Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

3 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked broccoli
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
18 tart shells

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Place tart shells onto baking sheets. Place some broccoli into the bottom of each tart shell.
2. In a bowl whisk together eggs, milk, and heavy cream. Pour egg mixture over broccoli until just cover, filling tart shell about two-thirds full. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over top then season with salt and pepper.
3. Bake quiche 35-40 minutes until browned and toothpick comes out clean. Let cool and serve warm or cold. Enjoy!

Makes 18.



Monday, December 24, 2012

Mincemeat Pinwheels

1 package puff pastry (I used Tenderflake)*
1/3 cup mincemeat
eggwash
1 tablespoon icing sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 375°F and line baking sheet with parchment paper. 
2. Roll out puff pastry into a 9x9" square. Cut square into nine 3x3" squares. Cut each corner diagonally toward the center but stopping 1" from the center.
3. Place 1 teaspoon of mincemeat in the center and then fold every other corner in towards the center, pinching the pieces together. Brush with eggwash and place onto baking sheet.
4. Bake pinwheels for 15-20 minutes until puffed and browned on the top and bottom. Let cool completely before dusting with icing sugar. Serve & enjoy!

*The puff pastry comes in two blocks, each block makes nine pinwheels. Happy Holidays everyone!





Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Jelly Roll

I used this recipe, only changes I made was I used caster sugar instead of icing sugar and seedless strawberry jam for the filling!



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

2 cups flour
1/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pistachios
melted white chocolate (I used white chocolate buttons)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, blend together butter, sugar, vanilla, baking powder, and salt until smooth. Blend in eggs until well combined, mixture will look curdled. Gradually blend in flour until soft dough forms. Stir in cranberries and pistachios.
3. Form dough into a ball, divide in half, placing each half on a baking sheet. For each piece, form a 9 1/2” long, 2” wide, 3/4” tall rectangle. Smooth tops and sides with a wet knife or other flat utensil.
4. Bake for 25 minutes until just lightly browned on top. Let cool 15-20 minutes.
5. Brush tops and sides with water before slicing to prevent crumbling. Use a serrated knife and slice 3/4” thick slices, you can slice straight or on a diagonal, however you like.
6. Stand slices up on baking sheet and bake at 325°F for 25-30 minutes until firm and dry.
7. Cool completely, then dip the bottoms into the melted white chocolate. Once chocolate has set, serve & enjoy!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Berry Sour Cream Muffins

Adapted from All Recipes 

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream
2/3 cup  fresh or frozen blueberries
 fresh or frozen raspberries, to top
sugar, to top

1. Preheat oven to 375°F and grease your mini loaf pan or regular muffin pan. In a bowl mix together flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar. Mix in canola oil and vanilla until well combined. Add dry ingredients alternating with sour cream until batter is just combined. Fold in blueberries.
3. Divide batter among muffin molds, filling 3/4 full. Press 2-3 raspberries into the top of each and then sprinkle with some sugar. Bake 20-25 minutes for regular muffins and 30-35 minutes for mini loaves, until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.
4. Let muffins cool a few minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy your berry muffin with a cup of tea or hot chocolate!

Makes 8-12.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Favorite Christmas Cake

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
3 cups mincemeat (700ml jar)
1 can sweetend condensed milk (300ml)
1 cup mixed candied citrus peel
1 cup red and green glacé cherries
1 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans and walnuts)

1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Grease mini loaf pan then line each with a strip of parchment paper and grease again.
2. In a bowl sift together flour and baking soda. Set aside. In a large bowl mix together eggs, mincemeat, sweetened condensed milk, candied fruit, glacé cherries, and walnuts. Add dry ingredients and mix well.
3. Divide batter among molds, filling 3/4 full. Bake 35 minutes or until browned on top and toothpick comes out clean. Let cakes cool 15 minutes in the pan before placing onto a wire rack to cool.
4. Once cakes have cooled completely, brush with apricot jam and top with a thin layer of marzipan then decorate with glacé cherries if desired.
5. To store, wrap cakes individually in a layer of plastic wrap and place into a heavy duty freezer bag. When ready to serve, leave cakes out at room temperature for about an hour until thawed. Enjoy!

