Ultimate Salted Caramel and Pretzel Icebox Cake {NO Bake}

It’s hard to believe that the base of this cake is essentially made with two ingredients.  It’s a wafer cookie and whipped cream dream that is the perfect summer time treat because it’s a quick no bake dessert.

It’s kind of the perfect canvas for some over the top toppings.  A few salted pretzels, some Godiva Chocolate pieces and life changing Salted Caramel Sauce.   Perhaps even world-changing Salted Caramel Sauce.  It’s seriously that good.

icebox cake

Something kind of magical happens with this cake.  It goes into the fridge as a stack of layered cookies and whipped cream and comes out as a soft and sweet cake.  It takes merely minutes to assemble, is a make ahead dessert and looks like a million bucks.  All of this chocolate loving goodness and I didn’t spend a moment near the oven.  This seems too good to be true friends, but I assure you, you will be as gobsmacked as me the first time I made this, at the ease with which this cake is prepared.

Impress your guests with it and we’ll keep this information just between us.

ice box cake

There are so many possibilities with this confection that I had a hard time deciding on a flavor this time.  It’s the Salted Caramel Sauce that got me.   Drizzled atop fluffy whipped cream, chocolate chunks and salty pretzels? I’m in! I have to limit the times that I make this sauce because I absolutely obsess about it until every drop is gone.  Perhaps the caramel sauce drizzled on my breakfast toast was my first indication that I may have a problem.  Or the kids staring at me, mouth agape as I did so, that was a bit of an eye opener.  Oh but that sauce!

icebox cake

The cake can be layered individually as mini cakes, in a rectangular pan or on a platter as I’ve done here.  I simply layer cookies and cream, kind of eye-balling for level layers, until I run out of ingredients.  The whole cake can be iced, once chilled, with a layer of whipped cream but I usually choose to skip this step.   It is also equally as good with fresh seasonal fruit on top.  Think of digestive cookies with brown sugar whipped cream and fresh peaches.  Or vanilla wafers with mascarpone whipped cream and dark sweet cherries.   How about more chocolate layers with a mocha whipped cream and chocolate shavings? Ginger cookies with cinnamon whipped cream and pears?

Friends, I do believe I have an Icebox Cake book in me just dying to get out.

icebox cake

Happy summer everyone,

Renee

xo

 

Icebox Cake

  • 3 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • approx. 2 packages of chocolate wafer cookies
  • salted pretzels for garnish
  • Godiva Milk Chocolate Bar, 100 gr, broken into pieces
  • Salted Caramel Sauce for drizzle (recipe below)

1.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the whipping cream and whip until foamy.  Add the powdered sugar and whip until soft and billowy and soft peaks form.  Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.

2.  On a platter, start with a thin layer of whipped cream.  Top with a layer of wafer cookies.  Continue to layer whipped cream and cookies, making sure to leave enough whipped cream for the top layer.  Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight for best results.   Before serving top with pretzels, chocolate pieces and caramel sauce.

 

Easy 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.

 

17 Comments

Filed under Cake

Beer and Buttermilk Crêpe Cake

Strawberries are in season and I can’t tell you how excited this house is about that.  We eagerly await the arrival of local berries, that make their appearance in early summer.   It means that soon to follow are other local goodies that we are so fortunate to gather from passionate farmers in our area.  How lucky are we!

crepecake

Recently I made a Crêpe Cake to showcase some of the gorgeous juicy berries that I purchased at market.  This is a great make ahead dish that would be stunning served on any brunch table or as dessert with a cup of coffee.  It’s light and airy and full of paper-thin crêpes stacked up high to highlight all of that delicious fruit.

