Nov 27

Peppermint Bars

The right recipe for your cookie exchange

Peppermint Bars

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Makes: 36 servings

Ingredients:

• 1 pkg (440 g) fudge brownie mix

• 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) icing sugar

• 7 tbsp (105 mL) melted butter

• 1 1/2 tbsp (22 mL) whipping (35%) cream

• 1 tsp (5 mL) Club House pure mint & peppermint extract

• 12 oz (360 g) semi-sweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped

• 1/2 cup (125 mL) butter

• Crushed peppermint candies (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Prepare brownie mix as directed on package. Spread in greased foil-lined 15×10 inch (38×25 cm) baking pan.

2. Bake 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centre comes out almost clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.

3. Meanwhile, beat sugar, melted butter, cream, and extract in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended and smooth. Spread evenly over cooled brownie. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

4. Microwave chocolate and remaining 1/2 cup (125 mL) butter in large microwavable bowl on high for 2 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Spread over top of chilled brownie. Sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies, if desired. Cut into bars.

Find more tips on preparing festive flavours and holiday feasts online at flavour.ca.

www.newscanada.com

Nov 06

Anything Goes Cookie Dough Cranberry Chocolate Oatmeal Granola Cookie

Try better-for-you baking this holiday season

Anything Goes Cookie Dough Cranberry Chocolate Oatmeal Granola Cookie

Anything Goes Cookie Dough Cranberry Chocolate Oatmeal Granola Cookie

When it comes to baking your own treats at home, incorporating a soft, non-hydrogenated margarine can help make cookies soft and chewy. Becel Buttery Taste margarine is made with a blend of oils, including canola and sunflower oils, and contains 80 per cent less saturated fat than butter. It also has no artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives.

This holiday season, try this simple and delicious cookie recipe as your first step towards better-for-you baking:

Anything Goes Cookie Dough Cranberry Chocolate Oatmeal Granola Cookie

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Makes: 84 cookies

Ingredients:

• 2 1/4 cups (550 mL) all-purpose flour

• 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda

• 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

• 1 cup (250 mL) Becel Buttery Taste margarine

• 1 cup (250 mL) firmly packed light brown sugar

• 1/4 cup (60 mL) granulated sugar

• 2 large eggs

• 1 tsp. (5 mL) vanilla extract

• 1 cup (250 mL) rolled oats

• 1 cup (250 mL) dried cranberries

• 1/2 cup (125 mL) flax seeds

• 1/2 cup (125 mL) raw sunflower seeds

• 1 tbsp (15 mL) ground cinnamon

• 1/2 cup (125 mL) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190° C). Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Beat margarine with sugars in large bowl. Mix eggs and vanilla until blended.

3. Gradually add in flour mixture; beat just until blended. Add oats, cranberries, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and mini chips.

4. Drop mixture by the tablespoon on ungreased baking sheets, 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Slightly press each cookie down before baking. Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until edges are golden.

5. Cool 2 minutes on wire rack; remove cookies from sheets and cool completely.

Nutrition information and more recipe ideas can be found at Becel.ca.

www.newscanada.com

Nov 06

Anything Goes Cookie Dough Chocolate Peppermint Spiral Cookie

Bake homemade holiday goodies

Gift with love this holiday season by giving a homemade DIY gift to the special people in your lives. According to a recent survey, 63 per cent of Canadians say they would like to receive a DIY gift this holiday season. Furthermore, 45 per cent report homemade baked goods as a gift they’d like to receive, compared to the 19 who want store-bought baked goods.

Try this expert-tested and easy to make recipe that will ensure soft and chewy cookies, every time.

Anything Goes Cookie Dough Chocolate Peppermint Spiral Cookie

Prep time: 14 minutes

Freeze time: 24 hours

Cook time: 8 minutes

Makes: 36 cookies

Ingredients:

• 2 1/2 cups (610 mL) all-purpose flour

• 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda

• 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

• 1 cup (250 mL) Becel Buttery Taste margarine

• 1 cup (250 mL) firmly packed light brown sugar

• 1/4 cup (60 mL) granulated sugar

• 2 large eggs

• 1 tsp. (5 mL) vanilla extract

• 1/4 cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour

• 1 tsp. (5 mL) peppermint extract

• 2 tbsp cocoa

• 20 hard peppermint candies, crushed

Directions:

1. Combine 2 1/2 cups (610 mL) flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Mix in eggs and vanilla extract until blended.

