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Chewy Ginger Snaps

20 Dec

I started making these ginger snaps last year as a request from my sister for her birthday. “Gingersnaps… but chewier” was the request, which at the time was a bit paradoxical, being that its characteristic hard texture is part of the cookie’s name.  Nevertheless, one party favor led to  another and I’ve become known for these soft gingersnaps, regardless of what time of the year it is. Gingersnaps in summer? Why not.

Luckily its the holidays, so now I can feel a bit more temporally justified in making gingersnaps to go along, perhaps, with some mulled wine. Really I just want to make the two of them together because in the film Amelie, her darling neighbor offers her gingersnaps and mulled wine, an endearing gesture and a fine culinary combination.

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Continue reading

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The Cookies Everyone Beg For

14 May

All my friends have been asking for my cookie recipe, you know, the one I use on a day-to-day basis, the easy and simple chocolate chip for everyone.

I have to admit to everyone that due to the high volume of cookies I make, I rarely do cook a full batch. Thus, I make a half batch. And when I make a half batch, it is never worth all the liquidity of an entire egg. So… I use liquor! I know it sounds strange, but it gives it a nice crispiness on the outside and a softness on the inside. So its my new favorite trick.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 c brown sugar (100 g)
  • 1/2 c butter (115 g)
  • 1 t vanilla extract (5 ml)
  • 1-2 T liquor (rum, whiskey, a flavored something of your choice!) (15-30 ml)
  • 1 t salt (5 ml)
  • 1 t baking soda (5 ml)
  • 1 c flour (125 g)
  • 1 T corn starch (15 ml)
  • 1/2 c chopped up chocolate or chocolate chips (84 g)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325* F ( 160*C)
  2. Mix brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and liquor until creamy and well blended.
  3. Add salt, baking soda, and corn starch
  4. Add half of the flour and stir until incorporated. Add remaining flour.
  5. Add chocolate.
  6. Divide into round 2T dough balls and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed down with cooking oil.
  7. Bake for 8 minutes in preheated oven.
  8. Makes around 12-18 cookies.
  9. Enjoy!

Easy Variations:

Soft Gingersnap:

  • Use only 1/3 cup of brown sugar
  • Add a couple T of molasses
  • Add 1T freshly grated ginger
  • Add 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice and 1/2 t of cinnamon
  • Roll dough balls in sugar or sesame seeds before baking

White Chocolate and Crasin:

  • Substitute chocolate chips for equal amounts of White Chocolate chips and Crasins

Gluten Free Quinoa-Banana Pancakes

13 May

These are really a delicious and hearty breakfast option. Even the lover of all carbs will be charmed by this number.

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You’ll need:

  • 1 banana, mashed (preferably one which is more ripe)
  • 1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa, prepared to package instructions (around 1 cup prepared quinoa)
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 or 2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 c corn starch
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • Maple Syrup for serving
  • optional: Almond milk

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy.
  2. Add sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda, and corn starch. Incorporate until smooth.
  3. Using a spoon or spatula, add all of the cooked quinoa and banana. Stir well. Batter should have same consistency of normal pancake batter. If too thick, add almond milk by the tablespoon. Too thin, add corn starch by the tablespoon.
  4. Heat a griddle on medium-high. Be sure to use a non-stick pan and grease before each pancake.
  5. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle. Once bubbles form and pop on batter it is time to flip. Cook on both sides and serve with maple syrup.
  6. Make about 8 pancakes.

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Salvadorian Breakfast Cakes

10 Jan

…They’re so good. I’ve been oogling over this recipe for quite some time and decided to make them today for my Birthday. This is a lightly adapted recipe that I found on Food52, I just tried to make it a little more healthy. Seems to have worked out pretty well- these little cakes are still super super savory, buttery, cheesy delicious and gluten-free.

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Makes 18 cakes.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 grated parmesean
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350* and line muffin tin with cup-cake tins.
  2. Cream together butter, yogurt, and sugar.
  3. Add eggs 1 by one until fully incorporated.
  4. Add grated parmesean and sour cream and mix thouroughly.
  5. Finally, add rice flour, baking powder and salt gradually into the mix.
  6. Divvy batter into 18 cup cakes (filling batter pretty high in the tin, these guys won’t rise so much since they’re made of rice flour so don’t worry about overflow.)
  7. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. You can use either white or black (or none) but I thought the black gave a nice aesthetic touch.
  8. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Enjoy! Continue reading

Maple-Pumpkin-Cheese cake-Pie

15 Nov

Mmmm Hmm! Everyone seemed to really like this. It’s the best of all worlds…kind of cheese-cake, kind of pie, kind of pumpkin, kind of maple syrup… In total, its warm and happy and sure to put a smile on your face for next Thursday. Or today. Whatever you chose.

