These muffins have a lot going on. Of the six possible words, I felt only two could be used for the title. Chocolate-Walnut-Yogurt-Muffins-with-Oatmeal-and-Flax seemed like a bit of a mouthful.
Anywho, I wished I had more to say about these muffins, I’m a bit distracted. Like these muffins, the current episode of Glee has a lot going on, but unlike the choking annoyance of Rachel Berry these muffins are much easier to swallow! Zing!
Baking is so often about sharing with friends and family. And making something beautiful to lay out on the table.
This brownie is not that beautiful. She’s more of a Tuesday-night-straight-from-the-pan sort of brownie. Sometimes it’s not about sharing. It’s about coming home from a long day and wanting a brownie. And maybe not feeling too bad about it either.
These are low-calorie. 110 calories per brownie. I am always suspicious of substitutions. Don’t take my buttery-chocolate chip cookies and fill them with yogurt. I won’t like them. Don’t take my gingerbread men (Mom!) and pretend they aren’t full of apple sauce. I’ll know.
Substitutions need to play into the texture and consistency of a baked good. Some items work well with this and in this case, using pureed pumpkin, makes for a super fudgy brownie that works. So I’m not complaining that my brownies are full of pumpkin.
There are vegetables in this post! It may look like we only cook and consume sugar, but in fact we do occasionally make healthier fare. Such as this tasty and easy dip. It’s excellent with raw vegetables (as demonstrated in the photo) and also very good with pita chips… less healthy but very much delicious. I made this the same day I made the profiteroles so the fresh food was a welcome change from the sugary goodness of the little cream puffs (I may have “tested” a few more than necessary).
So on Saturday night I was in a bad mood and decided that I needed to bake by hand. By hand, people. My Kitchen Aid was the first thing I bought when I moved out of my parents’ house, and I never bake without it, but for some reason I felt that the cure for my bad mood was mashing margarine and sugar with a spoon.
I regretted this decision after about 5 seconds when I realized it was a lot of work.
But! Kitchen Aid or no Kitchen Aid, these cookies turned out soooo well. The base is somewhere between a sugar cookie and a chocolate chip cookie, and the tart cranberries take them over the top.
They’re so good, in fact, that I wasn’t going to post them until next week but Torie wants the recipe and insisted I post them sooner. So here they are! Read this article »
I love flooded cookies. I don’t even know if they’re actually called flooded cookies; that’s just what I call them. I’m sure they have an official name of some sort. They look pretty impressive, and once you get the hang of them they’re really easy.
These particular cookies were actually made for the Grey Cup (Canada’s Super Bowl, but it’s not nearly as big of a deal) but I’m totally pandering to our American audience and posting them before the Super Bowl.
So let’s get started! Read this article »
Snow day? Check. Candied Pecans? Check. Brown sugar, cream cheese drizzle and caramel? Triple Check. Ground flax and whole wheat? …wait. What? Can that all go together?
Yes It Can!
And it does so wonderfully.
The whole wheat and flax adds a solid body to the bun which really stands up perfectly to the addition of caramel and pecans. And you can feel better about eating it with the extra fibre and the whole grain what not. (A nutritionist, I am not.)
Yesterday we made profiterole shells, and today we fill them!
Yesterday was all Gordon Ramsay and his sophisticated (yet very easy) choux pastry. Today is ALL LIZ. I’m sure others have made cheesecake profiteroles but whatever, I didn’t use a recipe for this part so they’re my invention.
Traditionally the tops of profiteroles are dipped in chocolate, but in this case I dipped the bottoms. I did this partly because I wanted them to look a bit different, but also because mine were kind of messy and the chocolate neatened them up. Plus, this way, when you eat one, you get to taste the chocolate instead of it disappearing on the roof of your mouth. Genius, I tell you!
Cheesecake Profiteroles (Cream Puffs)
Yields about 45 small profiteroles
1 batch of profiterole shells
1 cup of cream cheese at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
6 oz semisweet chocolate
Blend cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Put into a piping bag and fit bag with a small round tip (I used a #7).
