I love to bake for Christmas! It’s that time of year when I spend a few days in a row baking my holiday goodies. There are some recipes that are always on the list, but each year I add a couple of new ones. With Christmas one week away, I thought I’d share the cookies I made this year, with tips and links to the recipes. Recipes are listed, clockwise, starting with the gingerbread men. Continue reading
(This post is sponsored by Kitchen Stuff Plus. As always, all opinions are my own.)
It’s the holiday season, which means lots of festive decorations, tableware, and food! Adults and kids love the special desserts that come with Christmas, and it’s even more fun when they’re simple to make and decorate. The important part is being together, so here are three easy-to-make suggestions for home or school: gifts made with brownie squares, puffed rice cereal wreaths, and a tree made out of cupcakes. You can make the base of the treats in advance and save the decorating for the kids. The best part is that it’s all edible!
For these palm-sized brownie gifts, you will need: a brownie pan, packaged brownie mix and icing, mini candy canes, and holiday sprinkles of your choice.
To make these brownie gifts into perfect squares, use a tray like this one, from Kitchen Stuff Plus. This brownie pan is perfect because many people like the edge pieces and, with this pan, everyone gets one! I like the stability and the clean edges of these perfect squares. Continue reading
With Halloween less than a week away, I thought I’d share this easy and fun Halloween cupcake idea: Witch Hats!
Making a witch’s hat out of Oreos and Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses is something I’ve seen in magazines and online for many years. Putting them on top of cupcakes is something I decided to combine because I wanted a ‘wow’ cupcake for a party we were invited to.
To keep this dessert simple, I recommend that you buy the cake mix, a tub of icing for the cupcakes, and a tube of icing to make the witch hats. It doesn’t make sense to try to make any of the icing at home. You just won’t get the right consistency and the clean-up is easier with store-bought icing. Buy any combination of sprinkles you’d like to use from the bulk food store or from the grocery store.
Here’s how I made the Witch Cupcakes: Continue reading
I love fruit crumbles! They are easy to make, forgiving, and always a popular dessert. You can top them with whipped cream, ice cream, or some milk. And, you can easily warm them up the next day: they taste just as good as freshly baked.
I’ve written about crumbles, cobblers, and crisps before, and you can check out one of my earlier posts, here, to learn the difference. Because I love oats, I always make crumbles. And, because I always seem to have overripe fruits hanging around in the summer, like peaches and blueberries, this blueberry peach crumble is on repeat at our summer BBQs.
The thing about adding blueberries to a crumble or any pie is the beauty of the dark purple caramelized fruit that bubbles around the edge of the dish. It spells summer. Even my youngest guests love watching the fruit bubble on the sides of the baking dish!
Because the best part of any crumble is the thick oat topping, I’ve adjusted the measurements of my original recipe to make a generous topping. I hope you enjoy making it.
This post is sponsored by Conestoga Farms Eggs. All opinions are my own.
Making cream puffs at home is like discovering your inner pastry chef! Yes, they’re that easy to make. And, you can have fun with the sizes and fillings you choose to make and use. Cream puffs are also perfect for bringing to a summer gathering because they’re a finger-food dessert.
Eggs are the key ingredients in cream puffs, and recently I made a batch using Conestoga Farms’ Free-Run Omega-3 brown eggs. I love that local Southwestern Ontario farmers produce these eggs because buying food raised close to home makes me feel good about what my family eats.
The Conestoga Farms’ Free Run Omega-3 brown eggs are laid by hens living in weather-sheltered barns where they can run freely to forage for food. The hens are grain-fed and their diet includes flax seeds, a high source of Omega-3 polyunsaturates. Omega-3 fatty acids can benefit heart and brain health. Continue reading
My love for waffles is never-ending, and these Cornmeal Banana Oatmeal Waffles are my latest creation! (You can also check out the recipe for my Strawberry Banana Waffles).
I often have waffles more than once a day. If it’s not for breakfast, it’s as the base for a savory lunch waffle sandwich. Lately, I’ve been looking for ways to add fiber and protein to my diet. When I saw that 1 cup of yellow corn meal contains about 9 grams of fiber and about 10 grams of protein, I got very excited. I spent some time subbing out part of the flout for cornmeal, and came up with this recipe.
