Family Day

Monday, February 20, 2012
Many of my readers are celebrating Presidents' Day today, but here in Ontario (and in several other Canadian provinces) we're celebrating Family Day.  We've only observed this holiday in Ontario since 2008, but already we anticipate it as if we've celebrated it for years.  And what's not to love?  Family Day helps break up the sometimes-endless month of February, and it's a great excuse to spend time with our loved ones.  For many families, it's a chance to establish a new set of traditions.

Traditions, both new and old, can provide some of the best family memories.  I thought about some of my favourite food traditions that our family has shared, not specifically on Family Day, but throughout the year:

- burgers at Webers.  We've driven one or both girls home from camp every summer since 2002, and every year we stop at Webers Hamburgers on the way.  We always move one of the picnic tables into the shade, and share cheeseburgers and fries while the girls tell us about another great camp experience.

- barbecuing in the back yard.  Living in Canada, we take advantage of the short summer season by eating outside whenever we can.  It's even more special when we share it with our friends.  Whether we're serving chicken or steak, salmon or veggie burgers, we make the most of our long days by eating, laughing and talking in the back yard.

- dinner out on New Year's Eve.  This is a newer tradition, but for the past few years the four of us have had dinner out in a restaurant on New Year's Eve.  We go around the table and talk about some of our favourite memories over the past twelve months.  I can't think of anyone else I'd rather close the year with.

What are some of your best family food memories?


In the meantime, I'd like to share this recipe for Toblerone Shortbread cookies.  My family loved them, and I'm sure yours will too.

Toblerone Shortbread cookies
(adapted from Anna Olson)

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp icing sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
One and a half 100 gram Toblerone bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat butter until light and fluffy.  Add icing sugar and beat again until fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl often.  Add cornstarch and blend in, then add all-purpose flour and salt, and mix until dough comes together.  (Dough will be soft.)  Stir in vanilla.

Chop Toblerone bars into smallish chunks and stir them into the batter.

Spoon large teaspoonfuls of cookie dough onto a cookie sheet, leaving two inches between cookies.  Bake for 16 minutes, then remove from cookie sheet to cool on a rack.  

40 comments:

Valerie said...

Toblerone Shortbread cookies! Beth, you're amazing!! :D Seriously, what's not to love about that recipe title?

One of my favorite food traditions was the Mardi Gras King Cake. I almost always found the bean, and that almost always sent my sister into a fit of jealousy. :D

Rosemary said...

Oh, I just love the idea of Family Day as a national holiday. (No wonder my husband sometimes says he wants to move to Canada!) Great looking cookies. A family memory maker. For me, one of those is Friday night fish frys at the local tavern, the only time we kids got to go.

Belinda said...

I think Family Day is a clear reason to celebrate. Seriously, we need to have one in the U.S. These cookies are definitely a great to celebrate!

Em said...

What a cute post! My favourite family memories - there are SO many! Green mole enchiladas with my dad, tapas and cocktails with my mum, cheap sandwiches bought at a dog show with my brother :). I also love toblerone ... so anything involving that gets a thumbs up from me! :)

bakewithjill.com said...

What a fun holiday! And what tasty-looking cookies!

Achu's Amma's Kitchen said...

Delicious one ..cookies are sweety looking

Joanne said...

We like to go out for a big pizza dinner on New Year's Day. The rush of the holidays is behind us, the food and gift prep is history, and we find it's a great way to relax and unwind, beginning the New Year on an easy note :)

Claudia said...

I love that Canada has a family day. And I really wish that we would go back to Washington's Birthday and Lincoln's Birthday and not celebrate each and every president. They are not equal. These sing - Toblerone is one of those things that lands in Christmas stockings every year and adorns birthday presents. But food memories - well, they seem to be reserved for pasta. (Predictable, I know.)

Carol said...

I love Toblerone so I can only imagine I'd love those shortbread cookies. They look fantastic! What a lovely idea to have Family Day.

Kittie Howard said...

The cookies look absolutely delicious. Thanks for the recipe. I enjoyed reading how a new holiday seems like a long-favorite. It's great when holidays are celebrated with spirit.

The Golden Eagle said...

That sounds like a great holiday! :)

And the cookies look wonderful.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Sounds like an awesome holiday. I had to work today. Sigh. We like to order carry out Chinese. Did it tonight BTW.

Kayte said...

Oh, I love the idea of Family Day...what a great idea. Your cookies look like just the thing for Family Day. On New Year's Eve, since 1978, we have celebrated eating at the same Chinese Restaurant...two years ago it closed and we all looked at each other and said, "Now what?" like perhaps the holiday itself was closed! lol Traditions are a fun thing...makes life just that much more special.

sally said...

