Hot Polka Dot
27Oct/11

Cute On A Stick.

There are those among us that dare to claim they don't like candy corn. I won't name names here, but just know the list is a long one. Candy corn is just one of those things you either love or hate. For instance: I love the bright caramel flavour, but I kind of hate the pain I get in the back of my eyeballs when I eat more than my fair share. I tolerate a lot of eyeball pain this time of year.

When I saw some photos of cookies like these floating around on Pinterest I knew I had to try them out with my amazing whipped shortbread recipe. For those of you that have never had whipped shortbread, first of all you must know that I pity you, and second of all you should know that it's like the cookie equivalent of cotton candy. Have you ever honestly had a melt-in-your-mouth cookie? Well you're about to, my friends. No more doorstop shortbread for you! Or chewing come to think of it.

So, getting back to my love of candy corn... These adorable cookies are not only shaped like my favourite candy, but actually have the audacity to perch themselves on sticks thus increasing their cuteness threefold. Everyone knows food is cuter on sticks right?

Ok, let's review.

Candy corn = yum.
Whipped shortbread = life changing.
Sticks = cute.

Now that we know there's a method to my madness, why not bake up some yummy-life-changing-cute-on-a-stick? You know you want to.

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26Oct/11

Fingers Crossed.

Have you ever had one of those thoughts that seemed like a good idea at the time then suddenly you find yourself wrist-deep in cookie dough and the cat is trying to eat the styrofoam gravestones and somehow you spent a small fortune on things like faux cobwebs and glow-in-the-dark skeletons?

This weekend our house will be invaded by a handful of twelve year old girls hopped on on handfuls of sugar. Sugar that I will be providing in abundance. Sugar that I will be encouraging the consumption of. Sugar laid out in pretty packaging on pretty platters and in pretty bowls.

Let's not forget this was all my idea. I claim full responsibility for any resulting cavities, scraped knees, overturned soda bottles, pumpkin carving injuries and popped eardrums.

I'm the sort of person that has the tendency to get a little carried away. Being creatively inclined I am all too familiar with the frustrating feeling that comes from imagination not matching up with reality. I have to remember I have a big imagination. This time I wanted to get it right. This time I wanted to throw an awesome party for Sable. This time I wanted her friends to talk about it for years to come.

So yeah, we pulled out all the stops. Fog machine, strobe light, spooky sounds CD, bubbling cauldron, dessert table, pumpkin carving, talking crows, ghost stories... The works!

And, of course, I couldn't forget the classic Witch Finger Cookies. I'm sure you've seen them before. It's nothing new, but I make them every year and I thought it was time to share them with you. Mine are a bit different. A little less blood and gore and more delicious almond flavour.

Just a little something to make the perfect Halloween party even better!

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21Oct/11

Cloudy With A Chance of Delicious.

You ever had one of those days?

Maybe you put your underwear on inside out. Maybe you just couldn't wait for the dryer to be done and you had to rush out of the house wearing a half damp sweater. Maybe it rained all day and the humidity made your hair interminably frizzy. Maybe you stepped in a puddle and ruined your new suede shoes. Maybe you thought your favourite show was on at 9 but really it was on at 8 and you missed it. Then maybe at the end of it all, when you just want to curl up in bed and sleep away the bad, you realize you left the sheets in the washer.

There there. Tomorrow will be different.

Maybe tomorrow you'll make these deliciously easy, fantastically tasty Sugar and Spice Toasted Pumpkin Seeds. Maybe the world will suddenly be a different place. Maybe the house will smell like pie. Maybe the rain will clear and your shoes will dry. Maybe you'll catch a repeat of that episode you missed. Maybe you'll have something to idly munch on between your clean sheets and your favourite book. Life is good again.

I say maybe because I'm not going to presume to tell you what you should or shouldn't do. It's your life. It's up to you of course. If you want frizzy hair, damp clothes and puddle shoes then far be it from me to tell you otherwise. On the other hand, if you like rainbows, pie smells and snacks in bed, then yes, yes you should make these. And quickly. Before it's too late!

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19Oct/11

How To… Er… Wednesday: Easy As Pie.

I have been told that Pumpkin Pie baked with real pumpkin puree is far superior to the canned pumpkin puree. Since I'm pretty new to the whole Pumpkin Pie experience I thought I'd test that theory. Making pumpkin puree was pretty easy so I thought it was worth sharing with everyone.

First you have to get yourself a sugar or pie pumpkin. They're the smaller ones anywhere between the size of a five pin bowling ball to a ten pin bowling ball. They're usually darker than a jack-o-lantern pumpkin with more pronounced ridges and a straighter stem.

You might think that you can just buy a smaller jack-o-lantern pumpkin and bake it up just fine. True, you could, but you'd get the best results with a pie pumpkin. Jack-o-lantern pumpkins are grown for their thin flesh and stringy insides to make them easier to carve. Pie pumpkins are grown for their thick flesh and taste for best results in baking.

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14Oct/11

Fall Into Fall.

It's finally Fall.

I know this because my footsteps are stalked by the soft tinkling of tiny colourful leaves. I know this because all the crab apples fell off the tree before I had the chance to turn them into jam or pie. I know this because it's still warm enough to get away with wearing peep toe heels but cool enough that I need to pair them with a light faux leather coat. I know this because the simple act of turning on the oven is welcomed instead of avoided. I know this because I'm drawn to warm and homey flavours like rich demerara sugar, thick molasses and spicy cinnamon.

To continue my pumpkin theme and demonstrate a creative use of my Pumpkin Pie Spice I've made these Pumpkin Spice Ginger Snaps. They're not your average Ginger Snaps. I've spiced them up a smidgen. Less ginger and more cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Less snappy and more chewy. They're coated with big bold crystals of turbinado sugar and a flavour to match.

Just the push I needed to fall into Fall.

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