The crêpes couldn’t be easier to make, and the addition of a light, hoppy lager makes them even more delicate and airy (yes, beer for breakfast can be good).   Don’t worry, although they do have great flavor, they don’t taste like beer.  The batter also includes tangy buttermilk and is best when made ahead and left to rest in the refrigerator for a few hours.   The crêpes themselves can also be made ahead, up to 48 hours, and layered between sheets of parchment paper until ready to use.  I would recommend this step as a time saver!   The cake is just a simple process of layering the crêpes with the filling of your choice.  Hazelnut spread is an all time favourite, but to keep the cake nice and light I opted for a simple banana pudding and whipped topping filling.

crepe cake

I just happily layer and fill, layer and fill, until I run out of filling.  I’m pretty sure this time I was close to eighteen crêpes in all when I was finished the cake.  Assembly took about 20 minutes total and I left the cake in the refrigerator until dinner time.  Minus the slice I removed, and ate, to photograph for you.

Geez Louise the things I do for you.

crepe cake

Just the smell in the kitchen when making these, reminded me of a trip I took to Paris a few years ago.  My girlfriend took me to the Eiffel Tower for my birthday and immediate crêpe eating ensued.    I believe at one point I had a savory crêpe in one hand and a sweet one in the other.  Life is grand.

Happy Summer,

Renee

xo

fruit

 

Sweet Crêpe Batter

adapted from Jehnee’s Crêpe Recipe from http://www.thekitchn.com

*makes approximately 25 crepes

4 cups warm buttermilk
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 teaspoons sugar
6 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoon oil
1 cup light lager

Banana Filling

1 pkg instant banana pudding (or flavor of choice)

1 3/4 cups milk, cold

1 1/2 cups whipped topping

fruit for garnish

 

1.  Melt the butter and warm the milk in a microwave safe dish. Meanwhile, mix flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer for a few seconds to combine.  Make a well in the flour mixture, pour eggs and oil into the well and beat on medium speed until combined. Slowly add the melted butter and milk mixture and mix until batter becomes uniform in texture.   Stir in beer, until just evenly incorporated (don’t overmix). Refrigerate the batter, covered with plastic, for 8 hours or overnight, if you can.

2.   Pour  1/3 cup batter onto a smoking-hot pan (my pan was about 8″ wide), swirling the batter to create an even surface.  Cook for approx. 2 minutes on the first side (look for a golden brown colour), then about 30 seconds on other side. Layer crêpes between sheets of parchment paper.  Refrigerate crêpes until needed (I put mine in a resealable bag).

3.  When ready to assemble, make the banana filling.  Mix milk and pudding for 2 minutes.  Fold in the whipped topping.  Layer crêpes on a cake platter, starting with a crêpe and spreading about 1 1/2 tbsp. of banana filling on top.  Layer with another crêpe and continue on until you run out of filling.  Left over crêpes can be frozen for later use.  Refrigerate cake for at least 2 hours or more.  Top with whipped topping and fresh fruit just before serving.

 

13 Comments

Filed under Cake

Dreamy Rhubarb Ice Cream Tarts

Summer is fast approaching friends, and I couldn’t be happier.   I’m sure I’m not alone when I say it’s by far, my favourite time of year.   It’s BBQ season and time for visiting with friends.  It’s beach time.  Pool time.  S’mores time.

Dreamy Rhubarb Ice Cream Tarts time.

rhubarbicecream

I want to make dishes to share with my friends and family, that don’t leave me stranded in the kitchen.   I love this recipe for Rhubarb Ice Cream because it requires no ice cream maker or custard base at all.  But it tastes churned people!  It tastes creamy and sweet just as it should, with only minutes to prepare.

Each bite is slightly tart and sugary sweet.   There are ribbons of roasted pink rhubarb throughout.  The addition of a graham tart shell, pistachios, whipped cream and strawberries just simply put this over the top.   But don’t stress, this is just as sublime and refreshing when scooped into a cone or bowl.

rhubarbicecream

Did I mention that this only takes moments to prepare?

Make it, and I have the feeling you might just break up with your ice cream maker for the summer.

Happy summer friends,

Renee, xo

rhubarbicecream

 Dreamy Rhubarb Ice Cream Tarts

*ice cream recipe adapted from Taste of Home

*makes 9 3″ tarts or about 4 cups of ice cream

Ingredients:

  •  3 cups sliced fresh rhubarb
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 9- 3 inch graham tart shells
  • 1 cup chopped pistachios
  • strawberries for garnish
  • whipped cream or whipped topping for garnish

Preheat oven to 375°

1.  Mix the rhubarb and sugar and place in a shallow baking dish (lined with parchment for easy cleanup!).  Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.  Allow to cool slightly and then puree or mash. I prefer slightly chunky.  refrigerate until cool.  Stir lemon juice into rhubarb mixture.  Set aside.

