Friday, October 26, 2012

Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes

For someone who isn't that into Halloween, I'm sure getting into decorating for it. 


Or at least baking for it. And let's be honest, I can get behind baking for just about anything. These cupcakes weren't for me though; I made them for the Annual Fall Bazaar at the Banfield Pavillion at Vancouver General Hospital, home to 200 adults who need life-long medical care. I hope they were a hit with all who attended!


Want to learn how to make these little gumpaste pumpkins? It's way easier than it looks (unless you think it looks easy, then it's exactly how easy you think it is).

Dye some gumpaste orange and some more gumpaste green. Roll a small amount of the orange gumpaste into a ball, squishing it slightly so it gets a pumpkin shape. Using the dull side of a knife, or the edge of a skewer, indent lines into the sides so they meet at the top. It will look a little like a basketball; this is fine. Indent a small (3-5 mm) dent into the top of the pumpkin -- this is where the stem will sit.

Take a very small bit of green gumpaste and roll it into a cone. Wet the indent of the pumpkin with water, gumpaste glue, or egg white, and stick in the stem. You can create a little vine, too, if you're feeling fancy.

See? Not so scary! Go give it a try.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween Cupcakes

Are you ready for Halloween?


I am nowhere close to being prepared. It's probably because -- brace yourselves -- I'm kind of indifferent about Halloween. I hate it because it's just an obstacle in the way of Christmas, but I love it because it's the catalyst for Half Price Candy Day (my all time fave holiday celebrated on November 1st)


But I love an excuse to bake cupcakes, and Halloween offers up some pretty cool decorating options, like these chocolate spider webs and pumpkins.


So how do you make them? Simply melt chocolate and pipe it onto a sheet of parchment or tin foil, then pop the designs into the freezer for a few minutes. If your kitchen is as warm as mine, the webs will soften over the top of the cupcakes and create a cool effect. The recipe for the cupcakes and frosting are below the cut!


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Whole Wheat Chocolate Swirl Buns

Sometimes breakfast needs to be turned into dessert.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Swirl Buns

Okay, around here breakfast pretty much always needs to be turned into dessert, usually just with maple syrup, though. But these Chocolate Swirl Buns are the perfect combination of a no-yeast whole wheat bun dough and a sweet chocolate filling, and they're completely irresistible whether it's morning or late at night.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Swirl Buns

Of course the boy rejects them for a poached egg on toast with a smoothie, and judges me silently while I have my early AM sugar fix.

There are downsides to teaching your children about proper nutrition, and I have found them.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Swirl Buns


That aside, these buns take under 15 minutes to prepare, and just 20 or so minutes to bake, giving you chocolatey heaven in under an hour. And whether you'll eat them for a snack, dessert, or breakfast, I won't judge you.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Birthday Cake Pancakes

I'm not sure about at your house, but in mine we don't just celebrate birthdays with cake.

birthday cake pancakes

We celebrate them with breakfast, too, turning pancakes into mini birthday cakes full of sprinkles and vanilla. And real maple syrup. Because this is Canada, after all.

birthday cake pancakes

Of course, it doesn't have to be someone's birthday to whip up a batch of these. These birthday pancakes make every morning worth celebrating.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Lego Birthday Cake

What's the quickest way to a 6-year-old's heart? A lego cake, of course.

lego cake

The boy turned 6 on Saturday, and my Friday night was spent putting together this Lego-inspired cake for his party. Or rather, these Lego men are working hard to put together the cake, which is vanilla with a classic chocolate buttercream icing (because fondant is disgusting and I'm allergic to it).

lego cake

This smug guy is the foreman. We all know his type...

lego cake

And these bad dudes are the work of my man, who added a bit of drama to the scene with goal-stealing thugs.

lego cake

Happy birthday, Hayden! 


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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Baked Lemon Donuts with Lemon Glaze

What do you do when life gives you lemons? You make baked lemon donuts with lemon glaze.

Baked Lemon Donuts

And you also use cliched introductions. But it's early and I've just started caffeinating, okay?

I just bought a brand new kitchen toy: a donut pan! It makes baking donuts as easy and as accessible as baking cupcakes or cake. You just make the batter, drop it into the pan, and voila -- donuts in 10 or so minutes. 

Baked Lemon Donuts

These lemon donuts are the first to be made, and ended up light, fluffy, and the perfect mix of tartness and sweetness. I'm sure the recipe would work just as well as cupcakes, if you haven't gotten your hands on a donut pan yet. But you should, because baked donuts.

On Facebook? Get sneak peaks at upcoming posts and giveaways over here! On Twitter? Tweet with me here!



Ps. Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Baked Pretzel Bites

Soft pretzels always deceive me with how simple they are to make.

pretzel bites

Even though I've made pretzels countless times, I always find myself curling my lip in disdain when I replay the process in my head. Then halfway through I realize I'm being whiny and that the dough really only takes a handful of minutes to prepare. It's the rising time, people. It gets me every time. 


Anyway, this time I thought I'd simplify the process even more and make soft pretzel bites, a recipe I adapted from an Alton Brown classic that yields crispy, soft, golden brown pretzels every time. They make a perfect snack for Football Sunday, after school, or late-night carb cravings.

Go ahead and try 'em! I guarantee you'll be surprised with how simple the process really is. Also, dip them in chocolate sauce. Seriously.

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