“Jam Jams”

These cookies are my absolute favourites at Christmastime and they are a must-have when we put together a cookie tray. They also hold a special place in my heart, as they were something that I used to bake with my Oma. My mom and I are super lucky, as we managed to get a usable recipe from her, before she passed away. We make them now and I don’t think I’ll ever not make them without thinking about her.

Jam-jams do bear a remarkable resemblance to the very popular Imperial cookies, but they are considerably smaller and the cookie itself is more of sugar cutout cookie. It also gives a better balance between cookie and jam, as I find that Imperial cookies usually end up being too much cookie for the amount of jam.

 

Jam Jams
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup butter, room temperature
  2. 1 egg yolk
  3. 2 cups flour
  4. 3/4 cup sugar
  5. 1 jar jam - raspberry is the best, but apricot will also work, or simply your favourite!
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cream butter until smooth. Add sugar, egg yolk and flour. Mix until the dough comes together. You can mix the last few crumbs in by hand.
  3. Roll out very thin (between 1/8" and 1/4") and cut with small round cookie cutter - no bigger than 1 3/4" across. A glass will also work if you don't have the proper cookie cutter.
  4. Bake in 350F oven for 10-12 minutes. You want to see just the slightest golden brown edge when baking. These cookies really benefit from keeping a close eye on them.
  5. Once cool, fill them with the jam of your choice and sandwich the cookies together.
Notes
  1. *This recipe really works best if all ingredients are at room temperature.
  2. *The dough can be made ahead of time, and chilled.
  3. *Take the dough out well before you plan on baking (at least an hour). It gets very hard in the fridge and takes time to come to room temperature. You can work the dough a bit with your hands to get it pliable - don't be discouraged if the dough is still very stiff when you begin.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/

 

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Candy Cane Shortbread

Over the next few weeks we’re excited to share some of our most treasured family recipes with you. All of these foods bring with them a lot of special memories and traditions. First up is shortbread!

I’ve always had a special place in my heart for shortbread. I mean how can you go wrong with sugar, butter, and flour? I’ve been a bit of a shortbread snob for as long as I can remember and I can tell you I would take whipped shortbread over the biscuit type any day. The recipe I’m making today is one that my mom has been making for years however, I’ve tweaked the recipe a little since learning it and I’ve made it my own. 

We hope you enjoy the first of our family recipes: Candy Cane Shortbread!

Candy Cane Shortbread

Candy Cane Shortbread
Yields 24
A delicious shortbread topped with crushed candy cane.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
  2. 3/4 cup Powdered sugar
  3. 1/4 cup Corn starch
  4. 1 cup Butter, unsalted and cool*
  5. 2-3 Candy canes, crushed
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F
  2. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or other non-stick liner, set aside.
  3. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Cube your butter, add to dry ingredients, and use a fork to combine. It should become 'pebbly.'
  5. Use your hands to quickly bring the ingredients together to form a dough.
  6. Using your hands scoop up some dough and roll into 1 inch balls.
  7. Place balls on your baking sheet leaving about 2 inches of space around them. You will probably need to use 2 baking sheets.
  8. Use a fork to press down the balls, add about 1/2 tsp of crushed candy cane, and press again with your fork.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly brown underneath.
Notes
  1. *Don't let your butter come completely to room temperature before you use it or it will result in cookies that completely flatten out.
  2. *When forming the dough and the balls, work quickly. The heat from your hands can melt the butter.
  3. *If you're only using one baking sheet to bake 2 batches of cookies make sure the sheet cools completely between batches!
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
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Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp

As we head into cooler weather, some of us look forward to the warm and cozy foods that we are all about to indulge in.  This next recipe is a prime example of how to use up some of that late summer produce, as well as enjoy some lovely warm spices as we ease into fall.  

This is a super simple recipe, which not only has a great filling full of apples and cinnamon, but it reuses our crisp topping from our summery rhubarb berry crisp.

Apple Crisp
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Filling
  1. 6 cups apples, sliced
  2. 2 tbsp lemon juice
  3. 2 tsp cinnamon
Topping
  1. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1/4 cup oats
  3. 3/4 cup sugar
  4. pinch salt
  5. 1 tsp cinnamon
  6. 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  7. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F and pull out a 9" x 9" square baking pan.
For the filling
  1. Peel, core, and slice the apples.
  2. Add the lemon juice and cinnamon.
  3. Mix well and pour into the pan.
For the topping
  1. Combine flour, oats, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl and mix to combine.
  2. Cut in the cold butter to your flour and oats mixture. You can also use your fingers.
  3. Pour flour mixture evenly over your fruit and bake for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Notes
  1. After baking, if you feel you would like the topping a bit crisper and more golden brown, use your oven's broiler setting and broil for approximately 3-5 min. VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: DO NOT walk away while the broiler is on!! I cannot emphasize this enough.
  2. Serve warm with ice cream, whipped cream, or simply on its own!
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
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Whole Wheat Raspberry Muffins

It’s only the beginning of August, but back to school is already on our mind. 