Makes 16 mini loaves. Happy Holidays!



Friday, November 30, 2012

Profiteroles (Cream Puffs)

Adapted from Joy of Baking 

1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 egg, beaten (for brushing)
Filling:
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup icing sugar
Topping:
dusting of icing sugar

1. In a small bowl mix together flour, salt, and sugar. Set aside. In a pot over medium heat, place water and butter and bring mixture to a boil, making sure the butter is completely melted before it boils.
2. As soon as the water/butter boils, remove from heat and stir in flour mixture all at once until a thick ball of paste forms. Place back on the heat and continue to stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.
3. Transfer dough into the bowl of an electric mixer or a food processor. Blend mixture on low speed for 1-2 minutes to release steam and cool to lukewarm. Once mixture has cooled blend in the 2 eggs until smooth.
4. Transfer mixture to a piping bag or a large ziploc bag with the corner cut off. On a parchment lined baking sheet, pipe 12 mounds. Brush with the remaining beaten egg.
5. Bake cream puffs for 15 minutes at 400°F then reduce heat to 350°F and continue baking 30-35 minutes until golden all over and dry and airy in the center. Poke holes in the bottom of each puff (I used my flower nail) and let them cool completely in the oven with the oven door ajar.
6. For the filling, in a large bowl or food processor, mix together the whipping cream, vanilla, and icing sugar. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small piping tip.
7. Fill the cooled puffs with cream, you will feel the puff become heavier and excess cream will spring back, indicating the puff is full. Standing the puff in a small bowl or egg cup makes them easier to fill.
8. Place cream puffs into an airtight container and chill until ready to serve to allow the filling to firm up, minimum 2 hours. To serve cream puffs, top with a dusting of icing sugar. Enjoy!

Makes 1 dozen.



Thursday, November 29, 2012

Frosted Sugar Cookies

Adapted from the Brown Eyed Baker

6 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups sour cream
Buttercream:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups icing sugar
pinch salt
whipping cream
sprinkles

1. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs, one at a time, until smooth and combined.
3. On low speed, mix in vanilla and sour cream. Blend in flour mixture, a bit a time, until thick dough forms. Switch to a spoon and stir in the remaining flour to form a sticky dough.
4. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and shape into a large square, about 1 1/2" thick. Divide into 2 and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Chill dough until firm, about 2 hours (or overnight if desired).
5. Preheat oven to 425°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until about 1/4" thick. Cut out into desired shapes and place onto baking sheet.
6. Bake cookies for 5-7 minutes until pale on top and golden brown on the bottom. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
7. For the buttercream, in a large bowl cream together butter and vanilla. Blend in icing sugar until smooth and combined, adding whipping cream, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, if needed to reach desired consistency.
8. Once cookies have cooled completely, frost with buttercream and top with sprinkles. Let buttercream set before storing in an airtight container. Serve & enjoy!

Makes about 6 dozen. These cookies taste better the day after baking!





Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bailey's Cheesecake

Adapted from In The Mood For Food by Jo Pratt. Again, get out your scales! I'm enjoying this one from Ikea.

Crust:
250 grams plain cookies (I used Social Tea Biscuits)
100 grams ground almonds
2 teaspoons ground ginger
75 grams butter, melted
Filling:
675 grams cream cheese
200 grams caster sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 eggs
125ml whipping cream
125ml Bailey's Original Irish Cream

1. In a food processor, ground up plain cookies then mix in ground almonds, ground ginger, followed by melted butter until mixture is the texture of wet sand.
2. Press the cookie mixture into the bottom and half way up the side of a 22 to 24 cm springform pan. Cover and chill until firm in the fridge while preparing filling.
3. In a food processor, or use a hand mixer, mix cream cheese until smooth then blend in caster sugar and cornstarch. Blend in eggs, one at a time, until smooth. Blend in whipping cream and Bailey's until mixture is creamy and smooth.
4. Pour filling into prepared crust and then place pan into a roasting pan. Pour some hot water into the roasting pan, about 1-2 cm deep. Bake cheesecake at 350°F until no longer jiggly and golden brown on top, about 45-60 minutes.
5. Let cheesecake cool completely and then chill in the fridge 4 hours or overnight. Slice & serve!

