Monthly Archives: March 2011

Taste Test.

Have you ever had such a bad head cold that you can’t seem to taste anything?

You’re just so congested your ears are popping every time you swallow. The softest, fluffiest lotion lined tissues still feel like sand paper when you’re blowing your nose every five minutes. And as if that isn’t bad enough you’re favourite batch of cookies taste like dust in your mouth.

Because I’m sick and I need to bake me up some medicine, because I’m afraid I might become permanently anosmic and ageusic, because I’ve spent way too much time feeling sorry for myself and because the kind people at California Walnuts sent me a generous sample of delicious walnuts. What better way to jump start your taste buds than with some of the most potent flavours? Chocolate, caramel and toasty walnuts.

Who needs chicken noodle soup when there’s Walrus Bars?

Walrus Bars

Makes 2 dozen bars.

Source: Adapted from California Walnuts’ Walrus Bars.

1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup corn starch
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup honey
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tbsp spiced rum
4 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and rough chopped

Printer-Friendly Version

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and position a rack in the center. Line a 11 x 17 baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, corn starch, powdered sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Mix in the butter until you’re left with a crumbly but moist and consistent texture. Firmly and evenly press the dough into the prepared pan and bake it for 30 minutes.

While the shortbread layer is baking combine the butter, brown sugar, honey and salt in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 3 minutes then remove it from the heat. Once the bubbling stops stir in the cream and spiced rum. Finally mix in the walnuts and spread it evenly over the baked shortbread layer.

Turn the oven down to 300 degrees and bake it for an additional 20 minutes. Let it cool for an hour or 2 so the caramel can set. Once cooled cut them into 24 squares and enjoy!

Black, Yellow and Sweet All Over.

I spent all afternoon trying to think of something clever to say here. The words did not come. I’m at a loss. I’m forced to resort to distraction.

Look, pretty pictures!

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Source: My imagination.

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp lemon zest
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 eggs
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 cup flour
1/2 cup poppy seeds

Printer-Friendly Version

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy. Blend in the lemon zest, juice and eggs. Make sure to scrape off any bits of zest that stick to the mixer paddle.

In a separate bowl whisk together the baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour then mix it into the wet ingredients. Refrigerate the dough for about 15 – 20 minutes to make it stiff enough to roll.

Spread the poppy seeds out in a shallow dish. Scoop a heaping tbsp of dough for each cookie, form them into balls then roll them in the poppy seeds. Place them on the baking sheet and carefully pat them into discs with your fingers. Bake them for about 10 – 12 minutes until the edges brown slightly. Transfer them to a cooling rack and enjoy!