Mennonite Girls Can Cook is a collection of recipes which were posted daily for a period of ten years from 2008 to 2018. We have over 3,000 delicious recipes that we invite you to try. The recipes can be accessed in our recipe file by category or you can use the search engine.

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Antipasto Platter


Recently I was asked to bring an appetizer to a baby shower.
Being in the middle of kitchen renovations, I was looking for something
I could make in the limited space of my camper kitchen.
This Antipasto platter was a good solution.
It would also be a great make-ahead starter for a summer barbeque.
You can come up with your own additions or substitutions but here is what I used on this platter.

  • 1 jar pickled asparagus
  • 1 package mini sweet peppers (can be found at Costco and most large supermarkets)
  • 1 package herbed soft cheese (like Boursin)
  • Several varieties of dry salami - I used Wine salami and Bagged salami
  • Fontina  or other Italian cheese cut into 1"x1"x 3" sticks
  • canteloupe melon balls
  • sliced proscuitto (Italian smoked  ham)
  • cherry tomatoes
  • several varieties of olives from the deli
  • Small balls of Bocconcini ( fresh mozzarella)
  • Fresh herbs made into a mini bouquet and lettuce for garnish
  1. Roll  a slice of salami around each pickled asparagus spear
  2. Halve and remove seeds from mini peppers Leaving the stem if possible.
  3. Stuff each pepper half with herbed soft cheese
  4. Wrap each melon ball in a slice of proscuitto and secure with a toothpick
  5. Arrange all items on a large serving platter and garnish.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving

Whipped Shortbread


Love these little shortbread cookie nuggets! Pop one in your mouth and it just melts. You cannot stop at one..I know, I've tried! I've been making them for a number of years for Christmas and they never disappoint.
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  1. Whip butter and icing sugar together until creamy.
  2. Slowly add in the flour, then turn your mixer to the whip setting.
  3. Whip mixture for 6 to7 minutes scraping sides occasionally. Longer length of whipping time results in lighter shortbread.
  4. Use a cookie press if you have one, or you can use a small cookie scoop or teaspoon and place cookie dough on parchment lined pans. You may decorate with sprinkles, coconut, or pieces of cherries. I prefer to leave them plain.
  5. Bake in a 275º oven for 30 minutes.
  6. They freeze well.

Green Beans with Cranberries and Walnuts



This recipe is a lovely compliment for your Christmas dinner. The citrus brightens the flavor of frozen green beans and gives them a fresh taste.
Serves 6-8
  • 1 kg frozen green beans
  • 3 cloves of garlic, slivered
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • handful of dried cranberries
  • 1 cup of toasted nuts, chopped (walnuts were my choice)
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  1. Roast the green beans and garlic drizzled with olive oil  at 425 for about 20 or minutes or until they begin to turn color.
  2. Toss with the lime zest and juice, add cranberries and toasted walnuts. Serve on a platter. 


Bacon-wrapped Cocktail Sausages


During the holiday season, we have many occasions to serve appetizers. Here's a tasty number that is simple to prepare and a great addition to the appetizer buffet table.


  • 1 package cocktail smoked sausage links (500 g or 1 pound)
  • 1 lb bacon, any kind 
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, not packed  
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F degrees.
  2. Spray 9x13 inch oven-proof pan with cooking oil.
  3. Open package of bacon and cut the entire slab into thirds.
  4. Wrap a third of a slice of bacon around each cocktail sausage.
  5. Place each bacon wrapped sausage in pan, crowding them together to fit in pan.
  6. Spread brown sugar over entire surface.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes, basting with 'drippings' several times to dissolve the sugar.
  8. Cook until sugar is completely melted and bacon is thoroughly cooked.
  9. Remove cocktail sausages to serving platter, using toothpicks to serve as appetizers.
Serves 10.

We enjoyed these tasty little morsels at our MGCC Christmas party over the weekend...along with so many other wonderful eats and treats.
  

 If you need an idea for a festive way to serve cheese...


...here's a simple one!

We have had a good time getting to know one another these past few years...
but at our Christmas party we realized that we don't know each other all that well after all.

We played a MGCC trivia game...
the object being to find someone in our group (or their spouse) 
who could answer to each of the statements.

It took awhile...
and we needed a few clues...
and eventually Kathy came up with all the correct answers.
I'll post the game below...
just in case you wish to get to know us a little better.

