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Saturday & Sunday, Dec. 16 & 17
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Recipes by Robin Asbell
Spice up your holiday spread with much-loved classic treats like this Chocolate Glazed Nut Brittle.
Chocolate Glazed Nut Brittle
A recipe of decadent brittle makes wonderful gifts, a little goes a long way! Portion and package festively for teachers, coworkers, and friends.
Makes 2 1⁄2 pounds (approx. 27 servings).
Prep time: 1 hour;
20 minutes active
- 2 cups sugar
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1⁄3 cup light corn syrup
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 1⁄2 cups roasted salted peanuts or cashews plus
an optional 1⁄4 cup, finely chopped
- 8 ounces dark chocolate, melted
- Line a large sheet pan with a rim with parchment paper.
- In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the sugar, water, butter and corn syrup and bring to a boil to create caramel. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the caramel is light brown and registers 300°F on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the baking soda. The mixture will bubble. Stir in the nuts, then immediately scrape the brittle onto the prepared baking sheet. Using the back of a large spoon (oil it lightly if it sticks), spread the brittle into a thin, even layer. Let cool completely, about 30 minutes.
- Spread melted chocolate over the brittle, sprinkle with the finely chopped nuts, if using, then chill. Break the brittle into large shards. Store in airtight containers for up to two weeks.
Makes 48 3-inch cookies.
Prep time: 1 hour
- 1 1⁄2 cups unbleached flour
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1⁄4 cup light brown sugar
- 1⁄2 cup molasses
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups powdered sugar, approximately
- 1 large pasteurized egg white or 2 1⁄2 tablespoons meringue powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water, approximately
- In a large bowl, mix together flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Using a stand mixer or an electric beater, cream butter until soft, then add brown sugar and beat until well-mixed. Add molasses and beat, scrape down and add egg, beat again until combined. Stir in the flour mixture. Divide dough into four rectangular pieces, place between sheets of parchment and roll out 1/4" thick. Stack sheets of dough on a baking pan and chill for 3 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lay sheets of dough on counter, remove top layer of parchment and use a cookie cutter to cut into shapes. Using a thin spatula, transfer cookies to parchment-lined baking sheets. Repeat process with scraps.
- Bake 12 minutes, switching the pans between oven racks halfway through. When cookies are puffed and look dry, remove and cool on the pan for five minutes, then move cookies to a cooling rack.
- Using a stand mixer or electric beater, mix powdered sugar with egg white or meringue powder. Mix in lemon juice and water, a tablespoon at a time, to reach desired consistency. Transfer icing to a piping bag with a small round tip and use to draw outlines on the cookies.
Poppy Seed Rugelach
Rugelach, a traditional Jewish treat, can also be filled with chocolate chips, walnuts, arzipan, or fruit preserves.
Makes 24 cookies.
Prep time: 6 hours (includes chilling);
1 hour active
- 1 1⁄2 sticks butter, room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 cups flour
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 cup poppy seeds
- 1⁄4 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons raisins, chopped
- 1⁄2 teaspoon lemon zest
- Cream butter and cream cheese together until fluffy. Add flour, sugar, salt and beat to combine. Form 2 disks, wrap in plastic wrap; chill 4 hours.
- In a coffee grinder, grind poppy seeds coarsely then heat in a pan with milk, honey, raisins, and zest. Stir over medium-low until thickened, approx. 20 minutes, then cool completely.
- Preheat oven to 325ºF and line two sheet pans with parchment. Roll out dough to make two 12" rounds about 1⁄8" thick, then spread each with half the filling. Use a pizza cutter to cut each round in 12 wedges. Roll up each piece from the wide end, bend in tips to make a crescent. Place on pan, chill 1 hour.
- Bake for 40 minutes, switching the pans between oven racks halfway through.