Cornmeal gives food a crunchy texture that you either like or you don’t. I’m a huge fan of cornbread as well as any Middle Eastern desserts that contain semolina or cream of wheat. The texture is satisfying for me. So, I didn’t need much convincing to make these waffles part of my weekly meal prep. I make these cornmeal waffles, store them in the fridge, and toast them for meals.
Although photos on my blog and Instagram include syrup, I rarely eat the waffles with syrup. Syrup is for extra special occasions! I usually eat my waffles plain, like a piece of toast, and add fruits when I have time.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been making batches of this delicious peanut butter oatmeal freezer fudge and I wanted to share my recipe with you. These peanut butter oatmeal fudge pieces taste a bit like an Oh Henry or Baby Ruth candy bar! (BTW, check out this post for the recipe for Homemade Oh Henry Bars.)
I’m kind of addicted to freezer fudge these days, and for good reason: it’s easy and quick to make, there’s no cooking required, and it’s a satisfying treat. There’s something about having a cold snack/treat that makes it that much more tasty. I have a few other fudge recipes that I’ve also developed, and I will be sharing them with you over the next few months.
In the past, I’ve made tahini freezer fudge, and the recipe is on the blog, here. The main ingredient in freezer fudge is coconut oil, which helps the fudge set.
As much as I love to bake, I also love the creative process of packaging said baked goods — and, nothing does it better than a cookie box!
Cookie boxes have been around for a long time, including old-fashioned tin boxes, cardboard bakery boxes, holiday-themed boxes, and basically any container you can get your hands on.
But, have you ever assembled a cookie box that contains separate compartments for cookies and other treats? They’re so easy and fun to put together, and the presentation can be quite spectacular. You just have to check Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration!
Here are my tips for assembling a stunning cookie box:
- have a theme. It’s so much easier to know how to compartmentalize and what to include when you start with a theme
- keep a large shoe box or other large shipping box on hand for special occasions. You can even use in-season packaging, like a wooden clementine crate, or an old cookie tin to which you add compartments or smaller boxes
- wrap a plain box with kraft or wrapping paper. You can also paint a wooden box, or use a deep dish baking pan. If the plain box is sturdy and elegant, like the one I used here, then there’s no need to adorn it
- collect smaller boxes and containers from around the house, such as: cardboard jewelry boxes, tins, jars, old drinking glasses, bowls, etc
- choose boxes that are different shapes and sizes
- use tissue paper to add color and height to the box and treats
- wrap cookies in bakar’s string or place in clear cello bags
- use a combination of store-bought and homemade goodies, as well as in-season fruits
- if you’re transporting or shipping the box, make sure you have a lid or safe way to cover the cookies
- wrap with twine for a rustic look, or use ribbons
Every year, I get a head start on my Christmas baking by taking my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe and changing the mix-ins to create a variety of holiday cookies. It’s an easy way to make festive treats out of a basic recipe!
Before getting started, I make sure to have fresh baking soda and vanilla on hand. I also check the state of my baking pans and mixing bowls and replace any that need upgrading. I love the Wilton pans, spatulas, and glass bowls that I picked up at Kitchen Stuff Plus recently.
Visit your local bulk food store to purchase some fun mix-ins available during the holiday season. I’ve included the recipe I use for making chocolate chip cookies at the end of this post.
Trick 1: Use Red And Green Candies
Substitute some of the chocolate chips for red and green chocolate-coated candies or for red, white, and green chocolate chips. Use half of the chocolate chips that the recipe calls for and then put the colourful candies on top of the cookies to get the full effect of the green and red colours. I put the coloured candy in this red and white host tray and bowl set, just to make it easier to reach for the toppings. Continue reading
I don’t know about you, but nothing reminds me of my childhood more than iced sugar cookies! One day I came home after school from 3rd Grade and my mom had made heart-shaped sugar cookies with pink icing. I must’ve devoured half the cookies on the spot, and my sweet tooth was very satisfied. I was happy and my mom was happy, because she loves when we ask her for food. It’s a mom thing, wanting your kids to have healthy (and sometimes not-so-healthy) appetites.
The sugar cookies my mom made were from a Betty Crocker cookbook that our American neighbor had gifted her, after I kept asking my mom for all desserts American. Growing up in an American compound in Saudi Arabia means that my love for the sweetest of American sweets is well-developed. I’m talking about sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, fudge, toffee, caramel anything, pralines, pecan pie with ice cream, etc.