Tuesday, April 16, 2019

No bake birds nest


Who doesn't like an easy no bake cookie?  Haystacks, macaroons, or frog cookies (are just a few names for this recipe) are a very quick and easy cookie to put together and I especially love to make them at least one time during the spring season because they make the cutest nest for the delicious mini egg.   Another bonus to this recipe is they are peanut-free so that means you can send them to school in your kids lunch box. 

Recipe 

1 1/4 cup sugar
5 Tbsp coco powder 
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups oats
1 cup flaked sweetened coconut 

1.  In a large pot over low heat combine sugar, coco powder, milk, butter and salt.  Bring to a low boil.  Once boiling allow to low boil for 3 minutes.  Stirring often. 
2. Remove from heat and add vanilla, oats and coconut until incorporated.
3.  Drop by the tablespoon onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.   To make the nest press into the middle of the cookie with a spoon but be careful not to break the shape (you might need to shape with your hand a little).  Place some colourful mini eggs into the centre of each nest and allow to cool and harden. 

These are best consumed the same day but will last stored in an air tight container. 

Monday, April 15, 2019

Bunny Cookies



These cute little bunny cookies are the perfect spring time cookie for Easter!   My kids loved getting these in their lunch boxes this week.  

Our very favourite sugar cookie recipe can be found over here!  These cookies are so quick and simple to mix up but they do require about 15 minutes in the fridge before you roll them out.  To dye them colours you simply add the colour you want just as the dough is coming together.   I personally like to use gel food colouring.  The colours turn out bright and vibrant and you don't have to use a lot to get the colour you want. You can make 2 different batches to make a lot of cookies or you can do what I did and separate the dough to get 2 colours from one batch.  




This is my all time favourite hack for rolling out cookie dough!!!  Lay out parchment paper then place down two paint sticks on either side of your dough.  Start rolling out your dough until your rolling pin sits evenly on both sticks.  This ensures that all your cookies are the same thickness, which in turns means they will have the perfect bake :)  If you want a thicker sugar cookie just double up the paint sticks and place 2 (one on top of the other) on either side. 





Cool your cookies on a wire rack.  Once they are cooled you can pipe a little "cotton" tail on these bunny cookies.  I used this delicious Vanilla butter cream icing from Sally's Baking Addiction and a  Wilton #1A tip.   On some of them I even added coconut to make them look more "fluffy".  



Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Homemade Hamburger Buns




I'm not sure if there is anything as delicious as fresh homemade bread straight out of the oven slathered in butter and dripping with Crosby's Molasses (ok maybe I had you until the molasses part, but trust me it is soooo delicious!)  I think with all our bread making we are beginning to get spoiled around here so let me tell you how happy I was to get this recipe from another mama friend of mine! 

These buns can be whipped up very quickly (40 minutes) and are the perfect match for burgers, sandwiches, and of course a favourite here pulled pork. 



The original recipe is from taste of home but here is my version of the recipe. 

Ingredients

2 Tbsp Active Dry Yeast
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp warm water (don't get too hot; it will burn the yeast)
Sprinkle of sugar 
1/3 Vegetable oil
1/4 cup Sugar 
1 egg
1 tsp salt
3 - 3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 

Melted butter
Course Salt 

1.  In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast, warm water and a sprinkle of sugar.  Let stand for 10 minutes or until it begins to froth.  Add oil, sugar, egg and salt. Mix with the dough hook.  Then add flour 1/2 cup at a time.  The dough will look every soft and sticky.  Keep adding flour until the dough begins to form and pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl. 

2.  Turn dough onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.  3-5 minutes.  Do NOT let rise.  Divid into 12 pieces and shape each into a ball. 
      *we have a kitchen scale so I weighed the dough, then divid it by 12, so all the balls areapproximately the same size.  But if you don't have a scale just eye ball it. 

3. Place the balls on a lined cookie sheet.  Cover and let rest 20 minutes.  

4.  Bake at 425 for 8-12 minutes (it only takes 8 minutes in my oven) or until golden brown. Brush the tops with melted butter and a sprinkle of salt. Remove from pans to wire rack to cool. 



