Bundt .. what is a Bundt Cake?

November 15th is National Bundt (pan) Day. Created in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Bundt pan, by Nordic Ware.

The Bundt cake gets its name from the pan it uses, not a specific recipe. The traditional pan is round with a fluted hole in the middle, giving the cake a distinctive ring shape. Nordic Ware trademarked the Bundt pan in the early 1950s, giving us the classic pan, we typically think of.

Most commonly a pound cake recipe is used with a Bundt pan, but many coffee cake recipes can be adapted to fit a Bundt pan.  The decorative shapes of the Bundt pan limit the need for icing and decoration, giving you more time to sit and enjoy your sweet labour.

Nordic Ware has created a beautiful line of Bundt pans; the perfect gift this holiday season for the baker on your list.  https://www.nordicware.com 

One of my favourite recipes in a Bundt pan is a hummingbird cake.  A moist cake filled with bananas, pineapple, coconut and pecans.  Finished of course, with a cream cheese icing, drizzled over the edges.  Or, if you are like my husband, he prefers his Bundt cakes spread thick with a layer of butter.   

DID you know ..

  • The hole in the middle of the pan helps bake the dense cake evenly
  • The Bundt pan was inspired by the German kuglehoupf pan
  • Check out nationaldaycalendar.com for more national food dates

The Perfect Sugar Cookie

Does the thought of baking Christmas cookies leave you in a sugar rush? Do you make the same cookies each year, following family traditions or try a new recipe featured in one of the pretty holiday magazines?

I love hosting a cookie exchange with friends. It is the perfect way to spend one afternoon baking your favourite cookie recipe and finish with a freezer filled with dozens of cookies in a variety of flavours.

Where does one start in choosing a cookie recipe to share with friends? Something quick and easy, like a drop cookie or maybe a refrigerated cookie that can be sliced and baked. A bar cookie that is pressed into a pan and cut into squares. Maybe a pressed cookie, that one time a year that you can dust off your cookie press.

One of my favourite cookie recipes is the classic sugar cookie. Truth – I have accumulated quite a few cookie cutters over the years. Christmas cookies are a wonderful way to use a variety of these cookie cutters in shapes and sizes. These cookies can then be decorated with a simple line of royal icing or full-on sprinkles.  

DID you know ..

  • There are actually eight (8) types of cookies:  Bar, Drop, Molded, No-Bake, Pressed, Refrigerator, Rolled & Sandwich
  • When making cookies, don’t overmix the dough, mix in the flour only until incorporated
  • Silicone Baking mats are excellent for even colour cookies and easy cleanup

Sugar Cookies

recipe adapted Robin Hood Flour
Course: Snack
Keyword: Christmas Cookies
Servings: 3 Dozen

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Mix well.
  • Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl, on medium speed of electric mixer until light and fluffy in texture. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  • Stir flour mixture into creamed mixture. Mix well. Form dough into three balls. Wrap each in plastic wrap and chill about 2 hours for easy handling.
  • Roll dough out, one ball at a time, on a floured surface to 1/4" (0.4cm) thickness. Cut with floured cookie cutters. Place on baking sheets. Sprinkle on coloured sugar before baking or leave plain and decorate later.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 7 to 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Baking time will depend on the shape of cookies. Cool on sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Decorate with icing and candies when completely cooled.

Cookbook Review: On Boards

Tired of always putting out the same boring cheese board when entertaining for friends. Thinking one day, you will create one of those beautifully styled charcuterie boards that you see on Pinterest!

As a baker of sweets, and not many savoury dishes, the cookbook ON BOARDS, by Lisa Dawn Bolton, made me excited to get into the kitchen.  

A cookbook filled with delicious ideas in creating charcuterie boards for any occasion, big or small. Organized into three sections; Getting Started, outlines the various boards, dishes, tools needed to prepare and create the board recipes in the book. The second section, The Boards, showcases various themes and occasions to create a charcuterie board; including holidays, special occasions and international foods. The third section, Recipes, detail each of the dips, sauces, relishes, jams, savoury and sweet additions added to the boards.

Ever wonder how much to serve? Will it be enough? One doesn’t want an empty board, but what about all the leftovers. The author outlines each of the board layouts noting the number of people the board will serve, then approximate quantities for each item in the list of ingredients. There is even a tip noted on each board about what type of beverage will complement it.

Have you considered making your own dips, or hummus for your board? The recipes included in this cookbook are straightforward and made with ingredients you will find in your local grocery store. I was pleased to find a recipe for mushroom pâté, as a traditional pâté isn’t always enjoyed by everyone.

The photos in this cookbook are beautiful, the author is a food stylist and blogger, and her photos in this book don’t disappoint. Each board theme is showcased with a styled photo, and being a visual person, I love to see what the finished recipe should look like.

TIPS from the Pro:

  • Boards are not only great as an appetizer but can be perfect for a casual meal with friends, most of the items can be made ahead of time, so less time in the kitchen and spent with your friends.
  • If using a slate board, you can pop the board into the fridge/freezer first.  The slate will stay cool, which works well if you are taking the board outdoors.
  • Did you know the cheese knife with the holes in the blade is used with soft cheese? The blade cuts through the cheese, and the holes doesn’t let the cheese stick to the blade. Genious!

Would you love to know more about this cookbook, and how to make an amazing charcuterie board during the holidays?

Join us at our Cookbook Club, Wednesday, November 27th, 2019
more details https://muskokasweets.com/classes/