Tag Archives: baked goods

Weekday Round-Up: Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Have you missed me? I’ve missed you. I’ve missed this. I’ve missed crafting, photographing, blogging, and posting. But as I mentioned earlier, my time has been invested in settling into my new virtual kitchen. And boy oh boy, is she ever cookin’! I have been baking up a storm these past few weeks. I don’t know if it is because I know that school is starting again soon so I want to get all of my “bucketlist” baking items checked off, or if it is simply because I am feeling flavourfully inspired. Regardless, my Kitchen Aid has been mixing, my oven has been baking, and I have certainly been eating!

I usually do Weekend Round-Ups, but this is a special occasion. I wanted to share a few (okay, so there are a lot of them) photos that give you a better idea of where the heck I’ve been these past few weeks.

From custom sugar cookies to experimental cupcake flavours, peanut butter brownie cups and classic chocolate chip cookies, the baking has failed to cease. I have two words for you: sugar coma. And that, my friends, is where Carmen Sandiego (or in this case, Amber Wideman) has been.

Today, I have aspirations to finally get my sewing machine set up! When that happens, the sewing will resume along with the crafting, knitting, card-making, and re-fashioning. I hope you are all appreciating these last few bursts of summer. Many blessings!

Looking to make some of these treats? You can access the recipes for White-Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes, Chocolate Chai Cupcakes, Chocolate Chip CookiesChunky Monkey Cupcakes, and sugar cookies.

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Turn Up the Oven: Top Three Favourite Summer Bakes (so far)!

I’m just finishing up my last few days working at a camp and for some reason I find myself constantly thinking about baking. I decided I was going to take a little sabbatical from the blogsphere while I was up here, but I couldn’t resist the satisfaction of typing away at my computer, editing photos, and hitting the Publish button. Although I’m not creating any new projects, I did have a few photos stored up on my camera from the past few months that I wanted to share. So I have compiled this list of my Top Three Favourite Summer Bakes (so far).

Strawberries scream summer. They are a delicious summer berry that can be used in a variety of baked goods. Remember how I shared my recipe for Strawberry-Chocolate Chip Loaf? I also pureed them with some mango and banana to make homemade popsicles. They are very refreshing on hot summer days and the bright red colour that they add makes any food look delicious.

I made these vanilla cupcakes with strawberry buttercream and a marshmallow fondant flower decal for a birthday. They were light and delicious yet were packed with sweetness. I used homemade strawberry jam to bring the flavour to the buttercream instead of raw strawberries. I loved the flecks of red in the frosting, highlighting the presence of the strawberry. I only got to taste-test one so I’ll have to make them again to put them to the true test (…if I must).

Two words: ice cream. Ice cream cones are the epitome of summer treats. After all, they don’t sing “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!” for no reason. But in my opinion (which may be a bit biased), a good cookie always beats ice cream. So why not combine the two?

A couple months ago, my sister came home from a trip with a new cookie cutter set in hand. Not only did the set contain an ice cream sundae cutter but it also had two different ice cream cone cutters. When I received a cookie order at the beginning of June, I jumped on the opportunity to make these little guys. I flooded them with a basic butter-based icing, adapting the colours and flavours. They are the perfect little treat for snacking on and the best part is that they don’t melt!

Fudgsicles, popsicles, creamsicles, oh my! I know I’ve shared these treats once before but they were so delicious that they definitely hold the number one spot on my summer treat list. As I mentioned in the previous post, creamsicles are one of my favourite treats. The combination of the orange and the creamy vanilla is incredible. It is so refreshing and satisfying.

I’ve baked up quite a few things so far this summer (even though I’ve taken the past three weeks off). I’ve felt more and more inspired by different summer flavours and I can’t wait to transform them into something tasty. Raspberries, coconut, and new cookie cutter shapes are all on my radar. I can’t wait to test some new recipes and share them.

To finish off, I am going to share some instagram photos of a few of the treats that didn’t quite make the list–they are still tasty none-the-less! Mini cupcakes, homemade popsicles, s’mores brownies, and more!