Friday, February 22, 2019

S'more Party


S'mores are the ultimate summer time treat for us!  Our family loves all different kinds of s'mores.  With two of our birthdays in the summer a s'more party is right up our ally. 

First off for any of your kids who go to a party in the summer this S'more Fun basket is the best gift ever.  A personal cooking fork (for roasting marshmallows), Graham crackers, marshmallows and of course different flavoured chocolate bars.  I even looked up some different combinations and added a little menu card in the gift bucket. 


Now for the party!!!  Set up your serving station with different chocolate bars, graham crackers and marshmallows.  We have found that chocolate covered cookies also make perfect s'mores.  



Due to living in an area where we usually have fire bands, these propane fire pits are the best life saver for a s'more party during a band.  


My favourite s'more combination besides the original is one made with a peanut butter cup!  How about you? 


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Christmas Treats





I have been doing so much holiday baking this season that I thought I would take a minute to give you some of my favourite holiday recipes!    This is your one stop shop for all kinds of deliciousness, so get on your christmas clothing, crank up those christmas tunes and lets get baking! 




Here are 8 delicious Christmas goodies that you will want to whip up during the holiday season. 

Lets start with a family favourite.  The classic Christmas Sugar Cookie!   I love using this recipe because the dough takes only a few minutes to mix together and then I store it in the fridge, in a ziplock baggie, until I am ready to roll it out and bake the cookies.  

Other reasons why the sugar cookie recipe is amazing is because you can roll them out, cut into Christmas shapes then you have 2 options.  You can 1. sprinkle with coloured sugar and bake or 2.  bake and frost.  It is a win win recipe for people who love to frost cookies and those who would rather NOT. 


Sugar Cookies

1 cup margarine
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

1. Mix the first 5 ingredients together in a large bowl.

2. Blend together the dry ingredients and mix into first mixture.

3. With hands form dough into 2-3 dough balls and chill in the fridge (15- 30 minutes). This makes the dough easier to roll out.

4. Roll the dough out on a well floured surface ( parchment paper also works well but make sure it is lightly floured). Cut the dough with cookie cutters and place onto a cookie sheet.

5. Bake in Pre-heated oven (350) for 7-8 minutes.

Cookie Icing

2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
1-2 tbsp canned milk
1/2 tsp Coconut extract

Blend together butter and icing sugar. Then slowly add a little bit of canned milk at a time until you have a desired consistency.

Also this frosting taste so yummy when you add coconut extract to it. To make the different colours just put the icing into different bowls and add food colouring.

To top the cookies I love going to the bulk barn and picking up the sliver balls and sprinkles of every colour.


The best part about these cookies is once the icing is on you can chill them in the fridge for a 10-15 minutes then you can store them in the freezer. When you have guest coming over just pull them out over the Christmas holidays, put them onto a plate and there you go...cookies in no time!


Oh and if you want to know how to get your dough to be the same thickness use stir paint sticks on either side of your dough while you are rolling it out.  Consistent thickness helps ensure the prefect bake. 
  

The next family favourite that our kids love taking in their lunch boxes are the Candy Cane Crinkles.  



Oh... these Dipped Ginger cookies are a new family favourite, that look so festive and are amazing with a hot cup of tea.  I found the recipe over at Cooking Classy .  The only different thing I did was I coloured my left over white chocolate green to make the holly leaf but the red dots are red gel frosting that I purchased :) 




The beloved gingerbread is a holiday staple around here.  All those amazing christmas smelling spices are so heavenly when you are baking these up.   I have been using this recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction for a few years. 


Can it really be Christmas without the famous peanut butter ball?   These require a little more time to make but the best part is you can make these treats in stages.  It only takes a few minutes to combine all the ingredients and roll them into balls.   Once I have all the balls made, I pop them into the freezer until I have a little more time to focus on the dipping.    Freezing these helps to keep them firm while dipping so you don't have peanut butter mush. 


It is called Christmas Crack for a reason and this recipe (from my amazing sister-in-law) is the best one out there!!  It is a scrumptious combination of salty, crunchy toffee, and chocolate.  It only takes a few ingredients so what are you waiting for....go make some now. 





