Turkish Delight

Thanks to C.S. Lewis and the Pevensie children, I made some Turkish Delight. I’m currently teaching The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe in one of my classes, and when we got to the chapter on Turkish Delight, none of my students had ever tried it. So I found a recipe.

I will say, according to my (limited) research, this isn’t a completely authentic recipe, as it contains gelatin. The original recipes don’t, but apparently the gelatin makes it a bit more foolproof. I didn’t want to make the recipe twice, so I made the “foolproof” version, but I still flavoured it with rosewater, so the flavour is at least authentic. You will need a candy thermometer to make this recipe, so be warned!

I found this recipe here, and I don’t know if my students will like it (they seemed apprehensive with the flavour of rosewater when I told them about it), but at least it’s as authentic as I can attempt!

Ingredients

Yield: About 50 candies, depending on cut size

2 2/3 c. cold water, divided
2 tbsp. rosewater
½ tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. powdered gelatin
2¾ c. sugar
2 tbsp. honey
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
½ c. cornstarch
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2-3 drops red or pink food colouring

For dusting:

½ c. cornstarch
¼ c. icing sugar

Grease and line an 8×8 inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on all sides.

In a small bowl, combine the dusting mixture of cornstarch and icing sugar. Dust a small amount into the parchment lined pan.

In a medium bowl or a liquid measuring cup, combine ½ cup of cold water, rosewater, and vanilla. Sprinkle the gelatin over the mixture and set aside to bloom.

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, 1 1/3 c. water, honey, and cream of tartar. Stir, then place on medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the saucepan, making sure the tip doesn’t hit the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat to medium, and keep an eye on it, making sure it gets to 255°F. It might take about 15 minutes. Remove pot from the heat.

While the sugar syrup is coming to temperature, whisk together the cornstarch and lemon juice in a small pot. Whisk in the remaining water, 1 cup (200 ml), and whisk until no lumps remain.

Boil, whisking continually, until the mixture thickens and turns into a thick paste, like the consistency of petroleum jelly.

Pour a small amount of the sugar syrup (once at temperature) into the cornstarch mixture. Pour the mixture back into the sugar syrup mixture, and whisk over low heat until combined with no lumps and fully incorporated.

Remove from heat, and whisk in the gelatin mixture and food colouring. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved and the mixture is smooth.

Transfer the mixture into the prepared square pan. Cool at room temperature for at least 3 hours, then cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap and place in the fridge to cool 8-10 hours, or overnight.

Spread a bit of the dusting mixture on a large work surface, and lift the Turkish Delight out of the pan. Using a knife that has been sprayed with oil, cut the candies to size and dust on all sides with the cornstarch dusting mixture.

Keep in an airtight container.

Chocolate Marzipan Cookies

It was Teacher’s Convention last week, and I went to my brother-in-law’s house and hung out with him and his wife, Serena. I’m lucky and married into a pretty great family. Well, Serena had a tube of marzipan that she didn’t know what to do with, so I took to Pinterest.I found this recipe, and Serena and I attempted it, and it was incredible! The cookies are thick, crispy on the edges, and chewy and tender in the middle.Really, I don’t want to continue writing. Please just make these cookies!!

Ingredients

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

½ c. butter, very soft
1/3 c. sugar
½c. brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1½ c. flour
1 c. chocolate chips
½ c. chopped dark chocolate
½ c. chopped marzipan
Sea salt, to finish

In a large bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together. Add the egg and the vanilla, and beat again.Mix in the baking soda and salt, then add in the flour and mix on slow until flour is incorporated.Fold in the chocolate chips, chopped chocolate, and marzipan. Chill the dough for 1-2 hours.Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat. Scoop out large tablespoon sized balls of cookie dough, roll into balls, place about 2 inches apart, and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.Bake in the preheated oven for 11-15 minutes, until the edges are light golden. Once out of the oven, sprinkle cookies with salt, let cool on the trays for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Raspberry Smacks

I made these for a New Year’s Party as well, and they turned out very well. I had some homemade raspberry jam that my mom gave me, and they made the perfect filling for these squares.

