Linzer Speculaas Carrot Cake Bunny Squares

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YYYYAAAABBBAAAA DAAABBAAA DOOOO LONG WEEKEND!!!

Are the Flintstones still on T.V? Do you youngin’s know who the Flintstones are … Justin Timberlake said he was old at the Radio Music Awards … What the heck is happening to the world around me … 0o0o0o bunnies!!

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Needless to say I’m PUMPED about the long weekend. To be honest, I don’t have much planned – just lots of family time and food. The usual long weekend shenanigans … oh yes, and of course an Easter egg hunt.

My brother, husband and I are all adults … I get it – there really are no kids nearby … but that’s why our Easter egg hunts are AMAZING!!

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Some years we switch things up a bit, and we hide Easter chocolates for our parents to find … SO FREAKING HILARIOUS … not so fun, is finding week old chocolates in random places ( maybe a surprise in disguise to be honest). I thought since you’ll probably get your chocolate fix through Cadbury mini eggs … SERIOUSLY HOW ARE THESE SO ADDICTIVE … I’ve eaten the weight of a small child, in eggs in the last …. 24 hours – I’d say sorry … my tummy ache is making me say sorry … but it was sooooo good.

And still, easter isn’t the same without a little carrot cake .. and what’s dinner without dessert.

It’s a Carrot cake and cheese cake mish-mosh … and it’s so cute!!


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This was supposed to be a jelly-roll sort of cake … buuuttt … I wanted cute bunnies. I’m also super scared of rolling a cake .. what if it cracks … what if the cake isn’t all the same thickness… seriously, too much stress for a dessert.

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 I’m so happy with the way these squares came out – they’re delicious, pretty and technically 2 desserts in one – WINNING!!

 Linzer Speculaas Carrot Cake Bunny Squares

 Speculaas Carrot Cake Layer

  •  3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1 teaspoons cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamon powder
  • 3/4 cup flour + 1 tsp for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup crushed Biscoff or Speculaas cookies ( approx 3 cookies)
  • 2 cups shredded carrots

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Cheesecake layer

  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 14-ounce can (1 1/4 cups) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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 Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a jelly roll pan with foil, spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with 1 tsp of flour.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together eggs, sugars, oil, vanilla extract and coconut extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together salt, baking powder, ginger, all spice, cinnamon, cardamom, 3/4 cup flour and crushed Speculaas cookies.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients until blended — stir in carrots.
  5. Spread in prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely — approximately 30 min. This is  the best time to make the cheesecake layer.

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  1. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, condensed milk, lemon juice and vanilla extract.
  2. Once your cake layer has cooled, taking your favourite cookie cutter ( I used a bunny) make cut outs, leaving 1 inch of cake between each.
  3. Remove the center of each of your cutouts ( helllloooo snack time!!)
  4. Layer your cheesecake batter over entire pan – filling in our bunny cutouts.
  5. Refrigerate for at least an hour / overnight.
  6. Once set, turn over onto a clean surface and slice.

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I hope everyone has a delicious, safe Easter Long Weekend!!

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Not-so-traditional Irish Soda Bread

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HAPPY ST. PATRICKS DAY!!

Confession : I’ve posted many st.patty’s day appropriate snacks on LTSL but, can anything compare to delicious bread fresh from the oven slathered with butta … not even butter or forget margarine … you want enough butter on this pot of gold, that you start calling it butta …

Unlike most celebrations, instead of celebrating with cake today … you need bread. Stick a candle in it, do a little jig, pour yourself a drink annnndddd celebrate!!  You also need this Not-so-traditional Irish Soda Bread because you’re responsible and when you OD on Guinness, green beer or (and) whisky tonight, you know you’re going to want to curl up with something delicious.. or you could just be like me and truly believe break fixes everything.

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Also this bread is actually easier than most.

No rise.

No yeast.

Big win.

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Not-so-traditional Irish Soda Bread

 Ingredients

3 ½ cups all purpose flour

1 cup pastry flour

3/4 cups granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup cold margarine

2 cups cranberries

1 tablespoons fennel seeds

2 1/2 cups milk

1 tbsp + 2 ¼ tsp Cream of tartar

1 large egg

1 Tsp Orange extract

3 tbsp cornmeal

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 Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter heavy cast iron skillet and sprinkle with cornmeal.