Back-to-school time brings full days, busy nights, and struggles with getting nutritious foods on the table and into lunch boxes. We’ve all been there, but experience has shown us that just a little bit of planning ahead will help you keep on top of things.

One of our favourite make-ahead snacks are muffins, and these whole wheat raspberry muffins are sure to do the trick. These muffins are a simple and delicious snack packed full of fibre and fruit, to help keep you fuller longer. 

Whole Wheat Raspberry Muffins

We really like this recipe for a number of reasons. Fresh berries, when not in season, can be a fortune and this recipe works well with fresh or frozen berries. It’s also very quick to throw together and we include common kitchen ingredients. 

Look no further for your go-to back-to-school muffin!

Whole Wheat Raspberry Muffins
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Ingredients
  1. 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, at room temperature
  2. ¾ cup sugar
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 2 cups whole wheat flour
  5. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  6. ¼ teaspoon salt (if you use unsalted butter or margarine, increase to ½ teaspoon)
  7. ½ cup milk
  8. 2 teaspoons vanilla
  9. ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  10. 1 ½ cups raspberries, fresh or frozen
  11. 1 tablespoon sugar, mixed with ½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease, or line your muffin tins.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time - beat well after each addition.
  4. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and beat well. Stir in the milk and both the vanilla and the almond extracts. Mix till smooth. Stir in the berries quickly.
  5. Fill the muffin tins about ¾ full. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, if using.
  6. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing them.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour "Our Favorite Blueberry Muffins"
Adapted from King Arthur Flour "Our Favorite Blueberry Muffins"
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
Whole Wheat Raspberry Muffins

This back-to-school season we hope to bring you nutritious, time saving recipes that are sure to please everyone in your family! Follow along this fall as we share our favourites.

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Easy Blueberry Muffins

Easy Blueberry Muffins

Summer is definitely upon us now and with it comes lots of fresh berries! We covered strawberries in our last post, and next up comes blueberries.  Manitoba is a blueberry hot spot and lots of people pick wild berries in cottage country to put in pretty much everything, including pancakes, muffins, and pies.  They are a tasty addition to lots of dishes, and they are packed with lots of nutrition as well.

This muffin recipe is super easy and shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes to put together.  They are best straight from the oven while the blueberries are still nice, soft, and juicy.

Blueberry Muffins
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Ingredients
  1. 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, at room temperature
  2. ¾ cup sugar
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 2 cups whole wheat flour
  5. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  6. ¼ teaspoon salt (if you use unsalted butter or margarine, increase to ½ teaspoon)
  7. ½ cup milk
  8. 2 teaspoons vanilla
  9. ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  10. 1 ½ cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
  11. 1 tablespoon sugar, mixed with ½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease, or line your muffin tins.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time - beat well after each addition.
  4. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and beat well. Stir in the milk and both the vanilla and the almond extracts. Mix till smooth. Stir in the berries quickly.
  5. Fill the muffin tins about ¾ full. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, if using.
  6. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing them.
Adapted from from King Arthur Flour's "Favourite Blueberry Muffins"
Adapted from from King Arthur Flour's "Favourite Blueberry Muffins"
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
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Rhubarb Berry Crisp

Rhubarb Berry Crisp

Our gardens are overflowing with ripe, delicious rhubarb right now, and this rhubarb berry crisp is the perfect way to start using it up!

Crisps are one of our favourite desserts. They can be made very quickly, often with ingredients you always have on hand, and are perfectly suited for a crowd. This recipe combines tart rhubarb with sweet berries to create a perfect dessert that can be served with ice cream or stand alone. 

Bring this rhubarb berry crisp to your next summer potluck!

Rhubarb Berry Crisp

Rhubarb Berry Crisp
Serves 8
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Cook Time
55 min
Cook Time
55 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups rhubarb, chopped
  2. 3 cups berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries), sliced if strawberries
  3. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  4. 1/4 cup oats
  5. 3/4 cup sugar
  6. pinch salt
  7. 1 tsp cinnamon
  8. 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  9. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375F and take out a 9x9 baking dish.
  2. Add fruit in your 9x9 dish and mix to combine.
  3. Combine flour, oats, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl and mix to combine.
  4. Cut in the cold butter to your flour and oats mixture. You can also crumble it with your fingers!
  5. Pour flour mixture evenly over your fruit and bake for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Notes
  1. We used a 1:1 ratio of rhubarb to berries but if you prefer your crisp a little less sweet you can use a higher ratio of rhubarb.
  2. Serve crisp with ice cream, whipped cream, or as is!
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
One final note: if you still have oodles of rhubarb after making this crisp don’t forget that you can freeze it or try out these Rhubarb Tea Biscuits!

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Lemon Cranberry Scones

Lemon Cranberry Scones

One of my favourite fresh spring tastes is lemon.  It holds the promise of spring and all the wonderful fresh fruits that are yet to come.  These lemon cranberry scones are the perfect complement to the cheddar chive scone recipe that we shared last week.  Not too strong, but still enough to taste, the lemon is the perfect partner for the tartness of the dried cranberry.

A perfect companion to a cup of tea, enjoyed on the patio!

