December 24, 2015
Another Christmas treat here for you! Fudge is something I’d only make in the Winter months. Honestly, usually I buy it from a sweet shop on a special occasion, but I wanted to make it myself to give as gifts this year.
Even if you’re not a fan of drinking eggnog – *shudders – you might like this fudge. I definitely lean towards eggnog flavoured treats, rather than drinking it. This recipe is very simple – you can make it even if you don’t own a candy thermometer. There’s hundreds of recipes all over the internet for eggnog fudge and they’re pretty much the exact same thing with minor changes. I’ve combined a few and revised it to my liking. It’s consistently worked for me. 👍
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup eggnog
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
- 1 container marshmallow cream
- 1 tsp rum extract
- Line a 9inch pan with parchment paper and lightly grease any part of the tray that the parchment doesn’t cover. **Its a good idea to have all the ingredients pre-measured and set aside… Take the protective cover off the marshmallow cream and have the chocolate chips ready, etc.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, eggnog, sugar and nutmeg. Turn heat to medium/high and bring to a boil, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.
- Boil until the temperature on a candy thermometer reaches 235 degrees. ** If you don’t have a candy thermometer, set a small bowl of cold water nearby, set your timer for 10-12 minutes with the heat on medium (my burner is level 6/7) and stir the mixture constantly until it gets to a soft ball stage. Spoon a drop of the mixture into the cold water, if it forms a ball, you’re set to go.
- Remove the pan from the heat and immediately add the rum extract, chocolate chips and marshmallow cream. Stir until it’s smooth and fluffy and there’s no chocolate lumps.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Set aside to cool for a minimum of 4 hours. DO NOT PLACE IN THE REFRIGERATOR TO RUSH THE PROCESS. It will firm up just fine sitting at room temperature.
- When the fudge is ready, grab the sides of the parchment paper and lift the entire slab out out of the dish.
- Use a large knife to slice into small squares, and serve.
- Keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
- You can also freeze it in an airtight container or ziplock bag. When you thaw it, leave it sealed until thawed to avoid drying out.
*Left pic: just reached boiling point. Right pic: boiled for 10 minutes. Notice how it darkened a bit. Once you add the remaining ingredients, the fudge will lighten up again.
Stir in the chocolate chips , extract and marshmallow cream. It will thicken quickly. Pour into the prepared dish.
September 15, 2015
I thought it would be fun to share a recipe for something a little different than the usual bars, squares and cookies. Today I baked French Macaron’s, using an easy recipe from a youtube Channel, “Entertaining with Beth”. I’ve made this recipe 3 times now, using the exact instructions Beth provided and it worked great each time. Please note they are a bit finicky if you don’t follow the directions to a “T”. Beth provided a few great tips, which I’ve listed below.
These can be filled with anything you like. Some people use chocolate ganache, fruit filling, and various buttercreams. You can also add flavouring to the cookie but don’t add too much liquid or it will mess with the consistency.
- 3 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
- 1 cup almond flour, sifted
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 butter, softened (margarine works too)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract, (I used Marshmallow flavouring this time)
- 1-2 tbsp milk
- 3 – 4 cups Icing Sugar, sifted (You may not need it all. Start with 3 cups and add more until it reaches a desired consistency.)
1. Preheat oven to 300 F degrees. Prepare your baking trays with parchment paper or silpat rolls.
2. Sift almond flour, and powdered sugar into a bowl and set aside until step 6. Discard any lumps that the sieve catches.
3. Use an electric mixer to beat egg whites until foamy, then add salt, cream of tartar and white sugar for 8-10 mins.
4. Whip until stiff peaks are formed.
5. At this point you can add your food colouring. Note, the colour will fade when baking, you may need to add a few extra drops of colour.
6. Fold flour/sugar mixture into the egg white mixture. 65-75 turns of your spatula when folding is about the right amount of time.
Note: This is where all your hard work can really go wrong. Under-mix and your macaroons will be lumpy and cracked. Over-mix and your macaroons will be flat and won’t have feet(height).
7. Transfer batter to a pastry bag.
8. Pipe out 1 inch rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If you’re wanting to add sprinkled to the tops, this is when you would do that.
TIPS: tap the pan hard at least 2-3 times to release the air bubbles. This will prevent the tops of your macaroons from cracking.
TIPS: Let them sit out for 3o minutes to allow them to dry out a bit before baking. They should be “tacky” to the touch, but not stick to your fingertips. This is another important step to assuring your macarons develop feet! When they dry out they can’t spread out in the oven, and are forced to rise up. That’s what creates the feet!
9. Bake for 20 mins. DO NOT UNDER BAKE, even if they look done! Otherwise they will stick to your tray.
10. In the meantime, make the buttercream filling. Beat the butter, extract, milk and icing sugar with an electric mixer. Add any food colouring, if you choose.
11. Transfer to a pastry bag, fitted with a small/med tip.
12. After the cookies have cooled completely, turn half of the cookie shells on their backs, and pipe a small mound of filling on them. Top with the other shell.
If not eating right away, keep refrigerated.