In a medium dish, combine milk and cream of tartar. Refrigerate until ready to use.

In large bowl, whisk together both flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.

Add margarine; using fingertips to incorporate until the mixture is the consistency of corn meal. Stir in cranberries and fennel seeds.

Whisk together egg and orange extract. Gently fold into milk mixture.

add to dough. Stir just until well incorporated.

Transfer dough to prepared skillet; smooth top, mounting slightly in center. Using small sharp knife dipped into flour, cut 1-inch-deep “X” in top center of dough.

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Bake until bread is cooked through and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool bread in skillet 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely.

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Hope you have a lucky St. Patrick’s day my little leprechauns xo

Dark chocolate chunk kefir Oatmeal Banana bread.

If I ever become pregnant I seriously worry for my husband. I’m not even close to being pregnant and I get cravings like a mad woman!!

Randomly I’ll get a whiff of maple syrup and NEED TO HAVE waffles … sometimes is cheese danishes … other times its peanut butter cookies … other times doughnuts … sometimes it’s salad ( not very often, but it happens …) this time it was banana bread.

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Banana bread studded with huge chocolate chunks – dark chocolate chunks. Not too sweet … so I can justify it as breakfast, but also sweet enough that I can have it as an afternoon snack over coffee.

That’s where this fine lookin loaf came from : Dark chocolate chunk kefir Oatmeal Banana bread.

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I’ve never actually baked with kefir before, I didn’t know what to expect – I hoped that it would be acidic like buttermilk, but with a lower fat content. The result was perfect, a dense banana bread, that was loaded with chocolate chunks. Sweet – but not overly sweet … and ( note: I’m about to say the “M” word ) Moist … I can feel my teeth hurting from just reading that word.

Make the bread ladies and germs, you totes-ma-goats need this bread. Ahhh and then make this banana foster with it – you’re welcome!! And now … I need that banana foster.

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Dark chocolate chunk kefir Oatmeal Banana bread.

Ingredients

3 whole, ripe bananas

1 large egg

3/4 cup Kefir Milk

1 tsp Vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup flour

3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 tsp cinnamon powder

½ tsp ground ginger

1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks.

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mash bananas in a medium bowl, then stir in egg and kefir and vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl whisk together flour oats, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, cinnamon powder, ground ginger.

Add dry ingredients to the wet.

Stir in chocolate chunks.

Pour mixture into a lightly greased loaf pan.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

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Taaa daaaaa …. This shit really is B-a-n-a-n-a-s.

… sorry, there was no way this entire post was going to happen without me saying that!! Happpppyyyy ddaysss my loves.

Gingerbread English Muffins

I don’t think there’s anything I love more than bread.

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And breakfast.

And cookies.

But dear I say, that bread trumps it all. And the smell of home-made bread … ahhhhhhhhhh I just want to burry my face in hot buns!! … Hi, welcome to the land of awkward … and a little weird … don’t be scared, I’ve got bread to share with you!!

Seriously – when I’m on death row .. I’m asking for homemade bread – smothered in butter.

Real butter.

Not margarine.

Buutttaaahhh!!

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I am. And, we’ve returned to the land of a-ca-awkward. And that has nothing to do with my death row comment, mostly just referring to my talk about margarine.

So I made English muffins, combining my love affair with all things bread and all things breakfast ( I can’t stand eggs though .. random, but true … I lie, I can … just not all the time – and eggs Benedict .. stop, I can’t. it’s a consistency thing).

And of course they’re Christmas-y and gingerbready and buttah …. There’s butter!!

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Gingerbread English muffins

1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water

2 1/4 cups bread flour

1/2 tablespoon brown sugar + ¼ tsp

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

¼ tps ginger powder

¼ tsp cinnamon powder

¼ tsp ground clove

¼ tsp fresh nutmeg

1 tablespoon shortening (or butter at room temperature)

3/4 cup milk

1 Tbsp molasses

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil + 1 Tsp

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 Directions:

Combine the yeast with the warm water sprinkle ¼ tsp brown sugar on top.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, remaining brown sugar, sea salt, ginger powder, cinnamon, ground clove & nutmeg. Stir in the shortening. Now pour in the yeast mixture, molasses and milk.

Stir until a dough ball forms.

