Cupcakes Always Win


Leave a comment

Vegan Ginger Spiced Hot Chocolate

GingerSpicedHotChocolate-5

My family and I always visit a local tree farm to cut the perfect evergreen for the holidays. We’ve been doing it since we were young. It has always involved a labyrinth walk through a field filled with hundreds of Christmas trees to choose from. We always have trouble finding the one that is perfectly fitting for the occasion.

Some years there is snow, other years there is rain, but no matter what the weather we always strap on suitable outdoor gear and find the perfect tree! We always finish our tradition with some hot chocolate, or apple cider. Which is where this recipe comes in super handy. Having returned from adventures around the world, I wanted to make a more interesting hot chocolate that is loaded with spices! I loaded it with WAY too many marshmallows… just because it looked cool.

I also have been baking so many things because there is always a party, and everyone loves home baking. I had some leftover gingerbread and decided to make some gingerbread sticks that could be used to dip in the spiced chocolatey goodness. It was probably the best decision I made that day.

GingerSpicedHotChocolate-2

GingerSpicedHotChocolate-3

The other nice thing about being home for the holidays is having extra helping hands. My sister was super amazing and helped me by being the prop in my little photo shoot. These photos wouldn’t have been complete without her ūüôā

GingerSpicedHotChocolate

GingerSpicedHotChocolate-4

GingerSpicedHotChocolate-6

Now the hot chocolate itself is vegan, but I added marshmallows, which are not very vegan at all. If you want to make it vegan, just omit the marshmallows or find some vegan ones in the shops around Kensington Market in Toronto.

Do you have any family traditions over the holidays? What is your go to hot drink when it is chilly? Wishing you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year! Thanks for following me, and I hope to give you some more tasty treats worth making in the new year!

Anna xoxoxoxox

HotChocolate1

GingerSpicedHotChocolate-8

HC_recipe


14 Comments

Easy Butter Crunch

_MG_6411

This recipe has been passed down through generations in my family. One of those heirloom recipes that just screams nostalgia every time a bite is taken. Whenever I take a crunch into this candy I flashback to 8 year old Anna on Christmas at my Great Aunts house. The table was filled with homemade everything; sauces, breads, vegetables from the garden, cookies, and pretty much anything delicious you could imagine. After dinner was cleared there would be trays of treats, pies, and little bowls overflowing with easy butter crunch delicately placed around the house. Now, as an 8 year I was only allowed a certain number of candies, cookies, and squares. That didn’t stop me from sneaking to one of the tables with a bowl of easy butter crunch. It got easy once the adults retired to the sitting room and fell into deep conversation. This was when I ate my actual threshold of easy butter crunch.
_MG_6365
_MG_6371
Whenever I find myself re-creating this classic masterpiece, I always reflect and remember how much I admired my Great Aunt. She worked so hard to make the best meal for all the people she loved. Everyone attending these feasts would always go for seconds, or thirds, without even being asked because the food on the table was the most delicious.
_MG_6375
_MG_6385
_MG_6379
Now it is my turn to keep this addictive treat in the family for generations to come, and the internet is a good spot for that! This recipe is EASY! it is only tough if you get frazzled when the butter looks a little wonky, or separates from the sugar. You just have to keep whisking, and remind yourself that it is a simple recipe and it will work out.
_MG_6381
If you want to add some nuts to this crunch when you set aside your lined baking tray, fill the tray with about 1 cup of chopped peanuts, almonds, pecans, or cashews (whichever is your favourite!) and once the sugar mixture is cooked pour directly over the nuts, and continue following the recipe.
_MG_6394
_MG_6397
Is this recipe a classic among your family? What recipes does your family cherish?

Thanks so much for dropping by, I can’t wait to share more delicious recipes with you! Have a happy day:)
Much love,

Anna xoxoxo
_MG_6418

_MG_6410

easybuttercrunchrecipe


6 Comments

Vegan Walnut Brownie Cookies + The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

untitled-9

I have always loved cookie swaps. It is an excuse to make an extra big batch of cookies only to trade half of them (or more) for an assortment of other delicious cookies. These swaps always inspire me right before my big holiday bake-off! I have hosted a cookie swap in the past with friends which was awesome! But this year I went to the virtual world with the end result being three boxes of different types of fresh baked cookies delivered to my doorstep. Obviously, this is awesome.

I discovered The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap last year but missed the sign-up deadline. I didn’t want to miss it this year so I marked it in my calendar and here we are now, blogging about my experience!