You’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin
  • 200g cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 T pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pie crust

For THE SAUCE, use this delicious delicacy.

Directions:

  1. Make your pie crust, or prepare a 9″ pie pan with cooking spray, and preheat oven to 350*F
  2. In a blender, food processor, or with your wonderful own wonderful strength, mix together pumpkin, brown sugar, and eggs until smooth.
  3. Cut up your cream cheese into small cubes, and mix it thoroughly into your batter.
  4. Add all remaining ingredients.
  5. Bake in a preheated over for about 30-45 minutes.

Serve, and Enjoy!

Salted Carmel Whipped Cream

20 Oct

It’s a hit, and perhaps sounds a bit weird, but you are bound to Love it.

You’ll need…

For the Caramel Sauce you’ll need:

  • 3 T  butter (salted or unsalted), cubed
  • 1/2  c sugar
  • 1/4 c heavy cream
  • 1 t vanilla (optional)

For the whipped cream, you’ll need:

  • 4 tablespoons of the caramel you’ve mad above
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Directions:

  1. I highly recommend that you have all your ingredients for the caramel measured and at your side for this caramel sauce. Go do that right now. Then find a pan, and put it on your stove. Take a deep breath. If you’re nervous about this whole process, you can make it easier for yourself by adding several tablespoons of water to the sugar, I won’t judge you, but your caramel might not taste AS creamy-spectacular.
  2. Place sugar in a pan over high heat, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon or a whisk. At one point the sugar will begin to melt, be sure to be stirring the sugar into itself so that the melting is dispersed. You can have some awkward hard chunks of un-melted sugar in your caramel otherwise. Then it will begin to get brown like caramel. This is good. When all the sugar pieces have dissolved, add the butter, FAST.
  3. WATCH OUT IT BUBBLES! Enjoy feeling like a mad chemist for a moment. Continue to stir. The bubbles will subdue.
  4. Turn that heat off, or at least keep it very low.
  5. Once the butter has melted, pour in the cream, and like always keep whisking or stirring or whatever it is that you do best. Dance a little perhaps? Just groove.
  6. Heat, off. For real this time. Don’t try eating it like me. Learn from my lesson and wait 10 minutes, then try it. Oh, I almost forgot, if you want to add that vanilla, now’s the time. Stir it in there. Delicious.

Now for the whipped cream:

  1. Place everything except the caramel in a food processor, mixer, or in a bowl and get some handheld blades, or be really keen and prepare yourself for a good old arm workout- grab a whisk.
  2. Whisk that cream until it’s whipped.
  3. Add the carmel, and whip some more. Add more caramel if you like, or more salt if you like.
  4. Enjoy!

Try it with the pies too…mmmmm!

Apple-Cinamon Galette & Salted Caramel Whipped Cream

20 Oct

You may not know, dear American readers, that here in Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the first Monday of October? So, perhaps all these Thanksgiving-themed recipes are coming at you much earlier than expected, but they will fit the season in any case! I made three pies/galettes for a thanksgiving potluck at my darling friend Nathan’s home. A true hit they were.

You’ll need:

  • Galette crust
    For the Dough you’ll need:

    • 2 cups of flour
    • 1/3 cup cream cheese
    • 2/3 cup of butter
    • 2 T milk or water
    • 2 t baking powder
    • 1 t salt
    • 1 t honey
    • Additional flour for sprinkling
  • 4 apples
  • 3 T butter
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 T cinamon
  • 1 T flour

Directions:

For the dough:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Place flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.
  3. Cut butter and cream cheese into small cubes and place them in the bowl.
  4. Mix well with a hook attachment to a mixer or simply with your hands.
  5. Add milk and honey and continue until you’ve formed a dough
  6. Spread flour on a cutting board and on rolling pin. Roll out dough until its around 10-12″ wide
  7. Use a big ol’ plate as a stencil for your crust
  8. Place it on a baking pan

For the apples-insides:

  1. Cut apples into thin slices
  2. In a pan, melt butter and add cinamon and brown sugar
  3. Add sliced apples and allow them to become drenched in butter mixture. Once they become fragrant and are soft, they are finished.
  4. Carefully scoop the apples and place them in the center of the dough
  5. Carefully fold the sides of the galette onto itself:
  6. Add flour to remaining sauce to allow it to thicken
    and pour it all over your galette’s insides
  7. If you have extra dough, consider making it into fun shapes like leaves for autumn!

    Cut out shapes

    put stem on top of leaf

    Flip over and press over stem, then detail with knife

  8. Marvel at your unbaked galette
  9. 9. Place in an oven for about 2o minutes until golden:

And Enjoy!

Slice me!

