Friday, September 30, 2011

Caramelized Apple & Toasted Walnut Bundt Cake with an Apple Cider Glaze

When I was a young girl living in Holland, there was no real need for my mother to be a baker, what with a pastry store at nearly every street corner in Amsterdam.  But, I remember that for special occasions she sometimes made a lovely apple pie and pound cake was another favourite.  For a few years she specialized in a bundt cake, which she would sprinkle with powdered sugar and dress up with a red bow.  One particular Christmas we went to my brother and his wife's for Christmas and the bundt cake came along on the train.  She had made an adult version with rum and a non-alcoholic version for my brother and I.  She cut the two bundt cakes in half and then put them together as if they were one (I guess that meant there was another whole cake waiting for us at home!)  Delicious!  She knew that good quality ingredients always make a terrific dessert.

For my family Thanksgiving, I will be serving this beautiful bundt cake.  To make it I started by creating a caramel.  I added apple chunks, which I cooked down until they were soft and had soaked up the caramel flavour.  I stirred these delicious apples, along with toasted walnuts, into a rich brown sugar and butter batter that I spiced up with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger!  Once the cake had cooled, I made a glaze with apple cider and drizzled it on the top.  This cake really speaks of fall flavours and is a perfect way to end your Thanksgiving meal, or perhaps start your day!  Please place your order by Monday, October 3rd.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Thanksgiving cookies

When the kids head back to school, the nights turn crisper and the leaves on the trees start to change colour, my mind starts turning towards fall events that keep us happy and busy until Christmas.  Most of my American friends are already deep into Halloween baking and preparations, but we Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving first!  Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October, which is then followed by Halloween and then, you guessed it, a two month lead up to Christmas!!

This beautiful Thanksgiving cookie platter (inspired by the incredible talents of the Cookie Artisan) features eighteen beautiful harvest designs, from pumpkins, acorns, sunflowers, oak and maple leaves, to a squirrel and a turkey as well as a sweet banner cookie.  My super-delicious sugar cookies are made with butter, sugar, flour, eggs and are speckled with vanilla bean seeds.  They are frosted in royal icing and make a truly wonderful hostess gift that will be ooh'd and aah'd over.  Orders must be placed by October 3rd - boxed and ready for gift giving.