Monthly Archives: November 2012

Portuguese Biscuits

Don’t yell at me…

I know, I know, I know, it’s only November, but I’m already in the christmas spirit and I really can’t help myself! These heavenly soft Portuguese Biscuits have been a family christmas baking tradition for many years now. I just absolutely had to share them with you! Whenever I do a christmas bake sale, these cookies are always the first to go. And who could resist them? They look just as good as they taste!, it’s a win win!

Even though they do happen to be cute little wreath shapes, they cookies are also great cut out cookies. Just roll them of a lightly floured surface, cut them out and bake them exactly the same. This way you could easily have christmas trees and other festive shapes as well! (These biscuits freeze well so they’re great for getting an early start on christmas baking.)

This recipe was passed down from a close family friend who’s grandmother taught her how to make these. Traditional family recipes are always the best in my opinion! These cookies are also fairly easy, no complicated ingredients and only a few hours of refrigeration time.

They’re so simply delicious that I’m sure you’ll love them just as much as my family does. Let me know what you think!

Here’s the recipe:

Portuguese Biscuits

Ingredients:

–       ½ cup granulated white sugar

–       2 eggs

–       ½ cup margarine (or butter, I prefer margarine)

–       2 cups all purpose flour

–       ¼ teaspoon salt

–       1 teaspoon baking powder

Procedure:

In a large bowl beat eggs with sugar. Add margarine/butter and combine.

In a small bowl, mix flour, salt and baking powder.

Add dry mixture to egg mixture and stir until combined.

Leave in fridge for 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F and line (prepare) cookies sheets. Remove dough from fridge.

Roll tablespoon-sized chunks of dough and roll into long snake-like shapes. Place on baking sheet and overlap both ends of the rolled dough, leaving a little length extra (see pictures for better understanding) creating a wreath/ribbon shape. Continue with rest of the dough.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until bottoms are just beginning to turn golden.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cookies

 

Hello there! I haven’t posted in a few days, it’s been busy with school work, dance and my job. Which I guess sort of makes todays post a little bit ironic. Despite having to face that I’m growing up now and my feature is getting nearer, I’m still a full blown little kid at heart.

There’s nothing i love more than waking up on my Sundays, crabbing a bowl of my favourite cereal and planting myself in front of my TV to watch an endearing episode of my favourite show.

What’s my favourite cereal you might ask? Well it’s cinnamon toast crunch!

For the past little while I’ve been searching for different to incorporate it into my baking. I stumbled upon these Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cookies not long ago, and with a bit of work, I tweaked them perfectly to my taste!

These cookies taste exactly like the cereal. Honestly. The perfect balance of sugar and cinnamon create an exact replica of “the taste you can see”!

These cookies are soft and chewy, and the cereal gives them just the right crunch.

They don’t contain any wild ingredients that you’ll have to go galavanting through your local grocery store to find either, I’m sure you’ll have most of the ingredients just waiting for you in your pantry. Just an easy, no stress cookie recipe that you can whip up in only a few minutes. Pop them in the oven for less than 15 minutes and you’ll enjoy the delicious aroma of cinnamon sugar wafting through your house. Not much work for something so tasty!

So get ready to spice up your boring ol’ breakfast cereal!

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cookies

Ingredients:

–       ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

–       ¼ cup canola oil

–       ½ cup sugar

–       ½ cup powdered sugar

–       1 large egg, lightly beaten

–       ½ teaspoon baking soda

–       ¼ teaspoon salt

–       ½ teaspoon cinnamon

–       1 ½ cups plus 1/3 cup of all purpose flour

–       ¾ cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal

Procedure:

Preheat oven 350 degrees F and line (prepare) cookies sheets.

In a large bowl beat butter and oil together. Add in both sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Mix in egg.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Slowly add in flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Drop or roll tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheets. Flatten cookies slightly.

Bake for 12 minutes or until slightly golden around the edge.

Recipe Adapted from: Espresso and Cream

Healthy Cranberry Muffins

Woke up bright and early this morning for absolutely no reason. Well early being 8 for someone who loves to spend her Saturday morning and early afternoons in bed. Since it was early for me, I decided to get a move on with my day. Showered, walked the dog, worked out, showered. I was then craving an after work out breakfast.

I wanted something sweet but I was definitely not about to let that workout go to waste.

What’s the solution to my sweet craving? Muffins muffins muffins! Oh and did I mention muffins?

Healthy Cranberry Muffins actually.

I know the word healthy may make some of you cringe. Let’s face it, many healthy recipes aren’t close to as delicious as the full recipes.

For these muffins, that’s not the case. They are just as soft, sweet and mouth watering as any fattening muffin you could purchase at the store. I tried them with both all purpose and whole wheat flour, and to be completely honest, I liked the muffins better made with whole wheat flour! It gives them a fuller flavour. And the yogurt keeps them perfectly moist. 🙂

Ready for a morning mood booster?

Get baking!

