Strawberry Cookies w/ Strawberry Chocolate Topping

If there’s one berry most people have a fondness for, it’s strawberries. Even though available year-round, strawberries’ full flavor shines best beginning in May through late summer, the prime seasons for strawberries. Advances in transportation and refrigeration have allowed for strawberries to become a seasonless fruit.

Winter is done and we’re ready to embrace all things springtime! Spring is about rebirth, sunshine, new life, things in bloom, etc. With bright colors, fresh flavors, and interesting designs, spring cookies are the perfect way to welcome in the warmer weather and say goodbye to the winter blues. 

Today I thought I would start with a crisp shortbread type cookie and add some ‘pizzazz‘ with some strawberries, white chocolate and a few pistachios. I think you will like these!

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Strawberry Cookies w/ Strawberry Chocolate Topping
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Servings
COOKIES
Ingredients
Garnish
Servings
COOKIES
Ingredients
Garnish
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
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Instructions
Cookies
  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter & icing sugar. Add egg & strawberry extract & mix well.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour & baking powder. Add to the wet mixture a little at a time until well incorporated. Wait approximately 30 minutes before working with the dough as it will firm up slightly.
  3. Roll the dough between baking paper & put it into the fridge for a few hours to help it from spreading. When dough is a bit firmer, take it out of the fridge & cut into butterfly shapes.
  4. Place the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet & return to fridge again for another 1-2 hours, this will also help prevent spreading.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  6. Bake cookies for approximately 10 - 12 minutes or until lightly browned on bottoms.
  7. Allow cookies to cool completely on a wire rack while you prepare the 'toppings'.
Strawberry Topping
  1. Slice dried strawberries thinly. Place white chocolate chips in a small bowl. Heat heavy cream until simmering, then pour over chocolate chips. Let stand for 1-2 minutes, then add 1/4 tsp strawberry flavor & tiny bit of gel food color. Stir swiftly until all the chocolate chips are melted & smooth.
  2. Using a piping bag, place about a teaspoon of strawberry flavored chocolate. Gently press a slice of strawberry on top.
Lemon Drizzle
  1. In a small dish, stir together powdered sugar & fresh lemon juice until it reaches a drizzle consistency. Drizzle lines over half of the cookie then sprinkle with pistachio nuts or pepita seeds.
Recipe Notes
  • LorAnn's Strawberry baking & flavoring emulsion tastes like fresh ripe berries. Great for cakes, cookies, frostings, fillings, and desserts. Add it instead of using strawberries or in addition to the fruit to add a punch of strawberry flavor. Use in any recipe you would a strawberry extract and get more robust strawberry flavor!
  • 1 teaspoon baking extract = 1 teaspoon emulsion

Vanilla Butterflies

Spring, for many, is a symbol of new beginnings. When the first green emerges from the ground and the first bud opens, people the world over celebrate. The earth comes to life once more. The symbolic meaning of the butterfly is similar across most cultures, regardless of time, and is most commonly associated with the soul. Cultural myth and lore honor the butterfly as a symbol of transformation because of its impressive metamorphosis–from caterpillar to chrysalis and ultimately, the butterfly. Butterflies also symbolize spring, a celebratory time of year, and embody the beauty of symmetry, pattern, color and shape.

These colorful and vibrant, yet delicate creatures can imply freedom, endurance, inspiration, openness, change, joy, rebirth, patience, transformation and happiness. As Spring approaches, we can see trees and flowers starting to bud, birds beginning to sing, and bumblebees and butterflies returning to the landscape.

I have always loved butterflies… their beautiful colors, their presence in the outdoor landscape. The magnificent yet short life of butterflies serves to remind us that life is short and to make the most of each day we have.

When it comes to spring baking, butterfly cookies always seem to work their way into my kitchen each year. This is my creation for this season!

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Vanilla Butterflies
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Servings
COOKIES
Ingredients
Servings
COOKIES
Ingredients
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter & icing sugar. Add egg & vanilla extract & mix well.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour & baking powder. Add to the wet mixture a little at a time until well incorporated. Wait approximately 30 minutes before working with the dough as it will firm up slightly.
  3. Roll the dough between baking paper & put it into the fridge for a few hours to help it from spreading. When dough is a bit firmer, take it out of the fridge & cut into butterfly shapes.
  4. Place the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet & return to fridge again for another 1-2 hours, this will also help prevent spreading.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  6. Bake cookies for approximately 10 - 12 minutes or until lightly browned on bottoms.
  7. When cookies are completely cooled, personalize them with your favorite icing, colors & design.
Recipe Notes
  • Allow cookies to cool overnight or at least four hours if you have to decorate right away.
  • If you can, it is a good idea to wait until the cookies are a day old before decorating them to reduce the chance of oil from the cookie leaching into the icing & causing icing spots or butter bleeds.

