Saturday, December 26, 2020

Date Pudding


This year for Christmas dinner
dessert, I made this date pudding.
A light and tasty pudding with
dates soaked in rum, served with a
brown sugar toffee sauce.
This pudding can be made ahead and
frozen to be used later and warmed up
in the microwave. 
I adapted the recipe from

Ingredients for Pudding
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp ground *nutmeg
¼ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp salt

About 1 1/3 cups pitted dates, 
coarsely chopped
¼ cup dark rum
1 cup water
1 1/8 tsp baking soda.

¼ cup butter, softened at room temperature
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs at room temperature
Grated rind of an orange 
1½ tbsp pure maple syrup
1½ tsp vanilla

(* Ginger may be used in the place of nutmeg.
 I'm allergic to ginger.)


In a bowl, whisk together the flour, 
baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon,
 cloves and salt. Set aside. 

In a saucepan, combine the dates 
with the 1/4 cup of rum.
Let stand 20 minutes, stirring a few times.
Add the cup of water and bring the dates,
rum and water to a boil,
over medium-high heat.
Reduce the heat to simmer and
 boil gently, uncovered for 
approx. 5 minutes, 
stirring once or twice.
Remove from heat and
add the baking soda and let
stand uncovered for 20 minutes, 
stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 350deg.
Place oven rack in bottom third of oven.
Grease a 9 inch square pan, a bundt pan,
 or 10 individual ramekins 

While date mixture is cooling, 
Beat butter and the sugars together 
with an electric mixer.
Beat in eggs, one at a time, 
beating well after each addition.
Beat in orange rind, maple syrup
 and vanilla.

Stir in the flour mixture.
Add in the dates.

Grease ten (10) 1/2 cup ramekins and 
place on a baking sheet.
Fill each dish no more than 2/3 full.
Smooth over tops.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a 
toothpick inserted in the centre 
 comes out clean.

I didn't have 10 ramekins,
I filled 8.

Run tip off a knife around each pudding 
to loosen and turn out on to 
individual serving plates.
Serve warm with sauce and if desired,
a dollop of whipping cream or 
a scoop of vanilla or maple ice cream. 

Sometimes I serve the pudding,
 topped with table cream
 or ice cream instead 
of the toffee sauce.

TheToffee Sauce

Ingredients for Toffee Sauce:

¾ cup butter
1 1/3 cups dark brown sugar
¾ cup whipping cream (35% M.F.)
2 tbsp rum
2 tsp vanilla

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.
Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
Add the cream and reduce heat to simmer.
Cook slowly, stirring occasionally,
 until sauce is slightly thick, 
about 6-8 minutes.
 Remove from heat and stir in the rum and vanilla.
Serve warm over the date pudding. 
(Sauce will thicken as it starts to cool slightly).

Actually I found this Toffee Sauce to be too much,
too big,  but delicious. 
Next time, I'll cut the ingredients in 1/2.


Merry Christmas!

Thanks for your visit 


Classic Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread cookies originated in Scotland.
Made with simple and basic ingredients,
 flour, sugar, butter with vanilla 
or almond flavouring.

Whether you bake them plain or 
paired up with jam, they'll be delicious. 


2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt

1 cup butter at room temperature
1/2 cup icing sugar (powdered sugar)
1 tsp pure vanilla  or almond extract
(Optional)Jam for filling.

In a bowl whisk the flour with the salt, set aside.

With an electric beater or hand beater, beat the butter
until smooth, about 1 minute.
Add the icing sugar and mix until combined.
Beat in the vanilla extract.

Gently stir in the flour mixture 
just until incorporated.
Flatten the dough into a disk shape, 
wrap in plastic wrap, and 
chill the dough for at least an hour.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove dough from fridge and let stand at
 room temperature approx. 5-10 minutes
 or until it is soft enough to roll out.

On a lightly floured surface, 
roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
If you are making the jam filled cookie, roll out
approx. 1/8 inch thick. 