I decided to work on creating a recipe that was vegan, and came up with these sandwich cookies. These cookies are a little on the cakey + delicate side, but really delicious. I used walnuts and ground them into a walnut butter, but feel free to use any nut you like. I chose walnuts because they make me think of Christmas’s spent at my grandpa’s farm where it wasn’t the holiday’s unless there was a bowl of large assorted nuts near a nutcracker.

untitled

untitled-2

untitled-4

I tested these cookies a couple times in order to get the recipe I wanted which has a brownie texture that is just sturdy enough to handle. It is also super important to let the dough rest in the freezer over night for 1 or even 2 days. This helps to allow time for the dry and wet ingredients to settle into each other.

untitled-5

untitled-6

One thing I forgot to add in the recipe is that I added some extra chopped walnuts to give the cookies a little extra texture.

untitled-8

The best part of this cookie swap is discovering other amazing food blogs in Canada! I sent a dozen of these cookies to The Tasty Gardner, Cheap Ethnic Eats, and Forever Faith and Food. I received delicious Kris Kringle cookies from Hot Pink Apron, chocolate and vanilla biscotti from Kate’s Plate, and Cardamom Quince Layer Cookies from The Yum Yum Factor. It was a really fun time baking and discovering new blogs! I will definitely be checking out these recipe hubs from now on.

Now it is back to the kitchen to bake, bake, bake, especially now since I am inspired from all these awesome cookie ideas! Good luck with your holiday baking and hope to see you soon!

Much Love,
Anna xoxox

untitled-10

untitled-11

veganwalnutbrowniecookierecipe

//


5 Comments

Vegan Walnut Date Cake

untitled-29

Just got back from the sweetest date! It involved three hours of baking up sweet surprises. The best thing was the date was free! Ok, so maybe I was in my kitchen dancing and baking with dates, but that counts as a date too!

I love baking with dates, and usually get the cheapest ones out there, and even that is a treat. For this recipe thanks to Natural Delights I used the plump fresher ones. They were so delicious and I don’t know if I will be able to go back to the vacuumed dried variety.

untitled-7

untitled-9

This cake is pretty filling with the sugars from dates, and the added sugar but the crunch of the walnuts is perfect. It is a simple cake with no added flavours but I am thinking the next time I whip up this recipe I will add a bit of cinnamon. I also contemplated adding some carob chips but am glad that I didn’t. It might have been too sweet if that is a thing with that addition.

untitled-10

untitled-24

With the chilly nights that are on there way, this cake will definitely be enjoyed with a warm glass of tea and a good book. It is best to have a cuddle buddy nearby too if available.

Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you again soon! oxoxox
Much Love,
Anna

untitled-28

untitled-30

datewalnutcake_recipe


Leave a comment

Chocolate Pretzels

My walks through the kitchen have been very extended over the last week. Everytime I walk into the kitchen I always walk out with a sugar friend (which is edible of course). A cookie here, pie there… it does not seem to matter… its the holidays right?

Here is a little snack that is fairly easy to whip¬†up that can be used¬†at New Year’s party’s or just because you are getting low on Christmas cookie supplies.¬†¬†

Tempering chocolate and me do not usually get along. In baking school I always had difficulty doing this and imagined using a tempering machine that a chocolatier will usually use. Do not be upset if it does not turn out. The end result will still be tasty, there will be the sweet and salty combination that a lot of people go crazy for!

While dipping the pretzels if the chocolate begins to harden heat it up slightly and use some chocolate bits as I directed below to help temper the chocolate properly.

After this post I really had to do some cleaning, there was chocolate everywhere! It is hard enough making these on my own… but when I invite my camera into the kitchen it just seems to get chaotic!

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!!!

Anna xoxo


2 Comments

Choco-Candy Cane Sandwich Cookies

These cookies are actually¬†one of the best Christmas cookies I have made. The chocolate wafer’s are crunchy and chocolatey¬†with a¬†creamy, crunchy¬†candy cane filling. The two flavours of mint and chocolate always¬†go so well together.¬†

The cocoa I used was cocoa I had in my pantry pre-fairtrade, so I decided to use it up before buying new fair trade cocoa!

 

The chocolate wafer recipe which can be found below is a really great recipe I would recommend using in any recipe where it is desired to use chocolate wafers. The batter is easy to mould and freezes and slices very easily.

It just so happened that a neighbour popped by to say, Merry Christmas, as I just completed these cookies. I allowed for him to taste the cookies and he seemed pretty satisfied with the outcome! After he left I decided to test a sandwich out myself and wow, they were very good. I love foods that have a little bit of a bite and are crunchy not soggy.

¬†My sister will take credit for the “Triple ‘C’ Threat” title, it is pretty good. (It is seen below)

Wishing everyone happy baking and a Merry Christmas!!!!! oxxoxo

Anna


2 Comments

Christmas Spritz Cookies

Here it is only 2 more days until Christmas! It really does not feel like it. But my kitchen smells great and everyone in my household is getting excited to eat, sing and be merry!

This recipe was a little more difficult than I had hoped because I was silly and decided to pipe a cookie dough that was way to much of a cookie dough to be piped. Rolled and cut would have been a lot easier. Oh well, I learned for next time. This way I can let everyone else know about not piping so it can be avoided!!

Ok, so this is a big moment. I have been using my stand-mixer… and it has been life-changing. Living at home allows me to not be too concerned about roomies using a stand-mixer for unusual things. I can leave my stand-mixer on the counter awaiting my next visit. It deserved one… or several skips around the kitchen.

This is what the spritz cookies look like if they are piped. It was a struggle, but I was able to turn something difficult into something workable.

I would just highly suggest not to attempt to pipe these cookies and you will not run into any problems. The dough is a very smooth and workable dough for anything except piping!