Since I prefer to make homemade foodie gifts to give during the holiday season, November and December are two months of the year when my kitchen (and entire home) is turned upside down while trying to keep up with demand for my annual delivery of baked goods.
Baking holiday gifts is a tradition I started when I was about 15 years old, and now that I’m turning 30, not much has changed except for the fact that I am now super busy. Sadly, I don’t often have the time to get a little merry with the Christmas tunes on blast while I get to work in the kitchen, and it’s more like a frantic race to bake as much as possible in the shortest amount of time.
One of my absolute biggest pet peeves is getting into baking mode only to realize that I forgot to leave the damn butter out and ain’t nobody got the time to wait around for a cold brick of butter to soften. So, let me tell you about the best baking hack of all time that’s available for a limited time only during the holiday season: New Becel Sticks.
Unlike butter, there’s no softening needed with Becel® Sticks, making them a baker’s BFF over the busy holiday season. Baking with Becel was new to me, so I wanted to make sure it would actually work without comprising the results and taste. I put it to the test with one of my favourite recipes to make during the holidays which is this super quick and easy Spicy Hermit Bars recipe.
I’m very happy to report that substituting the 1 stick of butter with 1 stick of Becel resulted in Spicy Hermit Bars that were just as good as ever in terms of taste and look. This recipe is already super quick and easy to make, but the addition of Becel Sticks made it even simpler by eliminating the need to remember to take your butter out of the fridge hours before you start.
See below for how to make this delicious Spicy Hermit Bars recipe that I guarantee you won’t be able to live without this holiday season!
Spicy Hermit Bars Recipe
This is an Ina Garten recipe that she adapted from Martha Stewart! I’ve made it my own by eliminating the use of raisins and increasing the amount of candied ginger used to pump up the spice and flavour factor. I love this recipe and hope you do too!
What You Need:
- 1 Becel® Stick that’ll be ready to go
- 1 cup light or dark brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 extra-large egg at room temperature
- 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
- 2 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1.5 tsp ground cloves
- 0.5 tsp kosher salt (if using unsalted butter or Becel)
- 1/2 cups minced crystallized ginger (not in syrup)
- 1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
- Dark rum, such as Mount Gay
- Grated lemon zest
What To Do:
- Place the Becel® Sticks and the brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- With the mixer on low, and the egg, scrape down the bowl, then mix in the molasses.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, mixing just until combined.
- Mix in the crystallized ginger and cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- While the dough is chilling, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper
- After 30 minutes, remove dough from the fridge and turn it out onto a very lightly floured board. Form it into a disk with lightly floured hands and cut it in half.
- Roll each half into a log about 12 inches long and place them 3 inches apart on the prepared sheet pan.
- Bake for 20 minutes; the logs will be soft in the centre.
- Meanwhile, whisk the confectioners’ sugar with 5 to 6 teaspoons of rum to make a pourable glaze.
- While the logs are still warm, drizzle the glaze back and forth across the logs with a teaspoon.
- Finish with a sprinkling of dry confectioners’ sugar and the fresh lemon zest
- Allow to cool then cut each log crosswise into 1.5 inch wide bars
After that, all you have to do is serve and enjoy! These also keep well for up to a week when stored in an airtight container.
If you’re keen to be prepared for all of your holiday baking needs this year with help from Becel® Sticks, look out for them at select retailers for a limited time between November and December.
*Please note that this post has been brought to you in partnership with Becel®*