I love working with chocolate. It”s a pretty hard project to mess up because no matter what goes wrong almost every mistake is salvageable (beyond burning it to a crisp) and you”re always able to find some way to get it in your belly.
I”m sharing two of my favourite homemade chocolates on Simple Bites today, Bark and Truffles. They”re so easy to make that there shouldn”t be any salvaging needed. ;)
“Homemade chocolates are a perfect gift to make because not only do they store well in the freezer (if someone is already overloaded with goodies) but they are extremely easy to make and do not require a candy thermometer.
You can get the kids involved too, giving them a fun project on those cold days when you’re all stuck inside. I’m sure they’d be proud to give a batch to their grandma knowing that they had a hand in making them (Grandma will like that too).”
Read more and get the recipes (including the Dark Chocolate Rum Truffles pictured above!) on Simple Bites.
This cake has Christmas written all over it. I know there will be people rolling their eyes since it”s only the beginning of November, but I love Christmas, so I”m not afraid to start sharing early. To be totally honest I started listening to Christmas music at the end of September. Not every day, mind you, but when it”s a gloomy day that needs perking up I pop in some Bing Crosby and my day gets a whole lot brighter.
I wasn”t planning on sharing any Christmas recipes quite yet but this cake would be so perfect for a Christmas gathering. The sticky, bright red cranberry topping with the scent of cinnamon and cloves wafting in the air. If you can make this and not turn on the Christmas music, I commend you.
For those of you who are still gearing up for Thanksgiving, Mandi from life… your way has partnered with 15 different bloggers (including myself) to bring you a Free Thanksgiving E-book that is completely dedicated to helping you get your Thanksgiving plans in order. This e-book has everything from How to Thaw a Turkey to Table Setting Inspiration. If you”re hosting Thanksgiving and feel like you could use some help with the planning then I recommend you check it out.
P.S. I think this cake would make a wonderful addition to the Thanksgiving table as well. It really is perfect for the entire holiday season, and it”s just too good to be limited to Christmas.
Prepare an 8 inch round cake pan by rubbing the sides and bottom with 2 tablespoons butter (Don”t skimp on the butter! I thought it was a little excessive so I only used 1 tablespoon, but I had trouble with my topping getting stuck to the pan, so use the whole 2 tablespoons).
Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Sprinkle evenly over bottom of pan. Top with cranberries, making sure they are in a single layer.
Cream together remaining 6 tablespoons of butter and 1/2 cup sugar. Mix in egg and vanilla.
In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Alternating with milk, mix the flour mixture into butter mixture in three additions, starting and ending with flour.
Spread cake mixture over cranberries, smooth top.
Bake at 350ºF for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let cool for 20 minutes in pan, run a knife around the edges to loosen the sides. Flip onto serving platter.
Makes: 8 servings
*This cake is best served fresh, although the leftovers are still tasty, the sticky topping is so much better when it”s still a bit warm (in my opinion).
This is my ULTIMATE favourite brownie recipe. Every time I make it I am in awe again of just how good it is.
Often I find brownies to be overly rich and sweet. But, these have the perfect fudgy consistency with that great peanut butter/chocolate combo that everybody seems to love. And, for those chocoholics out there it will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth as it is packed full of chocolate chips.
The key to perfect brownies is to NOT OVER-BAKE them. Make sure to check early and wait for the toothpick to come out with fudgy (not wet) crumbs. If it comes out clean they will no longer be fudgy!
If you”ve got a favourite brownie recipe feel free to share. You can never have too many yummy brownie recipes in your repertoire. :)
First of all I want to thank you all so much for your sweet comments last week on my Blogversary post. It really made me wish that each and every one of you could win the giveaway. Unfortunately it cannot be so and I had to pick only one lucky winner.
I considered writing out each persons name and drawing out of a box but I didn’t want to be held personally responsible for anybody’s dashed dreams. So instead, I assigned each entry with a number and ran the numbers through random.org. So, you can take up your quarrel with them. :)
I know you would all love to know if you won so I will cut to the chase. The winner of the giveaway and a $60 gift certificate to csn stores is… CookTeen! Congratulations!! You’ll be getting an e-mail from me shortly. ;)
For the rest of you, I have made cake.
Moist and spicy Zucchini Carrot Cake smothered in a dreamy layer of Cream Cheese Frosting with a hint of maple and brown sugar. To be exact. Feel a little better now?
I have been a long time fan of Carrot Cake and to me it’s just not the same without a Cream Cheese Frosting. The fact that this recipe has zucchini in it, is what originally piqued my interest. Zucchini means moist. And, moist means delicious.
The headiness of the spices and the deep flavours of maple and brown sugar makes this the perfect cake to enjoy that fall produce.
P.S. I got the poll working for Colorful Mondays so make sure to head over and vote for the next weeks color (and submit your tomato reds for next monday)!
I know that technically it”s still summer but it”s really beginning to feel a lot like fall here and I”m more then ready. Over the last week I have begun to feel a lot better and the cold crisp air is breathing new life into me. I”m ready for a new season and a new start in this pregnancy. Bring on the cravings! :)
Doughnuts are something that my family loves. My mother-in-law makes one mean glazed doughnut and I love it! My problem is finding time to make the dough, roll it out, cut it out and deep fry it. They”re definitely worth the effort but I”m hard pressed to find the time with an antsy two year old.
That”s why these jam filled fritters make me a happy woman. You simply whip up a tasty muffin batter, drop it into hot oil, pipe it full of strawberry jam and dust it in icing sugar. Bliss. I”m already thinking of different ways to fry up this spice infused batter. I think some chopped apples would turn these into some pretty fine apple fritters.
These would be a great way to end the first week of school. You can have the fritters all ready for when the kids come home, then they can help fill them with jam and dust them in icing sugar. I”m sure they won”t complain and few will probably disappear on their way to the serving tray.
Make batter: Mix together milk, vanilla, sugar, oil and eggs. Set aside. In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and cinnamon. Stir into milk mixture.
To Fry: Heat oil to 350ºF or until water spits when a small drop is added to the oil. Drop the batter by tablespoon amounts into the hot oil and fry until golden and cooked through, flipping halfway through cooking time. Remove from pot and drain on paper towels.
To Fill: Using a skewer or toothpick poke a hole in the side of a fritter and twirl it around inside to create some space in the centre. Place jam in an icing bag with a small round tip. Insert tip into hole and fill fritters with jam.
To serve: Toss fritters in icing sugar and serve immediately. Best served four hours after being made or re-heated from frozen.
Makes: 2.5-3 dozen fritters
*This makes quite a large batch so I froze them before dusting in icing sugar. That way when we”re in the mood for some doughnuts we just have to zap them in the microwave and toss them in icing sugar.
I have been obsessed with tea and cookies ever since I saw the recipe for this Chai Concentrate on Hilary”s blog: Let Her Bake Cake. James is in heaven because I make a new batch of cookies practically every week.
These Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies have been a long time fave and are one of the cookies I turn to most when I”m looking for something to dip in my tea. Don”t get me wrong, these are by no means just a side-kick to tea. These cookies stand alone in their awesomeness.
One thing that keeps me coming back for more peanut butter deliciousness is the fact that these cookies actually seem to get softer as the week goes on. I”m guessing this has to do with the peanut butter and oatmeal? Whatever the case, it takes a long time for these cookies to go stale, which means you can make a large batch and gorge on them all week long.