1.     I once fell into a manure pit. ~ Julie

2.     I drove a dump truck short distances for my dad before I started  school at age 5. ~ Harv (Bev)

3.    I played in a band at Disneyland.  ~ Kathy

4.     I fear water more than I fear heights. ~Anneliese

5.     I rode an Enduro bike with Jake brakes. ~ Marg

6.     I coached football. ~ John (Betty)

7.     I once had a sea lion come to visit me in my backyard on July 1st…it swam up the drainage ditch. ~ Elmer (Judy)

8.     I once kayaked through the Cayes and jungles of Belize for over 2 weeks, camping each night. ~Bev

9.     The first job I took was assisting the town drunk hitchhike.  He told me that he would get a ride easier if he had kids with him. He paid me a few coins for standing with him.  ~Terry (Lovella)

10.   I ran a leg with the Olympic torch in the 1984 Olympics. ~Greg (Ellen)

11.   I had a blood transfusion at birth. ~ Betty

12.   My first car was a 4-door ‘47 Mercury flathead V8 with suicide doors and a honeymoon shifter 3-speed. ~ John (Marg)

13.   I weighed in at 13 pounds when I was born. ~Herb (Anneliese)

14.   I speak three languages and two dialects fluently. ~Tony (Charlotte)

15.   I was attacked by a snowflake eel while snorkeling in Hawaii. ~Judy

16.   I skipped the second grade and was always younger than my classmates. ~ Ellen

17.   I designed and made the prototype for fiberglass floats for Conair water planes. ~Vic (Julie)

18.   I used to play accordion. ~Scot (Kathy)

19.   I have travelled to 21 countries. ~Charlotte

20.  I was once the fastest runner of all the girls in my school and competed in the Provincial Games. ~Lovella

Who knew?

Enjoy the weekend...
and these last few days before Christmas!



Caramel Popcorn Twists

My sister Norma told me that I had to try this recipe..'addictive' she said. Is that good I wondered:) But I couldn't pass it up and decided to go for it. I bought a bag of popcorn twists and started cooking!
It is 'addictive' just like she said! Share with others and consume in small amounts (if you can)..it's all good:)

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 lb butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • I tsp baking soda
  • 1- 175 g bag of popcorn twists.
Directions:
  1. Pour popcorn twists into a large roaster pan and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring to boil the butter, sugar and syrup. Cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add baking soda, this will foam up and the mixture will thicken. Allow the foam to cook down slightly and remove from heat.
  4. Add vanilla and stir.
  5. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn twists and stir until well mixed.
  6. Bake in 225º oven for 50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and pour on a large pan to cool.
  8. When cool break apart and store in a covered container.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

The other day I was having coffee with Terry's aunt Wendy and she told me about the cookies she had brought to her cookie exchange. . .I just had to try making some like them, they sounded like they would be as pretty as they would taste.


Chocolate Peppermint Drop Cookies

  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 farm fresh egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup hot coffee. . or water
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons crushed candy canes
  1. Cream the butter with the sugar.
  2. Add the egg and the vanilla and beat well.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the hot coffee and the cocoa and stir until no lumps remain.
  4. After it has completely cooled, add to the sugar mixture.
  5. Combine the dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture.
  6. Add the chocolate chips and the crushed candy canes.
  7. Drop by a small ice cream scoop onto a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.
  8. Bake for about 8 minutes for little cookies at 350. The shiny spot in the middle of the cookie should have gone dull. . .but don't wait longer than that to remove them from the oven.
  9. Melt 1 cup each of chocolate chips and white chocolate chips.
  10. Put the melted chocolate in a zip loc bag or cake decorating bag and cut a small hole in the corner to squeeze the chocolate onto the cookie as shown.
  11. Sprinkle a little bit of crushed candy cane on top of each cookie while the chocolate is still melted.
Yield: 3 1/2 dozen small cookies

Peanut Butter Blossoms


When my children were young, during the Advent season, they could each pick there favorite Christmas cookie and bake with me. I found baking separately with them more helpful than having them all in the kitchen with me at the same time (it is my turn to crack the egg, how come she always gets too) and I think they did too, and it builds lasting positive memories for everyone. Our son usually picked this recipe. Now he would much rather just eat the cookies than help me bake them.
  • 3/4 cup softened butter or margarine
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cup flour sifted with
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • extra sugar to roll the cookies in
  1. Cream butter, peanut butter and sugars well.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla, beat again.
  3. Add the flour mixture and mix well.
  4. Chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Form round ball from about one inch.
  6. Roll balls in sugar and place on un-greased baking sheets.
  7. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. (I do 10).
  8. When they come out of the oven, immediately place a chocolate kiss, rose bud or macaroon on top. They will melt and then when cooled completely they have become one with the cookie and stay in place.

HAPPY BAKING





Peppermint Pretties


This is one of those recipes that 'happened by mistake'...and has become an annual favorite.  We were served these tasty little peppermint morsels at a Christmas open-house many years ago.  The hostess kindly gave out the recipe. I thought I had copied it out wrong since the butter was missing...so I added half a cup of butter. The cookies were delightful and I have made them every Christmas since.  I later discovered that there really was no butter in the original version...but I'm sticking to my updated recipe.  Everything tastes better with butter.  Right?  These freeze well and taste great straight from the freezer.

