Archive | December, 2011

Coconut Clementine Brownies

29 Dec

Ever have a “what was I thinking” moment?

I do….all the time. ALL the time.

When this baked-good creation came to fruition, I cannot tell you what I was thinking. It may have been influenced by my state of delirious boredom while visiting my family over the holidays. It definitely was influenced by the random ingredients I had to work with while baking in my mom’s kitchen. Maybe I just wanted to be badass and make something weird.

I do know that I was thinking that the batter, which contained coconut oil and clementine zest tasted really damn good.

I was also thinking that baking them in muffin cups was a sure fire way to not have extra dishes.

I do not, however, know why I put two clementine slices on top before baking. I do not regret this action per se. I just question it. The result was surprising. The brownies were super rich and dense and everything I know I love in a brownie (I don’t know about you crazy individuals who like cakey ones). The sweet tangy clementine slice surprise in a bite was definitely a nice touch. Weird…but nice.

This is what happens when you lock a baker in a suburb on Christmas day. They bake strange brownies…apparently.

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Mini Gingerbread Men

24 Dec

For someone that doesn’t have a lot of time on my hands….wow I seem to have a lot of time on my hands.

Why did I think it was a good idea to buy the world’s smallest cookie cutter?

Why did I think it was the best idea to cut out a million mini gingerbread men?

Why did I think it was a perfectly logical idea to put buttons on said gingerbread men?

Who the heck knows….but what I do know is that they’re probably the cutest ever. They’re pretty tasty too.

They take a fraction of the time it took to make them…. to eat them.

I’m ok with this.

Some things are just worth all that effort.

Well that’s what I think anyway.

You might not agree with me and you may never make these. I’m ok with this too.

But you have to at least appreciate the fact that they’re adorable and scrumptious looking. Festive. Fun.

The end.

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Happy Birthday White Coconut and Cranberry Curd Cake (With Lime Marshmallow Frosting)

18 Dec

It’s true. It was my birthday the other day. No big deal.

Unfortunately, what’s also true, is that I am not ashamed to admit I like to make a big deal about my own birthday. Why? Because I don’t know about you, but I like celebrating the fact that I am alive. I like being able to look back on another year of my life and think about all the wonderful (and horrendous) things that happened. And… well.. shoot…who doesn’t like to feel like the centre of attention once and a while?

I made my own birthday cake. If you want something done right you’ve got to do it yourself…right?

How else was I going to get exactly what I wanted or what I was craving?

Pfff. Exactly.

So I made this cake. It sounded pretty stellar in my head…but….let me tell you about it:

White cake. Cranberry curd with just the right amount of tartness in between the layers. The outside? Lime “marshmallow” frosting and toasted coconut.

Yep. I went there. And I’d do it again too! Buuuut….next time….I’ll make it less shameful. Trust me to shame-ify my own birthday cake. This cake was delicious. But it was a nightmare.

The curd was not a good idea. Too loose. I had to add gelatin.

The marshmallow frosting was supposed to be whipped to stiff peaks. My bad….

It was too loose. It started to ooze down the sides. It was pretty melty.

The cake layers? Not straight. It looked a little pathetic….ok terrible. But gosh darn it, the taste was spectacular.

So other than the fact that I made some boo boos, this cake was amazing and I do not regret a minute of it.

Does that not make you want to spoil yourself on YOUR birthday? That’s what I thought. Maybe next time your birthday rolls around you will shower yourself with cake and goodies that make you happy. You deserve it!

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Don’t Make These Donuts

15 Dec

So I bought myself a donut pan for my birthday. (Which is today….by the way….no big deal!) How awesome is it to get a box of goodies in front of your door from none other than yourself! Happy birthday me!

I tried to make some super yummy chocolate cake donuts like the ones you get at Tim Hortons…

They looked pretty darned good.

They tasted….bleh.

I tried again: This time I tried to make chocolate yeasted donuts, I figured they’d be more authentic tasting and delicious.

The taste was ALMOST there. But I totally messed up and didn’t account for the rising in the oven. I should have cut the donut holes bigger….

I may or may not have collapsed with laughter while pulling these out of the oven.

