Last weekend was total Christmas chaos around here. Not only did I wrap all my Christmas presents, but I also finished all my Christmas baking! My housemate Gwen and I picked out all the recipes we wanted to try and then after a trip to Bulk Barn and Metro we got to work. Gwen wanted to make mint chocolate chip cookies and white chocolate cherry almond shortbread. I picked chocolate chip cookie dough truffles and candy cane biscotti. Once we got started there was chocolate and Christmas sprinkles everywhere… Darby was in charge of clean up
Here are some pictures of the treats we made, as well as the links to the recipes. Also, my friend Alicia introduced me to this amazing app called Rhonna Designs. This app lets you add all kinds of cool fonts, frames and filters to your photos. I spent way too much time tonight playing around with this
White Chocolate Cherry Almond Shortbread Cookies by the Girl Who Ate Everything
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles originally from of Love and Olive Oil
Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies by Annie’s Eats
The only modification I made to this recipe was to add mint chocolate chips instead of regular chips. I also made the cookies a lot smaller than was called for. How cute are these chips? My mom picked them up in the States.
Candy Cane Biscotti by Chatelaine
The only modification I made here was to make the biscotti logs smaller (I made 4 instead of 2) to have little bite sized pieces.
We wrapped up all the treats in cute little Santa bakery bags. Watch out Kingston friends… you may be lucky enough to receive one of these little goody bags for Christmas this year!
Enjoy! Have a very Merry Christmas!
So I know these aren’t technically edible, but I did “bake” them in the oven so I felt I had to share these adorable ornaments. Those of you that know me can attest to the fact that I am a total Christmas NUT. As soon as Remembrance Day is over I’m already thinking about Christmas (sometimes even before!) I’ve been listening to Christmas songs for weeks already and had all my shopping done by the end of November. I told you, I’m crazy about Christmas! I decided to revamp my tree a little bit this year. I’ve had a red and gold theme going in the past but just felt it was time for a change. I remember seeing this beautiful rustic looking tree in a magazine with all natural looking decor. I loved it! I put my own spin on it and was really happy with how my tree turned out. I have burlap ribbon, pinecones, little birds, hedgehogs, red berries and even an adorable little squirrel. One of my favourite ornaments though are the orange and lemon slices. I saw a few posts on Pinterest for these but all the websites I found followed pretty much the same “recipe” if you want to call it that.
- Cut up oranges and lemons into thin slices (I think you can even do apples if you want?)
- Place them on paper towel to absorb some of the juice for about 15 minutes. Flip slices over, allow to sit for another 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
- Roast fruit in the oven on a baking tray for about 3 hours or until dry to the touch.
- Lace with kitchen twine and hang on your tree!
I think these look awesome… almost like little stained glass windows when they are sitting up against the Christmas lights.
Now that my tree is up I can’t WAIT for Christmas baking!!!!!! Stay tuned
Last weekend we threw a surprise birthday party for my mom. We got her SO GOOD! She had absolutely no idea what we were plotting. My dad planned a shopping day in the States and the rest of us got to work on the set up. There were so many people who came to help and make the party a success. I think we had well over 40 guests by the end of the night! Both my parents are Dutch and my Mom has an extra special place in her heart for all things Netherlands. So naturally, we threw a Dutch themed party! Decorations, Dutch food (including salted herring and dropjies) and costumes. I wanted to design a special theme cake that incorporated lots of different Dutch accents. This cake had fondant tulips, wooden shoes, Dutch row houses, dropjies, flags, porcelain windmills and of course lots of red, white and blue. The bottom layer was Dutch chocolate with mocha buttercream and the top layer was red velvet cake with vanilla buttercream. LEKKER!
Happy Birthday Mom! Love you
I love how easy it is to make nut butter in the food processor. You only need a few ingredients and you can get creative and mix it up! Melissa, this recipe is for you
- 1 1/2 cup peanuts (unsalted)
- 1/4 heaping cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 tsp oil (I used canola, don’t use olive!)
- 1 heaping Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Process peanuts in the food processor until peanuts break down into a paste, scraping down the sides as necessary, about 3-5 minutes.
- Melt chocolate chips either in the microwave or in a double boiler on the stove. Set aside to cool slightly.
- With the motor of the food processor running, slowly pour in the oil and process until a smooth butter forms.
- Add in the melted chocolate, and process until combined.
- Add in the cocoa powder, salt and vanilla extract, and process until well-combined.
These truffles were just as delicious as they sound. The best part? SO easy to whip together. You don’t even have to bake them. Just mix, freeze, dip and cool. Amazing. The only trouble with these treats is that they are bite sized… very dangerous.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
- chocolate candy coating (not chocolate chips)
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
- Mix in milk and vanilla.
- Add flour and salt and mix on low until combined.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Chill dough in refrigerator for about 30 minutes until firm enough to roll or scoop into 1-inch balls.
- Place rolled balls on a wax paper lined baking sheet and place in the freezer for at least 15 minutes.
- Melt candy coating following instructions on the package. Remove a couple of balls from the freezer at a time and dip into the melted candy coating.
- Add small sprinkles on top and place on wax paper to set. If the chocolate pools at the bottom of the ball, dot the balls on the wax paper until most of it is pulled off the ball and then place it on a clean spot of the wax paper to set.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a week.
Source: Adapted from Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles from Of Love and Olive Oil, posted by Bakerella
I absolutely love fall weather. You can hang out in just a t-shirt during the day and snuggle up in a hoodie or blanket at night. I also love that there are no bugs, and if the night is right in cottage country the stars seem to light up the whole sky. Last night turned out to be girls night with my momma since my dad went to Kingston to go sailing with my hubby. We built a great big fire, grabbed some blankets and sat outside for hours. It was totally awesome. Then we decided we wanted to roast marshmallows. I was grabbing the roasting sticks when I vaguely remembered a Bailey’s commercial where a guy’s marshmallow catches on fire and he dips it in a cup of Bailey’s to put out the flame. Brilliant. We decided we had to try it. The result? Ooey gooey irish cream heaven.
- Large marshmallows
- Approx. 1/2 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
- Roast marshmallow.
- Dip marshmallow in Baileys.
As I have mentioned before, I totally love breakfast. It is by far my favourite meal of the day. I really try to make time to enjoy a cup of coffee and a delicious bowl of steel cut oats or something before taking off for work but depending on my schedule this isn’t always possible! I usually have some some baked breakfast treats in the freezer to grab on my way out the door in a pinch. These little muffins are tasty, healthy, and perfect for rushed mornings when you need something quick!
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 3 cups instant oats
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 2 eggs (at room temperature)
- 2 egg whites
- 2 cups vanilla flavoured yogurt
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 cup grated apples
- 1/4 cup grated carrots
- 1/4 cup raisins
For the Drizzle (if using):
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 2 Tbsp apple juice or fresh orange juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Lightly grease your muffin tins (either full size or mini) with a little canola oil.
- Combine wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl (don’t add apples, carrots or raisins yet).
- Combine dry ingredients together and add to the wet mixture.
- Now you can add the grated apples, carrots and raisins.
- Fill muffin tins 3/4 full and bake for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the muffins comes out clean.
- Heat the honey and juice in a small sauce pan and drizzle over the muffins while they are still warm.
Source: Recipe modified from Health Fridge Muffins by Whitewater Cooks