Category Archives: Recipe

Leftover Candy Cookies

Leftover Candy Cookies by growingsigns.comI’m hearing a lot of moaning and groaning about leftover Halloween candy this week. In my signing classes, a lot of the moms & dads talked about how they bought Halloween candy for the little trick-or-treaters ringing their doorbell last weekend, but ended up having leftovers. Or for those with big kids who went out door-to-door on Halloween, there comes a time when you want those bags of candy to vanish, and not into their tummies.

Some of my clever friends have negotiated an exchange of the candy bag after Halloween with a toy or other non-candy goodies so their kids don’t eat too much junk. I love that idea but I never remember to put that together. I usually end up letting my kids eat their favourites, and then simply take the whole bag away without notice after a couple days. Enough is enough.

So what to do with all that leftover candy?


Cut it up & bake it!
(or freeze it for another baking-kinda day)

If you already bake throughout the year and eat cookies at home, why not use up some of the candy and not eat it all at once. Or bake and give away the cookies to someone you know that loves cookies. I hate throwing away things that can be used in baking (now or later).

This is my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe, made with leftover Halloween candy instead of chocolate chips, but you can use any cookie recipe you like.

1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Halloween chocolate bars and bits, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F

Cream together the butter & sugars until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in the hot water. Add to batter along with the salt. Stir in flour and mix until just combined. Add chocolate candy pieces. Drop by large spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes in preheated oven, or until edges are just browning. Let cool 1 minute on baking sheet, then remove onto a cooling rack.

Leftover Candy Cookies

What do you do with all your leftover candy?

Thanksgiving Jello Bites

Jello Bites Cut-outs

It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and my mother-in-law asked me to bring some of my Jello Bites to eat alongside the pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving dinner.

No problem!

Jello bites are little cut-outs of jello that can be eaten with your hands. Also called Jello Jigglers, this jello treat is made with less water than the usual recipe to make it more dense and jiggly. This adapted recipe for jigglers has a creamy layer too. But don’t panic, you don’t actually make 2 layers, this recipe mixes once and sets with 2 layers on its own. Hooray for small victories!

I first tried these cut into squares at my lovely neighbour’s house almost a dozen years ago and she generously shared the recipe with me; I’ve been making them ever since! I use cookie cutters to make them cute for whatever theme is happening -birthday parties, school events, even Thanksgiving! My kids love these wiggly, jiggly, creamy bites of jello (and my mother-in-law, too)!

They’re great for little hands with chubby fingers to hold and gobble up on Thanksgiving, or any time at all, give them a try!

Creamy Jello Bites

4 small boxes of same flavour jello
4 cups boiling water
3 sachets of gelatin (I use Knox brand)
1 small carton of whipping cream (250ml)

Pour the jello and gelatine crystals into a large heat-proof bowl. Slowly add the boiling water and mix well. Slowly add whipping cream into bowl and stir until blended. It may look a little globby as it blends, but it always sets evenly. Pour mixture into a 9×12 lasagna dish or deep cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap. The jello and cream layers will form naturally as it sets.

Let set 3-4 hours, then cut with cookie cutters or into squares with a knife.

Keep chilled until served.

I pack them up in containers with parchment paper in between each layer to store in my fridge, ready for bringing to parties, school celebrations, and Thanksgiving dinner!
Jello Bites packed up

Happy Thanksgiving, my Canadian friends!

Learn how to sign more Thanksgiving signs in American Sign Language, too!

Gobble, gobble!


Meyer Lemon Pancakes and Homemade Lemon Syrup

My husband brought home a bag of gorgeous, organic Meyer LEMONS, which are in season now (January-March). Meyer lemons are thought to be a cross between lemons and mandarin oranges, so you can imagine they have a sweetness to them in addition to the usual tang you find in lemons. Meyer lemons are also juicier, more tender and have a thinner peel than regular lemons. Swooning!
Processed with Rookie

These pancakes were INCREDIBLE -fluffy, a little sweet but tangy from the lemons, they cooked like a dream. I did some research to find recipes to use up these beauties and decided breakfast was the way to start: Lemon Pancakes amped up with the tangy sweetness of the Meyer lemons.
Before I started on the pancakes, I made some Homemade Lemon Syrup from this recipe using freshly-squeezed Meyer Lemon juice. This quick and easy homemade syrup is full on lemony-goodness that makes a perfect complement to the lemon pancakes. In fact, I’m pretty sure they’re dating now.

Homemade Lemon Syrup

1 1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup water
peel of 1 lemon, in large chunks

Place sugars and water in a medium saucepan. Heat over med-high heat, stirring occasionally. Add lemon peels and bring to a boil. Let boil for 2-3 minutes for thin syrup, 4-5 minutes for thicker syrup.
Recipe adapted from jensfavoritecookies blog

Lemon Pancakes

1 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup icing sugar (or 1/3 cup granulated sugar)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1/3 cup milk
zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 Tbs butter, melted
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl mix together the remaining ingredients. Pour this wet mixture into the dry and stir quickly, only until just blended. The batter will be thick and bubbly. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake onto a preheated hot griddle. Cook until bubbles come up and other side is golden brown. Flip over and cook for 1 more minute.

Serve with Lemon Syrup (above).

Recipe adapted from “The Joy of Cooking”


Here’s how to sign LEMON in American Sign Language.

What do you do when life brings you LEMONS?