Better Ginger Cookies

This week I’ve decided to showcase one of my earlier recipes, with a kind of rewind.  Mom’s Ginger Cookies make their appearance at every family get together.  I had them at my wedding.  I sold them in the bake shop.  It’s hands down my most favourite cookie, the recipe that literally ignited my love for baking and all things sweet.  Just the smell takes me home instantly.  Perhaps it has to do with the hours spent with mom in the kitchen, rolling cookies in sugar.  My innocent seven year old self, standing on a chair beside her, taking in her love and kitchen knowledge like a sponge.  The music was always playing loudly while we worked, moms foot tapping away.  The same scene still holds true for my baking today.


ginger cookies- SweetRevelations

I originally posted the recipe using butter and dark brown sugar.  But I’ve got to admit, that this is one of those times that mom was right, and the recipe really tastes best as originally written, with shortening and white sugar.   The shortening produces a better cookie in this instance, that has a nice rise, a slightly crispy first bite, with a tender, chewy center.  I’ve kept the crystalized ginger in there too, not one of moms additions, but it adds just an extra zing that is drool worthy!

ginger cookie - SweetRevelations


This is one of my go to recipes around the holidays, because these cookies are easily made ahead and frozen, with absolutely no compromise to taste.  They are an excellent addition to dessert trays, and a sweet and spicy hostess gift, best delivered in a pretty holiday tin.  I almost always have a batch in my freezer.  Truth be told, I love to dip these frozen gems in hot tea.  Mom froze baked goods to keep us out of them, but I sneaked them just the same, and developed a love for frozen cookies and bars.  I’m guessing many of you did the same.

We’re heading full swing into holiday season every body.  This is one cookie tradition that is best left untouched.  Thanks mom.

Happy baking friends,



Ginger Cookies

Pre-heat oven to 325°

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger


1.   In a small bowl sift together the flour, soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt, set aside.  In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, sugar and molasses until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and mix well.  Slowly add dry ingredients into creamed mixture. Mix just until flour is combined.  Stir in crystallized ginger.   Shape into 1″ balls and roll in sugar (no need to flatten).

2.   Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about 2″ apart.  Bake for 14 minutes (exactly!).  Cookies will still be soft when they come out of the oven.  Leave cookies on pan for 2 minutes then move them to a cooling rack.


  1. For larger, bakery style cookies, roll into larger balls.  Simply increase your baking time by a few minutes.  I often make 2″ balls when baking for gifts.  I increase my baking time to approx. 18 minutes with the 2 minute rest on the cookie sheet.
  2. This recipe is easily doubled, even tripled.
  3. The cooled cookies freeze very well, for a few weeks.
  4. These cookies make the BEST s’mores!!








Filed under Cookies

Easy Pie Crust Recipe ~ For Perfect Pie Every Time! Featured Post

I am ecstatic that my Easy Pie Crust Recipe is being featured today at the fabulous online magazine Hello Creative Family!


If you haven’t checked them out, you must!  Crystal and Karen, from Hello Creative Family,  have created the go-to resource for parents looking to ignite their creative passion with simple, everyday and back-to-basics projects.   Their motto is all about living the handmade, homemade and heart-made lifestyle so parents can raise their children in a creative home. You’ll truly be inspired!

So follow this link (here), pay them a visit, and leave me some comment love over there too!

Happy pie making friends,




Filed under Pie

Mini Brownie Bottom Cherry Cheesecakes

It’s the week-end everybody!  And I can’t believe I’m saying this already, but we woke this morning to just a light dusting of snow on the deck.  Even though I find the first few snowfalls kind of exciting, I do feel that we seemed to have skipped fall entirely.  I’m hopeful that this was just a blip on Mother Natures part, and this week we will be back to crisp, windy, sunny fall days.

Yesterday I was sorting through my old bakery recipe book, looking for some inspiration, when I came across this recipe.  For those of you who might be new followers, I used to own a little bake shop and let that go so I could focus on my real love.  Which is you.  And blogging.  And creating.

