PEI

'Heartwarming' holiday treats and sweets from P.E.I. bakers

Island bakers share some of their festive favourites you can whip together this Christmas.

'Christmas is a special time for bakery treats'

Linzer cookies are a 'very popular' treat during the holidays, says baker Angelika Reich. (Amanda Sneath)

Running out of ideas for your Christmas potluck? Need to whip something together for family and friends? 

CBC asked some Island bakers for their festive favourites.  

From cookies to peanut butter balls and leftover-stuffed handpies, here's their cheat-sheet of seasonal essentials.

Got leftovers? Stuff them into a handpie

Sarah Bennetto O'Brien, chef and owner of The Handpie Company in Borden-Carleton, P.E.I., stayed late at her shop, concocting a new breed of handpie for CBC to share.

Most of the flaky Christmas pastry will just require ingredients from around the house and, of course, your holiday-dinner leftovers.

The Handpie Company suggests using leftovers in a different way this year — bake them into a handpie. (Submitted by The Handpie Company)

What you'll need

Dough Recipe:

  • 1 cup ADL butter (frozen).
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour.
  • 1.5 teaspoons table salt.
  • 1 cup very cold water (adjust as necessary for a dough that just barely comes together).

Filling:

  • Use what you have leftover from your holiday dinner celebrations!
  • You'll need a total of about 3 cups of filling.
  • 1.5 cups shredded roasted meat — turkey, chicken, ham, etc.
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes — can include some well-cooked mixed vegetables.
  • ½ cup cold gravy.
  • ½ cup cranberry sauce or mustard pickle.

Click here for the full how-to recipe.

In the end you'll have a "portable Christmas dinner of heartwarming proportions," said Bennetto O'Brien.

Scotch Cookies

Marlene Miles-Wood of the Seaside Bakery in Souris, P.E.I., is up to her elbows in work this holiday season, but that didn't stop her from dishing on a Christmas classic.

Scotch cookies are a staple holiday treat and Miles-Wood shared a recipe so people can whip together their own cookies this season.

A dab of icing and a piece of candied cherry can make a scotch cookie shine. (Submitted by Seaside Bakery)

Instructions

Start with two cups of butter softened or whipped, then add one cup of icing sugar. Mix in a half cup of corn starch with one teaspoon of vanilla and gradually add three cups of flour.

Pack the mixture into small balls, press with gently with a fork and bake them at 350 degrees for seven minutes.

Cool, then decorate with a dab of icing and candied cherry and voila! A quick batch of scotch cookies.

'Very popular' Linzer cookies 

Ever had some Germanic sweets?

Angelika's Bakery recommends trying Linzer cookies, a Austrian treat that's a favourite in Germany.

Linzer cookies are most popular in Germany around Christmas, said owner Angelika Reich, but since Canadians are wild for sweets she makes them year-round in her bakery in Hunter River, P.E.I.

Angelika's German Bakery makes linzer cookies like these — Angelika recommends topping every cookie with red jam for a sweet hit of sugar. (Rachel Bishop/Instagram)

"[Germans] don't eat that many cookies throughout the year, but here in Canada everybody really loves cookies all year," Reich said.

"They're very popular ... Canadians are cookie lovers."

Click here for a full Linzer cookie recipe.

More treats meant for the holiday season

For more ideas on quick snacks throughout the holidays, Bill DeBlois, owner of Buns and Things in Charlottetown, has a few suggestions.

​"Christmas is a special time for bakery treats," DeBlois said.

Gingerbread people are not hard to make, suggest Bill Deblois at Buns and Things Bakery. (Submitted by Bill DeBlois)

Gingerbread people and sugar cookies are an easy way to "enjoy the fun of decorating," he adds.

Peanut butter balls are also another quick treat to make during the holidays.

Recipe: Frozen Peanut Butter Balls

But if you're craving more tough-to-make items, some of the tastiest, most popular items Buns and Things sells are fruitcakes and plum puddings, Deblois said. 

Peanut butter balls are a simple, quick and popular treat during the holidays. (Submitted by Bill DeBlois)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cody MacKay

Multiplatform Journalist

Cody is from Summerside, P.E.I., and is a UPEI History and Carleton Masters of Journalism alum. He joined CBC P.E.I. in July, 2017. Reach him at cody.mackay@cbc.ca

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