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Garlic is a surprise ingredient in popular foods

This week's recipes include garlic chocolate chip cookies, pineapple-garlic upside down cake, and garlic bread pudding
From the Kitchen by Joyce Walter

For some of us, garlic is considered an acquired taste. For some of us, the taste has still not been acquired and likely never will be listed on the plus side of the taste monitor.

Garlic proponents suggest the use of garlic will boost one’s immune system, lower bad cholesterol, improve brain function, promote longevity, keep bones strong, fight fungal infections, combat allergies and even calm toothaches.

And a recent conversation suggests garlic is popular in such treats as cookies and cakes. 

This week’s recipes feature garlic in those recipes. Alert: None of them came from the family recipe box so I cannot vouch for the final outcome.

• • •

Garlic Chocolate Chip Cookies

10 cloves fresh garlic
boiling water
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup  granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/4 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda

Drop garlic cloves into boiling water and leave about 5 minutes until tender.  Peel and chop garlic and soak in maple syrup for 20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, cream butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla together until light and fluffy. 

Combine flour, baking soda and salt.  Add to creamed mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drain garlic and add to cookie batter.  Blend well.  

Drop by tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Do not over-bake Remove from oven and cool on racks.

• • •

Pineapple-Garlic Upside Down Cake

2/3 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1-20 oz. can pineapple slices, drained
5 garlic cloves, sliced
1-18 oz. pkg. yellow cake mix
3 eggs (or as called for in the cake mix)
1/3 cup oil (or as called for in the cake mix)
1 1/3 cups water (or as called for in the cake mix)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spread melted butter over the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar. Arrange pineapple slices in a single layer over the sugar. Place a few slices of garlic in the centre of each ring. Place remainder of garlic slices around rings.

Prepare cake according to directions. Pour batter into the pan over the pineapple and garlic and smooth over to cover the pineapple.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes. Loosen edges and turn out onto serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature, with dollops of whipped cream or a caramel sauce.

• • •

Garlic Bread Pudding (Casserole)

1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil
2 tsps. olive oil
2 tbsps. minced garlic
2 cups milk
2 large eggs 
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 tbsps. grated fresh parmesan cheese, divided
2 tbsps. chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
6 cups cubed Italian bread, 1 inch cubes
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pour boiling water into a bowl and place tomatoes in the water, cover and let stand 10 minutes or until tender. Drain well, then chop finely.

Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Combine milk and eggs in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in tomatoes, garlic, half the cheeses, basil, salt and pepper.

Place bread in a shallow 1 1/2 quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Pour milk mixture over bread, stirring to coat. Let mixture stand 15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with a spicy dip or as a side dish with roast beef.

Joyce Walter can be reached at