3. Gradually add in flour mixture; mix just until blended. Stir in additional 1/4 cup (60 mL) flour and peppermint extract.

4. Divide dough in half (about 1 2/3 cups). Stir cocoa powder into half and candies into the other half. Roll out cream dough between 2 sheets of parchment or wax paper into 10 x 16 inch rectangle. Repeat with cocoa dough.

5. Using parchment paper, place cream dough on top of cocoa dough, trimming excess so dough is even. Gently roll dough lengthwise into log, using the parchment paper to assist (dough will be soft). Make sure to not leave in any paper.

6. Carefully roll log into peppermint candies, using parchment paper to assist. Wrap log in parchment paper then plastic wrap. Place on cookie sheet and freeze 24 hours.

7. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Unwrap log and slice into 1/4 inch rounds, rotating the log 1/4 turn after each slice to maintain shape. Put dough back into freezer between batches. Place on ungreased cookie sheet — cookies might need to be reshaped into circles at this point.

8. Bake 7 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool cookies on sheets 2 minutes on wire rack; remove cookies from sheets and cool completely.

www.newscanada.com

Aug 29

Quick and Easy Kids Christmas Craft Ideas

Christmas CraftsTis the season for holiday fun and joyous cheers and kids Christmas crafts are the perfect activity. Make this a fun family time or even a classroom project and keep the little ones entertained while they explore their creative side. With all the holiday shopping, wrapping presents and running around time and money are short for just about everyone. With this in mind we have gathered up some quick, easy and inexpensive Xmas project ideas that your kids will love to make.

There is a fun handprint Xmas tree, a candy cane reindeer and a paper plate Santa card holder. Each of these are made from simple and inexpensive supplies such as paper products, paint and even candy. Add some fun decorations using glitter glue, ribbon and other accessories. Kids of all ages can get in on the fun with these holiday craft ideas. So gather up some supplies, schedule the time and grab the kids and let’s get crafting.

Kids Christmas Craft Idea #1

Handprint Tree

This one requires no cutting and no gluing but can be a messy project (which kids love). From the smallest to the biggest, all children love to paint their hands and get messy (even us adults get in on the fun sometimes).

Supplies

  • Construction Paper
  • Green Paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Glitter Glue or Stickers

Directions

  1. Lay down some newspaper over your work area as this can get a little messy. Make sure the children are wearing old clothes and not their Sunday best.
  2. Place a piece of construction paper in front of the child. Use any color except green.
  3. Have your child completely paint one hand with the green paint. Starting at the top of the paper (which will become the bottom of the tree) have them place their hand with the pinky close to the edge of the paper. Place 3 or 4 more handprints right next to the other until they have reached the other side of the paper. If you want, they can use both hands so that the pinky is always facing the edge on the sides of the tree. You can also just use the one hand and have the thumb facing out on one side of the tree.
  4. Keep having them press handprints above this first row but make the second row smaller so the tree gets thinner as it gets near the top. The top of the tree should be just one handprint.
  5. Now let the paint dry. Once the paint is dry they can decorate it with glitter glue, paint or even stickers. You can even have them glue on beads and ribbon.

Kids Christmas Craft Idea #2Candy Cane Reindeer

These cute reindeer will look great hanging on your Xmas tree. On the big day the kids can take these off the tree and enjoy eating the candy cane. So remember to keep the paper wrapped around the candy cane so you can enjoy this later.

Supplies

  • 1 Candy Cane (per reindeer)
  • Wiggle Eyes
  • Small Red or Brown Pom Pom
  • 1 Brown Pipe Cleaners
  • Green Paper or Felt
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Directions

  1. Holding the candy cane with the curved section facing up and towards you, glue on a pom pom near the end of the curved section. This is his nose.
  2. Now glue on two wiggle eyes on either side of the candy just above the nose.
  3. Take a pipe cleaner and bend and shape into antlers. Twist this around the candy cane right at the curve section. Now cut off smaller sections of the pipe cleaner and twist these around the antlers for some points.
  4. Finish this off by cutting out a bow tie with the green paper and glue this on the straight section where the neck would be.
  5. To hang this adorable decoration just tie some string in a loop around the antlers. Then use your ornament hangers to place it on your tree.

