Tag Archives: yum

RECIPE: Strawberry Chocolate Chip Loaf

The time has finally come! Not only is June birthday month, but it’s also the end of the school year (for all you high school kids), the official start to summer, and my personal favourite–strawberry season! The weather has been hotter than Hades in my neck of the woods, yet I still felt the need to bake a little something tasty. Hot ovens don’t do too well with small un-air-conditioned homes, but I just had to do it. I’ve got lots on my mind and baking is one of the best ways to avoid the chaos. I opted to make something that had a bit of freshness to it in honour of the summer so when I found some strawberries in my fridge, I knew that the result was inevitable.

I adapted this recipe from one that I found on Sweet Pea’s Kitchen. I had to compensate for my limited supply of strawberries, but the result was, in my opinion, perfect. From the original recipe, I omitted the cup of pureed strawberries and the three-quarters cup of sugar. Instead, I used three-quarters cup of freezer jam that I had on hand. The loaf isn’t too sweet but the bursts of chocolate and strawberries added a hint of deliciousness. It is moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside. This recipe could easily be adapted into muffins if you prefer. It is fairly straight forward, making it the perfect recipe for a breakfast treat or easy entertaining.

One thing that is important to remember is to not over-mix loaf or muffin batter. It’s a thick batter so it’s tempting to keep mixing it, but this causes uneven rising while it bakes and prevents the goods from being light and fluffy. Also, be sure to cool the loaf completely before cutting into it.

Easy enough, right? Just to quickly take care of some business: I want to apologize for my lack of activity on the blog recently. You know how summer is supposed to be a relaxed time of sipping sodas on the beach, playing pick-up games of baseball in the park, and falling asleep on your patio chair? Well, that’s all a lie. I have been a busy girl lately and I’m afraid that it won’t be slowing down any time soon. I want to apologize for not staying up-to-date on my thrifting and crafting. Be patient with me…I’ll get to it as soon as possible! Until then, eat some of this loaf. It will tie you over for a while.

So there’s one way to make use of all the delicious strawberries that are currently in season. What are some of your favourite ways to enjoy the delicious summer berries? Any suggestions of something I should try?

Happy first official day of Summer, everyone!

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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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Tested and Tried: Coca-Cola Cupcakes with Salted Peanut Butter Frosting

Holy cow. That is all I can say. I just died and went to heaven after eating one of these babies.

I’ve never really been a “cake” person. But I have recently discovered why. What I have been considering “cake” are those dried out Costco-bakery cakes or ready-in-a-flash-powder-in-a-box-just-add-eggs cake mixes. But now that I have been exposed to home-baked-from-scratch cakes, I am proud and excited to say that I am a cake person.

I’ve been on a major craze for making “from-scratch” baked goods. Sure, it’s convenient to grab a box of cake mix and whip up some cupcakes in a flash. But the reality (which I have come to discover) is that home-baked cupcakes are fantastic. A week or two ago, I quickly posted about my experience making Triple-Salted Caramel Cupcakes. I could have sworn that those would forever be my new favourite kind of cupcake. But today, I took on a new recipe and I think those caramel ones are beat out of the park.

These, my friends, are no dry Costco or box-mix cupcakes. These are incredibly delicious, moist, chocolatey, sweet, and fan-cakin’-tastic Coca-Cola Cupcakes with Salted Peanut Butter Frosting.

A while back, I came across a fantastic blog called Sprinkle Bakes. If you read my post, you may remember that I used the Triple Salted Caramel Cupcake recipe from this blog. As soon as I made those, I started following the blog because Heather’s creations are truly unique looking and delicious sounding. Just the other day, she posted this recipe and the unique and almost un-heard of (at least in my neck of the woods) combination was captivating. I decided that these were the next cupcakes on my “to-try” list. My sister and I spontaneously planned a movie night tonight with some of our girlfriends, so I decided that it would be the perfect opportunity to test it out!