Healthy Cranberry Muffins

Ingredients

–        1 large egg

–        1 cup low fat plain yogurt

–        1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil

–        1 teaspoon vanilla extract

–        2 cups whole wheat flour (all purpose is fine as well)

–        ½ granulated sugar

–        1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder

–        ½ teaspoon baking soda

–        ¼ teaspoon salt

–        1 ½ cups frozen or fresh cranberries

 

Procedure

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line 12 muffin cups.

In small bowl whisk together egg, yogurt, oil and vanilla extract.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

With a spatula, fold the wet ingredients in the dry until the ingredients are just combined. Mixture will be thick.

Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin cups.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 12 muffins.

 

Recipe Adapted from: Joy Of Baking

Flour Frosting (a.k.a Magic Frosting)

Alright everyone. This Flour Frosting is my all time favourite up to date, like my gosh it’s delicious! So since this frosting will be on my blog so often and it’s a bit complicated to make, I thought I’d make a more detailed post about how to make it!

This frosting is light, fluffy and has the perfect amount of sweetness. It also doesn’t have the rich buttery taste that turns a lot of people away from your classic buttercream icing. Many bakeries and restaurants use it as well 🙂

It starts off by whisking together the flour and milk in a small saucepan, then heating it until it starts to form lumps.

You then continue to cook it, while stirring it.

Do this until the mixture starts to resemble a thick pudding or paste. Then, refrigerate the mixture until it is completely cool (cold is fine, as long as it isn’t the slightest bit warm).

In an electric mixer, beat granulated sugar and butter together. Add in the cooled flour mixture and vanilla. Whip it for about 7 minutes (it may start off looking weird, but patience is key), and voila! The perfect frosting.

This is frosting is great for anything! Cookies, cakes, cupcakes… You name it! It can also be piped very well.

Flour frosting is best on the day it’s made, but if you need to make it in advance, store it covered in the refrigerator and re whip it for 5 minutes before use.

Here’s your recipe!

Flour Frosting (a.k.a Magic Frosting)

Ingredients

–          6 tablespoons all purpose flour

–          1 cup milk

–          1 cup unsalted butter

–          1 cup granulated white sugar (yes granulated)

–          2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preparation:

In a small saucepan whisk together flour and milk. Heat on medium heat. Continue whisking until the mixture begins to thicken. Let it cook, all the while stirring it with a spoon or spatula, until the mixture has the consistency of thick pudding. Put mixture in the fridge and let it cool completely.

In an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Continue beating and add in flour mixture and vanilla. Beat until combined, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. The frosting at this point will have a weird consistency. Continue beating on a high speed for 7-8 minutes or until frosting is light and fluffy and the granulated sugar has dissolved.

Frosting is best used the day made.

Makes enough frosting to frost generously 12 cupcakes or lightly 18-20.

*Notes*

  1. For a caramel flavour, try substituting half the granulated white sugar with brown sugar.
  2. Any extracts added will make for a delicious flavour as well.
  3. Don’t try any other additions. Cream cheese, jam etc.. will most likely effect the consistency of the frosting.

Recipe Adapted from: Our Best Bites

Pink Velvet Cupcakes with Flour Frosting

Oh my, pink pink pink pink. There’s nothing not girly about these Pink Velvet Cupcakes with Flour Frosting.

Even though October was breast cancer awareness month, I think we can spread the word anytime of year. And what better way to spread it than cupcakes!

The base to these cupcakes is a delicious twist on your classic red velvet cupcake. Pink velvet! It’s basically the same concept as the red velvet recipe, just wayy cuter 😀

The frosting toping off these cute little cupcakes has in the past year become my go to frosting for almost anything. Personally, I have never been a fan of buttercream. It’s far too rich and… well buttery for my taste. I love my cupcakes stacked tall with frosting, but when it’s buttercream, it’s almost impossible to ingest all that frosting without feeling sick afterwards. I’m usually the one to scrape a large amount of it off before indulging, which is such a shame, I hate seeing frosting going to waste!

I digress. I stumble upon this frosting recipe around this time last year and despite being a bit skeptical about it (I mean flour in frosting, that’s crazy talk!!) I decided to give it a whirl.

Boy was it worth the risk. This frosting is PERFECT. Not sickeningly sweet but still every one bit delicious. It’s thick and fluffy; perfect for spreading or piping. I use it on everything from cookies to cakes. And there’s many variations to it as well! (For these variations and more detailed instructions you can see my post dedicated to this frosting)

So don’t be afraid to pack on the frosting!

Ready…. set…. GO!

Pink Velvet Cupcakes with Flour Frosting

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

–          1 cup unsalted butter, softened

–          1 ¼ cup granulated sugar

–          1 teaspoon pink food coloring

–          3 eggs, lightly beaten

–          1 teaspoon vanilla extract

–          2 ½ cups all purpose flour

–          1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

–          ¼ teaspoon baking soda

–          ¼ teaspoon salt

–          1 cup buttermilk

Frosting

–          6 tablespoons all purpose flour

–          1 cup milk

–          1 cup unsalted butter

–          1 cup granulated white sugar (yes granulated)

–          2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans.