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RECIPE: Angel Lush Cake

Birthday week has hit our household. Every June, my family enters both a treat coma and goes into partial debt from all the cake that is consumed and presents that are bought. We have three birthdays within five days: my Dad’s on the 5th, mine on the 7th, and my brother’s on the 9th. But I’m not complaining. Birthday’s are notorious for specialized baked goods and that’s right up my alley. A couple of days ago, I asked my Dad what type of cake he wanted for his birthday. I immediately felt stupid for asking because I already knew the answer. He asks for the same type of cake every year. That, my friends, is angel food cake with whipped cream and berries.

I’ll admit that there isn’t anything special about angel food cake in terms of baking. In fact, angel food is the only type of cake that I will use a box mix for. It is way more convenient and although I have never actually tried, I have heard that making it from scratch is quite the challenge (but don’t let me deter you–if you want to try making it from scratch, all the power to you!). What makes angel food so delicious are the toppings. The cake is naturally very light so the whipped cream adds a little bit of density and the berries obviously contribute a bit of sweetness. It is a great dessert for those who are trying to watch their figure and who like fruity flavours as opposed to rich and decadent.

What Will You Need?

  • A box of “Angel Food Cake”
  • A package of fresh strawberries (frozen may be used as well, but I prefer fresh)
  • Half a package of fresh blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp. fruit juice (any kind)
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • A carton of whipping cream
  • Additional sugar for sweetening the whipping cream

Prepare the angel food cake according to the directions on the box mix. Ensure that it is baked at least 4-5 hours before the intended serving time to allow complete cooling. Meanwhile, wash all of the berries in cold water. Place in a strainer and allow to slightly dry. Cut the strawberries into smaller pieces, discarding any bruised or white spots. Place in a medium sized bowl. Add the blueberries. Pour the fruit juice over the berries and sprinkle with sugar. Stir, ensuring that all of the berries are coated. Cover and place in the fridge. In a separate bowl, beat the whipping cream until it forms soft peaks. Add additional sugar to taste and continue to beat until it has reached a desired consistency. Cover and place in the fridge until serving.

What you do next is totally up to you. If you are planning on presenting the cake and are sure that it will all be eaten immediately, top the cake with the whipping cream and berries. However, what we usually do is cut the cake into pieces and then top each individual piece with the desired amount of toppings. This is only because the cake doesn’t all get eaten at once so it prevents the cake from getting soggy with the toppings. But do whatever your little heart desires–it all tastes delicious!

As always, my Dad loved the cake! He gobbled his piece up very quickly. His birthday was actually yesterday but there are still some leftovers that we have all been working away at. It tastes just as delicious the next day as it did the first. If you aren’t a “berry” person, it can be topped with whatever toppings you desire. Whipped cream with chocolate drizzle? Whipped cream with mangos and pineapple? Whipped cream with an orange glaze? Mmm…I’m getting a rumbly tummy just thinking about all the possibilities.

To finish off, I just wanted to share a couple of instagram photos. The first photo is some of the berries that ended up in our tummies. The second photo was taken by my Dad on his birthday when I asked him to hold my phone (complete and total mistake), and the final photo is my leftover piece of cake that I devoured this afternoon.

Happy Birthday to any of you June babies! Thanks for reading–I hope you have a delicious Wednesday.

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A Family Classic: Butterscotch Squares

When you say “butterscotch“, I usually say “ew!”. I hate the flavour of butterscotch. I used to give my mom such a hard time because whenever Chipits were on sale, she would always stock up on the butterscotch chips instead of the chocolate ones. I hated that. I would scrounge the cupboards for chocolate chips and all I would find were bags and bags of disgusting butterscotch ones.

Although I always have (and probably always will) hated butterscotch, there is one recipe that I just can’t get enough of. The reason I even bothered mentioning my hate for butterscotch is so that you can take my word for it when I say that this recipe is truly delicious–butterscotch and all! My grandma used to make this recipe all the time, and as a result, my mom does too. Anytime squares or cookies are needed for any event, she is quick to volunteer (well, volunteer me or my sister) to make these guys.