And I’m so glad I did, because it’s given me so many new opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.  And not waking up at 3 am on Saturday mornings anymore is a major bonus.  I can tell you, your local baker is seriously sleep deprived friends.

mini cheesecakes, sweetrevelations

These Mini Brownie Bottom Cherry Cheesecakes were one of my most popular items in the fall and winter.  Still, when I run into some of my loyal customers, they bring up these cheesecakes and tell me how they miss them so.  They are a decadent treat that can easily be customized.  The brownie bottom is just the right amount of rich chocolate, paired with the creamy cheesecake topping and of course, the cherries on top.  This is also an amazing treat when you swap out the cherries for whole pecans and a good drizzle of homemade caramel sauce.

As you know, I love a dessert that can be made ahead and these are no exception.  Cheesecakes freeze very well, so can be prepared a week or two ahead of time if needed.   Just thaw, garnish with toppings and serve.

Reminiscing through my old book sure did make my heart skip a beat.  It was such a busy and exciting time in my life.  Even though I do miss the bake shop sometimes, I’m so happy that I get to share these recipes with you.  I’m exactly where I was meant to be.

Enjoy the fall weather friends,



Mini Brownie Bottom Cherry Cheesecakes

Brownie Layer

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt


Cheesecake Layer

  • 2 pkg (250 gr each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • cherry pie filling for garnish

Preheat oven to 350° and line 16 muffin cups with liners

  1.  For the brownie layer, mix the flour and salt in a small bowl and set aside.  Place a small glass or stainless bowl over a pot of simmering water and melt the chocolate and butter.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sugar, eggs and vanilla and whisk until well incorporated.  Whisk in the chocolate mixture and mix well.  Fold in the flour mixture with a spatula, just until incorporated.
  2. Spoon the brownie mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner.   Bake for 10 minutes and set aside.  Once baked, reduce the oven temperature to 300°.
  3. While the brownie layer is baking, prepare the cheesecake layer.  Beat the cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl for at least 4 minutes, or until smooth and well combined.  Add salt and vanilla.  Add the eggs, one at a time, only mixing until the eggs are combined.  Be careful not to over mix and add too much air.
  4. Top each brownie layer with the cream cheese mixture.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Turn the oven off, prop the oven door open just slightly with a wooden spoon and leave the cheesecakes inside until the oven cools (I just found the texture was a little nicer this way and the cheesecakes were less prone to cracking).  Put room temperature cheesecakes in the fridge to chill for 3-4 hours before topping and serving.
  5. Top chilled cheesecakes with cherry pie filling and serve.


  1. You can bake the cheesecakes without leaving them in the oven to cool.  Bake at 325° for approx. 25 minutes.  Cool to room temperature and chill.
  2. Once the cheesecakes have come to room temperature, they can be easily frozen for later use.  Place them in containers, in a single layer and wrap with plastic wrap.   Defrost and garnish with cherries just before serving.


Filed under Cake, Cup Cakes

Snickers Trifle Bowl {5 Minutes!}

This is probably the most epic 5 minute dessert I’ve ever made.

SweetRevelations Snickers Trifle Bowl

I always keep extra layers of cake in the freezer.  Always.  And this is one of those times that it has paid off.  Deliciously.  Epically. Decadently.  Honestly, the most stunning 5 Minute Trifle, that literally only took 5 minutes to prepare.

Listen baking friends, I think we’re on to something pretty amazing here.

SweetRevelations Snickers Trifle Bowl

I love trifle just as much as the next guy, but I’m rethinking the whole layering into one large trifle bowl thing.  I mean, once scooped out, they’ve lost all presentation appeal.  Am I right?  So I think we might have solved that problem, just in time for your next get together, since trifle is so easy to whip up and is the perfect make ahead dessert.  Why not just assemble in some pretty dessert bowls and leave them chilled until you’re ready to serve them?

oh yes, friends, and did I mention that these only take 5 minutes to prepare?  You are most welcome.

Happy week-end everyone!




