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Christmas Recipes 2023

Candy Cane Crunch

You’ll need:
40 saltine crackers
Two sticks butter
Brown sugar
Chocolate chips
A couple of candy canes

Take those 40 Saltine crackers
Lay them on a parchment sheet on a baking tray
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees
In a pan, melt 1 cup of butter and
1 cup of brown sugar
Bring to a rolling boil for 5 minutes
Pour this over the crackers
Bake the whole thing 2 to 4 minutes
Watch it carefully!
Then remove from the oven
Pour 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips plus
that 1/2 cup of crushed candy canes over the crackers
Swirl it around and put into freezer for an hour
Break it up and serve in your prettiest Tupperware

Rose Shaw 


Pear, cranberry and gingersnap crumble

Ingredients – Crumble
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated (white) sugar
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 cup finely crumbled gingersnap crumbs, fine (about 16 store-bought cookies)
⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Ingredients – Filling
2 pounds (about 4-5) large ripe pears (I used Bosc), peeled, halved, cored and sliced ¼” thick
1½ cups fresh cranberries
½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup granulated (white) sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Stir together the flour, white sugar, brown sugar, gingersnap crumbs, ground ginger and salt until large crumbs form.
In a 1½- to 2-quart baking dish, mix the pears, cranberries, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla. In a small bowl, mix (whisk) the sugar and cornstarch together, then toss it with the fruit mix in the baking dish.
Sprinkle the gingersnap crumble over the fruit. Set the crumble on a foil-lined baking sheet (to catch possible spills) for about 45 minutes, until the crumble is a shade darker and you can see juices bubbling through the crumbs. Christmassy and delicious. Serve very warm.

Lynne Stockwell

Eggnog Pie

NOT the ‘whipped topping’ version!
You can change it up with a graham cracker shell, gingerbread shell, pecan cookie shell… the ‘pie’s’ the limit!

You will need:
1 baked 9” pie shell
A double boiler

1 envelope unflavoured gelatine
½ cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, separated
1¼ cups milk
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons rum or 1 tablespoon rum extract
½ cup heavy cream

Mix gelatine, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and salt together in top pot of double boiler (not on stove yet, but you could be boiling the water).
Beat egg yolks and milk together in separate bowl.
Add egg mix to gelatine mix; stir well. Then cook over the boiling water, stirring constantly, until gelatine is dissolved and mixture thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Stir rum and nutmeg into the egg/gelatine mixture. Chill, stirring sometimes, until a spoonful mounds slightly.
Meanwhile, whip the egg whites until foamy; then add remaining sugar slowly, and continue to whip until soft peaks form.
Fold gelatine mixture into the beaten egg whites.
Whip the ½ cup of heavy cream, then fold it into the gelatine mixture. Place in pastry shell.
Chill the pie until firm.
Garnish with whipped cream, candied fruit or sugared, small cookies, a sprinkle of nutmeg, nothing, or whatever your festive heart desires.

Erica Taylor


Christmas Mice

Basic Chocolate Cookie Dough
1 6 oz. package chocolate chips
1 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
Melt chips, cool. Beat butter, sugar, and eggs, then add chocolate. Add in dry ingredients.
Shape by teaspoonful into a ball, then elongate a bit into a mouse shape. Add eyes and nose. Sliced almonds make good ears. Add a length of licorice for a tail.
Bake 350 10 – 12 minutes.

You can also add 1/2 cup crushed candy canes to the dough and roll out and cut into shapes. They may be iced and sprinkled with crushed candy canes.

Deborah Rennie

Chef Nancy’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Soufflé Cookies

Yields about 2 dozen (3″) cookies
6 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment.
Melt the chocolate and set aside. Using a stand mixer, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form. With the beaters running, gradually add the vanilla and sugar until the egg whites hold stiff peaks but don’t look dry. Pour the nuts and melted chocolate over the whipped whites. Gently fold the mixture with a large rubber spatula, trying not to deflate the egg whites, until the color is just uniform. Immediately drop level tablespoons of the batter onto the baking sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between the cookies. Bake until the cookies are shiny and cracked, 10 to 12 min.; they should be firm on the outside but still gooey inside when you press them. Slide the parchment liners onto racks or use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to racks and let cool completely.  The cookies are best eaten on the day they’re baked but will last two to three days if stored in an airtight container.

Elisa Shepherd

Bread Pudding with Irish Whiskey Sauce (makes 8 servings)

No need to go shopping because just the simplest of ingredients you have on hand can turn into a comforting dessert that uses up any stale bread you might have left over (or that baguette you forgot in the cupboard). Using this recipe as a base, experiment to add your own favourite flavours: finely chopped apples with cinnamon, canned pears or peaches with ginger, mashed banana purée with chocolate chips, orange zest with frozen raspberries, lemon zest with frozen blueberries… The possibilities are deliciously endless!