The squares have a slightly crunchy bottom (it’s baked on it’s own first) and a gooey, sweet top. They contain coconut (honestly…what can taste bad when coconut is involved?) and of course butterscotch chips. They leave your fingers sticky but I’m not complaining–perfect for saving for later. Kidding (but not really).

In order to make these delicious treats, you will need:

  • 1/2 cup of butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup of powdered sugar (icing sugar)
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup of butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup of coconut
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Blend together the butter, powdered sugar, and flour. Pat down into a well greased 8″x8″ baking pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes. While the crust is baking, mix together the condensed milk, butterscotch chips, coconut, and vanilla. Pour the mixture over the baked crust and return the pan to the oven for an additional 20-25 minutes. The squares will be done when they are golden brown and the middle appears to be set. This may require the edges to be quite browned. Remove from the oven and cool. Using a sharp knife, cut around the edges of the pan. Cool completely before cutting and serving.

Now isn’t that easy? To serve them, my mom usually cuts off the crunchy browned edges (although these are the best to snack on) and serves only the gooey parts. These truly are delicious and I encourage you to try them. But be warned that once you taste one, there’s no going back! I hope your Monday is a little more bearable with some sweet treats in sight…even if they do involve butterscotch! Thanks for reading and let me know if you try them and like them (or try them and don’t). Either way, I’d love to hear from you!
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Bake Night Bliss: holy baby cakes!

Tonight, my sister and I embarked on a slightly unexpected adventure. Tomorrow we are hosting a get-together at our house so we decided that we were going to bake a few treats. Our parents went out for the night, so it was just the two of us. What began as a couple treats turned into a huge explosion of baked goods and chocolate all over the kitchen! I’m pretty sure that every single thing we made either contained chocolate, got dipped in chocolate, or was drizzled with chocolate. Not complaining.

At first, I intended on making Raspberry Macaroons (which are absolutely deliciously-to-die-for, by the way) and my sister intended on making some Butterscotch Squares (a family classic). Those two recipes didn’t take long and we had them whipped up in no time. Then, for some reason, I suggested that we should take on some cake balls. My sister has an awesome little machine called a Baby Cake that makes adorable little balls of cake in a breeze. So we decided to pull it out!

But then we realized that we needed to decorate the balls. I began to melt some chocolate but much to my dismay, it got way too thick and was useless. My quick problem solving skills suggested adding a can of sweetened condensed milk to turn the (what would have been) wasted chocolate into fudge. Note that we now have four desserts instead of the initial two.

My sister found a few lolly sticks so we decided to make a dozen cake pops instead of just plain cake balls. These made me pretty angry but we’re hoping they taste great. They got a bit messy (as I’m sure you can tell), beginning the crazy mess that became our kitchen. With the cake pops, we now had five different desserts instead of the intended two.

After all the cake balls and pops were covered in their chocolate coating, we had quite a bit melted chocolate left over. I suggested that we dip some of the fresh blackberries we just got at the store in it. But we found something better in the fridge–strawberries! So of course we had to dip them as well. Now we had Butterscotch Squares, Raspberry Macaroons, Chocolate Fudge, Cake Balls, Cake Pops, Chocolate-Covered Blackberries, and Chocolate-Covered Strawberries. You heard it right…seven desserts instead of the initial two!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m complaining. I just think it is a wonderful example of what results when my sister and I get together with some delicious treats in mind and some Jukebox Oldies playing in the background. We had such a blast preparing the treats for tomorrow’s party and can’t wait to serve them up to our friends and family. We hope they enjoy them as much as we enjoyed creating them!

Our parents haven’t made it home yet. My mom is probably going to be pretty shocked and will most likely say “What are we going to do with all these treats!?”. As for my dad, well, he’s the answer to my mom’s question. He will be in treat heaven (and will surely “taste-test” for us). Thanks for stopping by and reading!

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