2.  Beat the cream until stiff peaks form (I also added a drop of pink food gel colour here); fold into rhubarb mixture.  Freeze for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.  Pipe or spoon into ready-made tart shells.  Freeze overnight or until firm.  Garnish with whipped cream, strawberries and chopped pistachios Allow to sit for 5 minutes to soften slightly before serving.

pic4

 

 

 

 

11 Comments

Filed under Ice Cream

Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookies {Loaded With Walnuts and Cranberries}

I bet if I polled every follower of SweetRevelations, you would all have your version of the best Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.  Every home has one, that ultimate Chocolate Chip recipe that no one can beat.  It might be flat and crispy or thick and slightly chewy in the middle.   You may have a whole system down for how to produce the most amazing chocolatey bite; use only dark brown sugar, butter is a must, refrigerate a minimum of one hour before baking, stand on tip toes, tap heels three times and voila! The whole family is delighted and rejoicing in the joy that only this classic cookie can bring.

If you don’t have one, I wonder if you’ve made endless batches on a quest for the perfect recipe?

chocchip

I present to you my version of the Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookie that is loaded with walnuts and cranberries.  It’s my go-to, Sunday baking, soul soothing recipe, that’s super thick, crisp on the outside and slightly soft inside.  You might be questioning the cranberry but I urge you to give it a shot.  It just adds an extra chewy bit of sweetness that compliments the chocolate chunks so well.  Warm from the oven, these are the very definition of comfort food.

cookie

All kidding about the heel tapping aside, I do believe the addition of molasses and chilling the dough is what puts these bakery style cookies over the top.  I dare say I’ve found the perfect recipe.  The batter is on the larger side and will produce close to 40 big cookies.  You can bake what you need now and easily freeze dough balls to pop in the oven at a later date.

Life is simply just better with milk and cookies!

splash

Do you have the ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe?  I would love it if you would share your favourite Chocolate Chip Cookie secrets with me!

Happy baking!

Renee

xo

 

Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookies

*adapted from Baking Illustrated

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1  1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp. molasses
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1  1/2 cups chocolate chunks, semi sweet
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325°

1. Melt butter and set aside to cool slightly.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

2. Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, combine the sugars and the butter and mix well.  Add eggs, yolks, vanilla and molasses.  Mix until well incorporated.  Add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.  Stir in chocolate, walnuts and cranberries.

3.  Refrigerate the dough for an hour.  Using a cookie scoop (mine is 2″ in diameter), scoop chilled dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 18 mins. Let the cookies rest on the sheet for about 2 mins.  Store in an airtight container.

13 Comments

Filed under Cookies

Love Cookies

You know the saying, that as you get older, you open your mouth and your mother comes out?   I would’ve sworn on my life as a teen that this would never happen to me, that it couldn’t, wouldn’t be how I would parent.  Speed ahead 30 years later and lo and behold I was blessed with three amazing children of my own and I’ve seen my mother in a whole new light.

I should say to her, thank you for loving us as deeply as you did and I’m sorry for all the trouble I gave you.

Oh, and you were right.

top

Mom scratch baked for us every single week-end.  Tunes always blaring in the kitchen, she made the best meals and treats.   I have vivid memories of standing on a chair and helping her roll dozens of cookies in sugar.  These Love Cookies were a regular during our childhood.  They aren’t really cookies, they’re made in bar form, and I’ve never seen another recipe similar.  Waiting for the glaze to set while they were still warm was a killer but mom usually cut a little warm piece off for us.

When I make these now, I often eat a piece or two (sometimes a row!) right after it’s been glazed.   It takes me right back to that little kitchen of my childhood, and to mom, within minutes.

stack 2

These are full of walnuts, cinnamon and raisins.  They are baked on a sheet pan and topped with a sweet glaze while still warm.  When the glaze sets, it leaves a gorgeous crackly layer on top.