Cut out the cookies with a cookie cutter. 
(Divide the cut out cookies into 2
 and cut half of the top ones 
with a small cookie cutter.

Knead the leftover scraps of dough
 into a ball and roll out again.

If you are using jam filled cookies,
Spread some jam on each of the 
cookie bottoms. 
Set a cutout cookie on top of each,
 pressing the two together 
so they make a sandwich.
( Optional) Sprinkle the top with 
icing sugar before placing
 on the bottoms, if desired.

Place the unbaked cookies on
 a baking sheet in the refrigerator
 for about 15 minutes.
This will firm up the dough so the
 cookies will maintain their shape when baking.

Preheat oven to 350deg. F

Bake for about 10-15 minutes or 
until cookie edges are lightly browned.

Let cool completely.
Can be stored in an air-tight container for a few week.
Shortbread cookies freeze well also.

Two batches of cookies in this photo.

Thanks for your visit xo

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Cherry and Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Great tasting,
green and red cherries
combined with chocolate.
A colourful and delicious Christmas dessert.


2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup unsalted butter at room temp.
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 egg
2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup each red and green cherries 
 (About 15 of each.) Cut in 1/2
(I rinsed with cool water and
pat dry before cutting cherries)

Some ingredients

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, 
baking soda and salt.  
Spoon in the chocolate chips and cherries
Set aside.

In another bowl, with mixer,  gradually 
beat the butter,  both sugars until 
mixture is light. (approx 2 mins)

Beat in the egg, then vanilla.

Mix the flour mixture and the butter mixture together
with a wooden spoon.
With your hands, knead the dough 
until it comes together and forms a ball.

Cut the dough in 3 portions.
Place each on a large piece of
 plastic wrap or waxed paper.
Shape into a log about 12 in. long.

until firm at lease 4 hrs. 
or up to 5 days, 
or freeze for up to 1 month.

When ready to bake,
 preheat oven to 350 deg. F.

Remove from fridge, 
let the rolled dough stand at 
room temperature for
 approx. 5- 10 minutes.

 Using a serrated knife, 
slice cold dough in 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick rounds. 
Too much pink in my photo. I don't know why, I don't us filters.

Place on a lightly greased baking sheet
 or a parchment lined cookie sheet. 

Bake 8to 10 mins, until edges are starting to brown.
(In my oven, I leave them 10 mins.)

Let cool on baking sheet, for 10 minutes 
before removing to cooling rack. 

May be frozen and enjoyed at a later date.

Great for gifts!

Thanks for your visit xo


Sunday, December 20, 2020

Chocolate Cherry Cookies

 A decadent little bite-size shortbread cookie 
with white chocolate chips and cherries.

makes 2 to 3 doz. cookies

1 cup white flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temp.
3/4 cup icing sugar (powdered sugar)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg white
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup maraschino cherries cut in 1/2.
(Rinse the cherries in cool water
 and pat dry before cutting.

Some ingredients


In a bowl mix flour and cocoa. 
Spoon in the white chocolate chips 
and cherries, Set aside

In another bowl, with an electric beater,
 cream the butter, icing sugar and salt.  
Add the egg white and vanilla and
 mix just until blended.

With a wooden spoon, 
add the flour mixture
 with the butter mixture.

Stir together with a spoon,

On a floured surface,
With your hands, knead the dough 
until it comes together and forms a ball.

Divide the dough in two portions and
roll into 2 logs, approx. 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

Refrigerate for 2 hrs. making sure the rolls are very hard...
or you could freeze and bake at a later date.

When ready to bake, 
remove the rolled dough from 
the fridge and let stand at room 
temperature for 5-10 minutes
before slicing.

Preheat oven to 350 deg.

Slice dough 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick and
 place on two cookie sheets
 lined with parchment paper.

Bake approx. 12 mins or 
until cookie edges are firm.

Do not remove from baking sheet 
for a least 10 minutes before
 placing on a cooling rack to completely cool. 

May be frozen and enjoyed at a later date.
Great for gift giving.

Thanks for your visit xo

Merry Christmas