To make cupcakes, cream butter, sugar and food coloring in a large bowl until fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Add vanilla.

In a smaller bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Beat well after each addition.

Fill lined muffin cups 2/3 full with batter and bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool in tins for 10 minutes until moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.

For frosting, in a small saucepan whisk together flour and milk. Heat on medium heat. Continue whisking until the mixture begins to thicken. Let it cook, all the while stirring it with a spoon or spatula, until the mixture has the consistency of thick pudding. Put mixture in the fridge and let it cool completely.

In an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Continue beating and add in flour mixture and vanilla. Beat until combined, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. The frosting at this point will have a weird consistency. Continue beating at a high speed for 7-8 minutes or until frosting is light and fluffy and the granulated sugar has dissolved. Frosting is best used the day made.

Frost the completely cooled cupcakes.

Makes 16-18 cupcakes.

Cupcake Recipe Adapted from: The Baker Chick

Frosting Recipe Adapted from: Our Best Bites

Soft Molasses Cookies

These cookies really are the cherry on top of any day.

These Molasses Cookies are soft, spicy and sweet. This recipe has been passed through many generations of my family. It’s one of our many family jewels that will hopefully never be forgotten. My mom first taught me how to make them when I was 8 years old and experiences hands out christmas baking for the first time.

These cookies really are delicious and put a twist on a classic molasses cookie. They’re my dad’s favourite and I make them every once in a while just as a special treat for him! 🙂

They’re rather simple too. Some butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour and spices, and you’ve basically got it. Throw a cherry on top and voila! Perfection!

They also freeze great! So if you plan of pre freezing cookies for the holiday season these are a great option. Have no fear, they taste just as good after being frozen.

Give them a shot!

Molasses Cookies

Ingredients:

–          ½ cup unsalted butter or margarine (room temperature)

–          1/3 cup packed brown sugar

–          1 large egg, lightly beaten

–          ½ cup molasses

–          ¼ cup milk

–          2 cups all purpose flour

–          ½ teaspoon ginger

–          ½ teaspoon cinnamon

–          ½ teaspoon salt

–          1 teaspoon baking soda

–          8-12 maraschino cherries (cut in half)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare and line baking sheets.

In a large bowl beat together sugar and butter. Add the egg, molasses and milk; mix until combined.

In a small bowl combine together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.

Incorporate flour mixture into butter mixture. Mix well. If the batter is too sticky, add additional flour.

Using a spoon or your hands, make round mounds of dough about the size of a Ping-Pong ball and place them on the baking sheet 2 inches apart from each other. Flatten them slightly. Top each cookie with a half maraschino cherry.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Store in an air tight container or freeze for future use.

Oatmeal Cranberry Squares

I’ve been sick with the stomach flu for the past few days so alas, I was unable to bake. The horror! But the best part about the flu? You get better and then baking is worth the wait 🙂 So this morning I was pondering what to make. It needed to be something healthy to help me re-coop from the past 3 days in bed, and also couldn’t be insanely sweet, because I highly doubt my stomach would enjoy that.

I decided on these little Oatmeal Cranberry Squares. They’re low in fat and they’ve got healthy oatmeal and cranberries as their main ingredients. The not too sugary centre gives these healthy treat just the right amount of sweetness to make them a perfect breakfast, snack or dessert. What a great way to start baking again!

In other news, it’s also been snowing like crazy over here. It’s really been getting me into to the christmas spirit (I know I know, it’s only November, but a girl can dream!). When I think of cranberries, I usually relate them to the holiday season. I’ll be sure to be whipping out this recipe once again when old saint nicholas comes to visit.  

 So if you’re craving something sweet, fruity and with a hint of cinnamon, but don’t want to throw a bunch of junk into your system, try these out!

Oatmeal Cranberry Squares

Ingredients:

Oatmeal Crust

–          1 cup all purpose flour

–          1 cup quick rolled oats

–          ½ brown sugar, packed

–          ¼ teaspoon salt

–          ¼ teaspoon baking soda

–          ½ teaspoon cinnamon

–          7 tablespoons melted butter

Filling

–          1 ¼ cup dried cranberries

–          ¾ cup light sour cream

–          ½ cup granulated sugar

–          2 tablespoons all purpose flour

–          1 teaspoon vanilla extract

–          1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

–          1 large egg white, lightly beaten

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 11 by 7 inch baking dish.

Prepare crust by combining flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Mix well. Drizzle the melted butter over top of the dry mixture; stir until mixture is crumbly. Put aside ½ cup of crumble and press the remaining oat mixture into the bottom of the greased baking dish.

To make filling, combine all filling ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix well.

Spread the filling over the crust in the baking pan and sprinkle the remaining ½ cup oat mixture over top.

Bake for 40 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting into squares.

Makes approximately 24 squares.

Recipe Adapted from: Cooking Light