Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Recently one evening, my daughter came home from a school event, with two big cookies that looked like oatmeal cookies. She said they were ‘breakfast cookies’. They looked (and tasted) delicious and contained one of my favorite baking ingredients: oatmeal. I had to figure out how to make them. Luckily, they’re made at the school and they were able to give me the recipe.

The term ‘breakfast cookie’ is an interesting one because you don’t usually think of a cookie as a breakfast food. It sounds like you’re sort of tricking yourself by having a cookie with the word ‘breakfast’ in front of it! Let me be clear here: these cookies contain butter and sugar and no fruit. You’ll find lots of recipes online for healthier breakfast cookies out there, made with mashed bananas, almond or peanut butter, and coconut oil. This recipe doesn’t have any of those ingredients. So, in that sense, it really is more of a traditional cookie!

In fact, this recipe is basically the recipe for oatmeal cookies, except that it has proportionally more of the dry ingredients. And, the recipe calls for ground flax meal, which you can taste and notice with every bite.

Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

Honey Cake and Happy New Year Times Two!

Honey Cake & Pistachio Maamoul
Honey Cake & Pistachio Maamoul

I love to bake, so, by now, you’re used to all of the desserts you see on this blog. This time of year is always interesting with lots going on, like the beginning of the school year, sports tryouts, back-to-school shopping, and getting ready for fall activities like Canadian Thanksgiving and Halloween.

One thing is for sure, though: I’m back to cooking and baking quite a bit more after the long summer break, where I apparently slacked off in the kitchen! Kids are always so honest. When I came back last week from a trip to Lebanon with tons of fun desserts like date and pistachio-filled maamoul (shown in the round box), pistachio nougats, and boxes of chocolate bars, I was surprised when my daughter said that I need to bake some desserts!

Honey Cake With Chocolate Glaze
Honey Cake With Chocolate Glaze

So, bake I did. I made brownies that are gone, and decided to make this Honey Cake (basically a coffee cake made with coffee and honey), which you may be seeing in stores as it’s popular this time of year for the Jewish New Year. By the way, this year the Muslim New Year and the Jewish New Year are on the same day, today – something that happens only once every 33 years! If you’ve ever wondered how the Jewish calendar observes the new year in late summer or early fall every year, despite being a lunar calendar, it’s because of the addition of ‘leap months’ into the lunar calendar to keep the holiday steady. You can read more about when the New Years collide here. Happy New Year! Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

My Delicious Chocolate Orange Cake!

Chocolate Orange Cake
Zesty Chocolate Orange Cake

Almost everybody loves a good chocolate cake, but last week, I made a simple addition to my usual recipe to make an amazing chocolate orange cake. For some reason, I can’t follow a recipe without making a small change, adding a twist, or substituting an ingredient. It’s more fun that way, and I get to experiment in the otherwise strict domain of baking!

The following recipe is based on my go-to chocolate cake recipe, the ‘Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake’. I love that name. I’ve made it for guests and they love it, too. It’s very chocolate-y and it uses cocoa powder in both the cake and icing.

Chocolate Orange Cake
Zesty Chocolate Orange Cake

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

The Best Shortbread Sugar Cookies For Canada Day!

Canada Day Cookies
Canada Day Cookies

Today marks the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation! As an immigrant to Canada, I cannot be more grateful that I live here. I’m more proud every year and I love celebrating everything about Canada. When I first moved here, I kept asking people how Canada was different from the United States, where I had lived prior to moving. It was a lot of fun to hear what each person thought was the major difference. After living here for more than 25 years, I can tell you what is different, but that would be the subject of another post! Let’s just say that our cities consistently rank as the top livable cities in the world and that, along with Canada’s diversity, is one of the reasons I love living here.

This year we’ve seen lots of fun activities going on around the country in celebration of Canada’s 150th, also called Canada 150 by the Government of Canada.

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

(Vegan) Chocolate Banana Muffins

Chocolate Banana Muffins
Chocolate Banana Muffins

You know that feeling when you want to try a recipe but don’t have all the ingredients? Well, that happened to me yesterday, which is why there are parentheses around the word ‘Vegan’ in the title of this post.

My neighbor dropped off two chocolate banana muffins on Sunday, made by her vegan daughter. They were delicious: moist, dense, and super chocolate-y. And, because they’re vegan, you can safely lick the batter! I had to make these asap, because the two muffins didn’t last more than an hour, and, well, a craving is a craving.

When I looked up the recipe for these chocolate banana muffins on the Two Peas & Their Pod blog, I knew that I didn’t have white whole wheat flour nor did I have almond milk on hand. I stopped off at the drugstore to pick up milk and took a quick look in the baking section. As I sort of expected, they didn’t carry these items so I was going to make do with ingredients I had at home. It was too early for the natural food store to be open. Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

Rice Krispies Treats With Froot Loops

Rice Krispies Treats
Rice Krispies Treats With Froot Loops

There are a few treats that remind me of my childhood, and Rice Krispies Treats is one of them. When I was a kid, I went to school on a trimester system. That means we went to school for 12 weeks at a time, then had a 5 week ‘intersession’ period.

