First off, Happy Mother’s Day! This day is quite important to me as I am pretty close to my Mother. Heck, I even named this blog after her! I may be a tad biased, but she is by far the best Mother in the entire world. I am not a Mother myself but I have a huge respect for those who are and the hard work that comes with the role. So to all you fabulous Mom’s out there – thank you for everything you do.
Now onto something absolutely delicious – Frozen Hot Chocolate! Last week I was on vacation in Las Vegas with two of my girlfriends. Lots of shopping and eating was had. I finally had the opportunity to dine at Serendipity 3 and taste their famous Frrrozen Hot Chocolate! I’ve attempted this at couple times in New York City, but failed to make it to the restaurant. It definitely lived up to it’s amazing reputation and $11 price tag.
Here it is above. Yeah – it was huge and so rich and chocolatey! And look at that whipped cream! I had to find a recipe and duplicate it immediately. It’s a pretty simple recipe. I would recommend using a darker chocolate to give it more of a rich chocolate flavour that is similar to the original.
I had to travel to Toronto last week for a work conference. Over the past 10 years Toronto has become one of my favourite places to visit. Not because I actually love the city (I’m still on the fence) but because Denise, my best friend in the whole wide world, lives there. Since I was a little late on sending her a birthday present (it was in February), I decided to bake her some delicious treats to give to her in person. Denise is one of my biggest baking supporters. Although the distance doesn’t really help her taste most of my baking, she continues to encourage me to create delicious treats in hopes she will one day try them. This past weekend was now her time to enjoy!
I was inspired to make these cookies after a visit to my local Starbucks. I was famished and needed a quick pick-me-up. I tried their Fruit & Oat Cookie, fell in love with it, and immediately needed to replicate it. As I have previously stated throughout this blog, I love baking with brown butter and I wanted to do the same with these cookies. They have great texture with the oats and a nice blend of sweetness with the dried cranberries, apricot and raisins. Most importantly, they are Denise approved. You can’t get a better endorsement than that.
My obsession with Cadbury Mini Eggs continues. I figured you wouldn’t mind if I posted another recipe with these delectable treats, right? Our Cadbury Mini Egg Cookie recipe I posted a couple years ago proves to be one of our most popular recipes, especially this time of year. I figured I should do some experimenting and see where it leads me. Well, I can report that it led me to this delicious skillet cookie! I adapted a skillet chocolate chip cookie recipe from the lovely Bakers Royale. I selected this recipe to adapt because it uses brown butter. I love brown butter. It has such a rich nutty flavour and aroma. Plus, you don’t need an electric mixer for this recipe. Bonus!
This skillet cookie is dense and rich. The Mini Eggs are so delicious with the cookie base. I opted to use a 9-inch skillet for a thicker cookie, but this recipe can easily suit a 12-inch skillet as well. If you use a 9-inch skillet, just ensure you up your baking time by about 10 minutes. I highly recommend you make this recipe for Easter!
Wow time sure does fly. I can’t believe it’s been over one month since my last post. Trust me though, I have a valid reason. Last week, I was finally able to escape our brutally cold winter and head to the sunny skies and warmth of Arizona to visit my parents. I had every intention to do some serious baking with Claudia since I hadn’t seen her in well over a month. Well, my plan sorta backfired. On the second day of my vacation, I got the stomach flu – bad. I spent the remainder of my time in Arizona sick and whining for Claudia to take care of me. Yes, I reverted to a 12 year old girl pretty darn quick. You would too if your Mother was so close to you – trust me.
In any case, I finally have my appetite back and realized I needed to blog ASAP. St. Patrick’s Day is only a couple days away and what better way to celebrate than bake with my two favourite things in the world – chocolate and beer! I have to admit this is by far the BEST chocolate cake I have ever made in my entire life. It is adapted from Deb, the lovely genius behind Smitten Kitchen, which happens to be one of my favourite blogs in the world. She is so brilliant that she just came out with a brand new cookbook which I have been buying for my foodie friends as gifts! This cake is decadent and rich. The chocolate coffee ganache is a perfect touch of velvety goodness. It’s also pretty darn simple to make. I decided to use a Young’s Double Chocolate Stout beer to add to the rich chocolate flavour, but you can use your favourite stout beer (like Guinness).
My favourite thing to do on Sunday’s is bake. Funny how I say that on Super Bowl Sunday. While I’ve heard so many people today state: “I can’t believe this is the last day of football for months”, I (secretly) smirk and think how happy I am to get my Sunday’s back and obtain full monopoly of the TV to catch up on my week of guilty pleasure shows.
Cookies are my favourite treat to snack on when watching my “stories”. I have been known to be a huge fan of Coronation Street and participate in marathons of Dateline NBC. These Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies are the perfect compliment for going through the emotional viewer turmoil of solving murder mysteries and wondering if Tyrone will actually trick Kirsty into marrying him, only to kidnap their baby to get custody because, of course, his name was left off the birth certificate. I could not make this stuff up people! These cookies are on the sweet side. When I originally made them, I used half milk chocolate and half white chocolate chips. I would recommend using only milk or dark chocolate chips, as I found the white chocolate to be way too sweet. Regardless, these are chewy, fun and a great guilty pleasure treat.
