Thursday, November 21, 2013

S'mores Rice Krispie Treats

Want to know something kindamaybe crazy? I have never been camping.


I've slept in a motorhome, a cabin, and some very questionable hotels, but never a tent. Never under the stars, on a bed of lumpy dirt, soothed to sleep by the swish-swishing of sleeping bags.

I'm not completely nature deprived, though. I've been on plenty of hikes, and met my fair share of wild animals (there are lots of cougars, coyotes, and bears that wander our neighbourhood, since Canada),

But lately? Lately I've been having some weird urge to give it a try, but a hip injury from a car accident has made sleeping on the most comfy of beds difficult, so it will have to wait.

In the meantime, tucked between physio, painkillers, and long waits to see specialists, I brought a little bit of camping to me instead. S'mores Rice Krispie Treats, made with browned butter, marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate chips. All melted together in perfect harmony.

It's not the real deal over a campfire, but it's just as fun to share with your family.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sugar Cookie Trees

Sugar cookie trees are a fun and easy winter treat that kids love to stack (and eat).


I love, love, love making elaborate cakes and treats, but sometimes I just want to throw some cookies on a plate and still have it look seriously impressive. These cookies are as easy as 1-2-3 (4-5-6-7-8...), and can be frozen ahead of time and plunked on a dessert table at your big holiday family function.

Ready for the details? I made these with flower shaped cookie cutters, and stacked 1-2 per size to get the shape I wanted. You can use any shape you'd like, from circles to stars, to get other cool looks. For the tree stump, I used a slightly flattened 1/2 inch piece of Tootsie Roll (lifted from my boy's Halloween candy stash, natch), but you can also use a Rolo, or chopped up chocolate bar to get a similar effect. 


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Vegan Gingerbread Doughnuts with Maple Ginger Glaze

These vegan gingerbread doughnuts are, according to my boyfriend, the best thing I've ever made.


That should mean something because he eats a lot of things. Mostly things I've made, so he's kind of an expert on my kitchen exports. And he's totally right: these are incredible.

(So was the look of shock in his eyes when I told him they're vegan!)

The spice blend gives the perfect hint of gingerbread, and reminds me that Christmas and (hopefully) snow is just around the corner. The glaze sweetens them up just a notch, and really drives home the ginger notes.

All in all? The absolute best way to warm up for the upcoming holiday season.


Friday, November 8, 2013

Movember Moustache Cookies... on a stick!

I may not be able to grow a moustache for Movember, but I can definitely bake one.


Or a dozen. And so can you!


These moustache cookies are a lot easier to make than they look, and just take a batch of sugar cookie dough and some chocolate. You can have a fully grown and groomed 'stache in an hour - way, way less time than it takes to grow one. And you can actually eat these ones.



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Maple Apple Pie with Spiced Pastry

You know how you have some rules you just live by in life? 


My rules include:
1. Wear sunscreen if you go outside. Hell, wear sunscreen if you go near windows while indoors.
2. Remember that you don't know how to swim, so stay away from water.
3. You won't be happy that you watched that scary movie, so just don't.
3. You also won't be happy that you said no to having dessert, so just don't do that either. 
4. Actually, just don't say no to food.
5. Always, ALWAYS, cake > pie.

It doesn't really even matter what kind of cake. The worst cake is better than the best pie, in my twisted little world.

Or so I thought. Until this guy (ugh. I really wanted to spell that as 'gie') came along and made me a believer.


Given my life rules, you can imagine that for a pie to take centre stage, be made repeatedly, and - yes - even chosen over cupcakes, cake, and all those other chocolate-centric things I like, well, it must be love.

This pie takes everything good about pie and amplifies it. The cozy apple-loving spices are infused into the crust, making every bite delicious. The filling is warm and gooey with a hint of maple goodness. The topping pattern is fun with a little bit of whimsy. It doesn't even need ice cream to wash it down! (My former go-to pie survival trick. Life can be so hard, non?)


So go ahead. Give this pie a chance.


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