I have no idea where this recipe came from, but I’m pretty sure of the Love in the name.

Thanks mom. xo

loveslice

Do you have a recipe that takes you right back to your moms kitchen?  I would love to hear about it!

Happy Spring!

Renee

 

Love Cookies

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup+ 1 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp water, divided
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup cold milk
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

1.  In a medium saucepan combine sugar, cinnamon, 1/2 cup butter, raisins and 1 cup water.  Mix well.   Combine baking soda and remaining tbsp water and stir until soda dissolves.  Add to the raisin mixture and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.  Boil for 5 minutes stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, add the walnuts and set aside.

2.  Mix flour and baking powder and add to the raisin mixture.  Stir just until combined.  Spread onto 10 x 15 cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake for 25-27 mins until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Watch carefully at 25 minutes as these can over bake quickly.

3.  In a small bowl combine the milk, tbsp of melted butter, icing sugar and vanilla.  Whisk any lumps out and spread over cookies while still warm.

 

 

 

 

 

28 Comments

Filed under Cookies

Brownie Bottom Speckled Egg Easter Ice Cream Cake

Happy Monday friends!  Today was the first day back to work after our March Break.  Nine days off to sleep in, read great novels, recipe test and repeat!  While we didn’t take off to anywhere for the holidays it was certainly nice to catch up with friends and not have the morning rush out the door!

Speaking of being rushed, I’m always thinking of ways that I can satisfy my family’s love of dessert while enjoying the holidays. Easter is fast approaching and with that comes some menu planning.  My goal is to do as much work ahead as possible so I can enjoy my time with those around me.  This Brownie Bottom Speckled Egg Easter Ice Cream Cake, or BBSEEICC for short, seems to be just the ticket.

cake

If there’s one thing this whole house can agree on it’s ice cream.  Remember this Salted Caramel Ice Cream Cake?   I’m still dreaming about it.  It was pure ice cream decadence with very little prep.   This Speckled Easter Cake is too, the only difficult part is deciding what flavours to use.  Honestly, I’m not EGGS- aggerating, the sky’s the limit here with flavour possibilities!

cake top

I used just a simple brownie base with layers of chocolate, chocolate ganache and vanilla ice cream. I’ve come to love the simplicity of this lightly tinted whipped cream icing along with some gorgeous spring blue speckled eggs on top.  It’s a small 6″ cake, just enough for us for dinner without all of the crazy leftovers ~ not that anyone would be complaining.  If you’ve been following me for a while you know that my favourite family cake size is a 6″ pan.  It’s the perfect size for this family of five along with the few extra friends that are often at the dinner table.

slice

I know I’ve said this before but ice cream certainly doesn’t only need to be a summer treat.  It’s a favourite in this house all year-long.  So much so that I’ve been known to hide the containers at the very bottom of the deep freeze in the hopes that teenage hands won’t find them and they’ll stick around for a while.   You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.

 

Happy Easter everyone and have a blessed spring.

Renee

xo

 

Brownie Bottom Speckled Egg Easter Ice Cream Cake

Brownie Layer

*this makes 2 6″ layers – I used one and froze the other for later

*from Kraft Foods

  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup  milk
  • 1 tsp.  vanilla
  • 1 cup  flour
  • 1/2 tsp.  salt

PREHEAT oven to 350°F.

1.  Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl for 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.   Add the sugar and mix well.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition just until blended.  Add the milk and the vanilla and mix well. Combine flour and salt.  Add to chocolate mixture, mixing just until blended. Spread evenly into two greased and floured 6″ springform pans.  Bake 20 minutes and set aside to cool.

 

Chocolate Ganache

In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup heavy cream just to a boil over medium-high heat. Put 6 oz  bittersweet chocolate in a heatproof medium bowl and pour the boiling cream over the chocolate. Let it sit until the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Stir the mixture with a spatula until the ganache is smooth.  Allow to cool.

