Brown Butter Cookies

I am always trying new cookies to make and share at Christmas time…company coming over….hunger pangs….okay, so I like to make cookies. The flavour of brown butter is so “comforting”,   I think this will become another favourite.

  • 15 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut in pieces
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • sanding sugar (any colour)


Melt the butter over a medium heat. Stir constantly until it becomes a deep golden brown. This should take about 10 minutes or so. Pour into a bowl to cool to room temperature,  then add the vanilla.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Gradulally stir into butter mixture. Form into a ball then roll into a 13-15 inch log. Should be about 1  1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate for an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Slice the dough into 1/4 inch rounds and set on parchment lined cookie sheets. Brush each one with egg white and sprinkle the sanding sugar on top.

Bake until light brown and firm (16-18 minutes). Transfer to racks to cool. Yummy.

Blue Cheese Toasties

This is a great hors d’oeuvre or accompaniment to soup. It makes 12 toasties.

  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 12  1/2inch thick rounds of a sourdough baguette
  • brown sugar

Preheat broiler. Mix the chese and butter in a small bowl and spread over the bread rounds equally.

Sprinkle each one lightly with sugar. Broil until the topping is just brown and the cheese softens. This will take 1 – 1  1/2 minutes.

Serve on a plate or by the soup bowl, if using.

My Mom’s Ribs

Truly a great dish and was one of my mom’s favourite meals.  She would give you her recipe provided you didn’t change the ingredients and kept it as she gave it to you. Like most Moms.

Serves 4

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped and peeled celery
  • Pinch of salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-4 lbs pork spareribs

Preparation: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl except for the meat. Cut the ribs into three rib sections, making sure any tough membranes are removed and place in a roasting pan. Cover with the sauce and bake covered for two hours. Remove the cover and bake another fifteen minutes until the sauce thickens up a bit and the meat is almost falling off the bone..

Serve with the Goat Cheese Potatoes and you have a wonderful meal.









Apple Creme Caramel Baked French Toast

Wow! The title alone sounds daunting. NOT…..Really a lovely breakfast or brunch item.


  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter (not margarine)
  • 4 tbsp. clear corn syrup
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla
  • 7-8 large granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 loaf french bread, cut into 1″ thick slices, ends removed
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp. each cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg
  • whipped cream

In a saucepan combine the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and vanilla.  Melt until smooth and caramelized.

Spread half of the caramel in a 13 x 9 inch baking pan (sprayed with Pam) and keep the rest for the topping.

Now overlap the apples slices on top and lay the slices of the bread over the top of this.

In a large bowl, mix the eggs, milk, cream, cinnamon/nutmeg and remaining tsp. of vanilla.  Pour over the mixture making sure to cover the bread.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before baking in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes until golden brown.  Cut into 6-8 slices and invert to serve.  *Drizzle caramel sauce over each slice and add a dollop of whipped cream.  Did I mention just how yummy this is???

You may have to reheat this to a drizzle consistency.

Brown Sugar Pound Cake

This is a lovely cake to offer.

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 HEAPING cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2  1/4 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Cream really well the butter and sugars.  This should be light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, beating after each one, then add the sour cream and extract.

Sift together the flour and baking soda, and slowly beat into the wet mixture.  Stir in the chopped pecans.   Pour into oiled bundt pan and bake for 45-50 minutes.  Insert a toothpick to ensure it is cooked through.

Place on rack to cool completely and remove from pan.  If not eating immediately, wrap in plastic wrap and then tin foil and freeze. When ready to eat, either ice it or simply dust with icing sugar.

Individual Pumpkin Tarts With A Twist

This is slightly different. Again, as this is my third baking of pumpkin today, it has been changed up.

You will need pastry dough, perferrably one you made, but if the frozen kind, thaw and then roll out so you can cut out the circles.  I used 4″ pans with removable bottoms. Put the pastry in and fit to the top, just you would if making a pie.

Now with a pastry brush, heat some marionberry jam or a tart fruit jelly and brush the bottom of the pastry.

You need:

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1  1/2 cups solid packed pure pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup of jelly or jam (no lumps).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook for about 30 – 40 minutes, and cool on a rack, lightly covered with a bowl or tin foil. This will allow the pie to continue cooking while it cools and there are no cracks on the surface. True!

Pecan Squares

This could be another one to mark for Christmas baking. When I say Christmas, I mean for all the special Celebrations that happen around the world at this time. This has a wonderful flavour and make sure you are wearing elastic band slacks ‘cuz I just know you are going to sample all the goodies that I am putting up here.

You will need:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2  1/2 cups pecan halves
  • 3/4 cup butter (no mistake)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp. half and half cream
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Thoroughly mix butter, sugar, egg, lemon juice and flour and press it into a cookie sheet. With a fork, prick the entire surface and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven.  Cover the crust with pecan halves.