Serves 8-10.



Friday, November 23, 2012

Cranberry Scones

Adapted from Martha Stewart

2 cups flour
5 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, cubed
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup milk
Topping:
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons sugar

1. In a large bowl or food processor, place flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix until combined. Cut in butter until the size of small peas then mix in cranberries.
2. Add milk and mix until soft dough forms. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and pat into a 7" round circle, about 1" thick. Brush with milk and sprinkle over sugar.
3. Cut circle into 8 wedges and place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet then bake at 425°F for 12-14 minutes until golden brown on top and browned on the bottom. Serve & enjoy!

Makes 8.



Monday, November 19, 2012

Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

Lightly adapted from the Food Network

1 cup warm water (110°F)
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 to 3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup currants
For Boiling:
12 cups water
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
Topping:
1 tablespoon melted butter

1. In a large bowl combined water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Gradually mix in 2 cups of flour and the salt.
2. Stir in additional flour, 1/2 cup at a time until dough forms. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead until no longer sticky, smooth, and elastic, about 5 minutes.
3. Place dough into oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
4. Punch down dough on a lightly floured surface, and press out into a 1" thick rectangle. Sprinkle surface with cinnamon. Fold over sides over dough to cover cinnamon and then knead until cinnamon is evenly distributed throughout the dough.
5. Again shape the dough into a 1" thick rectangle, this time sprinkle the currants over top, fold over the sides, and knead in the currants until evenly distributed. Shape dough into a log and slice into 8 pieces.
6. Shape each piece into a ball and then push a hole through the middle of the ball and form the bagel shape. Place onto a greased baking sheet, cover with a towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 20-30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F.
7. In a large pot, bring water and sugars to a boil. Reduce heat to low for simmering water. In batches, add the bagels to the simmering water and keeping turning them for about 30 seconds to a minute. Remove from water (use a slotted spoon to drain water) and place back onto greased baking sheet.
8. Brush tops of bagels with melted butter. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown on top, browned on the bottom, and hollow sounding when gently tapped. Let cool then serve & enjoy!

Makes 8.



Sunday, November 18, 2012

Loaded Rocky Road

1 bag (300g) semi sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped glacé cherries
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1 1/2 cups crushed cookie pieces (I used social tea biscuits, any plain cookie will do)

1. Grease 8x10" pan with butter and line with parchment paper, leaving overhang for easy removal.
2. In a large bowl melt the chocolate chips then add the cranberries, cherries, almonds, walnuts, marshmallows and cookie pieces. Stir well until everything is coated with chocolate.
3. Press mixture into the prepared pan, press some remaining cookie crumbs on top if desired. Cover and refrigerate until chocolate has set, about 2 hours. Remove from pan and slice into pieces. Serve & enjoy!

For best keeping, store in the refrigerator.



Dorset Apple Cake

Time to get out your scales! Adapted from Cook Britain

225 grams flour
pinch salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
40 grams ground almonds
210 grams sugar
170 grams unsalted butter, melted
zest of 1 lemon
3 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
4 medium apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into 8 and mixed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice (I used Gala)
2 tablespoons flaked almonds

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line bottom of 8" round cake pan with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl mix together flour, salt, baking powder, ground almonds, and sugar. Blend in melted butter, lemon zest followed by eggs, one at a time, and milk, until smooth batter forms.
3. Spread half of the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan. Arrange apple slices over top of batter and then spread over remaining batter to cover apples. Sprinkle on flaked almonds.
4. Bake cake for about an hour until golden brown on top and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cake cool completely in the pan then slice & serve!

Serves 8. For best keeping, store cake in the refrigerator.