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Place in a lightly 1 tbsp coconut oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise until doubled in size—approximately an hour and a half to two hours.

Divide the dough into eight equal parts. Roll each muffin into a ball. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and a little bit of cornmeal (or flour). Cover, and allow to rise for an additional hour.

Heat a cast iron skillet (or other oven safe pan) over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of coconut oil. Cook for 7 minutes on each side.

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Once you’ve cooked each side place into the oven at 400°F for 10-12 minutes until the English muffins are cooked through and golden brown.

Remove from the oven, and bring on the butter!! These would also taste amazing with marmalade.

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Sunday’s With Joy : Blueberry Peppercorn Goat Cheese Biscuits

Well lookie, lookie who finally decided to grace us with their presence!

Moi.

I’m here … I’m baking and munching through the sweet life.

It’s been quiet on the blog, I know.

I have to share a little secret with you crazy kids. A little secret that’s pretty major.

For the last sixteen weeks I’ve been planning a wedding.

My wedding.*Cue the freak out music now*

Mr. LTSL asked me, I said yes and I instantly heard Etta James ” At Last” in my mind. Mr. Fiance ( side note: did you know fiance, is the male form of fiancee … we may have totally had a long discussion about such),makes my sweet life, that much sweeter and I couldn’t be happier / more excited / nervous / scared / anxious / giddy. This is huge to me. With that being said though, planning a wedding is hard and keeps both a little lady and her soon-to-be busy! And so, I’ve been MIA.

But I’m back. And I’m sprinkling your life with a little joy today. Actually, this week I’ll be doing a little Sunday’s With Joy catch up.

Keep your eyes, ears and taste buds tuned for a full week of Joy Recipes. And to start;

Blueberry Peppercorn Goat Cheese Biscuits.

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Yes! Sweet – savory – spicy. You want and need this in your life. All of Joy’s recipes can be found in her outstanding cookbook, below I will simply include my adjustments ( because I can’t leave amazing alone, without added a little extra sweetness 😀 ) .

Blueberry Peppercorn Goat Cheese Biscuits.

SWJ: BBGCB

Adjustments:

  • Substituted Whole Wheat Flour for : 1 1/2 Cups Brown Rice Flour, 1/4 Cup Chai and Flax seed Powder, 1/4 Cup fiber curls.
  • Used Peppercorn Goat Cheese
  • Added 1/4 Tsp Cumin Seeds
  • Added 1 Cup Fresh Blueberries
  • Baked as one large biscuit, then cut into wedges.

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Shall we make some biscuits?

  1.  BBGCB
  2. Blueberry Peppercorn Goat Cheese Biscuits.
  3. Blueberry Peppercorn Goat Cheese Biscuits.  Blueberry Peppercorn Goat Cheese Biscuits.
  4. Blueberry Peppercorn Goat Cheese Biscuits.  Blueberry Peppercorn Goat Cheese Biscuits.  Blueberry Peppercorn Goat Cheese Biscuits.
  5. Blueberry Peppercorn Goat Cheese Biscuits.

Bake – slice – drizzle with a little extra honey and…

Blueberry Peppercorn Goat Cheese Biscuits.

Ta-daaa!!

Have a great day children of the playground

xox

Panettone Bread Pudding

🙂

I’m here. I’m alive & kicking. Everything is great. And yes, I have an explanation for my blog hiatus.

Explanation:

  • Holiday season = Family & Food Coma.
  • 5 day trip to Vegas for Papa Ltsl’s Birthday  ( I have pictures to share with you of food that will rock your socks and send you to the moon & back … they’re coming. Soon.)
  • Work & life. I got back a week and a half ago and since, I’ve been on a roller coaster ride… in the best way possible. Let’s just say 2013 is going to kick 2012’s cupcakes 😀

Let’s cut the chit-chat though … and get down to the goods.

FOOOOOOODD. 

I think something is happening. I think my taste buds are changing – I’d like to believe I’m becoming more mature, cultured and open to new foods and ideas.

I just made myself sound more fancy than I actually am.

Give me a second with a jar of nutella and it’s a different story.

Though I will never outgrow cookies and milk, pbj sandwiches and a heaping bowl of gooey mac & cheese. I made something recently on a whim – I knew I didn’t like bread pudding … but I also know Mama LTSL loves it and it wouldn’t go to waste.