Snickers Trifle Bowl {5 Minutes!}

*yield 5 dessert bowls

  • 2 pkgs instant chocolate pudding
  • 4 cups of evaporated milk (regular milk works too)
  • 1 chocolate cake layer, or store-bought chocolate pound cake, cut into cubes
  • 2 Snickers Bars, sliced
  • 1 cup chopped peanuts
  • whipped topping for garnish
  1. Whip the two packages of instant pudding with the evaporated milk for 2 minutes.  Divide among 5 dessert bowls.  Top with cubes of chocolate cake, slices of Snickers Bars, chopped peanuts and a dollop of whipped topping.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.


  1. Easily change up the trifle flavours.  Switch out for your favourite pudding, chocolate and cake flavours.  Use fruit as a garnish too.
  2. Did you know that you can substitute evaporated milk for regular milk in instant pudding?  It mixes up into a very creamy pudding.






Filed under Cake, Pudding

Spicy Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel

And so begins the season of pumpkin everything.  Some people celebrate their birthday month, but in this house, we rejoice in pumpkin month.  A celebration, all month-long, of how many recipes I can fit pumpkin into.

Isn’t it funny how the pumpkin craze becomes slightly over the top in October?  People are hoarding cans and cans of puree, and then for the rest of the year the poor pumpkin pie spice sits, untouched, literally ignored?  If you figure out what the deal is with that, let me know.

pumpkin cupcakes

I haven’t posted cupcakes in a long time, so I thought these Spicy Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel, would be the perfect start to pumpkin everything month.  Just as the name implies, it’s a spicy but super moist delicate pumpkin cupcake, with a gorgeous brown sugar swiss meringue swirl, and a sweet and salty pool of homemade salted caramel.    It’s the pumpkin and salted caramel combination that gets me every time.  Not to mention cloves and cinnamon.  I do love the smell of cloves.

pumpkin cupcakes

These pumpkin cupcakes are an excellent recipe that do double duty as easy muffins too.  I simply double the recipe and freeze half for lunches, because they freeze so well.  They are also an easy make ahead dessert, because every component can be prepared in advance.  Make and freeze the cupcakes until you need them, whip and refrigerate the icing a few days ahead, and keep that salted caramel in the fridge for up to a week!   Your prep time is literally only minutes when you need to ice and serve them.  For this reason alone, these are a superb choice for any Thanksgiving celebrations you might be preparing for.

pumpkin cupcake

And don’t be afraid to make your own pumpkin puree too!  Although I do love the convenience of canned puree, it is incredibly easy to buy pie pumpkins from market and make your own.

Now excuse me while I spend the next few hours scouring Pinterest for the next great pumpkin recipe.  Have you got one?  Share it with me in the comments!

Happy pumpkin baking friends,



Spicy Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350° and line two muffin trays with cupcake liners

  1.  In a small bowl mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves, set aside.  In a large bowl combine the sugar and oil.  Mix well.  Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.  Mix in the pumpkin puree.  Slowly add the flour mixture and stir just until combined.
  2. Fill tins with a 1/4 cup of batter or use a cookie scoop, to ensure all of the cupcakes are the same size.  The recipe will yield approx. 20 cupcakes.  Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Set aside to cool.

Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Frosting

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed and room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


1.  Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches) with a few inches of water.  Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low so water continues to simmer.

2.  In your stand mixer bowl, hand whisk the egg whites and sugar just until combined.  Place over simmering pot and whisk for approx 4 mins until the egg whites are hot (about 150 degrees).  The sugar should be dissolved by this time as well.  Place the bowl of eff whites on the stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment.  Whisk on medium until whites have increased in volume and the outside of the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch.

3.  Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment.  Beat on low-speed until mixture is completely cooled.  Increase speed to medium and add butter pieces one at a time.  Scrape the bowl and continue to beat until buttercream is glossy, smooth and thick.  It may separate at first, but continue beating and it will emulsify.  Add vanilla flavouring and pinch of salt and beat until combined.  Use immediately or refrigerate for a week.  Icing will need to be at room temperature and whipped for about 5 minutes if kept in the fridge.