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Grandma's Plum Pudding (Christmas Pudding)

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups breadcrumbs
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup golden seedless raisins
2/3 cup seedless raisins
1/3 cup currants
1/3 cup chopped glacé cherries
1 1/4 cups butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon extract

1. In a bowl mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, nuts, raisins, currants and glacé cherries. 
2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar; add molasses and blend until smooth. Beat in eggs and extracts. Stir in dry ingredients followed fruit mixture, stirring until well combined.
3. Spoon batter into a well greased (I used vegetable shortening) 8 cup pudding mold. Cover top with a circle of greased parchment paper, pressing down batter, and secure greased lid tightly. 
4. Place pudding into a large pot, and fill with water two-thirds of the way up the side of the mold. Bring water to a boil and boil steadily, with the pot lid on, for 2 to 2 1/2 hours (mine took 2 hours). Top up water as needed. 
5. Pudding is done when toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove lid and let pudding cool to room temperature then refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve. If frozen, put pudding out at room temperature overnight to thaw.
6. On Christmas Day, resteam the pudding for about an hour, or until heated through. Turn pudding out onto serving plate. Serve with custard or hard sauce!
Serves 8-10. Happy Holidays!





Saturday, November 10, 2012

Jumbo Cookies

Adapted from Cooks.com 

1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 325°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl mix together rolled oats, flour, sugar, brown sugar, coconut, chocolate chips, baking soda and salt.
2. In a small bowl whisk together eggs, canola oil, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop out batter and place onto baking sheets, spacing about 3" apart.
3. Press down cookie dough until about 1/2" thick. Bake cookies for 18 minutes until browned and set. Let cool on pans a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve & enjoy!

Makes about 15.





Monday, October 29, 2012

Raspberry Almond Muffins

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup (100g) Greek yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
Topping:
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup flaked almonds

1. Preheat oven to 400°F and grease muffin pan. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
2. In another bowl whisk together egg, canola oil, orange juice, greek yogurt, milk, and almond extract. Add to dry ingredients and stir until just moistened and combined. Fold in raspberries.
3. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling 3/4 full. Sprinkle tops with sugar and flaked almonds. Bake muffins 18-20 minutes until browned on top and toothpick comes out clean.
4. Let muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Best served with a cup of tea!

Makes 1 dozen.



Thursday, October 25, 2012

Witch's Fingers

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
green gel food colouring (I used this product)
whole almonds
1 tablespoon chocolate chips

1. In a large bowl cream together butter, shortening, and cream cheese until smooth. Blend in sugar, egg, vanilla, and almond extract until well combined.
2. In another bowl mix together flour and salt. Add to butter mixture stirring until soft dough forms. Add green food colouring until desired colour is met. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill about an hour in the fridge until firm.
3. The dough is very soft so you must chill it to prevent it from becoming sticky. Preheat oven to 375°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
4. Form dough into witch finger shapes (about 1/2" thick) and place onto baking sheet. Press an almond into each for the nail and add any extra details.
5. Bake cookies 10 minutes until just golden brown on the bottom. Let firm up on baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
6. Place chocolate chips into a sandwich bag and microwave until melted. Cut the corner off and then pipe "cuticles" onto each cookie. Let chocolate set then serve & enjoy!

Makes about 40 cookies. Happy Halloween Everyone!



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Poppy Seed Citrus Loaf

3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 tablespoons orange zest (about the zest of 2 oranges)
1 teaspoon lemon zest (about the zest of half a lemon)
2 eggs
2 egg whites
2 cups Greek yogurt (I used this product)
Syrup:
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1. Preheat oven to 350°F then grease and line two 9x5" loaf pans with parchment paper. In a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
2, In another large bowl cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffly. Blend in eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla and zests.
3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, alternating with Greek yogurt. Start and finish with the dry ingredients. The batter will be thick.
4. Divide batter among prepared pans and bake 40-50 minutes until browned on the bottom and golden brown on top and toothpick comes out clean.
5. In a small saucepan bring sugar and orange juice to a boil then simmer until sugar is completely dissolved. Brush syrup over each loaf and let loaf cool completely and absorb the syrup. Slice & serve!

Makes 2 loaves.





Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mocha Swiss Roll

1 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
Coffee Buttercream:
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 tablespoon instant coffee powder dissolved in 1/2 tablespoon boiling water, cooled
2 1/2 cups icing sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease and line a swiss roll pan (15x10") with parchment paper.
2. In a bowl sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
3. In a large bowl, beat eggs until thick, foamy, and lemon coloured, about 8-10 minutes at high speed. Gradually beat in sugar then stir in water and vanilla. Blend in dry ingredients.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 12 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
5. Invert cake immediately from oven onto a tea towel dusted with cocoa or icing sugar. Peel off parchment paper then roll up cake with towel, starting from short end. Place cake seam side down onto a wire rack to cool completely.
7. For filling, in a large bowl blend together butter and half of the icing sugar. Add half of the coffee mixture, blending until smooth, followed by the remaining icing sugar and coffee mixture. 
8. Unroll cooled cake. Spread half the filling into the swiss roll, roll up, then decorate the cake with the remaining coffee buttercream. Slice & serve!

Serves 8. For best keeping, store in an airtight container. I made this cake for my Dad's birthday and decorated it with some chocolate loonies and sugar paper money!



Saturday, October 6, 2012

Autumn Apple Crumble

Adapted from All Recipes

4 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (I used Gala)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Topping:
1 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease 8x8" baking dish. Place dish onto baking sheet. In a small bowl mix together sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Place apples into prepared pan then sprinkle sugar mixture over top.
2. In a large bowl mix together flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Add melted butter and stir well until crumbly mixture forms. Sprinkle mixture evenly over top of the apples.
3. Bake crumble for 1 hour until browned on top and apples are tender. Cover with tin foil during the last 20 minutes of baking to prevent over-browning. Serve warm with cream and enjoy!

Serves 4-6.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mini Banana Loaves with Walnut Topping

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup sour cream
Topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup cold butter

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF then line your mini loaf pan or muffin pan with liners.
2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a large bowl cream together sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in mashed banana and sour cream.
3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until smooth batter forms. Divide batter among loaf molds, filling three-quarters full.
4. For the topping, in a small bowl mix together flour, dark brown sugar, and walnuts. Cut in butter until crumbly mixture forms. Sprinkle some of the topping over each.
5. Bake mini loaves for 25-30 minutes until browned on top and toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Best served with a cup of tea!

Makes 10.



Monday, September 24, 2012

Pumpkin Harvest Muffins

1 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pumpkin puree

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF and grease and flour your pumpkin muffin pan or regular muffin pan. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
2. In another large bowl whisk together eggs, canola oil, milk, brown sugar, and vanilla. Whisk in pumpkin puree until smooth. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until everything is moistened.
3. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling 3/4 full. Bake 20-23 minutes until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.
4. If using a pumpkin pan, turn out muffins immediately onto a wire rack to prevent sticking. Let muffins cool a few minutes then serve & enjoy!

Makes 1 dozen.



Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Adapted from Joy of Baking

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree (one 15 ounce can)
Filling:
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups icing sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt.
2. In another large bowl cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs, one at a time, until smooth and combined. Blend in vanilla and pumpkin puree until combined.
3. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix until smooth and thick batter forms. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart.
4. Bake whoopie pies for 10-12 minutes until golden brown on the bottom and toothpick comes out clean. Let cool a couple minutes on the pan before transfering to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. For the filling, in a large bowl cream together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Gradually blend in icing sugar. Spoon into piping bag fitted with #12 tip or into sandwich bag with corner cut off.
6. Squeeze some filling onto the bottom center of one cooled cookie then sandwich together with another to make your whoopie pies! Serve & enjoy!

Makes about 30 assembled whoopie pies. For best keeping, store whoopie pies in an airtight container in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before serving. 



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cheese & Chive Bread

Adapted from Baking with Dorie

1 3/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used 3/4 cup of Tex Mex mix and 3/4 cup mozzarella)
1/2 cup minced chives (get out those kitchen scissors!)

1. Grease 9x5" loaf pan and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper for easy removal. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and black pepper.
2. In another bowl whisk eggs until foamy then whisk in milk and olive oil. Add to dry ingredients and stir until just moistened then stir in cheese and chives. Batter will be thick.
3. Spread batter into prepared loaf pan and bake bread at 350°F for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
4. Let bread cool in pan then remove from pan and slice. Serve & enjoy!

Makes 1 loaf.



