So it’s the holidays, and it’s busy, and we’re all a bit tired, but also full of sugar, which makes for a weird combination of agitated zombies..oh wait? No? You’re good? Well good for you. I almost fell off a chair yesterday because I forgot to eat lunch, but remembered to eat candy. We can’t all have our stuff together every day. Anyways, for those of you who have most of you’re stuff together but not quite everything, I provide you an easy, impressive and delicious recipe that is only half cheating. It includes a box brownie mix, and I refuse to make it any other way, because brownies are annoyingly hard and I had one good recipe once and then I tried to recreate it and they didn’t work, but Betty Crocker nails it every time.
This one adds a few extra surprises and suddenly you look like someone who not only remembered to eat lunch, but also whipped something impressive out of the oven.
The swirled white chocolate? Hides all sins: When I tried to remove the brownies from the pan in one solid piece but it wasn’t fully cooled in the centre. I left a chunk of the middle stuck to the pan. I had a square brownie with a giant whole in the middle. You know what I did? I removed the centre from the pan and smushed it back into the middle. Easy peasy, you’d never know. The second batch I used parchment paper in order to successfully remove the brownies in one piece. Live and learn but both turned out great. Read this article »
Liz and I have been bad bloggers lately. I don’t really have a good excuse besides a few computer problems that have made it a lot less convenient to blog. It’s not that I haven’t been baking, but I have to admit I haven’t been photographing anything I make. Sometimes the blogging process can actually suck the joy out of baking, and maybe we aren’t supposed to admit to that, but sometimes I just want to bake some muffins, eat said muffins, and sit down. Not style and photograph and edit and upload and post a recipe. Also, sometimes I alter recipes and then can’t remember what I did to them which is also very detrimental to the blogging process.
BUT, sometimes I get my act together, and I present Dark Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf. I have made several pumpkin recipes lately and this one is the best so far. I altered this recipe from Java Cupcake. I changed the ratio of oil and sour cream but it still came out incredibly moist and tender. And no gluey consistency that sometimes pumpkin can create. Yay, no glue!
“Hey remember our blog?”
Torie texted me that yesterday. Of course I remember our blog! I just don’t, um, write anything for it. So I decided to change that. Which is good, because we’ve been meaning to review this cookbook for a while!
Torie and I received a copy of Grace’s Sweet Life, by Grace Massa Langlois, who writes the blog of the same name. If you’re looking for a repository of Italian desserts, this book fits the bill. It’s full of mouth-watering pictures and recipes for treats like chocolate eclairs, amaretti cookies and cannoli cupcakes.
I’m not too familiar with Italian desserts, so I picked a recipe that I thought sounded pretty easy: chocolate croissants (or, panini di sfoglia con cioccolato). They turned out to be so simple, and really tasty!
- 1 package puff pastry, defrosted
- 200 g of good-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1×3 inch sticks (I used Cadbury Premium Dark bars, which break into perfect-sized chunks)
- 1 egg, beaten
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place puff pastry dough on a lightly floured surface.
- Roll dough out into a rectangle, approximately 10″ bx 20″.
- Use a pastry cutter or a sharp knife to cut the dough into two 10×10″ squares, then cut each square into three strips, about 3.25″x10″.
- To form the croissants, lay a stick of chocolate at the bottom of a strip. Fold the dough up and over the chocolate, then seal the with your fingers.
- Lay a second stick of chocolate down and roll up the rest of the strip.
- Repeat for the other 5 croissants.
- Lay the croissants seam-side down on the prepared pan and cover loosely with parchment paper, allowing to rise for 45 to 60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Brush croissants with beaten egg.
- Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until golden.
- Serve warm.
Recipe by Grace Massa Langlois, from Grace’s Sweet Life.
Croissants are best eaten the day they’re made.
I don’t own an ice cream maker so I can appreciate the frustration of encountering amazing-sounding ice cream recipes on the Internet and not being able to make them. I don’t have the time or patience to churn ice cream by hand using some freezer baggies and ice, so seeing awesome homemade ice cream recipes always makes me a little jealous. That is, until I found out my wonderful neighbour, Joanne, has an ice cream maker and she’s willing to let me borrow it! I have the best neighbours. When I saw the recipe for Chocolate Malt Gelato in my mom’s copy of Chatelaine Magazine, I knew this was when I would ask to borrow the ice cream maker, and it was well worth it.
Joanne was generous enough to let me borrow the ice cream maker, and today Bake Me Something Good is passing along even more generosity.
You can’t make ice cream or gelato without some serious dairy purchases. Luckily, the wonderful people at Dairyland have got you covered. Dairyland produces excellent milk and cream products, perfect for making your first batch of homemade gelato. This summer, Dairyland is stopping by Vancouver’s Pacific National Exhibition, (or the PNE for those of you from B.C.). On Saturday, August 18, between 11am and 3 pm Dairyland will be handing out samples of their chocolate milk, so if you’re visiting the PNE this Saturday, keep your eyes open for the Dairyland van. But if you can’t make it to the grounds, Dairyland is offering another chance to try out their awesome products to one lucky reader.
