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Les Petits Chefs bake for the holidays with Kraft Canada

When Kraft Canada contacted me to ask if I would like to bake up some holiday goodies for the “Dessert First” program from Desserts Centre.ca, I knew exactly who I would bake with – Les Petits Chefs! The boys are always asking me to bake but what you can bake in under an hour total time (prep and cooking) is limited. Also, I try to steer clear of the sweet treats as much as I can – I’m trying to teach the boys about real food being really easy from scratch so, whilst it’s great to learn to bake cookies from scratch and not from a Duncan Hines mix, I prefer to stick to savoury and main dishes.  But everything in moderation, right – and t’is the season.  Also, whilst perusing the recipes on the dessert centre site, I was impressed with how many there were which COULD be prepared in under an hour… So I went all ambitious and decided to make two – White Christmas Crunch Squares and Chocolate (chip) Shortbread Cookies.  Since I am still feeling a little under the weather from a sinus infection and the consequences of strong antibiotics, I called for reinforcements on Monday, knowing that it could get crazy in the kitchen lab.  So thank you to Ms Stephenson for coming to my rescue – we definitely could not have done this without her!

She ended up supervising the shortbread making which involved a lot of butter, sugar and flour and a not-quite-powerful-enough hand mixer.  But the boys showed us their mixing muscles to produce a wonderfully soft and easy to roll shortbread dough..

Look at those perfectly and evenly-sized shortbread cookies!  And the result?

Perfect with a glass of milk. I loved these (Neil not so much) and will definitely make them again – so easy – they would be perfect to bake up a large batch for a cookie swap!

Meanwhile, on the other side of the room, I led a few of the boys in adventures in  White Christmas Crunch Squares…

We all agreed it was “weird” to make a base of Premium Crackers… (and yes, I forgot the parchment paper the first time we laid them in the pan)

The boys were fascinated at how delicious ingredients like sugar and butter could turn into such a “disgusting colour”. I assured them that it would taste great!

I made sure to keep an eye on this in the oven so it would not burn. Later on, the boys got into spreading the chocolate chips onto the cracker/ caramel base…  The recipe called for chopped white baking chocolate but I decided to go with baking chips. They did NOT melt, even with the oven at 350˚F (the recipe called for 1-2 minutes, ours were in there for about 7 minutes and even after that I had to press the chocolate chips and crushed candy cane with a spatula and even then they never really went liquidy and melty. They finally were ready to cut and we all waited patiently for our share…

And after a night in the fridge…

I thought these were fantastic – relatively easy to make and visually very very festive. I loved the slight saltiness from the crackers which prevented these from being too sweet (they are VERY sweet so you only need a little piece!)

According to the boys, this week’s take-homes from cooking club were “AWESOME”.

In this season of giving, I also wanted to share Kraft’s Food for Families program with you all.

Kraft food for FamiliesIf you aren’t aware, Kraft Food for Families is a unique program designed in partnership with Food Banks Canada to enable communities across Canada to have improved access to food. Donations received through Kraft Food for Families will help food banks throughout the holiday season and beyond.  The Salvation Army in Owen Sound already collected over 22,000 signatures in the first round of the program!

Starting December 2, every week for ten weeks, each name added online at www.kraftassists.ca will equal one vote for any of the 29 participating food banks. Every week, the food bank that receives the most names of support during each weekly voting period, will receive a $1000 donation from the Kraft Food for Families program.

Inspired by the tremendous support for the program since it launched last month, Kraft launched a second phase to allow Canadians to continue adding their signature online at www.kraftassists.ca in support of their local food bank.  Each week, the totals reset at zero and the tallies start from scratch – so Canadians can add their name daily each week until the end of the program on February 10.

Disclosure: I was offered a gift basket of ingredients and a gift card to cover other baking needs from Kraft Canada as well as two plated desserts as post of the Dessert First program.  I turned down the gift card and ingredients and will make a donation to Food Banks of Canada on behalf of Les Petits Chefs and I will be donating the plated desserts to Out of the Cold – a volunteer initiative providing safe refuge, hospitality and emergency shelter to the homeless community throughout the City of Toronto where students from my school assist each Friday during the winter.

US and Canadian residents – did you enter my Maria Speck Ancient Grains for Modern Meals book giveaway yet?  Contest closes Saturday December 17th at 6pm EST.

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20 Responses to Les Petits Chefs bake for the holidays with Kraft Canada

  1. penny aka jeroxie December 15, 2011 at 06:06 #

    Nomz! I think I need to bake some of these cookies this weekend as well. So much to do!

  2. Mr. Neil December 15, 2011 at 08:24 #

    Hey LPC…I did like them…just didn’t “bowl me over”. I think I may have just been confused by the shortbread versus chocolate chip cookie mash-up. :-)

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite December 17, 2011 at 21:11 #

      There is definitely the visual of a choc chip cookie – we forgot to coat them in icing sugar…

  3. Paula December 15, 2011 at 09:01 #

    I’m wondering why the chocolate chips didn’t melt!!! The shortbread look wonderful and the White Christmas Crunch squares are very festive. Happy that Les Petits Chefs thought all the results were *awesome*
    I think it’s wonderful that you donated to Foods Banks of Canada on behalf of your boys and that your plated desserts were donated to Out of the Cold. Also think it is wonderful that students from your school volunteer their time each Friday in the Winter to this program.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite December 17, 2011 at 21:10 #

      Yeah I don’t know about those choc chips – annoying. But still, it all worked out in the end!

  4. Kiri W. December 15, 2011 at 11:00 #

    Wow, that looks awesome! :) i lvoe chocolate-chip shortbread, and yours cam eou beautifully!

  5. Geoff December 15, 2011 at 16:28 #

    part of the problem of being in Aust is that we get to read all these posts and see the results, but never get a taste. Not that we’re bitter about it.
    Well done LPCs and also big feather in Kraft’s cap.

  6. Cucina49 December 15, 2011 at 16:36 #

    Those shortbread cookies are just beautiful–it sounds like you had a great time!

  7. 2peas December 16, 2011 at 07:49 #

    great to see! we’re cooking sugar cookies with the class today.

  8. Melissa@EyesBigger December 16, 2011 at 20:47 #

    i think the Christmas Crunch squares are so cute – I might try those myself! I’m not a shortbread fan (a weird texture thing with me) but the cookies look perfect!

  9. Quay Po Cooks December 18, 2011 at 07:05 #

    I made some molasses and spice sugar cookies. This look so yummy, I want to make this also.

  10. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction December 20, 2011 at 22:24 #

    Perfect holiday treats! They look so great. I have to pass the Christmas Crunch Squares recipe on to a friend of mine who would love to make them with her son!

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