Salted Caramel Sauce

*Cooking  Channel TV

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt

1.  In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.  Increase the heat to medium- high and bring to a boil, without stirring.  Use a wet pastry brush to wash down any sugar crystals on the side of the pan if you need to.  Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 7 minutes.

2  Remove mixture from the heat and very carefully whisk in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble a lot but keep mixing. Stir in the unsalted butter, and salt. Bring back to the stove on low heat and stir until you have a smooth sauce.  Allow the caramel to cool.   The salted caramel sauce will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.  Reheat for a few seconds before drizzling if needed.

Cupcake Assembly

Pipe an icing dam around the perimeter of the top of the cake, with a large round tip, leaving a hole in the middle.  Using a small spoon carefully drizzle salted caramel into the hole.  Top with raw pepitas for garnish.  Serve at room temperature.


Filed under Cup Cakes, Fondant and Icing, Sauces and Syrups

Reese Krantz Cake

It’s officially fall now, which means I start baking all of the glorious recipes that signify autumn (think pumpkin everything!) and I get back into the routine of baking different kinds of bread every week-end.  It’s something I’ve done for years, and a process that I get so much satisfaction from.   There are so many amazing yeasted bread and cake recipes out there to try, and literally nothing makes the house smell better!

Reese Krantz Cake

I do especially love to make yeasted coffee cakes, or sweet breads, for friends and company.  Krantz Cake is one such treat; a stunning, chocolate-y swirled, sweet yeasted cake that is rolled and twisted into a beautiful decadent loaf.  Once baked, it is brushed generously with a simple syrup that creates a shiny loaf that’s almost too pretty to eat!  I decided to make a Reese version, and bake it in a springform pan instead of a loaf pan, which created this gorgeous twisty cake.  The folks at Hershey’s Canada kindly sent me some Reese Spread to try, and I knew as soon as I licked that first spoonful, it was destined to be in a yeasted cake.

The process couldn’t be simpler, and I easily adapted my homemade white bread recipe to include more eggs and butter.  I left this rich egg-y dough to rise and then spread it with 2 gloriously chocolate-y, peanut-y, cups of Reese Spread and sprinkled it with chopped peanuts before baking.  Once out of the oven, I brushed it with a simple syrup and left it to cool.  I had to guard this warm, delicious cake with my life as others were eager to dig in!  Once cool, the flavor was just as I suspected, a sweet, soft yeasted cake full of little pockets of Reese peanut butter decadence.  Reese swirls everybody! Reese swirls!

Reese Krantz

Don’t be intimidated by working with yeast.  I used a rapid rise version, which requires no proofing and is simply added to the flour at the beginning of mixing.  Most Krantz recipes call for refrigerating the dough overnight, but I’ve opted to skip that step with outstanding results.   A stand mixer makes this process ridiculously easy and there is very little hands on time.  The dough has two rise times before baking, which leaves plenty of time to do other things in between.

Reese Krantz Cake

I’ve made this a few times already.  The last time I promptly divided the cake into thirds and delivered it to friends.  Honestly, something this good is meant to be shared.