The Hello Dolly makes the prefect square on your christmas platter of treats.  These squares are very simple to make and are a HUGE crowd pleaser.   I used a family recipe from a friend to create my treats but this recipe is about the same.   The only changes I would make to the recipe is I buy crushed graham cracker crumbs and in my 9x13 pan I pour the melted butter in and then add my crumbs, stir and press firmly right into the pan. 




Now these Candied Pecans are my FAVOURITE!!  Like seriously I could eat these all day every day.   They are great for putting out when you have guest over or they make the prefect salad topper.  




Candied Pecans
1 egg white
1 Tbsp water
2 1/4 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 225
Combine the egg white and water in a mixing bowl and whisk until fluffy.
Fole in pecans. 
In a separate bowl combine sugar, salt and cinnamon.  Then dust the pecans evenly with the sugar mixture.  Spread the nuts over a prepared pan (a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper).  Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Cool on pan and store in air tight container.  




Thursday, November 15, 2018

One Hour Cinnamon Buns



These one hour cinnamon buns are a favourite in this house!  I love how they literally take one hour start to finish for the most light and fluffy cinnamon bun. 

1 package instant yeast (2 1/4 tsp) 
2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt 
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup sugar 
1 egg 

Filling 
1/4 cup soft butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract

Steps
1.  In the bowl of a mixer, combine flour, yeast and salt. 
2.  In a small microwave safe bowl, combine milk, water, butter and sugar.  Heat until mixture is hot and butter is almost melted (about 1 minute).  Gradually add the warm mixture to the flour mix while the mixer is on slow.   Add the egg and mix until a soft and sticky dough forms.  Let mixer run for about 4 minutes.  
3.  Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
4.  Knead by hand for 1-2 minutes.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. 
5. Once the dough has rested, roll it out on a floured surface until it measures a 16x9 rectangle.  Spread the soft butter over the rectangle.  Mix the rest of the filling ingredients (brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and almond extract) together in a medium sized bowl.  Spread the filling over the top of the large rectangle.  Tightly roll the dough, starting at the long edge, and cut into 12 pieces. 
6.  Place rolls into a greased 9x13 baking dish and cover with foil.  Turn OFF your oven and place the covered rolls inside to rise for 25 minutes. 
7. Remove from oven and turn the oven ON 375.  Once heated, remove the foil and bake the rolls for 15-18 minutes or until the centers are lightly golden brown in colour. 
8.  Remove from oven and allow to cool before frosting.  





So most of our family enjoys pecans in their cinnamon buns so this is a little trick I do :)  I put a little pile of pecans on the baking dish and then place the cinnamon roll onto of the pile. 




You can use a Vanilla glaze frosting for these buns or we love a cream cheese frosting!   And be sure to enjoy these warm with a hot cup of coffee...or tea. 




Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Unicorn Party


Are you ready to learn how to throw the best unicorn birthday party ever!!!  Grab a cup of coffee and let me share with you a few things I did this past weekend to throw a very magical unicorn birthday party!



I found this beautiful free unicorn banner over at sixcleversisters!  I downloaded the file to my computer then I sent it, online, to a local print shop to have printed.  They also had really cute party treat bag prints that I got to use as place markers around the table. 








I had the table all decorated when the girls arrived.  We found these cute thin party hats that the girls actually wore as unicorn horns!  I used the backs for the treat bag prints as place settings.  We didn't use just their regular names; we found a cute unicorn name print that uses the first letter of your name and your birthday to give you a special unicorn name.  The girls all thought that was so much fun. 




As they arrived and found out their unicorn name they could choose a colouring page to colour 





The activity for the party?? You guessed it we made unicorn slime.  The recipe was easy to follow and the slime turned out prefect. 




For the cake, my sweet girl loves chocolate cake with boiled icing.   We made it look more magical by tie-dying the frosting.   You can't tell too much in the photo but it looked really cool with the swirls of different colours. 


Other snacks they enjoyed were skittles, sour rainbow strips (or unicorn farts) and unicorn horns.  The horns are pretzel rods dipped in white chocolate and drizzled with coloured chocolate and sprinkles. 


The treat bags are filled with coloured popcorn, which is one of our favourite treats!  And taped onto the bag is a print that I made and had printed at Costco.












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