- When done, cool cookies on pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks.
by Vic Hubbard & Tim Johnson, The Co-op Wine Guys
On April 1, 1997, Moe and Flora Momtazi bought 496 acres of abandoned wheat fields just south of their home in McMinnville, Oregon, and established Momtazi Estates. By the end of the summer of 1999, over 120,000 grapevines had been grafted in greenhouses and planted in the vineyard. Upon purchase, the land had already been chemical-free for seven years, and the Momtazis have made certain to keep it that way by using intensive biodynamic farming methods.
The Momtazi Vineyard in Oregon’s Willamette Valley is considered one of Oregon’s top vineyards.
Planted by Iranian immigrants Moe and Flora Momtazi in 1997 on 400-plus acres of abandoned wheat fields southwest of McMinnville, the Momtazi vineyard has become not only the origin of some of the most sought-after grapes in the valley, but a showcase for biodynamic and organic agriculture.
With the family history of farming and stewardship of the land learned over generations of family farming in Iran
With the family history of farming and stewardship of the land learned over generations of family farming in Iran, the Momtazis have been farming biodynamically from the day they planted the vineyard. This cosmological method of organic farming replaces chemical intervention with teas brewed from medicinal plants and compost from the estate. Nothing is brought in from outside as the farm is thought of as a closed system.
(from left) The Momtazi daughters—Naseem, Hannah, and Tahmiene—now run the vineyard, winery, and gorgeous tasting room and event venue in partnership with their parents Moe and Flora Momtazi.
Photos courtesy of maysara.com.
The Momtazi’s dedication to this mostly untested (at the time) method of viticulture has served as a role model and influence to many other growers both domestic and international. And, the proof is evident, not only in the quality of the grapes but in the low environmental impact.
While the Momtazis sell most of their grapes to many of Oregon’s most esteemed producers, they also produce wine under their own label: Maysara (Persian for winery). We have selected two Maysara wines to feature for the holidays. These are not only delicious additions to holiday meals, but make great gifts for wine lovers.
Learn more at maysara.com.
Maysara Arsheen Pinot Gris 2015
Demeter Certified Biodynamic, estate grown, Willamette Valley, Oregon. $16.95
Pinot gris has become Oregon’s signature white grape, but rarely do we see it made in this off-dry style. This old-world style is similar to the wines of the Alsace region of France. The beauty of this wine is its complexity. Fermented and aged in
egg-shaped concrete tanks, this wine has lemon balm-like richness. It seems to gravitate between slightly sweet and dry as diverse flavors and aromas emerge and seem to linger. Look for tropical components, guava, papaya, orange; tree fruit like nectarine and peach; and floral aspects such as marigold. Good base of minerality and acidity adds verve and counters the sweetness.
This wine lends itself to spicy foods. Thai or Indian dishes like curry for example. Also, this is a crowd pleasing wine with roasted chicken or turkey, rich seafood such as halibut or scallops, or try it with holiday ham.
Maysara 3° Pinot Noir 2015
Demeter Certified Biodynamic, estate grown, Willamette Valley, Oregon. $18.95.
Crafted by the Momtazi’s three daughters, who now run the day-to-day operation of the winery and vineyard, the beauty of this wine is its vibrancy. It is fresh and lively, and is pleasing and refreshing on the palate. This is a pinot with a bit of weight to it. Tannins and acidity are nicely integrated. Fruit aspects like bing cherry and strawberry, and floral and spice aspects like hibiscus and saffron are intertwined with hints of aromatics reminiscent of smoked meat.
This light-to-medium-bodied red is versatile with food. Try with wild salmon, mushroom dishes, poultry, cranberries, and light cheeses. Good with lighter foods, but pinot noir also does well with more substantial foods like grilled meats. The Momtazis even recommend it with curry.
This Thanksgiving, leave the baking to us.
At the Co-op Bakery, we strive to offer choices that are good for you, the farmers, the local economy, and the environment.
With quality in mind, our ingredients are locally sourced and organic whenever possible, and are 100 percent free of artificial colors, flavors, and GMOs.