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Blueberry Scones

Adapted from Joy of Baking

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup salted butter*, cold
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
Topping:
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and sugar. Cut in butter until the size of small peas then stir in blueberries.
2. In a small bowl whisk together egg, vanilla, and milk. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until dough forms. Press dough into a 7" wide circle, about 1" thick.
3. Cut circle into 8 triangles then brush tops with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Place onto prepared baking sheet, then bake until golden brown on top and brown on the bottom, about 18-22 minutes.
4. Let scones cool then serve & enjoy!

*If using unsalted butter, add 1/8 teaspoon salt to the dry ingredients. Makes 8.



Thursday, September 13, 2012

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Adapted from Cupcake Project

1 cup sugar
seeds of 1 vanilla bean
1 3/4 cups self rising cake and pastry flour (I used this product)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
2/3 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line cupcake pan with cupcake liners. In a small bowl mix together the vanilla bean seeds and sugar, break up any clumps of seeds.
2. In a large bowl mix together flour and baking soda. On low speed, blend in vanilla sugar until well combined. Add butter and blend about 3 minutes until butter has formed fine crumbs.
3. In another bowl whisk together eggs, sour cream, canola oil, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and blend until combined then slowly drizzle in milk, continue blending until smooth batter forms.
4. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling two-thirds full. Bake cupcakes 14-16 minutes until pale on top, golden brown on the bottom, and toothpick comes out clean.
5. Let cupcakes cool 10 minutes in the pan before transfering to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cupcakes have cooled, frost as desired then serve & enjoy!

Makes about 20 cupcakes. Wondering what to do with that used vanilla bean? Make Vanilla Bean Sugar!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cheese Scones

1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shredded cheese (I used a Tex Mex mix)
3 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup milk
Topping:
1 teaspoon butter, melted
1/3 cup shredded cheese

1. Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and cheese. Cut in butter until the size of peas. Stir in milk using a fork to form a soft dough.
3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and press into a 6" wide circle, about 1" thick. Cut circle into 4 wedges then place onto baking sheet. Brush tops with melted butter then sprinkle some shredded cheese over top.
4. Bake scones 12-14 minutes until browned on the bottom. Reduce heat to 350°F and continue baking for 5 minutes until the tops are browned. Serve & enjoy!

Makes 4 large scones.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Skolebrød

 "(English: School Bread) is the Norwegian name for a type of bun that consists of regular dough of yeast, custard and icing with grated coconut. It was usually put in school lunches as a dessert or sold at bake sales, hence the name."

Dough:
1/2 cup warm water (110°F)
1 teaspoon dry quick rise yeast
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon softened butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
2 1/2 cups flour
Custard:
1 cup + 3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons flour
1 egg, beaten (reserve 1 tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Icing:
1 cup icing sugar
2-3 teaspoons cream
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

1. In a large bowl mix together water and yeast. Stir in milk, butter, sugar, salt, and cardamom. Add 1 cup flour and mix well. Add remaining flour until soft dough forms.
2. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place into greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 40 minutes. I put mine in the oven with just the oven light on.
3. While dough is rising, prepare custard filling. Warm the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. In a bowl whisk together sugar, butter, flour, and beaten egg until smooth. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the warm milk then gradually add mixture back into the milk in the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until thick, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Set aside and let cool until ready to use.
4. Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface and cut into 6 pieces. Shape each piece into a disc then create large dimples in the center of each and place onto a greased baking sheet. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Fill each dimple with about 1/8 cup of cooled custard and then brush the dough with the reserved 1 tablespoon of beaten egg. Bake Skolebrød for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Let cool completely before icing.
6. In a small bowl mix together icing sugar and cream to form a thick, glossy, smooth glaze. Spread the glaze over the top and sides of the Skolebrod, but not the custard center. Press the icing into coconut then let the icing set. Serve & enjoy!

Makes 6.


Shaped and ready to rise!

Risen, filled with custard, and brushed with eggwash. Ready to bake.
Baked and cooling before icing.



Icing and coconut time!













Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Garlic Herb Bread

Adapted from Taste of Home

4 to 4 1/2 cups flour
4 1/2 teaspoons (2 packets) quick rise yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dried italian herbs (I used this)
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cloves garlic, grated
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 egg
eggwhite, for brushing

1. In a large bowl mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt, herbs, and garlic powder. Set aside.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, place milk, water, and butter. Warm mixture until butter has just started to melt and  is about 110-120°F, stir in grated garlic. Add to dry ingredients and stir until combined, along with the egg.
3. Add more flour until soft dough forms, about another 2 cups. Turn out onto floured surface and knead, 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
4. Cover dough with a tea towel and let rest for 10 minutes. Divide into 3 sections, and roll each section in a 15" long rope. Place ropes onto greased baking sheet and braid them together.
5. Cover braid with tea towel and let rise in a warm area until doubled in bulk. I put mine in the oven with just the oven light on.
6. Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush braid with eggwhite and bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown and hollow sounding when gently tapped. Slice & enjoy!

Makes 1 loaf, about 16 Slices.



Saturday, September 1, 2012

Apple Blackberry Pocket Pies


I made these adorable and delicious pocket pies using an apple shaped pie press I found at Superstore. Alternatively, you could use cookie cutters or just free hand it with a knife. Click here for the pastry recipe, and click here for the apple blackberry pie filling recipe I used. Happy September everyone!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Pavlova

Adapted from All Recipes

4 large egg whites (I used this product)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
whipped cream
fresh fruit (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, etc)

1. Preheat oven to 300ºF and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 9" round circle onto the parchment paper, using a cake pan as a guide.
2. In a large bowl beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gradually blend in sugar, about a tablespoon at a time, until thick and glossy. Carefully fold in vanilla, lemon juice, and cornstarch.
3. Scoop mixture onto baking sheet and form into circle with an edge. Bake for 1 hour until golden brown and hollow sounding when gently tapped. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
4. Top pavlova with whipped cream and fruit. Serve & enjoy!

Serves 8.



Thursday, August 16, 2012

Date Squares

Adapted from Food.com

375 grams (1 1/2 cups) pitted dates, chopped
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups rolled oats

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease 8x8" baking dish. 
2. In a saucepan over medium heat place dates, water, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, orange zest, and almond extract. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer mixture until a thick paste forms. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking soda, and salt. Cut in butter until the mixture forms the texture of breadcrumbs. Mix in brown sugar and rolled oats until crumbly then press half into the bottom of the prepared pan.
4. Spread date filling over top of the crust then sprinkle the remaining oatmeal mixture over top. Bake squares 25-28 minutes until golden brown on top and browned on the bottom. Let cool completely before cutting into squares. Serve & enjoy!

For best keeping, wrap and store squares in the refrigerator.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Berry White Chocolate Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh or frozen berries (I used blueberries and raspberries)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Topping:
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup butter

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF and grease muffin pan. In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in berries and white chocolate chips.
2. In another bowl whisk together egg, milk, and vegetable oil. Add to dry ingredients and mix just until moistened, batter will be thick.
3. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling 3/4 full. For the topping, in a small bowl mix together flour, sugar, and rolled oats. Cut in butter until crumbly mixture forms and sprinkle over batter.
4. Bake muffins 18-20 minutes until golden brown on top and toothpick comes out clean. Let muffins cool in the pan then serve & enjoy!

Makes 1 dozen.



Thursday, August 9, 2012

Banana Walnut Skor Bread

3 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup Skor toffee pieces

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour two 9x5" loaf pans. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl mix together mashed banana and lemon juice, set aside. In another large bowl cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated.
3. Add mashed banana mixture to butter mixture and mix until combined. Add flour alternating with milk, starting and finishing with flour to form thick and smooth batter. Stir in walnut and toffee pieces.
4. Divide batter evenly among loaf pans and bake 50-65 minutes until brown on top and toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely in pans before slicing. Serve & enjoy!

Makes 2 loaves.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Chocolate Chip Scones

Adapted from Joy of Baking


2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used semi sweet)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup to 3/4 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in butter until the size of peas then stir in chocolate chips.
3. Mix vanilla and buttermilk together then add to dry ingredients. Stir with a fork until soft dough forms. Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface and pat into a 7" wide circle, about 1" thick. Cut into 8 wedges.
4. Place wedges onto baking sheet and brush tops with some milk. Bake 15-20 minutes until scones are golden brown on the top and bottom as well as hollow sounding when lightly tapped.
5. Let scones cool a few minutes on the baking sheet before transfering to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve & enjoy!

