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It’s that time. Let the baking begin!

We are so fortunate to have a wonderful baker. Katherine whizzes through her day with a smile and ease you rarely see. She’s someone who is not only passionate about what she does, but it comes so naturally to her.

That’s a good thing, as there’s a lot of baking to be done in our shop.

Christmas is coming quickly, and we have been working away in preparation for it, everything from savoury shortbread to go with appetizers to those highly addictive peanut butter balls.

Many of our guests marvel at all the items we make by hand. It’s a compliment, for sure, especially since all of our food is made from scratch – no mixes or preservatives. That’s our philosophy.

Take some time to enjoy the holidays, perked up, perhaps, with these tasty treats. Happy baking.

 

Orange Cranberry Florentines

 

1/2 cup sugar

3-1/2 tbsp unsalted butter

2-1/2 tbsp mild honey

2 tbsp heavy cream

2/3 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup fine-quality candied orange peel, finely chopped

1/8 cup of dried cranberries

8 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped

Parchment paper

 

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Boil sugar, butter, honey, and cream in a one-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until creamy and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in almonds and orange peel and cranberries (batter will be thin).

Drop level 1/2 teaspoons of batter about 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. (Batter will thicken as it cools; you may need to reheat for last few batches.) Bake in batches in middle of oven until golden brown and bubbly, 8 to 10 minutes. (Cookies will look runny at this point.)

Cool cookies on sheets on racks until firm enough to be lifted, about 2 minutes, then transfer with a metal spatula to racks to cool completely. These cookies are very delicate; if they become too brittle to lift easily, return to oven to soften, about 1 minute.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a saucepan of hot water, stirring occasionally, then remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat. Dip about one third of each cookie into chocolate, then transfer to a parchment-lined tray. Let stand until chocolate is set, about 1 hour.

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