Happy peanut-y, chocolate-y, finger licking Reese baking friends,


Reese Krantz Cake

  • 4 1/2 cups of flour (up to 5 cups if needed)
  • 2 tsp rapid rise yeast
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup milk, warmed to 110°
  • 1/2 cup soft butter cut into chunks
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups Reese Spread
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. chopped peanuts
  • 2/3 c water
  • 12 tbsp. sugar
  1. In a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, add two cups of flour, the yeast and honey.  Stir for about one minute.  Add another cup of flour, the milk, and salt.  Mix until dough starts to combine.  Add another cup of flour, the eggs (one at a time) and slowly add the butter.  Add the last 1/2 cup of flour and knead the dough for 3 minutes, adding an additional 1/2 cup if needed, just until the dough starts to pull away from the side of the bowl.  It will be tacky to touch.  Place the dough in a large bowl sprayed with non-stick spray, cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm, draft free area for 2 hours.  The dough will rise very little.
  2. After the first rise, roll the dough out, onto a floured surface, into a rectangle that is approximately 15″ x 20″, with the longest side facing you.  Spread the dough with the Reese Spread (right to the edges) and sprinkle with the 1/2 cup of chopped peanuts.  Roll the dough up into a long tight log and use both hands to even out the long piece.  Using a sharp knife slice the entire log in half (lengthwise), exposing the gorgeous layers of Reese Spread and dividing the log into two long halves.  With the cut sides facing up, gently press together one end of each half, and then lift the right half over the left half. Repeat this process, but this time lift the left half over the right, to create a simple, two-pronged twisted plait, keeping those Reese layers at the top.  Gently place this twisted dough into a well sprayed 10″ springform pan, winding it as best you can, to make it fit. Sprinkle with the remaining peanuts. Cover again with the tea towel and leave to rest for an hour.
  3. Bake at 375° for approx. 27 minutes.  While the cake is in the oven, make the simple syrup.  In a small saucepan bring the water and 12 tbsp. of sugar just to a simmer.  Remove from heat.  Once cake is removed from the oven, brush all over with most of the simple syrup while it’s still hot.  I didn’t use it all, there were a few teaspoons of syrup left when I was done.  Release the pan once the cake is cool.  This cake kept very well in a covered cake carrier for a few days.  It never lasted longer than that!


  1.  This cake can easily be made in two 9″ loaf pans.  Once the dough is twisted, cut it in half and place each piece in a well sprayed loaf pan.  Cover with a tea towel for an hour and bake as directed above.


*This post has been sponsored by Hershey’s Canada and I have been compensated both monetarily and with product.  All opinions here are my own.  I wouldn’t endorse any product unless I thought it was fantastic and I’m happy to share it with you!


Filed under Breakfast, Cake, Scones and Breads

Skillet Apple Scones {with Maple Butter Drizzle}

Fall is here which means it’s apple picking time everybody!  I’ve been heading to local markets every few days, to buy varieties picked fresh from our local orchards.  They’re so, so good.  Good for eating, amazing for baking.  It’s my favourite time of year, and means the leaves are turning colour, temperatures are changing and the days are getting shorter!  It’s truly the best time of year for baking.


As you know, I love my Sunday mornings and often I’m up before the others to bake something fresh.  I’ve posted my favourite scone recipe a few times, which is so versatile, and it’s easy to adapt the recipe to whatever fruit is in season (these Peach Scones are brilliant).  Apples are an excellent choice too!

I opted for baking in the skillet this morning, which makes for a beautiful presentation.  The scones are rustic looking and full of apple flavour and great texture.  Often people tell me they don’t enjoy scones because they find them dry.  These couldn’t be further from that, moist inside with chunks of cinnamon-y apples and drizzled with an amazing Maple Butter that a friend gave to me.


You don’t need to bake these in a skillet.  You can easily roll and cut them as I’ve done in this Glazed Cherry Almond Scone recipe.  Bake some now and throw the rest in the freezer for later.  They bake up perfectly, right from frozen, and make an excellent breakfast treat or fast dessert with tea when company arrives.

apple scone

Happy fall baking friends,




Skillet Apple Scones

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, frozen
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (full fat works best)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chopped apples mixed with 1 tbsp. brown sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • small apple sliced thinly for garnish
  • Maple Butter for drizzle

Preheat oven to 415°

1.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt.  Use a cheese grater to grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture.  Mix gently with a fork to coat the butter with the flour mixture.

2.  In a separate small bowl mix the buttermilk, sour cream and egg.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour buttermilk mixture in.  Mix gently to incorporate.

3.  Knead dough on a floured surface, maximum 1o times.  The idea is to knead very little to keep that butter cold.  As best you can, knead in the cinnamon apples.  Pat the dough into a circle about 6 inches in diameter.  Cut the dough into eight even wedges, but still keeping it in the circle shape.  Place the scones into a well seasoned skillet (a circle of parchment on the bottom works well too), and top each wedge with two apple slices.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until dough is cooked and scones are golden.  Eat warm and drizzle with Maple Butter.


