Dinner with Julie)

Base & topping:
1 cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour, or a combination
1 cup oats
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter, chilled

Date Filling:
1 250 g (8 oz.) pkg. dried figs

3/4 cup sugar, white or brown
3/4 cup orange juice or water

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small saucepan, combine the figs, sugar and orange juice/water over medium heat. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring often, for about 10 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick and jamlike. Remove from heat and blend to form a paste. Set aside and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Add the butter and mix with a fork or your fingers until the mixture is well combined and crumbly. (Alternatively, the mixture can be pulsed in a food processor until well combined.) Press half the crumbs into an 8” x 8” pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.

Spread the filling over the crust, and sprinkle with remaining crumbs, squeezing as you go to create bigger clumps. Bake for 30–35 minutes, until pale golden and bubbly around the edges. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Makes 16 squares.

Bet you can't each just one!