4 December 2009

A Recipe for Orange Walnut Tassies for our Virtual Cooking Light Supper Club and a Guest Post for National Cookie Day

A Recipe for Orange Walnut Tassies

This post is full of delicious surprises, but before I get to that we are so glad that you have decided to join us once again for our Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club. This is a monthly event where 5 ladies nationwide get together to create a delicious meal with a theme in mind. We all share a love for Cooking Light magazine which has an emphasis on healthy eating and living. Each issue covers light cuisine and includes more than 70 delicious and flavourful recipes. It also explores food and nutrition news as well as fitness, health and beauty. For the month of December we decided to change it up a little bit and have a virtual cookie exchange in deference to the holiday season. It was not only fun to browse the pages of the magazine in search of the perfect cookies for our exchange but we also found cookies that are flavourful and seasonal and every bit worth trying from the pages of Cooking Light magazine!!!!!

 Did you know that today is National Cookie Day!!! While you likely won’t find any cards at your local Hallmark store, this obscure cookie holiday occurs every year on December 4th. I'm not sure how many people celebrate National Cookie Day, but here on these pages for this months get together we intend to do our part to promote it as well as healthier alternatives for baking. I believe that the more days we can find to celebrate the better!!!

We have loved sharing these ideas with you in 2009.This has been a team effort where we get together virtually once a month and combine what Cooking Light readers like best...good food with great company!!!  We look forward to continuing sharing our ideas with you in 2010!!!Why don't you join us with your favourite cookie recipes on the Cooking Light blog, Test Kitchen Secrets. It takes a few days for them to gather our recipes together and feature the story, but check out past posts.

We live on opposite ends of 2 countries from the west coast of Canada to the east coast of the United States so are unable to have our cookie exchange in each others homes, but that doesn't stop us from gathering together virtually to share a glass of eggnog and some holiday cheer. We start off with some healthy and delicious Maple Date Bars brought by Hélène of La Cuisine de Hélène.  For our exchange I brought Orange Walnut Tassies pictured above which are tasty little orange-flavoured morsels. Shelby of The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch delighted us with some  Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprints. Jamie of Mom's Cooking Club added  Raspberry Strippers for a very colourful additon to our cookie platters. Aggie of Aggies Kitchen made Peppermint Patties which she baked with her kids for the holidays. We had such a fun time!!!!!!

Did you know that the English word "cookie" is derived from the Dutch word "koekje," which means little cake. Bakers used to place a small amount of cake batter in the oven to test the temperature. They soon discovered that these little bits of cooked batter were quite tasty on their own, and the cookie was born! The humble cookie has evolved a lot since then, and now there are hundreds of varieties baked across the world every day, from the classic chocolate chip to more exotic offerings with caramel, macadamia nuts, dried fruits and more. Cookies may be small, but they are a big business, just ask the Girl Guides. Cookies are a multi-billion dollar industry whether you buy them packaged from the store, at a fast food restaurant or a bakery. Remember this humble little cake today by munching on one...or two or three.... or by baking or sending a gift of cookies to your loved ones. If you're still feeling a little guilty about that circular bite of goodness join us while we explore the many delightful treats found on the pages of Cooking Light magazine.

Next month we will be exploring Soups & Stews.....

Since today is National Cookie Day I have a double treat for you as we continue to share sweet treats. I am ecstatic to leave you with a special guest post  from a close, personal friend of mine. We have known each other for years and have supported each other through laughter and tears. She started her own blog a while back...I think she has been bitten by the blogging bug...over at Shmirly Girly so please take the time to visit. In the meantime do try her cookies...they are the best ginger cookies out there in my opinion!!!!!!

Take it away Shmirly.......

The following is my “SAVOURITE” (no mistake there) cookie recipe, especially for this time of year when cookie exchanges are one of the many pre Christmas activities…and this is a perfect recipe for a cookie exchange as it makes lots of cookies, especially if you make them just a wee bit smaller. (Just reduce the baking time and don’t squish them down as much!) The only downside is, you won’t want to give away these little gems because every morsel melts in your mouth making you want another…and another…and, well, you try them yourself!!!!