Kids Christmas Craft Idea #3Santa Card Holder

With so many holiday cards it is hard to find a spot for all of them. This cute Santa card holder will help you find space and make a great addition to your decorations.

Supplies

  • 2 Sturdy Paper Plates
  • Red Paint
  • Black and Red Marker
  • Cotton Balls
  • Glue
  • Scissors

Directions

  1. Paint the front of a paper plate red and let it dry.
  2. Cut the other paper plate in half. Save the other half for another project.
  3. Once the paint is dry, place the half plate on top of the full plate to where both the bottoms of the plates are facing outward. Glue the rims together the hold in place. Make sure the glue is dry before moving onto the next step.
  4. With the black marker draw eyes on the half paper plate near the top. With the red marker draw on a mouth.
  5. Take cotton balls and cover the edges of the half plate for a beard and hair. Glue on a couple cotton balls on the red plate on the top and slightly to one side to make it look like a Santa hat.
  6. Now glue on some string or yarn on the back to hang on the wall. Now simply fill it up with your holiday greeting cards.

These are just a few of many kids Christmas craft ideas that you can try. Use your creative side and imagination and make these unique and special. You can use them for decorations or give them as gifts. So happy crafting and Happy Holidays.

 

Author Julie Barros is the creator of Cool Kids Craft Ideas where you will find lots of crafting ideas including more kids Christmas Crafts.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Aug 03

Kids Soap Making – Guaranteed to Keep Little Ones Amused During the Holidays!

Snowflake Soap

Snowflake Soap

Homemade soap making is fun for any age and for kids, soap making allows them to be creative, have fun and end up with a usable product. I know when my kids were small, they absolutely loved making their own soaps, and what better way to get them into the tub!

Now, I’m going to give you a couple of different recipe ideas, the first one being very simple and suitable for quite tiny children. The second one can still be made by kids but definitely needs constant adult supervision because a microwave and sharp knife is needed.

Right, lets get the kids soap making and creating lovely bubbles!

Recipe 1

Ingredients:

  • Soap Flakes (or some bars of pure soap grated finely into a powder)
  • Liquid Food coloring
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Bowl
  • String (if the kids want to make soap on a rope)

How to make it:

  1.  Pour about 3 cups of soap flakes into a large bowl
  2.  Add 1 to 1 and 1/2 cups of water with a few drops of food coloring added to it.
  3.  Mix the ingredients with your hands until it forms a consistency like play dough
  4. To shape it, take a drop or two of vegetable oil and rub it between the palm of your hands – now shape anyway you wish.
  5.  To make a soap on a rope, cut a piece of string and tie the ends together. Push the knotted end gently into the finished shape.
  6.  Let the completed soap stand to set over night

If you are using grated soap, you may not need as much water to mix to a dough like consistency.
Alternatively, let the kids roll out the dough to the required thickness and use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Another soap on a rope idea is to cut out two shapes of different colored dough and sandwich the string between the two shapes.

Recipe 2

Items that you will need:

  • Sharp knife
  • Scented oil
  • Sparkles or glitter (optional)
  • Colored glycerin soap
  • Soap molds
  • Spray vegetable oil
  • Glass measuring jug
  • Toothpicks
  • Cutting board
  • Decorative packaging (optional)

How to make it:

  1. Lightly spray the soap mould with vegetable oil to prevent the soap from sticking alternatively grease the mold with a little vaseline
  2. Cut the glycerin soap into small cubes
  3. Place the cubes into a glass measuring jug
  4. Put the glass jug into the microwave and heat on high until the soap has melted. This can take about a minute.
  5. It’s important to do this next step quickly because melted glycerin soap soon hardens. Add a couple of drops of your chosen fragrance. Bubblegum fragrance is a great choice because it smells so yummy! Also at this stage, if you want, add a few sparkles or glitter and stir around using the toothpick.
  6. Carefully pour the melted soap into your moulds and leave for at least half an hour
  7. When the soap has cooled and hardened, carefully pop it out of the mold
  8. The soap is now ready to be wrapped in your choice of packaging, or, if making a special gift for someone several soaps could be put into a small wicker basket.