During one intersession, I took a baking class. I was 9 or 10 years old. That class is what started me on my lifelong baking adventure. My mom’s an amazing baker (and cook and entertainer…) and I used to watch her bake all the time. But, at the intersession class, I was the one baking and creating – on my own!

The first item we made was Rice Krispies Treats. They’re simple and fun. With all the sweet and bran-type cereals that followed Rice Krispies, I must admit that I don’t often choose Rice Krispies as my breakfast cereal. This means I usually buy a box of Rice Krispies, just to make the Treats. They’re so easy and quick to make, and everyone loves them. They’re the perfect snack for school or travel, too. Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

Peach Crumble Because It’s Still Peach Season!

IMG_1104It’s the first day of September and, in Ontario, it’s still  peach season!  You can find peaches in the grocery stores and at farmers’ markets.  And, they are delicious.

For the last three weeks, I’ve made a Peach Crumble every week because I can only eat peaches cooked.  My family has been enjoying this recipe, too.  We seem to eat it for breakfast or snack or dessert.

Last summer, I shared a recipe for Peach and Strawberry Crumble.  You can read that post to understand the difference between crumbles, crisps, and cobblers.  Personally, I love oatmeal, so I go for the crumbles.IMG_0787

This summer, I went for a straight peach crumble, and I made it in a 9 by 13 inch pan.   If you want to make this in a smaller pan, go ahead.  Just make sure the crumble doesn’t go past the top of the pan.IMG_0783

You can serve this with ice cream, cream, or milk.  I use the latter if I want to have the crumble for breakfast.  Go ahead, live a little! Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

Matzoh Crunch!

IMG_6585This week is Passover and you may have seen Matzoh Crunch in your grocery store or bakery.

I first saw this recipe when David Lebovitz (chef, baker, and cookbook author) appeared on the Martha Stewart show about 10 years ago.  It looked very easy to make, and it is!

Up front, I should say that I make this dessert all year round and get special requests from my kids and friends.  Matzoh Crunch is the popular name and David Lebovitz’s version is called Caramelized Matzoh Crunch With Chocolate.  Basically, it’s a cracker base with a caramel/toffee topping and chocolate.  What’s not to like?!

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

Marshmallow Popcorn Treats

Marshmallow Popcorn Squares
Marshmallow Popcorn Squares

Do you have a favorite treat from when you were a kid?  I have lots because I have a very sweet tooth!  One that I remember making a lot is Marshmallow Treats. ‘Rice Krispies Squares’ or ‘Marshmallow Squares’ are other names for these delicious snacks.  Whatever the name, these treats remind me of my childhood and simpler times.

Invented by Mildred Day, an employee at Kellogg’s, and her co-worker Malitta Jensen in 1939, Marshmallow Treats’ popularity grew when they were suggested in response to a fundraising request to Kellogg’s.  By 1940, the recipe was advertised by Kellogg’s and has been a big hit ever since.  And, by the 1990’s, these bars were a packaged good widely available on grocery store shelves.

Marshmallow Popcorn Squares
Marshmallow Popcorn Squares

When I was in grade school, I took a cooking activity where we made these easy and yummy Marshmallow Treats.  I remember asking my parents to buy marshmallow creme and marshmallows all the time so I could make these whenever I wanted.

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

Frozen Fruit Smoothies – Even in Winter!

Frozen Fruit Smoothie
Frozen Fruit Smoothie

In my post on New Year’s resolutions, I said that I’d publish a post on frozen fruit smoothies.  Here it is!  Because eating more fruit is one of my resolutions, fruit smoothies are an easy way to meet this goal.

This time of year in Canada it can be hard to get fresh fruit that tastes good and is reasonably priced.  Of course, to keep your diet varied, you treat yourself to your favorite fruits from time to time.  Mine are pineapples and mangoes.

But, if you don’t buy as many fruits in the winter, or you find yourself not finishing what you’ve bought, then consider the option of freezing leftover fruits and making smoothies.  You can buy frozen fruits at the store but, by freezing unused fruits, I’m trying to accomplish another resolution, which is to waste less food.

Here’s what I do.

Any fresh fruit that hasn’t been eaten within a few days of being ripe gets cut up and put in a glass dish in the freezer overnight.  I seem to have ripe bananas, pineapples, and strawberries left over the most. When I take the fruit out, I let it sit for a few minutes, then use a knife to loosen the fruit and store it in a freezer bag.  Voila: unwasted fruit and fresh smoothie material!

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram