one of the things i love most about being a food blogger is the opportunity to attend all different kinds of events where i get to test out great food and drinks, connect with other bloggers, and talk about brands i love. last week i had the pleasure of attending an event put on by canola eat well, where we did some fun christmas crafts, ate charcuterie and drank wine, baked some amazing holiday desserts with chef claire tansey. while the event was still an awesome little get together to celebrate the coming holidays, it really stood out to me because of all of the education about the product. we had the opportunity to learn about how canola is grown and produced; we touched actual canola seeds (it looks like black quinoa!); and we had the absolute pleasure of meeting jeannette, a former teacher now canola farmer in alberta, who painted the most beautiful picture of her farm and talked us about the hard but rewarding work she and her husband do.
as much as i love cooking and eating, the other thing i love just as much is educating myself and others on the importance of knowing where your food comes from, and canola connect is doing just that. they are a joint partnership between alberta canola, manitoba canola growers and saskcanola, and their goal is to build farm connections and grow conversations about farm to food in canada. they want to share with canadians the farmer’s stories, and provide education and insight into the process and work behind what you consume, so that you feel connected to the food you’re buying. it’s like you putting importance on buying produce from your farmers market that’s grown locally – why not put the same importance on buying packaged goods like oil? when you buy canola oil, you’re supporting canadian farmers in the same way you would at a farmers market. this stuff gives me shivers you guys!
leaving the event i felt so inspired to get in the kitchen and start on my holiday baking, and armed with all of my knowledge of canola oil, i set out to the grocery store and bought a bottle, vowing to create some delicious desserts with it (and hoping i had a tiny piece of jeannette’s farm in my bottle!!). to kick things off this season, i wanted to ease into things with an italian classic but with a christmas twist: gingerbread biscotti!
they are the perfect segway into more serious christmas baking cause they’re low maintenance to make but still filled with those winter scents of dark molasses and warm spices of cinnamon and cloves. normally a biscotti recipe calls for butter, but i swapped it out for canola oil and it worked like a dream due to it’s neutral taste. it’s also filled with vitamins e and k, as well as packed with omega 3 fats – it’s the healthier choice so you can feel good about grabbing that second (or third) cookie! they’re sweet enough for an afternoon snack and perfect for dunking in your coffee, but also make the perfect gifts! drizzled with chocolate to sweeten things up, and sprinkled with candied ginger for an extra little zip, you’ll want to make a double batch cause everyone you know will be wanting some!
*makes about 30 cookies
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup molasses
3 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
preheat the oven to 375 degrees. line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or my new favourite thing a silpat baking mat).
in a bowl of a stand mixer, cream the sugar and oil together until pale and fluffy. add the eggs one at a time with motor running, then add molasses. in another bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix into egg mixture to form a stiff dough.
divide dough in half, and shape each into a hexagon about 1/2 inch thick and a few inches wide. bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. remove and set aside to cool.
when cool enough to touch, cut into diagonal slices and place on cookie sheet to bake for another 5-7 minutes on each side, or until toasted and crispy.
let cool completely, then drizzle with melted chocolate and chopped candied ginger.