Whipped Cream Icing

* don’t make this until you are ready to ice your cake

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • few drops of teal gel colour

1.  .   In a medium bowl whip the cream until soft peaks form.  Add in sugar and mix well.  Add in teal tint.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Cake Assembly

*need two cups of premium vanilla and two cups of premium chocolate ice cream (or flavours of your choice), slightly softened.

1.  Cover the cooled brownie layer with a layer (approx. 2 cups) of ice cream, using a piece of saran on top to evenly distribute the layer with your hands.  Cover and freeze until ice cream is firm.  Spread the ganache on top of the firm ice cream layer and return to the freezer until firm.  Spread the remaining 2 cups of ice cream on top of the ganache and return the cake to the freezer for 6 hours or more to harden.

2.  Remove the cake from the freezer and use the Whipped Cream Icing to ice the entire cake.  Mix a 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract with a few drops of water.  Use a small paintbrush to flick drops of the vanilla on to the cake and make a speckled look.  Top with some chocolate speckled eggs.  Return the whole cake to the freezer until needed.  The cake should sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving (to soften the cake slightly but not long enough to melt the ice cream).

13 Comments

Filed under Cake, Ice Cream

Apple Coffee Cake

This cake is kind of confusing….

It’s a coffee cake, made with a sweet buttery brioche dough, full of apple slices, and topped with an oat streusal topping.

It’s kind of like an apple crisp.

It’s kind of like a coffee cake.

It’s kind of like a sweet bread.

It’s kind of awesome!

cake

If you’ve been following me for a while you know about my love affair with bread (this is awkward because I believe I’m also having an affair with chocolate, cake and frosting…but let’s carry on).  I started making bread several years ago and it’s something I still love to do.  There’s nothing quite as gratifying.  Honestly, don’t let  yeast scare you.

I’ve made this several times and I’ve never made the same cake twice.  It’s made with Brioche Dough from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes.  These folks aren’t lying, they’ve really created some masterpiece yeasted doughs that literally take only five minutes prep.  This is one of my books that is completely dog-eared and never leaves the kitchen.   The dough can be made up to five days ahead and refrigerated.  At a moments notice you have a rich, buttery Brioche Dough ready for this Apple Coffee Cake, sticky buns or doughnuts.   The options are endless!

 

slice

I added pepitas, dried cranberries and walnuts along with the apple to the cake this time.  My last one had blueberries and pecans.  Both were sensational.   The cake is fully assembled and then left on the counter to rest for a little over an hour.  Then it’s into the oven and done in an hour.  Nothing to do after but wait for it to cool so you can cut it and enjoy it.

That’s my kinda cake.  Uh bread.  Umm Apple Crisp?!  You get the idea.

I’m sharing the link here to the BreadIn5 website,  for their Brioche Dough.   You will not find a simpler recipe for Brioche Dough anywhere.  Just mix it and leave it, literally.   The following is the recipe for the cake.

Apple Streusal Coffee Cake

*adapted from BreadIn5

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup large flake oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 1 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1.  To make the streusel, place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix until combined.  Set aside.

For the Cake:

  • 1 pound of the chilled Brioche Dough
  • 2 1/2 small apples thinly sliced – I used honey crisp apples
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • streusel topping (above)

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350° and grease and flour an 8 x 3 inch cake pan or springform pan.

1.  Mix the apple slices, cranberries and brown sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

 

2. Split your pound of brioche dough into two equal pieces.   Roll out each piece to be a circle slightly larger than the cake pan.  Place one dough circle in the bottom of the pan.  Top with half of the apples and 3/4 cup of streusel.   Place the remaining dough circle on top and layer again with apples and the remaining streusel.

3.    Let the cake rest, uncovered, for an hour and 20 minutes.  Bake for approx. 45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

4.  If you used a cake pan, invert the cake onto a plate and then quickly invert back to a cake plate.

 

Enjoy!

Renee

 

30 Comments

Filed under Cake, Scones and Breads

Self-Saucing Pear and Whiskey Cake

I asked my husband this week-end if he ever had self-saucing cakes as a boy.  He had never heard of such a thing.  Same with the moms I asked at the arena.  They had no idea what I was talking about.

top 2

It’s right up there with moms heart-shaped cookies she used to put in our lunch or the sweet apple strudel she would buy as a treat on the week-ends sometimes.  Those magical boxes of mix that would bake with a warm, bubbling sauce on the bottom and a moist, warm cake layer on top?

close

I tried a scratch version last week-end that was insanely good and brought back all the comfort of eating desserts as a kid at mom’s house again.