Krispy Chocolate ‘Eyeballs’/ Halloween Brownie Bites

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

While trick-or-treating has been a tried and true modern Halloween tradition, historians say the origins of kids begging their neighbors for food may date back to ancient Celtic celebrations or even a long-lost Christmas custom. Halloween customs, such as wearing disguises to ward off ghosts and offering food to appease malevolent spirits, were brought to Canada in the mid-to-late 1800s by Irish and Scottish immigrants. North America’s first recorded instance of dressing in disguise on Halloween was in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1898, while the first recorded use of the term trick or treat was in Lethbridge, Alberta, in 1927.

Every Halloween, children on the hunt for candy dress up in costumes, knock on doors and ask homeowners the infamous question: ‘Trick or Treat?’

Lethbridge historian Belinda Crowson said research has confirmed the term ‘Trick or Treat’ was first documented in the Lethbridge Herald on Nov. 4. 1927.

Hallowe’en provided an opportunity for real strenuous fun. No real damage was done except to the temper of some who had to hunt for wagon wheels, gates, wagons, barrels, etc., much of which decorated the front street. The youthful tormentors were at back door and front demanding edible plunder by the word ‘trick or treat’ to which the homeowners gladly responded and sent the robbers away rejoicing.

Crowson says Oct. 31 in Lethbridge used to be a big night of pranks, saying kids would take part in ‘gate night’ where they’d remove gates from yards and hide them around the city. The occasional outhouse was also moved on Halloween night, sometimes onto a streetcar track for it to be pushed down the route by the unknowing driver.

Alberta’s known for many things: the Rocky Mountains, the oil industry, the Calgary Stampede. But you wouldn’t think that it’s also home to one of the most beloved Halloween traditions, that is, trick-or-treating.

Having lived in Lethbridge years ago, for about 25 years, I was not aware that the term trick or treat had originated there until I stumbled on it when I was doing some research … who knew!!

Nevertheless, Halloween has rolled around again so here’s a few treats to enjoy.

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Krispy Chocolate 'Eyeballs'/ Halloween Brownie Bites
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Servings
Ingredients
Shortbread Crumbs for 'Eyeballs'
Caramel / Chocolate & Rice Crispies
Halloween Brownie Bites
Servings
Ingredients
Shortbread Crumbs for 'Eyeballs'
Caramel / Chocolate & Rice Crispies
Halloween Brownie Bites
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Shortbread Crumbs
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, cream together the butter & sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour; using your fingers, work together to a crumbly but moist dough. Place mixture in baking pan and press down with the back of a spoon until firm and smooth. Bake shortbread until cooked but not browned, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven, lift out of pan with parchment paper & cool. When cooled, break into pieces & place in a food processor. Pulse to create shortbread crumbs. Set aside.
Caramel / Chocolate
  1. Place a heavy bottomed, non-stick pot, over a larger pot of boiling water. To the top pot add condensed milk, butter & brown sugar. Stir until combined, bring the mixture to a gentle boil, stirring continuously for a full 5 minutes. Add the milk & white chocolate & continue stirring until melted.
  2. Turn off heat under the boiling water. To the caramel/chocolate add shortbread crumbs & rice crispy cereal. With a rubber spatula, combine mixture.
  3. Keeping the pot over the hot water so the mixture doesn't harden to fast, scoop into small balls to form 'eyeballs. Place on a parchment paper lined tray. The scoop I used made about 44 balls. Press candy eyeballs into chocolate balls. If they aren't sticking well, dip them into a bit of white corn syrup first.
Halloween Brownie Bites
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line 30 mini cupcake tins with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch & salt. Set aside.
  3. Using a mixer, beat sugar & eggs on high speed for 5 minutes, until it becomes light & pale in color. Melt the butter & add it along with oil & vanilla. Mix on low until combined. Slowly add dry ingredients, continuing to mix on low speed until combined. Put aside about a 1/4 of a cup of the brownie batter to use for decorating. Place a small scoop of brownie batter in each of the mini muffin cups.
Cheesecake Layer
  1. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar & vanilla extract on high speed for 1 minute. Add the orange food gel & mix until desired color. Then add the egg & mix on low speed. Place a Tbsp of cheesecake batter on top of the brownie batter. Add the 1 1/2 Tbsp HOT water to the remaining 1/4 cup of brownie batter & whisk until combined.
  2. Drizzle the brownie batter over the cheesecake batter in 2 circles (per brownie). With a toothpick draw lines from the center to the outside edge, creating a spider web effect.
  3. Bake for about 20 minutes or until not a lot of batter remains on a toothpick when tested. Cool on a cooling rack completely. Decorate with Halloween spiders, cats, ladybugs etc. These are nice when wrapped in foil & chilled overnight.