Makes 8. 





Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker


3 cups flour
1/3 cup unsweented cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 teaspoons liquid red food colouring
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Filling:
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups icing sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl mix together milk and lemon juice, let stand until needed. In a large bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
2. In another large bowl cream together butter and shortening until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. On low speed blend in vanilla and food colouring.
3. Add half of the dry ingrdients to wet ingredients along with half of the soured milk. Blend in remaining flour and milk until smooth batter forms.
4. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheet, spacing about 2" apart. I baked 6 at a time on my baking sheet. Bake for about 10-12 minutes until just firm on top and toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on pan 3 minutes before transfering to wire rack to cool completely.
5. For the filling, in a large bowl cream together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Gradually blend in icing sugar. Spoon into piping bag fitted with #12 tip or into sandwich bag with corner cut off.
6. Squeeze some filling onto the bottom center of one cookie then sandwich together with another to make your whoopie pies! Serve & enjoy!


Makes about 20 assembled whoopie pies. Store in airtight container, separating layers with baking paper.



Sunday, July 15, 2012

S'mores Brownies

1 box brownie mix (425 grams)
18 graham crackers
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
12 large marshmallows, quartered
Topping:
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 8x8" pan with tin foil and grease well.
2. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. Spread half of the brownie mixture into the prepared pan. 
3. Place 9 graham crackers over brownie layer then sprinkle chocolate chips as well as marshmallow pieces over top and cover with 9 graham crackers. Spread remaining brownie mixture over graham cracker layer.
4. Bake brownies 25-30 minutes or until firm and toothpick comes out clean. Immediately upon removing brownies from oven, sprinkle over chocolate chips and when melted spread to cover top.
5. Let brownies cool completely then remove from pan and slice into squares. Serve & enjoy!


Makes 9.



Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Chocolate Raspberry Muffins

Adapted from Kitchen Simplicity

1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup rice bran oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plain or honey greek yogurt
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Grease or line muffin pan with muffin cases.
2. In a large bowl sift together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and baking powder. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together oil, egg, milk, and vanilla then add to dry ingredients and mix until moistened.
3. Fold yogurt into batter along with rapsberries. Divide batter among muffin cups filling 3/4 full. Bake 18-22 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let muffins cool then serve & enjoy!

Makes 1 dozen.






Friday, June 29, 2012

Fresh Blueberry Loaf

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup melted butter or margarine
1 cup fresh blueberries


1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease 9x5" loaf pan. In a large bowl mix together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.
2. In a small bowl whisk together egg, vanilla, and milk. Add milk mixture to dry mixture along with melted butter. Mix together to form thick batter then stir in blueberries until combined.
3. Spread batter into prepared pan and bake for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean. Let cool to room temperature then slice & serve!


Makes 1 loaf.



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Walnut & Coffee Cake


1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon instant coffee dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water, cooled
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Coffee Buttercream:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder dissolved in 1/2 teaspoon boiling water, cooled
walnuts, to decorate


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 8" round or square cake pan. In a bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Blend in egg, vanilla, and cooled coffee mixture until smooth. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, alternating with milk to create a smooth batter. Stir in chopped walnuts.
3. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 35-40 minutes until brown around the edges and toothpick comes out clean. Let cake cool completely before frosting.
4. For frosting, in a large bowl cream together butter, icing sugar, and vanilla. Blend in 1/2 teaspoon of coffee mixture at a time until desired consistency and taste is met. Frost cake then top with walnuts and enjoy!


Serves 6-8.






Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Traditional Bakewell Tarts

6 unbaked tart shells
6 teaspoons strawberry jam
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
icing sugar, to dust


1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place tart shells onto baking sheet and place 1 teaspoon of jam in each.
2. In a bowl mix together flour, ground almonds, and baking powder. Set aside. In a small bowl whisk together egg, lemon zest, and almond extract.
3. In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Blend in egg mixture a bit at a time until smooth and creamy. Blend in flour mixture until well combined.
4. Divide batter among tart shells, filling to the top and completely covering jam. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean. Let cool to room temperature then dust with icing sugar & serve!


Makes 6.