Take care to supervise kids soap making in the kitchen at all times and ensure they wear aprons and use an oven cloth when handling hot pans and ingredients.

 

Whether you are looking for fresh ideas for a hobby or looking to generate a much needed second income, then I have just the product for you. I have written an informative e-book which contains all the information you need to be successful at selling your products, plus it contains over 80 different and original recipe ideas. So if you want to encourage your kids soap making and learn to make spa quality products plus find out how to start your business from home, then visit my website at www.homemadeskinproducts.com.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Jul 30

Christmas Tree Safety Tips

Christmas tree and Christmas decorationsChristmas time and decorating the Christmas tree is a favorite part of many people’s holiday season. Many family traditions involve going to a tree farm or Christmas tree store to pick out the perfect tree. A real tree can add the beauty of the season to your home and fill it with a pleasant scent of pine.

Unfortunately, real Christmas trees can also pose a fire hazard. According to the National Safety Council, each year more than 400 residential fires involve Christmas trees and tragically nearly 40 deaths and 100 injuries result from those fires. To help protect your family this holiday season, below is a list of important Christmas tree safety tips.

Christmas Trees:

  • Select a fresh tree by looking for one that is green.
  • The needles of pine and spruce trees should bend, not break, and be hard to pull off the branches.
  • For the fir tree species, the needles should snap when bent, much like a fresh carrot.
  • Also, look for sticky sap on the tree’s trunk.
  • Cut off approximately two inches of the tree’s trunk and place the tree in a sturdy, water-holding stand.
  • Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times so that the tree does not dry out too quickly.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet (one meter) away from any heat source, such as fireplaces and radiators.
  • Try to position the tree near an outlet so that cords are not running long distances.
  • Do not place the tree where it blocks doorways or foot traffic.
  • If you decide to use an artificial tree, buy one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant.
  • Be sure the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label is on an artificial tree with built-in electrical systems.

Tree Lights:

  • Only use indoor lights with the UL label.
  • Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections.
  • Replace any damaged light sets.
  • Do not use more than three light sets on any one extension cord. Also be sure to place the extension cord next to a wall to avoid a tripping hazard.
  • Do not run extension cords under rugs.
  • Always turn off lights and decorations on your Christmas tree when you leave the house or go to bed.
  • Never use electric lights on a metal tree.

Tree Ornaments:

  • Avoid placing breakable or small tree ornaments with detachable parts on the tree’s lower branches where small children and pets can reach them.
  • Never place lighted candles on a tree or near any flammable materials or decorations.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on all Christmas tree ornaments.
  • Use the proper step stool or ladder to reach the top of the tree while decorating.

Disposing of Tree:

  • It is time to dispose of the tree when it begins dropping needles. Dried-out trees are highly flammable and should not be left in a house, garage, or placed against the house.

To keep your family and home safe this year, be sure to check your smoke alarms, replace batteries as needed, and know what your fire escape plan is.

Happy Holidays!

 

Lesley Dietschy is a freelance writer and the founder of http://www.HomeDecorExchange.com – The Home Decor Exchange is a valuable website full of information and resources about home and garden decorating.

In addition to editing the Home Decor Exchange website, Lesley is a crochet pattern designer and needle fiber artist. You can view her crochet patterns and needle fiber designs at: http://www.ErinOliviaDesigns.Etsy.com

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Jan 23

Creamy Speculoos Fudge

A mouth-watering treat that’s deliciously spiced and perfectly sweet

Creamy Speculoos Fudge

Creamy Speculoos Fudge

With its traditionally Christmas-like flavours, this fudge makes a great gift for anyone with a sweet tooth.

“Inspired by the traditional spiced cookie from Belgium and Netherlands, the velvety spread used in this recipe contains a plentiful amount of crushed cookies. Flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger make a great base for homemade candy,” says Chef Tom Filippou, executive chef President’s Choice. “Microwave fudge is a gift from the sugar gods – no boiling sugar, candy thermometers, and sore arms from stirring the candy until it cools.”