The cupcakes are chocolate cupcakes made with one of my brother’s favourite things–Coke! You heat the Coca-Cola in a saucepan, add the cocoa, butter, and sugars until all of the ingredients melt into a chocolatey syrup. Then, a small amount of flour and other dry ingredients are added, along with one egg. It really doesn’t take very long to make them. They are then topped with a fantastically delicious peanut-butter buttercream frosting. Honestly, what is better than peanut butter and chocolate? Heather suggests topping the cupcakes with chopped peanuts and chocolate sprinkles but I had neither in my cupboards so I improvised with some chopped cashews, chopped chocolate, and a sprinkling of salt.

I give full credit to Heather from Sprinkle Bakes on these ones. If you are interested in trying the recipe, you can access it by CLICKING HERE. Even if you aren’t interested in making them, head over that way to check out some of the awesome photographs and adorable story that goes along with them.

I’m off to enter another treat-coma. Thanks for stopping by and reading. What are your thoughts? Coca-Cola, chocolate, and peanut butter–good or gross? You might want to bite your tongue until you try these ones…

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Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Okay, I know what you’re thinking… It may seem that I am on a bit of a muffin-craze of late but the truth is that I’m actually on a blog-about-your-muffins-craze instead. I actually bake muffins quite often. They’re easy, quick, and make fantastic snacks. But even better than that, muffins are the perfect comfort food. Things around my house have been pretty chaotic lately, but luckily, muffins make the day a little more enjoyable.

Apple and cinnamon is a classic combination. Although these flavours are usually associated with those breezy fall days, I think that they can be enjoyed year round. The incredible aroma in the house as they bake is bound to bring a smile to your face. This recipe is fantastic because not only does it involve apples and cinnamon, but also includes a little bit of pear and toffee bits. These scrumptious add-ins bring perfect bursts of flavour–sweet and fruity.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup of margarine or softened butter
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 apples, peeled and diced
  • 1 pear, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Additional cinnamon-sugar (mix a little bit of sugar and a little bit of cinnamon)
PROCESS
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cream together the margarine (or butter), sugar, and egg until smooth. Add the sour cream, salt, apples, pear, and toffee bits, mixing well. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix only until moistened. Spoon the batter into paper-lined muffin pans and sprinkle each cup with additional cinnamon-sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes. When baked through, the tops will be golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre of each muffin will come out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. This recipe will make approximately 21 muffins.
There you go–easy enough, right? These muffins are so incredibly easy to make and so incredibly delicious to eat. They have soft chunks of apple and pear within them as well as a hint of sweetness with the melted toffee bits.  Thanks for stopping by A SMILE EACH DAY and I hope that you feel inspired to bring a smile to your own face by baking up a delicious batch of muffins!
And just one last thought…what’s your favourite kind of muffins? I am interested in experimenting around and trying different flavours and combinations. Any suggestions, friends?
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Banana Crunch Muffins

Because it is the end of the weekend, I have decided to share with you a quick pick-me-up recipe for a delicious batch of muffins. My mom is notorious for buying bananas in huge bunches, which (unfortunately) results in quite a few black bananas sitting in the fruit bowl. However, the “over-rippened” black bananas often result in a ridiculous amount of banana breads, cakes, and muffins being baked up. Muffins are great for lunches, breakfast, or even great snacks to eat after school or work. They are easy and scrumptiously delicious!

These muffins are a delicious twist on classic banana muffins. They have a hint of a crunch, which is achieved through delicious add-ins which can be customized to your tastes and preferences. They are easy and take hardly any time at all to whip up.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of butter, melted and cooled
  • 2-3 mashed bananas
  • 1 cup of granola
  • 1 cup of shredded coconut
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • nuts to taste (optional)

PROCESS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 muffins cups with paper liners. In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the eggs, milk, vanilla, and butter and mix just until blended. Fold in the remaining ingredients. Divide evenly between muffin cups and bake 25-30 minutes (inserted toothpick should come out clean). Cool.

 QUICK TIP

Muffins can very easily bake into “cone-heads” if the batter is overmixed. Only mix the batter until the ingredients are combined. This allows the batter to bake evenly and form “dome” tops.

There you have it friends. The coconut and granola in this recipe make these muffins have a little bit of a crunch, contrasting the softness of the muffins quite nicely. You may perhaps consider adding banana chips, chopped bananas, various types of nuts, and/or toffee bits to make them even crunchier.

I hope you have a wonderful week full of baked goods, knitting, and anything else that brings you joy!

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