  1.  My Maple Butter was from Gilbertson’s Maple Products.  Amazingly good.  My jar is hidden in the back of the fridge.  Some things aren’t meant to be shared, like colds, chocolate, bad photos, and really good Maple Butter.




Filed under Breakfast, Scones and Breads

Cranberry, Orange and Chocolate Biscotti

Biscotti is by far my favourite afternoon pick me up with tea.  I don’t bake it much in the summer, but as soon as fall rolls around it’s in the oven pretty much weekly.

biscotti sweetrevelations

When I owned the bake shop, I would make an enormous batch every Christmas Eve.  I always tied a clear bag that was full of biscotti, with some gorgeous Christmas ribbon, and gave it to my customers as they picked up their Christmas baking.  As a way of saying thank you for their patronage each year.  I keep a jar of Biscotti in the cupboard at work too.  I’m all for sharing!   Anyone is welcome to come and grab a piece with their afternoon tea.   It’s kind of like my way of spreading love.

Cookie love.  Chocolate-y, orange-y, crunchy cookie love.

biscotti sweetrevelations

The recipe is incredibly versatile.  I load chocolate chips, cranberries, dried apricots, pumpkin seeds, and nuts in them.  Whatever I have on hand at the time.  This particular version has dried cranberries, chocolate chips, and almonds.  I also, always add orange bakery emulsion or orange zest to the recipe.  It adds just a slight citrus note that makes each crunchy bite even more amazing.  Another fabulous combination includes almonds, white chocolate and dried apricots.  The combinations are endless!


Don’t be intimidated by Biscotti.  It couldn’t be any simpler.  The dough only bakes for about 30 minutes.  After that, it’s sliced up into those delicious dipping fingers and left in the oven for the rest of the night.  Other recipes usually call for a double bake, but I slice it up and put it back in the oven and turn the oven off.  Overnight, or several hours later when the oven has cooled down, the Biscotti are nice and crisp.  When I get up, I can throw them in the cookie jar and get on with my day.

One in hand, of course.

Happy Biscotti baking and coffee dipping friends,


Cranberry, Orange and Chocolate Chip Biscotti

*adapted from a recipe by Julie Van Rosendaal

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp orange bakery emulsion or orange zest
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350°.

  1.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the butter, sugar, eggs, orange juice, orange emulsion and vanilla until smooth.  Add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir just until combined – avoid over mixing. Add the almonds, cranberries and chocolate chips and gently fold in.
  2. I prefer my Biscotti pieces to be about 6-7 inches long.  Place all of the dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  With dampened hands (essential),  shape the dough into a rectangle about 6 inches wide and 12 inches long.  It should be just under an inch thick.  Do the best you can, you can’t go wrong here.  Similarly, if you prefer smaller cookies, shape the dough into two logs,  2-3 inches wide and  1 inch thick.  (You should be able to fit both on one same sheet.)
  3. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet, then carefully transfer the whole piece to a cutting board and cut on a slight diagonal into ¾-inch slices with a sharp or serrated knife.
  4. Place the Biscotti back on the cookie sheet, this time laying each piece on its side.  Put it back in the oven, and turn the oven off.  Leave overnight or for several hours without opening the door.   In the morning, you will have crispy Biscotti waiting for you! Store in a cookie jar for several weeks, if they last that long.





Filed under Cookies

Dutch Baby Pancake

We are a lazy Sunday morning kind of family.  Usually, we indulge in a brunch of some sort, that includes endless cups of premium coffee (because life is too short to drink bad coffee), crispy Canadian bacon and something sweet.  Sometimes,  it’s these doughnuts (insane) or these beignets (oh mercy) on the menu, depending on whether I was able to prep the night before.   More often than not, my husband will have pancake duty.  It’s entirely his job, always has been.  He’s good at it and I’m generally pretty useless until I’ve had a few servings of that premium coffee I was telling you about.


This week-end we threw a Dutch Baby Pancake  into the oven.  Sometimes called a German Pancake or a Bismarck, this is literally one giant egg-y, custard-y pan of Sunday morning awesomeness.  With only 5 ingredients, that virtually every household has, there really is no excuse for not making one.  If nothing else, get the kids involved and watch how delighted they are when the magic happens with this seemingly plain and boring batter.  Once fully baked, this Dutch Baby Pancake is a giant puff of sweetness that deflates moments after being out of the oven.