While  baking, in a heavy saucepan, melt the butter and honey and add the brown sugar. Bring this to a boil and stir continuously for about 6-7 minutes until it becomes smooth and dark brown. Remove from the heat and add the cream. Mix well and pour over the crust.

Bake for another 20 minutes and cool completely before cutting.
Oh gee, another shortbread! Beyond yummy!

Sticky Toffee Puddings

Oh my goodness, are these good. Let’s see…..yeah, you could almost lick your fingers, it is so good.


You need:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 c up dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

Butter 8, 4 oz. ramekins. Bring water to a boil and add the vanilla and baking soda and cranberries, set aside to cool.  Cream the butter and sugar until really light and fluffy. Lightly beat the eggs and add to the butter mixture gradually in three stages.

Sift the flour and baking powder together,  gently folding into the batter.  Fold cranberry mixture into the batter and portion into the ramekins and bake at 350 degrees for 25-28 minutes.

To make the toffee sauce, combine the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the puddings from the ramekin dishes by running a knife around the edge.

Invert on a plate and drizzle with the toffee sauce and a dollop of whipped cream.

The sound you will hear now is people trying to gather up every drop of the sauce. This one is definitely beyond yummy-yummy!

* A note….I just made this with dried tart cherries, by mistake I ight add, and it is equally as delicious. In fact, Don says he prefers it.

Free-stone Peach Muffins

I say free-stone because they are, by far, the sweetest peaches around. My own opinion, of course, but….

My grandaughters came for a short visit this weekend and I made these muffins. After all, it is the season for them and so inexpensive to purchase.


You need:

  • 2 cups of finely chopped, peeled fresh peaches
  • 1  1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup of soft butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. almond flavouring
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 4 cups flour (true)
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • healthy pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp. cold butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 6 large muffins tins and 12 regular size muffin pan with Pam.

Place the peaches in a bowl and sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar over them and set aside (No, it will not be too sweet). Mix together and let sit for one hour or so.

Beat together for about 4 minutes, the butter and remaining cup of sugar until pale in colour  and really smooth.  Add the eggs one at a time beating until fluffy. Add the almond flavouring.

Using an electric mixer, combine 3 1/2 cups flour, baking powder and salt. Mix together.  Add the egg mixture being careful not to over mix. This will be stiff. Carefully fold in the peaches.

Fill the muffins tins equally and in a small bowl combine the balance of the flour, brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until it resembles a crumb like texture. Place a tablespoon over the top of each one and if there is any left over, just add it to the muffins.

Place in the oven and bake for 20 – 23 minutes until golden brown. Run a knife around the edges of each muffin and remove to a wire rack. Serve these warm with butter and there won’t be any left over. I mention this because the kids took the rest home to eat on the way and also have for their supper. What can I say? I have clever grandkids.

Sour Cream Cookies

These are a tasty little treat instead of the same old, same old.

You will need:

  • 1  1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup packed brown sugar (dark)
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla flavouring
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • grated peel from 1 lime

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and grated lime peel.

Cream butter, add sugars and beat until creamy.  Add the egg and flavoring, mixing well.

Add the flour, alternating with the sour cream. Set aside to chill.

Divide into rolls, wrap in wax paper and chill for an hour.  Cut into slices 1/8 inch thick and bake for 8-10 minutes on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

I have had this recipe in my recipe box for about 22 years. I have no idea where it came from but it is sure tasty.

Angelic Cheesecake

After preparing this and then tasting it, you will hear the angels sing. It is a ‘heavenly’ dessert and certainly a must for your next dinner.


You need :

  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 3 pkg. Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup caramel topping
  • 1 Mars bar, chopped coarsely.
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees . Mix the crumbs and butter and press into a 9 inch springform pan. Beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended and smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, until blended. Pour over crust and bake 40-45 minutes until centre is almost set. To help avoid a cracked top, place a small bowl of water in the bottom of your oven. (moisture keeps it from big cracks).

Make sure you have only family or best friends over to eat this or else the line up will form outside if they even get a hint of how good this is.

Red Grapefruit With A Twist

If you like grapefruit and are not on cholesterol medicine this is a new way to have a small bowl of fruit with breakfast.

You will need:

  • 2 red grapefruit
  • brown sugar
  • pistachios

With a sharp serrated fruit knife, cut away the peel and white pith. Slice into thin rounds and divide into 4 of your prettiest fruit bowls.

Combine 1/4 cup of the juice and 2 tablespoons of a light brown sugar. Divide over the grapefruit and now add 1 1/2 tbls. of the toasted pistachios that have been coarsely chopped. Once again, evenly distributed.

Serve with this freshly baked croissants, scrambled eggs and bacon. This sounds so lovely, we may be on the deck tomorrow with our breakfast and a pot of freshly ground coffee.  You too?