Minus the whiskey…..

scoop

It was a last minute decision to generously splash some whiskey into the caramel sauce on the bottom.  I can’t even tell you how much I used.  But I could taste it in there!  It complimented the spicy cloves and pears perfectly and left the most amazing caramel whiskey sauce on the bottom.

The perfect treat on a freezing winters night.

pears (1)

Have you ever eaten Self-Saucing Cake?  Do you make a dessert that takes you right back to your mom’s kitchen table?

Enjoy!

Renee

 

Self-Saucing Cake with Pears and Whiskey

* this made 8 1-cup ramekins (probably could’ve got 9 with less overflow) or would work well in a deep dish pie plate

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1-2 sliced green or red pears

For the sauce:

  • 1.5  tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 3/4 c water
  • 3 tbsp whiskey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Lightly spray baking dishes with non stick spray and place on a cookie sheet.

1. For the cake:  In a medium bowl mix the flour, spices and baking powder; set aside.  In another bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy.  Add the eggs and vanilla.   Add the flour mixture to butter in thirds, alternating with milk, and beginning and ending with the flour.  Mix just until incorporated.  Fill the ramekins just slightly over half full.  Top each with pear slices.

2. For the sauce:  In a microwave safe bowl heat the sugar, butter and water until mixture is steaming hot and sugar/butter is melted.  Stir in whiskey.  Immediately pour over cake and pears in the ramekins, dividing evenly amongst the dishes.

3.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, until skewer comes clean when inserted into the cake.  Let sit for 5 minutes and eat warm.  Delicious with a scoop of ice cream on top too!

 

 

12 Comments

Filed under Cake, Sauces and Syrups

Triple Chocolate Candy Cane Biscotti

I’m enjoying the last few days of hustle and bustle around here as we get ready for the holidays.   Lots of baking to do, lots of presents to wrap and all of the other preparations that go along with it.  All three kids are in the house at the moment and I love every minute of it.

bisc

Without a doubt, baking Christmas Biscotti is on my list of things to do.  When I had the bake shop I gave a ribbon wrapped bag of biscotti to every customer that came in on Christmas Eve.  Even now I like to attach a little bag to the presents I give out.  It’s a great little gift and something that can be prepared well ahead of time.  This one is a Triple Chocolate Candy Cane Biscotti.  A twice baked batch of crunchy chocolate goodness full of Lindt Bittersweet chunks and drizzled with melted White Chocolate.  Sprinkle some crushed candy cane on top and catapult yourself right to the top of the nice list!

bisc 3

 

This recipe is super chocolatey without being really sweet.  These are definitely dunkers and I would put them in the extra-crispy category too.  I always have some flavour of biscotti in the house and I’ve gotten into the habit of eating a piece or two with my tea after dinner.

Come to think of it, I usually keep a piece or two in my lunch bag too.  And I often snag a piece to have with my coffee when I’m driving the boys to the hockey arena.

Geez Louise, I have a slight cookie and coffee addiction it seems.

bisc 2

 

I hope that you have a wonderful holiday, wherever you may be.  I feel very lucky to have the time at home with my family and friends ~ and you!   As always, thank you for another great blogging year.  Your comments and support continues to amaze me.

Blessings for a great 2015!

Renee

 

Triple Chocolate Candy Cane Biscotti

*adapted from David Lebovitz- David does not use butter in his recipe, you can certainly omit it.

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of butter, melted
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks
  • 4 oz. white chocolate for drizzle
  • crushed peppermint candy canes to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla and peppermint extract and mix until combined.  Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined.  Mix the chocolate chunks in by hand.

2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Divide the biscotti mix into two logs directly on the cookie sheet (you can just form one wide log if you want long cookies -about 6 inches wide).  The logs should be 1.5 inches high and about 3 inches wide.  If you wet your hands slightly it’s easier to form and smooth out the dough.  Make two even logs.