Family Day sounds like a great event. Thanks for sharing some of your family traditions (and the yummy cookie recipe!).

Steve Cylka said...

I live in ontario as well. Family Day rocks! We had a lot of fun in our house today. A great time to just hang out. It was gorgeous outside as well and we went for a nice walk! These cookies look delicious!

tenaciouslyyours.com said...

We eat on the deck every night during the summer or with all of the windows/the porch door open if that can't happen. It brings us so much peace.

Family Day sounds like such a nice tradition, even if it is new - the calendar could use a few more "happy" holidays like that.

jhl said...

These look AMAZING. And what a great tradition! I was just thinking today that we don't do anything to celebrate the presidents here, and that maybe we should start something new ... !

Kitchen Riffs said...

I hadn't heard of Family Day, but it sounds like a really cool holiday. And I like the idea of eating out on New Year's Eve - we've thought about that, but haven't done it. I suspect once we start, we'll be hooked. Now, onto cookies! I love shortbread and Toblerone bars are great - this looks like a fantastic cookie! Thanks.

Miriam said...

I love that ya'll celebrate family day, too cool! Those cookies...I must have some! The name of them and those pictures made me need them. :) Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

grace said...

i think MOST of my fondest memories with my family involve food in some way--we're big eaters. :)
family day is a great idea--go canada! :)

Katerina said...

When I was a child my father used to bring me Toblerone chocolates every time he came home from a trip abroad! Your delicious cookies reminded me of my childhood!

Claire Davis said...

Those shortbread cookies look so delicious! I love the idea of family day. Some of my favorite memories growing up are cooking with my mom.

Barbara said...

Family day is a great idea, Beth. I remember many fabulous picnics on the boat. My mother was a super cook!

shaz said...

I'd love to celebrate Family day! My family always celebrated birthdays with a dinner at a low-key restaurant. All the extended family came (lucky we're a small family), and it would end up pretty loud before too long :)

The shortbread sounds divine, and btw, the sweet potatoes inspired me I made them for lunch the next day! Yum! Can't wait to make them again.

Kathy said...

Family Day! What a wonderful thing to celebrate! Your shortbread cookies look fantastic...love Toblerone and shortbread...yum!

Yummy said...

I like the idea of family day. It's a lot better than Presidents' Day where most people just go out for the shopping sales.

Jeanne said...

What a fun holiday! I have fond memories of making decorated sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies during the holidays. These Toblerone cookies look so good!

Pam said...

Great traditions! I always make cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning and prime rib for Christmas dinner. My kids get to pick all of the meals for the day on their birthday. Whenever we head up to the mountains to go skiing or sledding, we stop at the same pub for the best fish tacos & beer (vanilla steamers for the kids).

Angie's Recipes said...

These Toblerone cookies look divine! A perfect afternoon tea snack to enjoy with the family.

Elaine said...

I love the idea of family day. I have so many family memories associated with food it would take up too much room to list them. :) Really enjoyed reading yours and your cookies look fantastic. They would be perfect with a cup of tea.

Lizzy said...

I like family day better than president's day, too :) And I LOVE your cookies!!!

Mary said...

Oh, I am loving the sound of a national Family Day! What fun!! We had a family day for President's Day here yesterday. I love lazy days with my crew. :)

Joanne said...

we don't really do anything for president's day here in the US but it IS a nice excuse to just have a day off. My family goes out on NY's Day instead of NYE! It's such a fun traditions.

Man these cookies look delicious.

Rita said...

Hope you had a wonderful Family Day; love this new Holiday. Toblerone in cookies must be good!
So many memories with 4 sons that I wouldn't know where to start. Sad now, because they are out of town now and don't see them as much as I would love.
Rita

Caryn Caldwell said...

Wow! I have never heard of Family Day, but I LOVE the concept! What a great idea! Many families just don't spend enough time together. How wonderful to encourage them to do so.

Half Baked said...

Family day is a wonderful idea...so are those cookies!

Barbara Jean said...

Oh so many Henderson food traditions! I also blogged about it over Christmas, and also about a year ago!

Pacheco Patty said...

I love the idea of a family day and I know my family would enjoy those cookies!

Lannie said...

family day food is always chinese at my parents home-- noodles for sure, lobster or dumplings if we're lucky!

must add there is nothing, nothing, NOTHING than chocolate chip cookies, and this toberone short bread version is an upgrade worth trying.

Becki's Whole Life said...

I love the idea of family day. One of the girls on my team at work lives in Canada and she mentioned celebrating it last week. Oh wow, these cookies look amazing...love the lighter colored dough and gosh, I haven't had Toblerone in a long time!

My favorite food memory is probably summers in Upstate NY having a BBQ either up in the woods or at my house and my dad grilling his BBQ chicken. I could go on and on with food memories.

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