In the course of one year, the Co-op’s bakery team cracks open 150,000 eggs and uses 9,360 pounds of butter. In 2016, we baked 129,155 cookies and 20,197 scones!
During the holiday season, cookies and scones step aside as specialty pies take center stage. Every irresistible pie filling is crafted from scratch in our bakery kitchen using the
highest-quality ingredients we can source.
Pumpkin pie has long been the quintessential Thanksgiving pie, at least since 1844 when Lydia Maria Child penned her poem Thanksgiving Day (more commonly known today as the song Over the River and Through the Woods) with the closing line, “Hurrah for the pumpkin-pie!”
The Co-op bakers make the tastiest pumpkin pies in town, along with insanely delicious caramel apple pies and pecan pies.
If pie is not your favorite, the Co-op Bakery is ready to delight with traditional bakery treats, beautiful custom creations, and heavenly tasting allergen-free sweets and savories. Catering to specific dietary needs is our specialty and our talented bakers love a challenge—so dream big!
Catering to specific dietary needs is our specialty
To ensure you get the dessert of your dreams in time for Thanksgiving, or any occasion, place a custom order three days in advance and the Co-op bakers will have it ready and waiting for you to pick up.
Choose Your Pie
(traditional or vegan; gluten-free option for either)
The Co-op’s traditional and vegan pumpkin pies offer silky, smooth custards and the perfect blend of spices without being overly sweet.
Caramel Apple Pie
Caramel apple pie is the trifecta of goodness with an all-butter crust and the perfect balance of sweet and tart apple filling dusted with cinnamon. The streusel topping provides a comforting buttery, oaty crunch.
(traditional or gluten-free)
Our pecan pies are a beautiful marriage of crust and not-too-sweet, toasty pecan filling—salty and sweet, crunchy and chewy.
by Laura Steiger, Outreach Team
Celebrate the season with local eggnog!
Spike your coffee and baked goods with some nog, or spike your nog with some booze.
Whatcom County is dairy country. With numerous small dairies dotting our county landscape, it’s our good fortune to enjoy the crème de la crème of eggnog! Fresh, local, and made with care right here in our pastoral paradise.
it’s our good fortune to enjoy the crème de la crème of eggnog
At the Co-op, we get pretty jazzed when eggnog season arrives and we are proud to carry some exceptional eggnog from two of our favorite local dairies.
Twin Brook Creamery
Twin Brook Creamery is a fifth-generation dairy farm in Lynden. It first started making eggnog in 2007, which was also the first year that Twin Brook started bottling its own milk in those now-iconic Twin Brook Creamery glass bottles. From October through December, the creamery will produce about 25,000 gallons of eggnog for its enthusiastic customers.
Larry Stap, the great-grandson of Jacob and Tryntje Stap who originally established the farm, believes the key to the creamery’s delicious eggnog is its elegant simplicity and quality ingredients. It is made exclusively with the milk from Jersey cows, fresh egg yolks, sweetened with only cane sugar, and seasoned with the perfect combination of spices. “We hear two main comments: This is just like I remember it being made at home; and I don’t like eggnog, but since tasting yours I now can say that I have found one I like and can drink,” said Larry.
Fresh Breeze Organic
Fresh Breeze Organic is yet another fifth-generation farm in Lynden and has been in the Langley family for more than a century. It also started making eggnog in 2007, when the dairy first began processing its own milk. In 2015, the creamery produced about 7,000 quarts of organic eggnog.
Fresh Breeze eggnog is unique in that it contains all organic ingredients: real whole eggs, nutmeg, organic vanilla, sugar, and milk from the farm. Because there are no thickeners, like the often-used locust bean gum, it is thinner than other eggnog. And Clarissa Langley explained that “the vat pasteurization helps it taste like a homemade eggnog that was simmered on the stove.” Yum!