·    2 cups (500 ml) milk (just so you know, the more fat in the milk, the richer the pudding!)
·    1/4 cup (60 ml) butter
·    1/4 to 1/2 cup (60-125 ml) granulated sugar
·    1 tsp (5 ml) spice: ground cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg (or a mixture of these spices to your family’s liking)
·    1/4 tsp. (2 ml) salt
·    2 large eggs, slightly beaten
·    6 cups (1.5 L) day old stale bread, cut into1/2 inch cubes (can be white, whole wheat, egg bread, raisin bread, whatever you have left over…Old dried out croissants make a really rich and buttery bread pudding… Yummmm)
·    1/2 c. raisins, dried currant or dates (for extra flavour, you can also presoak the raisins or the currants in the selected liquor** for at least an hour before adding into recipe – but do not attempt this with the dates 😉
·    Feel free to add in 1 to 1½ cups (250-375 ml) extra fruit pieces (fresh, frozen or canned) of your choice

Whiskey Sauce  (really, optional, but oh so tasty!)
1/4 cup (60 ml) butter
1 cup (250 ml) packed brown sugar
2 to 4 tbsp (30-60 ml) Irish whiskey, brandy, rum or bourbon** (or 2 tsp (10 ml) extract of your choice: rum, brandy, vanilla, etc.)
1/4 cup (60 ml) water (or same amount of cream, if you want to make this really decadent!)


In saucepan or microwave, gently heat milk and butter until milk is heated through and butter has melted, set aside.

In large bowl, mix sugar, selected spice, salt, and eggs. Stir in bread crumbs and raisins and mix well. Pour in milk and butter mixture and stir. Add selected fruit addition, if using, and mix again well.

Pour into an ungreased 1 1/2 quart casserole or 8” x 8” square baking dish. Place baking dish into a pan of hot water (about 1 inch deep) and bake at 350ºF (180ºC) for 40-45 minutes or until knife inserted into pudding comes out clean.

For the sauce: On medium heat, cook butter and sugar, mixing constantly, until mixture is thick and sugar is well dissolved. Add whiskey (or extract) and stir well (and maybe move back a bit white the alcohol evaporates – do not breathe this stuff in at this particular moment!!!). Add additional water (or cream) and continue cooking on lowered heat another minute or so until mixture is nice and homogenous.

Pour sauce over cooked bread pudding.

Enjoy (ever so much!)

Stéphanie Firlotte

Christmas tree brownies

114 grams or 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate (if using Baker’s chocolate, it is one of the two flat bars that now come in the package, what used to be four wrapped squares. Feel free to substitute other dark/unsweetened chocolate)
¾ cup butter
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour (if you want to make your brownies extra-decadent, you can use 2/3 cup of flour and 1/3 cup black cocoa powder – and let me remind you, ‘tis the season for decadence!)
A sprinkle of flaky salt (optional)
Pretzel sticks (you will need about 20, depending on how you cut your “trees”)
Green cookie icing or candy melts
Sprinkles for decoration

Preheat your oven to 350F. Prepare your pan – I use an 8” square pan, but a 9” square is also perfectly fine, or, if you like thinner brownies, a 9”x13” pan may also be used. Line the pan with parchment paper – lay a strip across the pan so that it covers both the bottom and the runs up the sides, and then lay another strip across the other way so that all for sides of the pan are lined (you will have a double layer of parchment on the bottom).
Melt your butter and chocolate in a double boiler (or just a pot if you watch it carefully).
Add the sugar and stir until well mixed.
Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, mixing well between additions.
Add the flour (and cocoa powder, if using) and fold it in until just combined.
Pour into your prepared pan, sprinkle with flaky salt if using, and put in the oven. Bake 35-40 minutes, checking carefully in the final 10 minutes or so of baking – test with a toothpick or skewer for doneness (the time will depend on which pan you use, and your individual oven). There shouldn’t be wet batter on the toothpick, but as soon as there are damp/fudgy crumbs, remove the brownies from the oven. Allow to cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack.
Once cool, cut into triangles (see diagram for one suggested method) – if you want sharp edges on your brownies, you will need to wipe your knife blade clean after each cut.
Insert a pretzel stick into the bottom of each triangle for a trunk.
Put a drizzle of green (either cookie icing or candy melts) on each tree and decorate with sprinkles as desired.
For a year-round version of this recipe, follow all the steps before cutting the brownies into triangles and then simply cut into squares.

Chantal Hortop


Salted Caramel Pretzel Cookies

1½ cups broken thin pretzels
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
⅔ cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
Caramel Ingredients
¼ cup unsalted butter
⅓ cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Place ¼ cups of pretzels in a ziploc bag and crush with rolling pin or meat mallet until coarse crumbles.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer on mediumhigh speed until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks, honey, vanilla, and salt until incorporated. Then add to butter mixture and mix until combined. Turn mixer to low and add pretzel and flour until just combined. Don’t overmix.
Put the remaining 1¼ cups of pretzels in ziploc bag and crush. Spread pretzel bits on to baking sheet.
Using a cookie scoop drop teaspoon of dough into your hand, roll into a ball, and roll it on to pretzel pieces (making sure to press so the pretzels adhere) and place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Each cookie sheet should have approximately 12 cookies.
Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes or until firm.
Preheat oven to 325 F.
Prior to baking, make a deep indentation in each cookie ball with your thumb.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly golden. Re-indent with the back of a teaspoon if necessary.
Let cool for 3 minutes on baking sheets and then transfer to a baking rack to cool completely

Gail Elliott


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