Lemon Cranberry Scones

 

Lemon Cranberry Scones
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup cold salted butter, grated
  2. 2 eggs, beaten
  3. 1/3 cup buttermilk
  4. 2 cups flour
  5. 2 tsp baking powder
  6. 1/4 tsp salt (increase to 1/2 tsp if using unsalted butter)
  7. 2 tbsp sugar
Add-ins
  1. 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  2. zest of 1 lemon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, lemon zest, and dried cranberries.
  3. In smaller bowl, combine eggs and buttermilk and beat well.
  4. Grate butter into dry ingredients using a box grater. Gently stir into dry ingredients.
  5. Pour egg mixture into dry ingredients. Stir to bring all ingredients together and to form a slightly shaggy dough.
  6. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Use your hands to bring together, if necessary, but try not to handle the dough too much. Pat into a circle approximately 8" in diameter and 1" thick. Cut into 8 wedges. Place on prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven when the bottoms are a light golden brown.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
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Cheddar Chive Scones

Cheddar Chive Scones

Scones are one of the easiest types of quick bread to make so over the next couple of weeks we’re going to share two of our favourite scone recipes – one savoury, and one sweet! These Cheddar Chive Scones are the perfect savoury scone to highlight the fresh spring chives that are springing up.

This recipe is very quick to put together and makes 8 pieces. They are the perfect scone to serve with soup or salad or to eat all by themselves with some butter. We dare you to eat only one!

Cheddar Chive Scones

 

Cheddar Chive Scones
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 2 tsp baking powder
  3. 1/4 tsp salt (increase to 1/2 tsp if using unsalted butter)
  4. 1 tbsp sugar
  5. 1/4 cup cold butter, grated*
  6. 2 large eggs, beaten
  7. 1/3 cup buttermilk
Add-ins
  1. 3/4 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  2. 2 tbsp chives, choped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix together well.
  3. Combine the grated butter and wet ingredients in a small bowl.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and combine to form a shaggy dough.
  5. Fold in the cheddar cheese and chives.
  6. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and form into a circle 6-8" in diameter and about 1-1.5" thick. Cut into 8 pieces and transfer to baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes and remove from oven when they have a golden brown bottom.
Notes
  1. If the dough seems to dry, feel free to add a splash more of buttermilk.
  2. *Use a cheese grater to grate the butter to more evenly distribute it throughout the dough
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
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Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins

Everyone loves a good chocolate chip muffin!  Here is a super simple recipe and they are made with whole wheat flour.

 

Recipe Notes

This recipe was adapted from King Arthur Flour’s Golden Chocolate Chip Muffins recipe.  It was tested with buttermilk, as well as regular milk, and the results were consistent.

 


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Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins
Course Baking
Prep Time 10-15 minutes
Cook Time 30-32 minutes
Servings
muffins
Ingredients
Course Baking
Prep Time 10-15 minutes
Cook Time 30-32 minutes
Servings
muffins
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and lightly grease or line a 12-cup standard muffin tin.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter or margarine, sugar, vanilla, salt, and baking powder. Mix until well combined and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in milk. Add the flour and stir until combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir well.
  4. Fill muffin cups with batter - approximately 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven for 30-32 minutes, until toothpick inserted in centre comes away clean.
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Easy Cinnamon Buns

These tasty and quick cinnamon buns are an easy alternative to regular cinnamon buns.  This recipe still gives you a hearty bun, without having to spend all day baking.

 

 

Ingredient Notes

This recipe has been tested with both regular milk and buttermilk, and results were consistent.

Easy Cinnamon Buns

 

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Easy Cinnamon Buns
Course Baking
Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 25 min
Passive Time 10 min
Servings
buns
Ingredients
Filling
Course Baking
Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 25 min
Passive Time 10 min
Servings
buns
Ingredients
Filling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F; prepare your 12-cup muffin pan by greasing it with cooking spray.
  2. In an electric mixer bowl, add both flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Turn mixer on until the dry ingredients are well combined.
  3. With the mixer on low, add the cubed butter and continue mixing until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the milk and mix until a dough forms into a ball that comes away from the side of the ball. Turn dough onto floured counter and let rest for 5 minutes.
  4. While the dough rests, melt the butter for the filling. Combine the brown sugar and the spices.
  5. Cut the dough in 2 equal parts and let rest for 10 minutes. The filling recipe above is enough for both halves.
  6. Once the dough has rested, roll the first half into a rectangle that is approximately 8"x 12". Brush dough with melted butter, getting as close as possible to the edges. Sprinkle with half of the brown sugar/spice mixture.
  7. Beginning with the long edge closest to you, snugly roll the dough together. Once you've finished, pinch the raw edges together to seal the roll. Cut the long roll into 6 equal pieces, each one approximately 2" in length. Place in greased muffin tin. Repeat the previous two steps with the remaining dough.
  8. Peel the outermost layer of each roll out and curl the edges under, so they begin to look like roses. You don't have to do this step, but it does add to the overall appearance once they've been baked.
  9. Bake in 400F oven for 25 minutes. The buns will be a lovely golden brown!
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