Parenting

What's your favourite holiday recipe? (Here's mine!)

After a weekend of baking and crafting, Tracy's looking for some sweet inspiration

Yes, this is my girls working together. And laughing. A Christmas miracle?

I’ve spent most of this weekend baking and doing Christmas crafts with the kids. The kitchen is so full of paint and glue and glitter and sticky baking sheets that I begged Sean to clean up after us and then ran to my office to escape. I like the creativity. The cleanup? Not so much.

The kids’ advent calendar activity yesterday was to make a Christmas craft, but we ended up just painting (and, as always, glitter gluing) a bunch of stuff to give as gifts to loved ones (I can’t share — they’re surprises!). The kids love making people gifts and I try to set the stage so they won’t be things that make the recipient throw on a smile but say to themselves what the heck will I do with this? Usually we make ornaments, which are easy to tuck away. This year, we might have gotten a little carried away. Apologies to my family.

And we made cookies. Lots of cookies, many of which are now adorned with heaps of icing and a mountain of sprinkles. The problem with making cookies is that now we all know we have lots and lots of cookies in our house. I put them in the freezer, and this seems to have quieted the girls’ begging; I, on the other hand, have learned that cookies taste pretty good frozen too. I should spend lots of time out of the house over the next two weeks, or I’ll have to start over.

I have a few standby recipes that I love to make each year. But I realized this weekend that I’m getting a little bored of my recipe selection. I’d love some new ideas. I know I can get a zillion recipes online, but how do I know if they’ll be truly awesome? I can only know if you say so. Will you? I’d love you to post one of your favourite sweets recipes for me to try out. It could be totally simple or sophisticated and impressive, it doesn’t matter.

I’ll kick things off with this, my family’s favourite. So amazing you might need a lock for your freezer. (And trust me, double the recipe.)

Caramel Toffee Squares

Bottom Layer:
½ cup plus 2 teaspoons melted butter
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 ¼ cup all purpose flour

Crumble these 3 ingredients together. Pack into ungreased 9×9 inch pan. Bake in 350 degree F oven for 20 minutes or until edges begin to brown.

Second Layer:
½ cup butter
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp corn syrup
½ cup sweetened condensed milk

Combine 4 ingredients in a medium sized sauce pan. Boil for 5 minutes (or until thick) stirring constantly as it burns easily. Remove from heat and pour over bottom layer. Let cool.

Top Layer:
1 package (12 oz) milk chocolate chips (you can use semi-sweet, but I prefer the milk)
Melt chocolate in saucepan or microwave. Pour over second layer. Chill.

IMPORTANT: Before cutting into squares, allow them to come to room temperature. If the top layer is cold, the chocolate will shatter when cutting. (Then, tragically, you’ll have to eat the whole batch and start over.)