Saturday, 6 December 2014

English Vanilla Sandwich Cookies

Now I remember growing up eating these cookies. A few of my friends mom's would always make them and I remember us sneaking into the freezer and getting one, and then other, and then another.

I lost touch with those friends and could never find the recipe (and I searched). Then I had them at a family event and tracked down who made them to get the recipe (got to love the menno connect). 

SO I'm crazy excited to finally get to make these in my house, and eventually have my kids be the once that are sneaking cookies (but until then I'm more then happy to fill the gap).

1 cup butter 1/3 cup whip cream or evap. milk 2 cups of flour
Mix and chill. Roll about 1/8 inch thick. Cut in rounds and coat with sugar. Bake at 375 for 7-9 min.
Icing 1/4 cup butter 3/4 cup icing 1 teas. vanilla Food colouring (I make the icing pink). Put together with the icing.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Key Lime Pie

I tried this out for the first time. I'm so hooked on all things key lime after traveling through the Keys. It was such a fun time, and I had to learn how to make this pie!

I'd say it worked out amazingly. It was my first go, and wow, was it easy!

I found a good receipt, and adapted it as follows:

 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
 2 tablespoons sugar
 5 tablespoons butter, melted

 1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
 2/3 cup fresh lime juice
 1/2 cup sour cream
 2 teaspoons grated lime peel

 1 cup heavy whipping cream
 1/4 cup powdered sugar
 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Add melted butter and stir until evenly moistened. Press mixture into bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate to form crust. Bake 10 minutes or until crust begins to brown. Cool 15 minutes on wire rack.

Whisk sweetened condensed milk, lime juice and sour cream in large bowl until blended. Stir in lime peel. Pour filling into crust. Bake 10-18 minutes or until tiny bubbles begin to form on surface of pie. Cool completely on wire rack.

Beat cream, powdered sugar and vanilla in large mixing bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until stiff. Top pie with whipped cream. Chill at least 1 hour before serving. Best served the same day.

(I've tried freezing mine so I'll keep you posted if it worked well!)

Adapted from here

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Lemon Cake - The best you've ever had

I was going through my freezer and forgot I had lemon curd in there (I made it a while ago!). I had a dinner party, and a family lunch the next day so I made a big batch of lemon cake.

I found this recipe and was really excited to make it. I adjusted a few things and make it 100% better (Ha, in my humble opinion, and those of my family, that couldn't get enough of it!)

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter , softened - (I used veggie oil)
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
5 tablespoons lemon juice - (I used 6 tbsp of lemon curd)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons lemon zest - (I didn't put any in, it was already in the curd)

Icing - (I doubled the recipe, I love a lot of icing!)
1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter , softened
2 tablespoons lemon juice - (I used 2-4 tbsp of lemon curd)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest - (I didn't use this, it was already in the lemon curd)
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
Additional lemon juice or milk , as needed


Step 1
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 10 x 10 in. pan with vegetable pan spray.

Step 2
 In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; mix well. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, lemon juice and vanilla; mix until smooth. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Stir in lemon zest. Place batter in prepared pan.

Step 3
Bake 30-33 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on cooling rack. Remove from pan; cool completely.

Step 4
For icing, beat shortening and butter in large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add lemon juice and zest; mix well. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. If icing is dry, add additional lemon juice or milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Color as desired with icing color. Ice cake and if desired, garnish with fresh lemon zest curls and mint.

I thought the above cake was pretty, this picture (below) is what it really looks like.

Salted Peanut Butter Brownie

I love peanut butter and chocolate, putting the two together is a baked piece of heaven! So, when I found this recipe I was thrilled. I added even more cocoa then is listed below to make it that much richer, and it really added to the contrast of the peanut butter and chocolate.

If you love either of those two things, and a rich dessert, this recipe is the way to go.

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cold large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Prepare an 8 inch square pan by spraying with pan spray. Line the bottom and sides of the baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. Spray the foil or parchment with pan spray.
Preheat your oven to 325.
Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a heat-proof bowl and place over a large pot of simmering water. The bottom of the bowl should rest in the pot but not touch the water.
Stir occasionally. When the butter is just about melted, remove the bowl and let the residual heat continue to melt the butter. Stir until smooth. Carefully touch the cocoa mixture. It should feel warm, not hot. (If hot, wait until warm to add the eggs).
Once the cocoa mixture is warm you can stir in the eggs, one at a time. Wait until each egg is completely incorporated before you add the next. Stir in the vanilla. Once the mixture looks cohesive and shiny stir in the flour. (Stir 40 times after the flour has been completely incorporated).
Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes up with a few moist crumbs. This will take about 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
Once cool, frost with peanut butter frosting and sprinkle with flake salt.

Peanut Butter Frosting:
6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) softened butter
¾ cup peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
pinch salt 
1 teaspoon flake salt
Cream the butter and the peanut butter until combined. Slowly stir in the powdered sugar until completely incorporated. Spread over cooled brownies. Sprinkle the flake salt all over.

Adapted from here

Funnel Cake; My New Best Friend

I'm not sure if you're ever had funnel cake before, but it's DELISH!

I've had it at festivals, and Disney World, and well, I can't get enough of it. We've made it a few times with friends, and I think it's even become a New Year's Day tradition.

SO, if you haven't tried it, it's a must.

2 cups milk
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) melted butter
Powdered sugar, for topping

Combine milk, egg, vanilla in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, and sugar and gradually add to wet ingredients. Beat with a mixer until a smooth batter forms. Fold in melted butter. Pour batter into a funnel or squeeze bottle while using your index finger to stop the flow of the batter. Bring the funnel over the hot oil and release your finger to start a stream of batter while moving the funnel in a circular motion to create spiral-like shapes. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown and slightly puffed. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Adapted from here

Monday, 17 March 2014

Healthy Chia Seed Chocolate Pudding (no seed lumps)

I had to be on a very restricted diet, for health reasons, a while back and couldn't find a receipt that fit my needs. I searched through a ton, never found something I liked, and finally just played around until I got it just the way I like it.

I wish I would have written this all out sooner so I apologize if you don't get perfect results but seriously, this stuff is amazing! In fact, I think I might make it again right now!

You will need: 

1 can coconut milk

1/2 cup cocoa (you might want to add more, I usually do)

Coconut Sugar - to taste (I started with 1/4 cup. You could use any sweetener of your choice but I liked this because it 1) Fit within my diet and 2) It helped thicken)

1/4 cup chia seed (I'll be honest, I didn't measure so it could have been a bit more! Play around :)

Throw it all in your Vitamix and blend away.

I have a Vitamix so it shreds the seeds amazingly well. Some blenders wouldn't cut the seeds so you will end up with little seed crunches (which I don't like).

If you have trouble with this try putting the coconut milk in first, then the seeds, let it sit for 10 minutes and then blend.

The mixture will be runny but pore it in a bowl and it should set (as the seeds absorb the liquid).

If you google "Chai Seed Pudding" it won't look anything like this but this is how mine looks and I wouldn't go back to dairy pudding after this! No way! 
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