There is a sweet shortbread type crust, a raspberry jam filling, and a brown sugar meringue on top. I saw a picture of these, and I wasn’t too sure about them, but I was so pleasantly surprised.

I found this recipe in one of my cookbooks – a Company’s Coming Sweet Treats book. It did not disappoint, even though I didn’t know what to expect. If you are looking for a new recipe to try that’s a little out of the ordinary, I would highly recommend this one!

Ingredients

Yield: Approx. 16 squares, depending on cut size

For the crust:

2 egg yolks
1½ c. flour
½ c. brown sugar, packed
½ c. butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. salt

For the filling:

1 c. raspberry jam (store bought or homemade)

For the topping:

2 egg whites, at room temperature
1 c. brown sugar, packed

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9 inch square pan with foil or parchment paper.

To make the crust, whisk all crust ingredients in a large bowl until crumbly. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set aside.

Drop teaspoonfuls of jam over the bottom layer, and spread evenly.

In a medium bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip egg whites until frothy. Add brown sugar, in three increments, beating well after each addition, until stiff peaks form.

Spread meringue mixture over the jam. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes until golden. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Slice, and serve.

Butter Tart Squares

Here is a Canadian classic… in square form! These are even easier than making butter tarts, because you just make one big batch. Paul was a little out of sorts, because he firmly believes that raisins belong in butter tarts, but I didn’t have any on hand, so I took the “optional” directive for the raisins.

These are so easy to make, and how could you go wrong with such a classic treat? I found the original recipe here, and as I said, the only thing I changed was to leave out the aforementioned optional raisins.

I made these for a New Year’s Party, and had a ton leftover, so we decided to freeze them and have them later. These were a hit, so go make them!

Ingredients

Yield: Approx. 3 dozen squares, depending on cut side

For the crust:

2 c. flour
4 tbsp. icing sugar
1 c. butter, cold and cubed
1-2 tbsp. cold water

For the filling:

½ c. butter
3 c. brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tbsp. vanilla
¾ c. golden raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour and icing sugar. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter until pea-sized lumps of butter remain. Add water as needed to get mixture to hold together when you squeeze a lump of it.

Transfer mixture to prepared pan, and press into a firm layer. Bake for 10 minutes.

Prepare the filling by melting the butter in a microwave safe measuring cup. In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and the brown sugar. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and whisk until smooth. Add in the vanilla and the vinegar, and whisk again. Stir in the raisins, if using.

Pour the filling over the baked crust and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the filling center is almost set – just a slight jiggle.

Cool to room temperature on a wire rack, and refrigerate for several hours before slicing and serving.

Confetti Squares

These bad boys are now in the permanent rotation. They are also known as Peanut Butter Marshmallow Squares, Butterscotch Squares… I’ve heard a ton of names for these little squares of deliciousness. They are one of Paul’s favourites, and SO FREAKING EASY! I didn’t realize until I made them what I have been missing out on.

I found the recipe here, but let’s just get this straight – there are a TON of variations of the recipe. The measurements are all generally the same, but I used this one because of the amount of peanut butter. Oh yeah. The peanut butter mixture was perfect. Now I just have to make these again with crunchy peanut butter… I’m a smooth peanut butter girl, but Paul loves the crunchy. I told him I wanted to stick with the original directions (in 99% of the recipes I found) that use smooth peanut butter. We’ll see how it goes!

Ingredients

Yield: Approx. 12-16 squares, depending on cut size

¼ c. butter
1 c. smooth peanut butter
1 bag butterscotch chips
4-5 c. multicoloured mini marshmallows

Line a 9×9 inch square pan with foil and lightly grease with cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, peanut butter, and butterscotch chips together until smooth. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to cool slightly. (If you don’t let it cool, you will melt the marshmallows – not good!)

Fold in the marshmallows when mixture has cooled. Make sure marshmallows are evenly coated. Pour into the prepared pan, and press into an even layer with a spatula.

Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 1-2 hours, or until firm, then slice.