It’s a consistency thing, I don’t like anything that jiggles in my mouth ( wow – sometimes, I type things and re-read it and just think …you need a thesaurus!!)

My point is, jello … no thanks – custard – I’ll pass – creme caramel – do you have cheesecake instead?

I knew this bread was safe from my always-craving sweet tooth.

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So I used stale bread – chopped – soaked – added a dash of this and a splash of that – baked and allowed it to sit. I sliced it, mama tried it fell in love and I left it there.

Opening the refrigerator one day, I got a whiff of that strong cinnamon and citrus coming from the bread pudding. I snuck a piece ( of course, the super crunchy- caramelized – corner bit) and

I fell in love.

Instantly.

Verdict: I love bread pudding!

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… it might just be this one and the fact that I could down an entire panettone to myself if given the opportunity, but id like to believe I’m becoming more of an adult ( … yea right)

Panettone Bread Pudding

1 Large Panettone ~ Cubed ( no need to make it need, the more “rustic” the prettier it will be)

3 Cups Full Cream

1 Cinnamon Stick

2 Small Pieces of Orange Peel

1 Tbsp Whole Cloves

2 Tbsp Melted Butter

4 Eggs

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon

1 Tsp Ground Nutmeg

1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

2 Tbsp Dark Rum ( or 1 Tbsp Rum extract)

Directions:

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In a large pot, add full cream, cinnamon stick, orange peel and whole cloves. Allow to simmer for 2 minutes, until small bubbles begin to form. Strain contents, saving your flavoured cream. Allow to cool, as you prepare the other ingredients.

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Preheat your oven to 350 oc. Lightly butter a 12 x 16 inch baking pan.

Arrange your cubed panettone in the baking dish.

To the cooled cream mixture, add the melted butter, eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract and rum. Mix until well combined.

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Spoon the mixture over the arranged panettone, allowing the spongy bread to soak up all the yummy-goodness.

Bake for 1 hour, until the top gets toasted and brown and the bread pudding passes the toothpick test.

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Nothing fancy- pretty simple – and totally suitable for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack.It’s a good thing, and it will make your home wreak with winter spices.

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Panettone Bread pudding, your family and tummy will thank you.

Happy chomping darlings!!

Cinni-tastic Banana Coffee Cake

Cake. It should be breakfast. And there should be cinnamon spice and all things nice.

And since it’s the first meal of the day – we should start with some fruit. Hence, the bananas.

Most importantly it should be delicious.

I could eat the picture :$

And it should smell like heaven as it bakes. It should smell so good, that as soon as it comes out of the oven you should be tempted to sneak a taste from the top. You know, that crunchy corner bit, a little burnt but mostly caramelized from the rich sugary deliciousness. You should be tantalized, but don’t do it.

It’s hot – trust me, it happened to a friend of a friend of mine (or maybe just me ….). I hear it can burn the roof of your mouth, all in the name of deliciousness.

Worth it? … Of course.

So I did this thing, I added cinnamon buns to banana bread and called it a coffee cake.

It was a good idea. My taste buds & tummy thank me … my thighs & behind, not so much. But I’m trying to convince myself that this is preparation for the cold weather (…. Whatever works).

Prepare yourself for a long winter, but getting toasty with a little coffee cake.

Cinni-tastic Banana Coffee Cake.

4 Bananas ~ smushed

¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

¼ Cup Brown Sugar

1 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract

2 Cups Flour

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 Tbsp. Cinnamon

¼ Tbsp. Sea Salt

1 Tsp. Ground Nutmeg

3 Large Cinnamon Danishes ~ chopped ( snackage may occur during this process … just saying)

Topping:

2 Tbsp. ready-made icing.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 oc and prepare a 9 x 13 baking pan.

In a large bowl, add together smushed bananas, olive oil, brown sugar and vanilla.

Using another bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt.

Add your try ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined.

  

Add your chopped danishes.

Add to pan and bake for 35 minutes.

Remove from oven and drizzle icing over warm cake.

Get involved with a little yum … if not for the actual bread, just to make your kitchen smell like a million bucks ( how does a million bucks smell good … money smells disgusting) … instead you want your kitchen to smell lick-your-lips-delicious.

Enjoy darlings xox

P.s: have you entered your favourite scents & tastes of the holiday season – – you could win cookies!!