Creamy Speculoos Fudge

Ingredients:

• 2 cups (500 mL) granulated sugar

• 1/2 cup (125 mL) evaporated milk

• 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

• 1 cup (250 mL) PC Speculoos Cookie Butter

Directions:

1. Line bottom and sides of 8-inch (2 L) square baking dish with foil; set aside.

2. Stir together sugar, evaporated milk and salt in large glass bowl until thick and grainy. Heat in microwave on high for 2 minutes then whisk for 10 seconds. Return to microwave; heat for another 1 minute.

3. Whisk in cookie butter; heat for 30 seconds. Using wooden spoon, stir vigorously for a few seconds then heat for another 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir very well; immediately pour into prepared pan, smoothing top with wooden spoon. Let cool on counter for a few minutes then refrigerate to cool completely.

4. Lift fudge from pan; remove foil and cut into 64 squares.

www.newscanada.com

For more holiday dessert ideas, have a look at our favorite cheesecake recipes!

Dec 03

Craft Project – Embroidered Holiday Ornaments

hand-made-pillow-with-embroidered-birdsI really enjoy making these primitive country-style holiday ornaments each and every year because they are easy to make and I can use up a lot of my left-over scrap fabric and embroidery supplies. If you are a beginner craft, you can make these! In less than 1 hour, you will have a brand new holiday ornament that you made all by yourself.

Skill Level: Beginner
Time Involved: 1 hour

Supplies Needed:

  • holiday pattern from coloring book
  • disappearing ink marker
  • small piece of tea-dyed muslin fabric
  • embroidery floss and embroidery needle
  • small amount of poly fill stuffing
  • scissors
  • sewing machine with basic sewing supplies
  • scrap piece of homespun fabric
  • wax crayons (optional)

Pattern Notes: You will need to obtain your own holiday pattern. I got mine from a child’s coloring book and traced it onto my muslin fabric using a disappearing ink marker. My pattern measures 3″ wide by 4″ high. You can shrink any pattern you want to use to ornament size by scanning it in and shrinking it down before printing it out.

Optional: If desired, you can use wax crayons and color in a few small areas of your design to add some color to it. You will want to do this before starting your stitching.

Step 1: Trace pattern onto muslin fabric. Using 3 strands of embroidery floss in coordinating colors, hand stitch all pattern lines on the design. In my case, I selected a Santa Claus face and used red, gray, black and green embroidery floss. For his eyes and mouth, I used french knots.

Step 2: Using a tape measure, I measured 1 1/2″ past my stitch designed area and cut my muslin down to size. It now measures 4 1/2″ by 5 1/2″ in size. You will need a second piece of muslin fabric measuring the same size as your first piece. Cut a piece of homespun fabric measuring 1″ wide by 4 1/2″ long. Pin right sides together with the homespun hanging loop at the top.

Step 3: Sew around 3 1/2 of your edges, leaving 1/2 an edge open so that you can turn your design area inside out. Once you have completed the sewing, lightly stuff your ornament with poly fill stuffing. Using a sewing needle, hand sew the opening shut with little stitches.

Your ornament is now ready to be hung onto your holiday tree, package or on a peg shelf.

 

Shelly Hill is a mother and grandmother living in Pennsylvania who enjoys crafting, sewing, quilting and scrapbooking. You can visit Shelly’s online craft blog called Passionate About Crafting at http://passionateaboutcrafting.blogspot.com for free craft project ideas and tips. You can find a photo of the completed project on Shelly’s blog at passionateaboutcrafting.blogspot.com.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Dec 03

Craft Project – Easy Beaded Icicle Holiday Tree Ornaments

Frost Covered Beaded Ornament

Are you looking for a great craft project that you can do with older children? If so, I have a great project to share with you today. These beaded icicle holiday tree ornaments are super easy to make and they are inexpensive. You can find all of the supplies at your local general craft supply store.

You can make these cute icicle ornaments any color that you would like, but I think they look the best when made with pale blue and clear beads. Once you hang them onto your holiday tree, you will find that your Christmas tree lights will enhance their beauty. In addition, once the project has been completed, they can be hung off of garlands, on holiday wreaths or used a cute package toppers.