Use the tip to poke a hole in the bottom of each profiterole, then pipe in the filling. You’ll know the profiterole is full when you feel it expand slightly in your fingers. If you overfill a profiterole, some of the filling will come out the hole; just wipe it off with a spoon.
When all the profiteroles are full, melt the chocolate over a low heat. Dip each profiterole and place on wax paper to set.
Cheesecake profiteroles are delicious both at room temperature and cold. Store them in the fridge (if you don’t eat them all immediately!).
So I own this cookbook, Gordon Ramsay’s Just Desserts. I bought it at Costco a few years ago with aspirations of making beautiful Gordon-Ramsay-approved treats. Then I read the book and discovered that the recipes require ingredients like vanilla beans and pear eau-de-vie and pine-scented honey (what??) which are just way too sophisticated for me. So the book sat on my shelf for a few years, taunting me with its complexity. Sometimes I’d take it out and flip through it and admire its shiny pictures but I never got the courage up to make anything.
There was, however, one recipe that I figured I could make. But I avoided it. The fear of being defeated by the book was too great. This past weekend, though, I decided that NOW is the time. Now I will conquer just one of the great Ramsay’s recipes.
And that recipe was choux pastry. And it was super easy, so I totally defeated the book.
Anyway, the thrust and the nib (pretty sure that’s not a real phrase but using it anyway) of all this is that this is Part 1 of a two-part post. This post is the basic profiterole (cream puff) shell, made of choux pastry. Tomorrow, I will fill the shells with something delicious. So! Let’s go!
Choux pastry is stupidly easy to make and work with. There are lots of recipes out there, so if you want to use another one, go for it and come back tomorrow for the delicious filling. BUT I will point out that Chef Ramsay’s recipe is easy and works out really well. So be confident in the recipe below!
The first few weeks of January always seem like the most depressing days of the year. January needs a good pick me up. When my suggestion of January Advent Calendars fell flat I knew I needed something to cheer things up a bit, and that is where this soup enters the picture. I had a soup like this in a restaurant back in August, which is not exactly prime Soup time. However, it was exactly what January needed.
It’s rich, creamy, and extremely flavourful. I believe it would be best served as a starter course in small portions. My husband believed it was best served in three consecutive full bowls, so I guess it’s a matter of taste. Either way, if you’re like me, sitting inside on a January day, looking out at a blanket of white snow on roof tops, it’s the perfect end to a cold day. Or if you’re like my sister, who lives 30 minutes away and is probably looking at rain, and no snow, it’s still pretty great.
*Discoveries while making this soup:
Thick cut, hickory smoked bacon has a million times more flavour than regular bacon. It’s a noticeable difference. However, if you just have regular bacon, it will be fine. But seriously…try the hickory stuff sometime.
Buy SODIUM REDUCED broth. I can’t stress this enough. I am wary of the low salt stuff, because depending on the soup you’re making, that extra salt can really make a difference in taste, but in this case, the bacon will fully make up for the fact the broth is low salt, and using regular broth would be too salty.
Buy strong, old or sharp cheddar (any of those words will do) and you won’t have to use as much as a mild cheddar.
Sometimes, ignore your January resolutions, and just have some bacon.
I should have called these “Chocolate-Toffee Chunks” because they didn’t all come out as triangles (see picture above) but “chunks” just sounds kind of awful. Perhaps “Chocolate-Toffee Geometric Shapes” would have been more appropriate, if a bit clinical.
Anyway, these delectable treats were yet another one of my Christmas projects. I made two batches, ate plenty of it myself, and was very pleased with the results. The recipe came from the 2007 edition of Canadian Living’s special holiday issue (for non-Canadians reading this, Canadian Living is a magazine that’s basically our version of Ladies’ Home Journal. It’s meant for women about twice my age, but its Christmas issue is amazing!).
While I made them as Christmas gifts, there’s nothing particularly Christmassy about them – these are an anytime treat! Or, given that it’s resolution time at the moment, these are an anytime-other-than-January treat!