*Save-on-Foods has locations in B.C. and Alberta, so this contest is limited to residents of those provinces.
This recipe comes from my absolutely most favourite food blog out there – How Sweet It Is. Its author, Jessica, is my blogging hero – her recipes are foolproof and delicious, her pictures are gorgeous and as a bonus, she’s completely hilarious. I always make sure I read her posts carefully so I don’t miss any of her funny details.
I make at least one of Jessica’s recipes each month, and I’ve definitely pinned more stuff from her than from any other site. I really cannot recommend How Sweet It Is enough.
So now that I’ve convinced you to leave our blog and go visit that one, here’s a slightly adapted version of Jessica’s Oatmeal Peanut Butter Snack Squares. I made a few tweaks based on the ingredients I had on hand and they turned out so wonderfully well that I’m probably going to make them again within the next 48 hours. So, so good.
I was trying to come up with something interesting to say for this little dessert we have presented here. I went looking for the history of Boston Cream Pie but it wasn’t that interesting. According to the ultimate source of all internet information, Wikipedia, a chef in Boston in 1856 started making it for the Parker House Hotel. Now if that isn’t a riveting and interesting story, I don’t know what is. I then thought, “Perhaps we will tantalize our readers with the great explanation of why it’s called a Boston Cream Pie instead of Boston Cream Cake, since it is clearly a cake.
Because in the 1850s, pie tins were more common than cake pans, so it was probably baked in a pie tin.
All of this overwhelming and fascinating history has my head spinning.
Anyways, the point is, Liz wanted to make Boston Cream Pie cupcakes and I obliged her and let her into my kitchen and we baked together this weekend – something we haven’t done in a while. The end result was delicious success.
Gauging the success of your blog can be a challenge. When you start from zero, any visitors or comments seem like a great victory.
I like to think, though, that being asked to write a guest post on someone else’s blog is a sign that you’re doing something right. So Torie and I were delighted when DeAnn from The SIP Project asked us to participate in her new initiative, Dish & Serve.
The concept is that you make a favourite recipe, then share it with someone as a random act of kindness. For our act of kindness, we gave these Chocolate-Dipped Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies to our friend Jess on her last day of work before starting a new job – read more about it in our guest post on DeAnn’s blog.
Whether you keep them for yourself or share them with someone else, these cookies are definitely worth making. They’re adapted from the ever-amazing How Sweet It Is.
This is the best chocolate cupcake I’ve ever made. Apologies to the ones that have come before it. But wowza, I loved these little guys. The cake was perfect. The frosting was very sweet, which is not suited to everyone. I can consume copious amounts of sugar and barely notice, but this is not a universal trait. If you lack a serious sweet tooth I would recommend topping this cake with a different frosting but for something out of the norm, this chocolate chip cookie dough frosting is a great treat.
The keys to achieving a perfect cake comes down to a few simple tips.
Remove your eggs, buttermilk and butter from the fridge an hour or two prior to baking. Room temperature, folks.
Use real buttermilk.
When you alternate the buttermilk and flour mixture, start and end with flour. I don’t know why, Anna Olson told me to, and after making this recipe, I take her word as fact. I tried to find out exactly why this matters but can’t find an answer yet. Do you know? Pass along the info! Otherwise, just trust me and enjoy!
I don’t even know if I can call this a recipe. Because it’s so easy and takes less than 5 minutes to make. It doesn’t even use an oven. This is microwave- start to finish. It requires one bowl, a spoon, and a paper bag.
I’m having a busy, yet un-motivated week. So I ate a bunch of peanut butter popcorn. And now you can eat peanut butter popcorn and maybe later I will turn my oven on.
Unlike the regular S’more Popcorn, I choose to shape these into balls to create individual servings. This is helpful to keep oneself from eating an entire batch in one sitting.
I love these cookies. I love them a lot. I ate way too many of them. So often I give away baking, or I force feed my husband. Not with these bad boys. They have everything I love in cookies. Chocolate chips, peanut butter, oats, coconut and less guilt with the whole wheat flour and flax.
They have so many different names. Where we live this kind of cookie can be a Cowboy Cookie, or a Ranger Cookie but any name just means there are a lot of things tucked into one cookie. I called them Cowboy Cookies because I felt like it. Tried to come up with something snappy and new but didn’t get very far.
“They have peanut butter AND actual peanuts,” I stated, looking for advice.
“Call them Actual Peanut Cookies”
“Catchy, but no, and besides that ignores everything else in them.”
“Oh then I don’t know.”
Anyways, Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies with Coconut, Flax, Peanuts and Chocolate Chips is way too long but effectively descriptive. So I present to you Cowboy Cookies.
Don’t you eat your cookies out of tiny casserole dishes?