Tuesday, December 8, 2009



Winter is the season for heating up the oven, pushing up your sleeves and rolling out some fresh bread and cookies. The following two recipes are kid friendly both in the making and the tasting. They will also make your house smell wonderful.


These crunchy gingersnaps are a delicious holiday treat and can be cut into fun shapes. The dough is easy to handle and, as far as cookies go, they are tasty but not excessively sweet or high in fat.

 Boil ¼ cup of water, ½ cup of molasses and 1/3 cup of shortening, then let it cool.
 Sift together 2 cups of white flour, 2/3 cup of sugar, ½ teaspoon of baking soda, a pinch of salt, a tablespoon of ginger, ½ a teaspoon of nutmeg and ½ a teaspoon of cinnamon.
 Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
 Roll dough to 1/8 inch thickness and cut into shapes.
 Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 6 to 8 minutes at 375 degrees F.


On a recent trip to Upper Canada Village, my 5-year-old insisted on purchasing a bag of stone milled flour as his souvenir. It seemed an opportune time to try bread making but I definitely wanted something easy. This baguette recipe is very simple and kids love the punching down of the dough. The shapes don’t have to be perfect.

 Dissolve 1 teaspoon of active dry yeast in ½ a cup of warm water. Stir with a fork and set aside for 10 minutes.
 Combine 4 to 5 cups of white flour and 2 teaspoons of salt. Add the yeast mixture and then add another 1 and ½ cups of warm water.
 Mix the dough until its sticky, then knead on a floured bread board for 10 minutes. When the dough is sticky and smooth put it in a bowl and cover with a damp towel. Let it rise at room temperature for about an hour. It should double in size.
 Punch down the dough (the fun part!) and divide it into 4 parts. Roll each part into a ball and then shape it into a baguette shape. Put the loaves on a lightly greased pan and let rise again until about double in size.
 Beat an egg and mix it with 1 tablespoon of cold water. Brush the egg mixture over the loaaves so they brown nicely. Score the loaves diagonally with a knife at about 1 inch spaces.
 Bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees F and the at 400 degrees for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Tip:Putting a pan with a few cups of hot water in the oven at the same time will help keep the baguettes moist.