Every year I tell myself, I’m going to get organised with all of my Christmas baking and entertaining… and for the most part it does not happen… This season I have a plan of action, which over the next three weeks I will share with you in my weekly column.
First things first: how many functions or gatherings are you attending or hosting? And how many folks will there be? By establishing this you can get a much better idea of what food needs to be prepared and when. Many holiday favorites can be done in advance and frozen. Things like cookies (the ice-box ones I wrote about last week), squares, pies and even side dishes. You will also want to start searching for your turkey(s) now as you will have the best selection. Funny story; about 15 years ago I took out of my freezer this huge turkey (turkey is turkey right?), well to my surprise on December 24th at 2pm I realized this was a big chicken… note to self, make sure everything is marked in your freezer. It was funny (well not so much) to try and find a fresh turkey the day before Christmas.
Start looking at your cookie and square recipes, you will want to make a lists of all of the ingredients you need, this way you do one big trip to the grocery store and your speciality shops (again, early shopping allows for best selection). Here’s a recipe for some amazing squares that freeze perfectly!
Pineapple Chocolate Squares
Base and Topping
1 cup of butter
1 cup of white sugar
1 egg (lightly beaten)
2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 tsp. of vanilla
¼ cup of melted chocolate chips
½ of chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds
Cream the butter, add the sugar and mix well. Add the egg, the flour, melted chocolate, nuts and mix well. Pour ¾ of this mixture in a 9” x 12” buttered dish. Press-down this base mixture lightly into the bottom of the dish.
1 ¾ cups of drained crushed pineapple
1 cup of white sugar
1 tbs. of all-purpose flour
2 egg yolks
In a separate bowl mix pineapple, sugar, flour and egg yolks. When well combined pour over the base mixture and spread evenly.
Sprinkle the remainder of the base mixture over the filling and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour. Allow to cool overnight before cutting into squares.
Mark your calendars for this Saturday December 7th, as I will be the Guest Dessert Chef at Bar Q Steakhouse, located at 105 Pitt Street, Cornwall (entrance on First St.). Join us starting at 5pm with Chef Chris Barque at the helm of the savoury dishes, myself on deserts and the amazing crew for an unforgettable night. On top of a gastronomical meal you will be helping out The Agape Centre: bring-in 3 non-perishable food items and receive your desert for FREE (only with the purchase of your meal that evening). If you forget your items, no worries as a portion of the cost of your desert will be donated. Reservations are strongly suggested; call (613) 935-3337 to book.
As always, If you have cooking or baking questions that you would like me to answer in this column, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop by for a chat at Love Love Food: Gourmet Foods & Gifts, located at 10 Fourth St. East, Unit B, Cornwall (Shop is open Tuesday to Sunday).