Anyway.

What I’m saying, is that I’ve been working on chocolate candy cane donuts and I haven’t succeeded just yet but succeed I will.

You just sit tight. Have some coffee.

I got this.

Promise.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Raspberry Scones

14 Dec

Carbohydrates are a funny thing.

People are scared of them for some reason. It’s true…most people eat too many of the wrong kind. Some people are carb junkies. Some like to cut them out of their diet completely. I realize this next statement will make me sound like the world’s biggest hypocrite since I am currently on a crazy 6 pack challenge diet involving unreasonably low amounts of carbohydrates and yummy foods…..but….

Carbs are GOOD! Embrace them!

It’s all about balance and making the right choices. I made the right choice in making these scones. They have spelt and whole wheat flour in them. They also have raspberry jam and grated chocolate. These are all the right choices. Aren’t they? Balanced choices. Well. In my books they are.

I made little scone sandwiches. Two rounds of dough, with the jam and chocolate in between.

Press the two rounds together, brush with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar.

Divide into triangles.

Bake those guys.

Eat those guys. In moderation. But enjoy the miracle that is a carb. The miracle of a balanced carb; halfway between a naughty carb and a healthy one.

Too many naughty carbs: a bad thing.

Too many healthy carbs: depression.

No carbs: suicide; don’t do it!!

Remember that.

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Vanilla Cupcakes for Two

8 Dec


Believe it or not, this gal had to produce a dinner for two. Not too romantic. Just nice. Impressive. Cooking for someone for the first time is a daunting task. You have to pull out all your tricks. You have to make it seem like it was no big deal. You have to look good.

I totally looked good. Dinner was a roasted buttercup squash, goat cheese and prosciutto galette with thyme and vanilla pepper…..served with a simple arugula salad. I had some awesome beer for accompanying drinks…magical.

Dessert! That’s where I was lost. What to make? Not too romantic….too soon. Not too lame….cookies just won’t do. Impressive. Easy.

Cupcakes for two. I found a recipe that makes just two cupcakes.

How perfect! Some awesome icing, a cupcake decoration competition…this was the best way to end the evening.

The best part about this recipe is that you can make it in one bowl….with a fork. No beaters. No creaming butter.

You can make them fancy….stuff them with blueberry curd and lime-salted caramel icing.

Or leave them plain! Nothing like vanilla with some chocolate icing. Or even just a simple glaze. The choice is yours!

And!!! None left to taunt you and make you stuff too many cupcakes into your face. Or does that only happen to me?

FYI…the suitor never made it past round two. I did not approve.

Vanilla Cupcakes for Two

from here

1 egg white
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 heaping teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line your muffin tin with two liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg white and sugar until thoroughly combined. Whisk in butter and vanilla until fully incorporated. Add in flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir until completely incorporated. Stir in milk.

Divide the batter between the two liners, and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until cake is set.

Pretzel-Studded Peanut Butter Cookies

1 Dec

The running track at the YMCA is really nice. It has good floors and some nice big windows to look out of.

However…it is usually still dark outside when I’m there and there’s not much to see at first….until the sun rises…

The elderly tend to hog the lanes and ignore the signs about the passing lane…

There are some really annoying folk who think that they can catch up to you and strike up a conversation at 6am while you try to listen to the final chapter of your Sherlock Holmes audiobook. (Don’t judge me)

It tends to get a little boring. I’d rather the running track than the treadmill but I still get pretty bored. Sometimes I listen to my iPod. That helps. But my mind wanders!

Come back mind!!! Hey where are you going? No no….don’t go there….DON’T! I haven’t eaten breakfast yet! Ohhh you jerk. You went there: food fantasies.

These cookies were developed while my poor calves pushed through the pain for the last 10 minutes of my workout.

Everyone likes pretzels, right? Salty, goodness. Everyone HAS to like chocolate covered pretzels….right? One of my many weaknesses. Now. What happens when you put them in cookies? Peanut butter cookies. Peanut butter and chocolate go together right? And pretzels and peanut butter could definitely be friends. In cookie form, this new group of friends is probably killer.

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