Materials Needed Per Ornament

  • 9″ piece silver bendable craft wire (thick enough to hold its shape)
  • 6 blue 6 mm and 8 mm faceted plastic round beads
  • 8 clear 2 mm faceted plastic round beads
  • 1 clear 1″ oblong plastic bead
  • sharp wire cutters
  • needle nose pliers
  • (optional) all-purpose liquid craft glue

Before you begin this project, lay some newspaper down onto your work surface if you decide to use glue. Make sure when you are cutting the wire that all of the small pieces are properly disposed of.

Step 1: If you purchased your wire by the spool, cut off a 9″ piece. Using needle nose pliers, twist one of the ends into a very small loop and make sure that it is tightly twisted so that it will hold your beads on firmly.

Step 2: Thread onto your wire the following: 1 clear oblong bead, 1 clear small round bead, 1 blue round bead and continue with the round bead pattern (minus the oblong one) until you have 11 beads on the wire. Then thread on 2 of the clear little beads, followed by 1 round blue bead.

Step 3: Twist the rest of your wire into a pleasing shape to resemble an icicle. Using your needle nose pliers, twist the remaining end of wire into a small loop.

The shape that you twist your icicle into should have a 3/4 large circle towards to the top so that it can be hung from a Christmas Tree branch.

Tips: If you find that your beads are sliding around too much and not staying in place, dab a small amount of glue onto the bead before stringing it onto the wire. If you would like to make your icicles large, just increase the sizes of your wire and purchase additional beads. For inexpensive ornaments, use plastic beads. If you want elaborate and fancy ornaments, purchase glass beads.

 

Shelly Hill is a mother and grandmother living in Pennsylvania who enjoys crafting. You can visit Shelly’s online craft blog called Passionate About Crafting at http://passionateaboutcrafting.blogspot.com for free craft tips and craft project ideas. You can find a photo of the completed project at passionateaboutcrafting.blogspot.com.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Nov 11

Christmas Cookie Recipe: Whole Wheat Gingerbread Cookies

Whole Wheat Gingerbread Cookies

Whole Wheat Gingerbread Cookies

This traditional festive cookie incorporates whole wheat flour to provide a fiber boost without compromising flavor or texture.

Whole wheat gingerbread cookies

Prep time: 30 minutes

Chill time: 1 hour

Bake time: 9 minutes

Yields: approximately 6 dozen (72) cookies

Ingredients:

• 1 cup (250 mL) unsalted butter, softened

• 1 cup (250 mL) packed golden yellow sugar

• 1/4 cup (60 mL) 100% pure fancy molasses

• 1 large egg, lightly beaten

• 1 tsp (5 mL) Great Value Artificial Vanilla Extract

• 1/2 tsp (2 mL) iodized sea salt

• 1 1/2 cups (275 mL) Great Value Whole Wheat Flour

• 1 1/2 cups (275 mL) Great Value All Purpose White Flour

• 2 tsp (10 mL) ground ginger

• 2 tsp (10 mL) ground cinnamon

• 2 tsp (10 mL) Great Value Baking Cocoa

• 2 tsp (10 mL) Great Value Baking Soda

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses, egg, vanilla, and salt until combined.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients; add to wet ingredients and mix until well blended and dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before handling. If chilled overnight, allow the dough to warm up slightly or it may crack when it is rolled out.

3. Preheat oven to 350F (175C.) Line two baking trays with parchment paper, set aside. Divide dough into 4 pieces; roll out one at a time keeping the remaining dough refrigerated.

4. Roll dough to ¼ inch (½ cm) thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut into desired shapes using floured cookie cutters. Carefully transfer to prepared baking trays.

5. Bake for 7-9 minutes, rotating trays top to bottom halfway through, or until cookies are set. Cool 1-2 minutes on the tray then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.

Tips:

Make a simple Royal Icing to decorate. It will harden overnight, making the cookies stackable for storage. Lightly whisk together 1 egg white and ¼ tsp (1 mL) lemon juice. Gradually beat in 1 ½ – 2 ½ cups (375-625 mL) of icing sugar to desired consistency. Tint using food colouring, then pipe onto cookies using a zipper storage bag with the corner snipped off. Allow the icing to dry overnight before storing in an airtight container.

More cookie recipes are available at www.walmart.ca/recipecentre.

www.newscanada.com

For more holiday dessert ideas, have a look at our favorite cheesecake recipes!