A Recipe for Nan's Mouthwatering Ginger Cookies

You can see our granddaughter loves them as much as we do…

(I originally received the recipe from my sister-in-law, Nancy)

3/4 cup margarine
4½ cup flour (I generally put in at least 1 cup of 12 grain flour so 3/4 cup Crisco I think I’m eating “healthy”)
2 cups brown sugar 4 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cooking molasses 1 tsp ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons cinammon

Blend the margarine, Crisco, brown sugar, eggs and molasses together in a mixer until smooth, then gradually add the dry ingredients. I like to add about 3/4 cup raisins to the mixture...but you can add whatever you like...or nothing at all! It's your call....

I usually put the dough into the fridge for an hour or so before I make the cookies so the dough is easier to work with, or you can make the dough the night before.

Preheat oven to 350º F Put ½ cup granulated sugar in bowl or a paper bag. Make balls from the dough, a little smaller than the size of a golf ball for a medium sized cookie. Roll the balls or put into the paper bag to coat with granulated sugar. Place balls on cookie sheets at least 1 inch apart and with a fork slightly flatten balls of dough. (I like to use parchment paper to line my cookie pans as the cookies won't burn and it saves clean up time too!)

Bake for approximately 13 minutes (you may have to experiment with your oven as mine is a bit finicky) for a softer cookie. If you want a crisper cookie, bake longer. Remember, if you make the cookies smaller, reduce the baking time. ENJOY! In my house, they don't last too long, even in the freezer - (because my husband eats them!!!)

*Val says these are delicious too. I remember when it was a special treat when Shmirly brought them into the office. Those were the days!!!! And no I have not been holding back I do not have a granddaughter...yet...hint...hint...
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  1. Mmmm, ginger! Those cookies look awesome.

  2. THese cookies are awesome and delicious! I love your grandaughter pic, she is amazing and lovely!!! gloria

  3. Val,
    Your cookies look very good and unique. I love trying all different types of cookies. Happy National Cookie Day. And your guest post's ginger cookies look really good too.

  4. Mmm, ginger cookies are the best! Gotta make at least one batch before the season is out. I really love how soft and tender yours look. :)

  5. I forgot how much I love tassoes until I saw this

  6. those tassies look so cute!! I would love to gift them to someone this year...and I love the flavor combination that goes in them too! Happy Cookie Day to you! :)

  7. Both orange walnut and ginger cookies sound amazing! I didn't know today was a National cookie day!

  8. National cookie day??? Why didn't anyone tell me? Now I have an excuse. I should do some baking tonight.

    Great cookies overall. I love those tassies. I love any cookie that looks like a little pie!

    Those ginger cookies look intense. Very seasonally appropriate. I'm imagining them with a little spiked cocoa.

  9. Mmm, delectable treats! Lovely winter fare.

  10. I was just talking about making cookies. I loved reading about how the cookie got its start! I love using molasses in my baking. Nice recipe!

  11. i had no idea it was national cookie day! you've certainly done your part to celebrate--both of these goodies are so appealing. tassies rule. :)

  12. Any excuse for cookies is a good excuse and these ginger cookies sound quite marvellous! Yum :P

  13. Your tassies turned out looking delicious on that picture. So nice that we can do this exchange on National cookie day.

  14. What wonderful tassies! Your granddaughter is very pretty!



  15. Wha??? Did I miss the memo??? I thought everyday was cookie day. Damn!! Those tassies look like a must try to me.

  16. I had no idea there was a day to celebrate cookies. There should be based on some of the recipes we cookie bakers have to deal with, right? ; )

    The ginger cookies are HUGE! Sounds like a great recipe.

  17. I'm adding the Tassies to my cookie line up this year for a nice change. So many ginger cookies, good thing winter is so long.


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