Photo by Ainsley Thurgood/Photo Assistant
Four delicious recipes you can try this holiday season
I know the holiday season is here when I begin to see Christmas Pillsbury cookies at Fortinos. During my first year at McMaster University, my friends and I went through over a dozen boxes of Pillsbury cookies and it was always an intense battle to get our hands on them at the grocery store. I still remember the smell lingering in our communal kitchen all throughout December finals.
I’ve never been much of a baker myself but during the pandemic I have been cooking and baking more fresh food. This year I’m especially looking forward to making winter holiday treats for my family and friends. I’ve gathered below a few beginner and budget-friendly recipes from friends and fellow Mac students.
The Recipe: London Slices
The Chef: Una Pasagic, a human behaviour student, shares her Bosnian family holiday recipe.
- 300 grams all-purpose flour
- 200 grams unsalted, room temperature butter
- 120 grams sugar
- Two egg yolks
- One teaspoon baking powder
- Zest of one lemon/ orange
- Four egg whites
- 200 grams sugar
- 210 grams coarsely ground walnuts
- Apricot or strawberry jam
*Allergy warning: walnuts
- Mix flour and baking powder in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whip butter and sugar together until slightly fluffy.
- Add the butter and sugar mixture to the large bowl with flour then combine the ingredients by hand.
- Add yolks and zest to the bowl then combine ingredients by hand.
- Set dough aside to make filling.
- Whip egg whites and sugar until fluffy.
- Fold in 150 grams of walnuts.
- Spread the dough onto a large rectangular baking sheet pan. The dough should only cover the base and does not need to go up to the sides of the dish.
- Spread a layer of jam, enough to cover the surface of the dough.
- Add the layer of filling and top everything with 60 grams of walnuts.
- Bake at 375 ˚F for a maximum of 25 minutes.
- Let it set after removing it from the oven.
- Once set, cut into rectangular pieces and serve.
The Recipe: Vegan brownies
The Chef: Emma Sood, a student studying psychology, neuroscience and behaviour, shares her favourite vegan dessert recipe.
- One stick of butter
- One teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- One tablespoon of flaxseed meal
- Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F.
- Line a muffin tin with a paper liner.
- Prepare flax eggs by mixing 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal and 3 tablespoons of water stirred to a smooth, gel-like consistency in a small bowl and let it rest for a couple of minutes.
- Melt vegan butter in a mixing bowl. After stir in flax eggs, brown sugar, vanilla extract, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. Whisk to combine.
- Add all-purpose flour. You can fold in chocolate chips, nuts or fruits at this point.
- Scoop the batter into the muffin tin until three-fourths full and bake on the middle rack for around 24 minutes. It could be a little less or more. Look to see if the brownies start to pull away from the sides of the tin.
- Remove from the oven and let the brownies rest for a couple of minutes. Enjoy!
The Recipe: Toblerone cookies
The Chef: Subin Park. This is a recipe I learned from a friend. You can never have too many chocolate chip cookies!
- 30 grams Toblerone
- ¾ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- ½ cup sifted icing sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups flour
- Preheat oven to 300 ˚F
- Coarsely chop one chocolate bar into quarter-inch pieces (approximately 1/3 cup). Set the remaining chocolate bar aside.
- In a mid-sized mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until smooth. Gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in vanilla and salt.
- Using a wooden spoon, stir in one cup of flour until just mixed.
- Stir in remaining flour and chopped chocolate bar pieces until mixed.
- Scrape dough into an ungreased eight-inch square baking dish. Lightly flour fingers then pat mixture into an even thickness.
- Use a fork to pierce the dough in one inch increments.
- Finally, chop the remaining chocolate bar and sprinkle over top of the dough.
- Bake on the lower rack at 300 ˚F until the edges are deep golden and the centre is pale golden for 35 to 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and immediately cut into 16 squares.
- Cool completely in the pan. Once cool, store in an airtight container in a cool place or refrigerator for up to two weeks.