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Cream softened butter and sugar.
  2. Add cream, egg and peppermint extract; beat until smooth.
  3. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Chill dough for at least one hour.
  5. Roll out to about 1/4" thick and cut with tiny cookie cutters.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 5-6 or until bottoms begin to brown.
  7. Drizzle with peppermint frosting. (For pale green icing add food colouring.)
  8. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes, if desired.
 Peppermint Frosting:
  • 1/4 cup soft butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  1. Beat softened butter until smooth and creamy. 
  2. Add powdered sugar, milk and peppermint extract. Beat until smooth.
  3. Add a little more milk if necessary in order to drizzle the icing.
Yield: 10 dozen 1 1/2" cookies.


*Tip ~ Put icing into a Ziploc bag, snip the corner and drizzle over the cookies.

Have you done any Christmas baking yet? 

PS From all of us to all of you who are celebrating Thanksgiving today...Happy Thanksgiving!

Fruitcake Scones


I like fruitcake..am I in the minority? I do have my favorite fruitcake though which I bake for Christmas. I also loved the green glaced and red marashino with nuts in these scones. A perfect addition to a Christmas brunch.
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup glazed green cherries, diced
  • 1/4 cup red marashino cherries, diced
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup almonds, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  1. In a medium size bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until it's like coarse crumbs.
  3. Fold fruits and nuts into the flour mixture until coated.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together eggs, cream and extracts.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry just until blended.
  6. Turn dough out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, knead just until dough comes together in a ball. 
  7. Flatten dough into a pie shaped circle, approx 1 inch in thickness and cut into 12 wedges or more depending on the size of pieces you want. 
  8. Bake in a 400º oven for 15 to 17 minutes or until lightly browned.
  9. Serve plain with butter, cream cheese, or devonshire cream. Or drizzle with icing and sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Glazed Honey Cookies


Some of you may recognize this Christmas cookie. Our moms and grandmothers went to some work mixing up their large recipes of spiced and glazed cookies, but once they were done and stored away in a cool place, they kept for a long time. In fact, I find they taste better as they age and they do not take up freezer space. Although a recipe for honey cookies with a quick glaze method has already been posted, I'm sharing this one for variation (it does not have baking ammonia) and gives you the option of a boiled glaze. This recipe is cut in half already to make it more user friendly. It still makes 8 dozen.
Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cups butter, room temp
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cups sour cream
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground star anise
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves or allspice 
Glaze
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 egg whites
Method:
  1. Beat butter, gradually adding sugar, then honey, eggs and sour cream, beating well after each addition.
  2. Mix baking powder, soda and spices into some of the flour and add to wet ingredients
  3. Continue adding flour 1 cup at a time (this can be done in a kitchen machine with a dough hook) until mixed thoroughly. Dough will be on the soft side, like a cookie batter.
  4. Pat top smooth with spatula and refrigerate overnight or up to a few days.
  5. Lightly grease and flour aluminum cookie sheets. Tilt cookie sheets and tap end to distribute the flour evenly.
  6. Divide dough into quarters. Dust rolling mat or counter with flour. Taking one quarter portion at a time, using both hands, roll into a thick, 24 inch long roll, then cut into 1 inch slices and roll each slice into a ball.
  7. Bake at 375° F for about 12 minutes on upper rack of oven - no lower than center of oven. Check bottom of cookie for light browning before taking out of oven. You don't want to over bake them but you also don't want the top to sink.
  8. Cool on wire racks.
Glazing
  1. Line cookie sheets with wax paper.
  2. In a medium sized glass bowl, beat egg whites with hand mixer until almost stiff. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, between low and medium heat, bring sugar and water to boil, stirring often. When sugar has completely dissolved, liquid clears up and bubbles even while stirring, set timer to 3 minutes. Continue cooking at most one minute until you see only bubbles throughout, as you stir. Liquid should drip off the spoon like syrup. (soft ball stage)
  4. With mixer on, slowly pour hot syrup into beaten egg whites and beat for about 3 - 4 minutes until thick and glossy when you lift the beater.
  5. Now, be ready to work quickly without distractions, because the glaze can dry on you. Scoop some glaze up in your left hand fingers to coat bottom of cookie and hold it in place. Scoop some more with your right hand fingers and coat top, smoothing with index finger. Cover the entire cookie with a thin layer of glaze and slide onto wax paper, not touching other cookies.
  6. Allow to dry on wax paper for several hours - may need to leave overnight if still tacky when you lift them.
Assessing glaze texture:  

I thought I'd show you the goal of what the glaze should look like. When it's cooked the right amount of time it goes on easy, and dries smoothly.


If the glaze is cooked too little it will be easy to coat, but take a long time to dry into a hard icing. If you have undercooked the glaze, you will notice that it does not thicken as you beat it with the egg white.  You may redeem it by adding a tablespoon of cornstarch and keep beating a few minutes more.


If the glaze is cooked too long, it will dry quickly as you are glazing the cookies. It may end up being  grainy, making it impossible to achieve that smooth finish. It helps to moisten your hands. The taste will still be good, just not as easy to work with. It may me easier to start again, cooking a minute less on your next try.