*Makes 24 completed sandwich cookies
Visual step-by-step below:
June 8, 2015
I came across this recipe on Facebook. It showed up in my daily news feed from CrazyforCrust, and I save her recipes in my “To-Bake-One-Day List” on a daily basis because they always look so incredible. I was craving something tart and sweet for breakfast this past weekend and I had a few lemons in my fridge to use up so I gave this recipe a go. My favourite part is the crumble topping and lemon glaze. These are very moist and filling muffins and I’m definitely going to bake them again. For the record, I didn’t edit the ingredients except to bake only half a batch. This batch made 14 muffins.
Lemon Crumble Muffin
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 tbsp lemon zest ( I needed 2 medium lemons to get enough zest)
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup sour cream (full fat if possible)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
Glaze (optional) but seriously you need to make it..
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line muffin or cupcake tins with baking cups.
- Make the topping in a small bowl by stirring together all 4 ingredients with a fork. Mixture should be crumbly. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs and sugar with an electric mixer. Add the oil, lemon zest, sour cream and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go.
- Add the dry ingredients; flour, baking soda and salt and stir only until combined.
- Scoop the batter into baking pans and fill only 3/4 full.
- Evenly distribute the crumble mixture onto the muffins and pop the tray into the oven for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. These will not get “brown” unless you over-bake them, they should remain a light yellow colour.
- Remove them carefully from the hot pan so they stop baking and allow to cool on a wire rack.
- Prepare the glaze by whisking the icing sugar with the lemon juice and drizzle it over the muffins.
- Muffins should be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days. I would usually freeze them but with this half batch there wasn’t any left to freeze. 😉
Fresh out of the oven, before adding the lemon drizzle icing…
July 13, 2014
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie is one of my favourite desserts. Occasionally, my husband and I go for long evening drives through the city, listening to music and chatting. Sometimes when our daughter is having a slumber party at my parents house, Jon and I end up at a local restaurant for coffee and dessert. He always orders the strawberry crumble and I order a slice of their amazing peanut butter pie. So this post was inspired by our late night dates and the delicious pie that’s so rich, I can never finish my slice.
This recipe is SUPER easy and made in 3 steps.
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (If you can’t find cookie crumbs, buy a 300 gram package of Oreo cookies, remove the icing and smash the crap out of them with a rolling pin. 1 package crushed is exactly 1 1/2 cups) 😉
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
- 1 brick cream cheese (8 oz), softened to room temp.
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (at least 33% fat)
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tbsp butter or margarine
Optional: diced salted peanuts for a a decorative topping.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 or 9″ pie pan
- To prepare the crust, combine the cookie crumbs with the sugar and butter.
- Press into the prepared pie pan.
- Bake for 8 minutes until set. Allow to cool on a wire rack on the counter as you prepare the filling.
- Use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese, peanut butter and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Add the icing sugar and mix until combined; be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to whip the cream until soft peaks form.
- Add the whipped cream to the peanut butter mixture and fold it in with a spatula.
- Scoop the peanut butter filling into the pie crust, level off with a spatula.
- Place the pie into the fridge for at least 2 hours before adding the topping.
- To prepare the chocolate ganache, heat the whipping cream and butter in a pot on the stove just until it starts to boil.
- Immediately remove it from the heat and add the chocolate chips.
- KEEP stirring until the chocolate is completely melted and incorporated into the cream. Allow the chocolate ganache to cool.
- Give it a little stir before spreading onto the pie.
- Garnish with peanuts (optional).
- Place the pie back in the fridge and let it set for 24 hours before eating. You can eat it within a few hours, but if you have time to let it set properly, it’s smooth and easier to cut and serve.
Below is steps for those of you who prefer visuals. 🙂
Step 2: Making cookie crumbs
Step 3: Bake the crust
Step 5 & 6: Peanut Butter Filling
Steps 7, 8, 9: Peanut Butter Filling
Steps 11, 12, 13: Prepare Chocolate Ganache
Step 14: Top the pie with chocolate ganache
March 9, 2014
I’m not sure where I originally came across this Ham and Cheese Scone recipe, but I’ve been using it for years. With the addition of ham and cheese these basic scones become a little more filling and add a punch of flavour.
Ham and cheese scones
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup butter/margarine, unsalted
- 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup ham, cooked & diced. *optional: you could also use back bacon or farmer sausage instead.
- 1/4 cup shredded 3-cheese blend or cheddar cheese. *Use whatever you like.
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 tbsp milk (for topping)
- Small handful cheese (for topping)
- Preheat the oven to 425° F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, 1/4 cup sugar and salt together.
- Dice the butter up and cut it into the dry ingredients, using a fork or a pastry cutter.
- Add the shredded cheese and diced ham, stir in.
- Make a well with your hands, and pour the 3/4 cup milk into the mix and combine with a wooden spoon or spatula.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until the dough is smooth.
- Make a circle with the dough and pat it down until it’s about 8″ Round. Place it on the baking sheet.
- Brush the milk onto the dough and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
- Cut the dough into 8 wedges. (Alternatively, you can cut these into biscuit shapes. I just find there’s less waste by making one large circle and then cutting it into wedges.)
- Bake @ 425° F for 17-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
**These taste best when still warm.
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup diced, cooked ham
Make a well before adding the milk
Roll out the dough, brush milk on top.
Cut into 8 pieces, sprinkle cheese on top.
Bake 425degrees for 17-20 minutes, or until golden brown.