Don’t forget to check out the Pumpkin-Maple Pie, Salted Caramel Whipped Cream, or Fool-proof Pie Crust Tutorial !

Lizzy’s Surprise and More from Nuit Blanche!

30 Sep

This year for Nuit Blanche, my roommates and I had a fabulous idea… sell cookies, on our bikes. It made total sense, the entire city of Toronto would be out and about searching for art, and all the restaurants would be full, and there we’d be, on our bikes with hundreds of cookies at our disposal. Indeed, the plan was a success. Jamie, Jill and I baked up 5 different types of cookies: Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Caramel, Peanut Butter, Oatmeal Chocolate Craisin, and… Lizzy’s Surprise. All of the cookies baked, except Lizzy’s Surprise, were made from recipes we found online. We decided to make a mixed media cookie, for all the eclectic people out for Nuit Blanche… and it was quite the hit!

Unfortunately, the cookies ALL got eaten (or sold to our very happy surprise), so we do not have any images of a Lizzy’s Surprise. But! the recipe is still here for your viewing pleasure. :-)

Happy Customers:

First Customers

Customers on Bike, like Us!

This guy bought 1 of each kind from us!

We even found live art work to get cookies from us! ;-)

Finally, us three- as Cookies on Wheels

Great success. So were these cookies. Trust me, they’re pretty good!

You’ll need:

  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 T instant coffee
  • 2 T peanut butter
  • 2T nutella
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup smashed potato chips
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Melt butter and allow to cool. In a mixing bowl, mix butter, sugars, vanilla, and egg until well combined.
  3. Add peanut butter, nutella, and instant coffee
  4. Next, slowly add Flour, baking soda, and salt into the wet mixture and mix until a dough forms
  5. Add chocolate chips and potato chips
  6. Roll into 2T balls, place on a baking sheet and cook for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

Seared Scallops in Creamy Peanut Sauce with Cranberries and Pine nuts

9 Jul

My darling aunt Jen has recently been appointed as a federal judge. (Go aunt Jen!). For the past month or so, my aunt and my cousin Steve have been living nearby so that aunt Jen could get trained as a federal judge. Likewise, we’ve had more family time to enjoy each others company and do fun things like go out to dinner, brunch, and lunch. In fact, last week we went out to celebrate her judgeship by getting lunch at a fun Spanish restaurant. I got some gazpacho and bacalao (cod fish, something I’ve been dying to try because from what I can gather from Profesora Manuela [my Portuguese Professor], Portuguese  people basically eat bacalhau for breakfast lunch and dinner). Well, I’ve never had either bacalao (Spanish for cod) or bacalhau (Portuguese for cod, yes the two languages ARE different), but either way, I had to try the bacalao because it was on this menu… it was served with a white cream sauce and grapefruit? Interesting eh? It was fabulous. This Spanish restaurant was really good with adding hints of different flavors, savory and sweet, sour and salty…. genius.

Well get this, they served my mom a dish with scallops, peanut sauce (we think), raisins, and pine nuts. It was to DIE for. First moment we had to recreate it, we did. My mom bought the scallops and said “attack”. So, this is me trying to attack and recreate what was served to her, and the panel judges (my parents) enjoyed it quite a bit. Hope you do to.

Aunt Jen, congratulations on becoming a federal judge! I know you love seafood, hope you like this recipe too.

You’ll need:

  • 14-15 scallops
  • sesame seeds
  • butter
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/8 cup of pine nuts
  • 1/8 cup of crasins/rasins/whatever you desire
  • Parsley or cilantro to garnish

For THE {Creamy Peanut} SAUCE You’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup of peanut sauce
  • 1 T dark liquor, we used Pimm’s
  • 2 T cream (half and half worked great)
  • 2 t brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 t cider or rice vinegar
  • dash of lime
  • 1 clove minced garlic

Directions:

  1. In a pan on medium heat, warm butter and garlic until fragrant
  2. Pour sesame seeds onto a plate and place scallops in the sesame seeds, coating either side
  3. Place in the butter pan and sear until it gains a browned coating
  4. Next, place cranberries and pine nuts in the pan with additional butter and cook them. Add some brown sugar if you would like to caramelize the pine nuts and cranberries. Set aside.
  5. In a bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce.
  6. Finally, in a pot or in the same pan, warm up the mixture and allow to thicken slightly, and remove from heat.
  7. Serve your scallops with the cranberry-pine nut garnish and creamy peanut sauce. Side of beans would do it well too. Add parsley and enjoy!

Coconut Tres Leches Waffles

11 Jun

Who doesn’t love coconut?

I made some tres leches cupcakes for my darling friend Anna the other day and had left over tres leches sauce. They came out pretty wonderfully:

I decided it would be best to use the leftovers for waffles the next morning. So I did. Hope you enjoy! Continue reading

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