3.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and turn the oven temperature down to 300 degrees.  Let the biscotti cool on the cookie sheet for about 10 minutes.   Transfer the dough to a cutting board and cut the biscotti into slices (3/4 inch wide).  A serrated knife works best.  Place the cookies upright back on the cookie sheet, leaving about 1/2 and inch between each cookie.  Bake them for an additional 30 minutes until crisp.

4.  Melt the white chocolate over a bain marie.  Drizzle the cooled biscotti with the melted chocolate and sprinkle with candy canes.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

14 Comments

Filed under Cookies

Easy Gingerbread Snowmen Cookies

Happy Saturday everyone!

If you’ve been following me for a while then you know that my job during the day is working in a classroom with 9 of the most amazing children.  They’re all so different and have taught me some sort of lesson about myself or life in general.  I truly enjoy being with them each day.

snowmanwithwords[1]

The past few weeks in our room have been all about the holiday season and the magic of winter.  We recently did a snowman art project and I thought it was so cute that I copied it in cookie form for them.  They were pretty impressed and I was too~ it was incredibly easy!  How cute are these snowmen cookies who are gazing up at the snowflakes falling from the sky?  Pretty whimsical and a great gift idea or classroom party snack.

Did you know that you can place a fondant decoration on top of hot cookies right out of the oven and they will mold perfectly on top?  Nothing else required!   The longest part of the cookie prep is making the fondant decorations for the top.   After that, things move pretty smoothly.

First off, here are the items you need:

pieces[1]

  1. Gingerbread recipe (see below)
  2. Round cookie cutter
  3. White, blue and orange fondant
  4. Fondant roller
  5. Black sugar pearls – I used 4 mm
  6. Card stock with snowflakes painted on (if you’re giving the cookies as gifts)- I used white food colour gel and the back of a paintbrush

 

Start by rolling out your cookie dough and using the cookie cutter to cut out all of your cookies.  Place them on trays in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.  Use the fondant roller to roll out the white fondant (a bit of Crisco on the counter top stops it from sticking).  Use the same cookie cutter to cut out as many white circles as you have cookies.  Place them under some Saran or a fondant mat to keep the fondant from drying out (single file).  Meanwhile, start the scarves.  Roll out the blue fondant and cut two strips for the scarf, using a knife to cut the end tassels.  Put a little bit of water on your finger and rub it on the bottom side of the scarf to help it adhere to the white fondant (very little water is needed).  Place the scarf on the white circle as shown in the picture below.  Cut the corners to keep the snowman round.

pieces 2[1]

Roll out the orange fondant and cut out some carrot noses with a knife.  Keep all fondant under the Saran to keep it from drying out.  Now you can start baking and assembling!  As soon as the cookies come out of the oven start placing the snowmen on top.  Once you’ve covered the whole tray of hot cookies with the fondant rounds, you can start pressing in the black pearls for the mouth.  Carrot noses will stick on with just a smidge of water.

collage[1]

Tah dah!!  Looks great right?  For packaging I simply placed a cookie on a piece of blue cardstock with some little white dots (I had some snowflake sprinkles to add too) and then in a cellophane wrap.  I must tell you that the cookies were a big hit although they need to be handled with care as the noses can be fragile.  When I do them again I will move the noses down just a hair so that they aren’t sticking out as much.

finished[1]

And that’s it.  A fun baking project that you can do with your own children or just to give to the very special children in your life!

plate[1]

Now go forth and create my little snowflakes!  Use your imagination and have fun!

Renee

 

Gingerbread Cookies

*Martha Stewart

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  •  2 teaspoons ground ginger
  •  2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  •  3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 /2 teaspoon finely ground pepper
  •  3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  •  1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  1. Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in spices, salt, eggs and molasses.   Add flour mixture and mix on low until just combined. Divide dough in half and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4-inch thick. Cut into circles with a 2.5″ cookie cutter. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate until firm or ready to use.
  4. Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, about 8 minutes. Cover immediately with fondant tops.

11 Comments

Filed under Cookies, Tutorial