Indulge in this seasonal delight while it is available
Indulge in this seasonal delight while it is available, and pick up a bottle of your favorite local eggnog to keep in the fridge for flavoring your coffee, baking, or for an after-dinner drink spiked with a splash of crème liqueur or rum.
Or, stop by the Co-op and enjoy an eggnog latte prepared by our talented baristas (made with Fresh Breeze Organic eggnog!) and savor this traditional taste of the season.
by Jeremy Meadows, Cordata deli
I’m from Ohio. Yep, that part of the country known to historians (and some attentive third graders) as the Old Northwest. When I tell this to people here the image that typically arises is one of sleepy little towns surrounded by vast stretches of farmland. What they are picturing, I think, is Iowa. But the reality is much more, well, rust-colored. There are farms there to be sure. A local, sustainable food culture is even beginning to take off. But it certainly isn’t part of the DNA of the place like it is here—at least not yet. Rather, the midwestern zeal for industry and efficiency seems to have spread from the cities to the surrounding countryside resulting in a landscape dominated by factory farms and monoculture. And you guessed it: corn is king.
Growing up in a place like that can easily lead to a serious disconnect between a person and the food that he or she eats. To my young mind, food came from the supermarket, not from farms. I didn’t know any farmers. And the farms themselves—with those stalks of corn all lined up in their rows like vast battalions brandishing spears—were almost menacing. Really, have you ever noticed how many horror films are set in cornfields? Anyway, the farm did not seem like a place that anyone would ever need, or want, to go to.
There was, however, one exception. Each year my family would make pilgrimage to our local pumpkin patch. We would all clamber into the farmer’s wagon and roll out through the orange, glistening fields to harvest jack-o’-lanterns and pie pumpkins for the fall holidays. I was too young to think much about it then, but something about visiting that place, and picking with our own hands the food that we would soon eat, seemed important, elemental, right—like a tradition worth preserving.
Those early experiences made a deep and lasting impression, and I have no doubt that they have made me a more conscious, and conscientious, eater. That’s the thing about traditions, they have a way of shaping the way that we come to see the world. This savory stuffed pumpkin recipe has become a tradition around our house. And trust me, it’s a keeper.
Meaghan Flesch, Co-op outreach team, prepared Jeremy’s pumpkin recipe using ingredients from her home garden along with local products available at the Co-op: Twin Brook cream, Hempler’s bacon, and Breadfarm bread. Meaghan gives the rich, savory recipe 5-stars and plans to make it again during the holidays.
Savory Stuffed Pumpkin
- 1 pie pumpkin, about 3 pounds
- 1/4 pound stale bread, thinly sliced and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/4 pound cheese, such as Gruyere, Emmenthal, cheddar, or a combination, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1 apple, 1/2-inch dice
- 1 pear, 1/2-inch dice
- 4 strips bacon (optional), cooked until crisp, drained, and chopped
- About 1/4 cup fresh chives or sliced scallions
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- About 1/3 cup heavy cream
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut a cap out of the top of the pumpkin (think Halloween jack-o’-lantern). Scrape out seeds and strings from cap and inside of pumpkin.
- Season the inside of the pumpkin generously with salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish.
- Toss bread, cheese, garlic, fruit, bacon, and herbs together in a bowl. Season with pepper, you probably have enough salt from the bacon and cheese, but taste to be sure.
- Pack the mix into the pumpkin. It should be well-filled, but don’t overstuff it.
- Mix the cream, nutmeg, and some salt and pepper. Pour into pumpkin (add more cream if too dry).
- Replace the cap and bake for about 2 hours, checking after 90 minutes, or until the pumpkin flesh is tender enough to pierce easily with a knife tip. Remove cap during the last 20 minutes to bake off any liquid and slightly brown the top of the stuffing.
- Serve from the baking dish, making sure to scrape out some pumpkin flesh with each serving of stuffing.
(Note: Don’t be alarmed if your Thanksgiving turkey begins to turn green with envy when placed next to this good-looker!)