Super Easy Red Velvet Cookies

Makes 16

Ingredients

  • 15 oz box Red Velvet cake mix (or White Cake mix)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Red food coloring gel (if using white cake mix)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside until needed
  2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, oil and eggs. Mix until well combined and uniform in color.The batter will be quite stiff.
  3. Stir in both types of chocolate chips
  4. Lightly spray a 1.5 – 2 Tbsp cookie scoop with cooking spray. Scoop batter onto prepared baking sheets, about 2-3 inches apart- they will spread out
  5. Bake 11-12 minutes. Cookies will look soft and be slightly underdone in the center when you take them out- they’ll keep cooking while on the baking sheet
  6. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely

Chocolate Budino w/ Amarena Cherries

Makes 4

Ingredients

Pudding

  • 6oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2oz milk chocolate
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 6 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon cocoa
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup heavy, or whipping, cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • I Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Amarena cherries (incl. syrup)

Vanilla Cream Topping

  • 1 teaspoon powdered gelatin
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 Tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cocoa powder to dust
  • Additional Amarena cherries to top (optional)

Method

Pudding

  1. In a large bowl combine the semi-sweet chocolate, milk chocolate and butter. Set aside until needed
  2. In a pan combine the egg yolks, sugar, cocoa powder and salt, whisking to combine. Over a low heat add the cream and milk, whisking to combine and cook for 8-9 minutes, until thickened and smooth. Take care not to overheat the mixture
  3. Remove the egg yolk mixture from the heat and pour over the chocolates/ butter, passing it through a strainer, or sieve, as you do. Let the combined mixture sit for 5 minutes
  4. Once the chocolate has fully melted add the olive oil and vanilla extract, stirring to combine until smooth and glossy. Set aside
  5. Divide the Amarena cherries between 4 small bowls, ramekins or glasses and portion each with some of the chocolate budino mixture (in the region of 1/2 cup each). Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 90 minutes
  6. Towards the end of this time you can make the vanilla cream topping. In a small bowl combine the powdered gelatin and water, heat for a few seconds in a microwave to dissolve the gelatin and then set aside to cool to room temperature
  7. While the gelatin mixture is cooling, combine the whipping cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract in a bowl and whip to soft peak stage
  8. Reduce whisking speed to slow and add in the cooled gelatin solution to the soft whipped cream, pouring in steady stream as you continue to whisk. Once all the gelatin solution has been added increase the speed and whisk until stiff peaks, taking care not to over beat
  9. Pipe or spread the vanilla cream over the tops of your set chocolate, dust with cocoa powder, top with an Amarena cherry (optional). Serve and enjoy

Galette Des Rois

Makes 1 x 9″ galette

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 1 portion rough puff pastry as per my Saskatoon Berry Pie recipe

Filling

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons cherry brandy liqueur
  • 1 Tablespoon amaretto liqueur
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup ground almonds (almond meal)
  • 3 Tablespoons warmed orange marmalade, sieved to remove the peel

To Finish

  • 1 egg beaten with
  • 1 teaspoon milk

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F
  2. With the pastry divided into 2 as per original Saskatoon Berry Pie, roll to thickness 4mm thick. Using a 9″ plate or cake pan bottom, cut a disc shape from the pastry and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill, and repeat with the second portion of pastry on a separate lined baking sheet. You should now have 2 discs of pasty chilling in the refrigerator while you move on to making the filling
  3. In a medium bowl combine the sugar and softened butter. Beat with an electric whisk until pale and well combined
  4. Add the eggs, cherry brandy, amaretto, almond extract, cornstarch and whisk until well combined
  5. Add in the ground almonds and fold to combine well
  6. Once combined, cover and chill in the refrigerator
  7. Remove one disc of chilled pastry (still on lined baking tray) from the refrigerator and brush on the warmed marmalade, leaving a 1″ border to the pastry disc
  8. Transfer your almond mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle and pipe the filling mixture on top of the marmalade, keeping the 1″ border. Using a palette knife or spatula smooth the top of the filling for any major dips or bumps
  9. Liberally wet the border area with water
  10. Remove second disc of chilled pastry from your refrigerator and careful place on top of the first filled disc (I invert the second disc whilst on it’s baking parchment baking and then peel to remove the parchment). Press the edges over the wet area to seal the edge of the pastries
  11. Using a knife (or a chopstick) push into the galette edge to crimp/ scallop it
  12. Brush the top of the galette with the finishing egg mixture until fully covered and golden. Avoid brushing the side of the galette
  13. Using a sharp knife or bakers lame, cut a decorative pattern into the top of the pasty, careful not to go the full way through
  14. Transfer to your preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is a golden brown (There may be some leakage of butter form the filling)
  15. Once baked remove from the oven and transfer to cooling rack to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing

Amaretti Morbidi

Makes 15

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups finely ground almonds
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • Confectioner’s sugar

Method

  • Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a large baking sheet or cookie tray with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat
  • In a large bowl, whisk together ground almond, sugar and salt until well combined
  • In a mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar until they hold soft peaks
  • Add beaten egg whites and almond extract to dry ingredients and stir until mixture forms a soft, sticky dough, kneading with your hands if necessary
  • Lightly dust your hands with powdered sugar. Use a small cookie scoop to portion dough into 1-inch balls. Roll into a smooth ball, then roll in powdered sugar. Arrange on your prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch of space between cookies
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until tops are cracked and bottoms are just barely golden. Remove from oven; let cool a few minutes on the baking trays, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely
  • Cookies will keep at room temperature in an airtight bag or container, for up to 5 days

Vegan Peppermint Festive Crinkle Cookies

Makes 30

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ¾ cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract

Coating

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

Method

  1. In a bowl combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside until needed
  2. In a medium bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine the sugar, applesauce, oil, and extracts, until well blended. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined
  3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment, or silicone baking mats. Place the granulated and powdered sugars in two separate bowls close by
  5. Remove chilled dough and roll into balls about one tablespoon size each. Toss first in the granulated and then second in the powdered sugar, coating fully
  6. Bake for 12-13 minutes (cookies should be slightly underbaked). If you would prefer a more crinkled look to your cookies, you can gently bang the baking try on a counter-top at this point. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to cool completely
  7. Once cookies are completely cool, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days