Have I mentioned that this takes only twenty-five minutes from start to finish?  And that it’s made in a blender?  That makes this totally doable on a weekday morning too.


Some seasonal fruit, a handful of nuts and a sprinkling of powdered sugar is really all that is needed for garnish (a dollop of whipped topping also never hurt anyone).   For something so simple, the results are deliciously outstanding and a great way to showcase some of our sweet, local peaches!


We’re gearing up for a hectic week of back to school routines here.  I hope you’re all enjoying the last few lazy days of summer too!



Dutch Baby Pancake

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • splash of vanilla
  • fruit, powdered sugar or maple syrup for serving

Preheat oven to 425°

  1.  Put the butter in the bottom of a 9″ pie plate or cast iron pan.  Set the pan in the hot oven to melt the butter while you mix the rest of the ingredients.
  2. In a blender, mix the eggs for about 1 minute.  Add the flour, milk and vanilla and mix for an additional 30 seconds to combine.
  3. Pour the batter into the pie plate with the hot melted butter.  Bake for 20 minutes, until the edge of the pancake is lightly toasted brown and the pancake is puffed up.  Resist the urge to open the oven door during baking.  Serve immediately with fresh fruit, maple syrup or powdered sugar.



Filed under Breakfast, Extra Special

Warm Skillet Butter Tart Bars

There are a few things some of us take seriously in this country.

Hockey.  The weather.  Politics.  Poutine.  Back Bacon.  Maple Syrup.  Nanaimo Bars (we made these first!).  Good beer.

And Butter Tarts.


It’s a classic Canadian treat, that is beloved for its flaky pastry filled with brown sugar, melted butter and syrup.   Most people have a preference about how they should be filled.  Raisins or no raisins.  Nuts or no nuts.  Made with maple syrup or corn syrup.  Runny or firm.  Some use currants or cranberries.  Perhaps a splash of Whiskey or Maple Whiskey.

There’s also the popular Butter Tart Bars, that have that gorgeous buttery, tender shortbread crust with all of that gooey Butter Tart goodness on top.  They are very easy to make, great for serving at parties and potlucks, and on the Christmas holiday baking list of moms all across this country.

Everyone, we have got this Butter Tart thing down to a science.


I for one, am a complete sucker for a warm Butter Tart Bar, slightly runny, filled with raisins and walnuts, with a splash of Maple Whiskey, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.  So baking a full on Butter Tart Bar in a skillet is only natural.  I  haven’t met anyone yet, who doesn’t swoon over the warm, buttery piece that comes out.  The scoop of ice cream, just pretty much takes it over the top.  Insanely, buttery, gooey, good.


I think most families have a recipe that’s been passed down.  Aside from all of the additions, the base recipe of Butter Tart Squares is essentially the same.  Instead of powdered sugar in my shortbread base, I use brown sugar.  I saw it used in another recipe for bars and have made shortbread crust that way ever since.

Do you love Butter Tarts as much as me?  What are your filling preferences?

Happy finger licking, slightly runny, full of raisins and walnuts, Butter Tart baking friends,




Warm Skillet Butter Tart Bars

For the Crust:

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the Filling:

  • 1-1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. Maple Whiskey (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°

  1.  In a medium bowl, combine the ingredients for the crust, using a fork or pastry blender.  Press into the bottom of a well seasoned skillet (I did a quick swipe of shortening around the sides first, very little) or baking pan lined with parchment.  Bake for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine the first six ingredients for the filling and mix until well combined.  Stir in the raisins, walnuts and whisky.  Pour the filling on top of the crust and bake for an additional 30 minutes.  Serve slightly warm with ice cream!


  1. This recipe can also be made in an 8 x 8 pan.
  2. Butter Tart Squares freeze very well.   If making ahead, bake in an 8 x 8 pan lined with parchment.  Freeze when cool.



Filed under Bars