I apologize for the lack of posts over the past few weeks. It’s been rather hectic over here. First, we were hit with a terrible winter storm here in Winnipeg. They called it a blizzard in the forecast, but it actually didn’t reach blizzard proportions. It was close though. Then a couple days later, I somehow managed to hurt my back taking down our Christmas tree. Yeah, don’t ask. Needless to say, it rendered me useless and confined to the couch for the better part of a week. Today is the first day I can honestly say I feel much better and am able to move around without shrieking in pain.
The storm and the hurt back taught me a very important lesson about myself: I really dislike being cooped up in the house for days on end. I guess it would have been okay if I was able to stand long enough to get my bake on. Sadly, I wasn’t able to until last night. I wanted to make sure my resurrection into the food blogging world was a good one for you. I think I hit it out of the ballpark with these Rolo Cheesecake Brownies! They are rich and super delicious. They have the perfect balance of sweetness with the salted caramel and dark chocolate. Not to mention the cream cheese and rolo candies! You will not be disappointed when you try this recipe. Best of all – it’s crazy easy!
My best friend Denise is infatuated with Garrett Chicago Mix popcorn. Like, obsessed! When we went to New York City this past November, she bought two jumbo bags for herself and carried them onto the plane. One jumbo bag could probably fit a small child, I kid you not! I don’t blame Denise for her love of this popcorn. It’s seriously delicious. I often wonder if they lace it with something because it’s beyond addictive. So much in fact that I felt the need to replicate it in some way. I can honestly say, this recipe is not as good as Garrett’s, but since I don’t live anywhere near the closest store and refuse to pay the shipping costs, this recipe is a solid solution to my cheddar/caramel popcorn cravings.
Two weeks ago I ventured to New York City with my best friend Denise for a quick 4-day vacation. NYC is by far my favourite city in the entire world. The hustle and bustle, lights, and delicious restaurants and bakeries on every corner is what I love most about the city. But after this latest trip, I have a whole new reason. On my last night in NYC, Denise and I ventured to Rockefeller Centre to see the infamous Christmas tree all lit up. Well, to make a long story short, it wasn’t lit up (apparently they turn it off at 10:30pm to conserve energy). I’m not going to lie – I was very disappointed. Mainly because I had been there for 3 nights already and this was my last opportunity to see the tree lit up before we departed the next day. While I was pouting and feeling sorry for myself, I decided to make the most of the evening and take some photos of my surroundings.
As I was taking the photo above of 30 Rock, I heard a very familiar (and male) voice. I turn around to see my boyfriend, whom I thought was back at home in Winnipeg, standing there in the middle of Rockefeller Centre with a bakery box in hand. After the initial shock of seeing him wore off, he tells me to open the box.
A proposal to rival all proposals. I was speechless but had enough strength to say “Yes”. And how could I not – besides it being the most amazing proposal ever, those red velvet cupcakes were the most delicious I have ever tasted – thanks to Tribeca Treats!
In honour of the holiday season, and the most important day of my life thus far, I wanted to bake and share a recipe that I love this time of year. These Egg Nog Cupcakes are dense, moist and sweet. Also, how can you possibly say no to egg nog buttercream icing?! Even if you aren’t a true egg nog fan, you will enjoy these.
I’m not going to lie…one of the reasons I love the holiday season is the 12 Days of Cookies emails I receive from the Food Network. Just when you think you’ve seen all the Christmas baking recipes there is, another one lands in my inbox and become nearly giddy. Yeah, I probably could use a hobby besides baking. But who has the time?!
I finally found time in Claudia’s busy retirement schedule (I swear she’s busier now that she doesn’t work full time!) to fit in some quality baking with her for this blog. Last night she came over and we decided to try a couple new butter cookie recipes we have been eyeing. This one was the big hit. You really cannot lose when you incorporate cream cheese into the dough and dipping the cookie in chocolate! These are a nice twist on the traditional holiday butter/sugar cookie. The cream cheese makes the cookie a little denser and the chocolate adds a nice sweetness. Because the dough needed to be chilled, Claudia decided to make the dough prior to us getting together, so I do not have any pictures of these steps. I figured combining all ingredients into a bowl didn’t really require visual representation anyway.
I love receiving recipe requests. After blogging for a few years now, sometimes it’s hard to come up with recipes every week to share. This recipe was a request from somebody on our Facebook page and we couldn’t be happier to share it with you. I’m a very picky bran muffin connoisseur. Most of the time I find them to be really dry and flavourless. This recipe is the complete opposite. These muffins are extremely moist and very versatile, with a deep sweet flavour that comes from the brown sugar. The original recipe calls for raisins, but Claudia prefers dates in her bran muffins so we decided to feature that instead. However, you can simply swap out the same quantity of dates for raisins if you prefer Raisin Bran Muffins instead.