Oatmeal Raspberry Chocolate Cheesecake bars

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I’m on a huge major intense dark chocolate kick right now …

Not that I’m actually eating it all the time, but all I want to do is shovel trunk loads of dark chocolate chips in my face.

I think it has to do something with the intensity of the smell, the depth of the taste – heh, you would think I was an actual food intellect there for a second.

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I’m not.

But I have something delicious and jazzy to share with you!!

LOOK AT THESE BARS!!

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Also, give me all the berries right now – raspberries especially. Ahh … gimme gimme gimme. Funny fact, one of the reasons I actually really like raspberries besides the crazy colour, and taste, is they don’t require much effort to eat. I can squish them in my mouth and we’re good to go … HOW FREAKING LAZY DOES THAT MAKE ME SOUND?! Mehh … it’s the weekend, let’s embrace it.

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Also, these bars have oatmeal in it = breakfast food. Actually, it covers all four major food groups; which means this could totally count as a meal … riiiiigggghhhht?! Mehh … it’s the weekend, let’s embrace it.

Oatmeal Raspberry Chocolate Cheesecake bars

For the Crust:

  • 2   cup Flour
  • ½  cup quick cook oats
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup softened Butter
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • ½ cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

For the Filling:

  • 8 oz softened Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

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Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9×11-inch baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray.

Whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cornstarch for crust.

Cream together butter, brown sugar and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and whip to incorporate. Combine wet and dry ingredients.

Fold in dark chocolate chips and raspberries. Set aside

In a separate bowl, combine all of the filling ingredients.

Press ½  of the crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Top with filling mixture

Crumble remaining topping over the filling mixture.

Bake in a 350 oc oven for 1 hour.

Allow to cool at room temperature and then refrigerate for 2 hours ( refrigerating is optional, but allows for neat slicing).

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Lemon, Coconut Sweet Bread

I have a little bone to pick … with life that is.

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Why is Meyer lemon season seriously .0823123 seconds long?!?! And how the heck to I get my hands on some without them going bad?!

See, originally I wanted to make this recipe using Meyer lemons – because they’re so little and cute and lemony, but not super tart. So I bought a bag ( I could have bought a car for less … by.the.way. – not the point) I ended up keeping them on my counter for a couple of days – and poof – they turned.

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Heartbreak.

So I used regular lemons. And this bread came out spectacular however if you have Meyer lemons, please use them instead and kindly send me a slice of bread … and a box of tissues.

Rant over.

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Also, why do people say, I have a bone to pick .. that’s gross – I’m kind of wishing I didn’t say that now. But what’s done is done – when life gives you lemons – make bread … okay, now I’m definitely wishing I didn’t say that. Although, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t on the floor laughing.

….

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Normally, I share what I bake for the blog with family, friends and co-workers – this bread though, it didn’t even make it out of our home … the top gets so crusty and it smells so lemony as it bakes. I’m clearly welcoming spring with open arms with the combination of lemon and coconut – it was a gamble with the citrus and sweet coconut buuuttt Daaaamn, Daniel!

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Lemon, Coconut Sweet Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Zest
  • ½ cup dried coconut
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp Malibu rum
  • 2 c milk
  • ⅔ c olive oil

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine brown and granulated sugar, flour, baking powder, sea salt, lemon zest and dried coconut.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs, lemon juice, milk, Rum and olive oil.

Combine, the wet and dry ingredients.

Pour into a well-greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour ( it should pass the crumb test by this point)

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Flur De Sel Nutella Brownies

I’ve made a couple brownies in my time … all 20-something years of it. But nothing compares to this recipe.

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  • 2 kinds of chocolate chips
  • Nutella …. Pretty much made out of angel dust
  • Flur de sel …. Pretty much angel dust.

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I was lucky enough to get a personalized bottle of Nutella for Christmas last year – can I just say, how freaking well do my friends know me?!?! and also … Nutella! With my name on it! that screams hands off, doesn’t it?!

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I knew I wanted to do something special with this little gift – I wanted to keep it simple but make sure it was indulgent and blow-your-mind-delicious. Verdict: we have a winner!!

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I also want to defend these brownies beforehand … yes, they’re fudgey – yes, they’re gooey – yes, the flur de sel shines – yes, they’re hella delicious… and no, it’s not quite bikini season yet.

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Aka I got your back, Jack!! (not sure who jack is, but I got his back)

Flur De Sel Nutella brownies

Ingredients

1 cup dark chocolate chips

¾ cups unsalted butter at room temperature

½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup Nutella

3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon coffee powder

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

½ teaspoon Flur de sel

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9×11-inch baking pan spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and butter. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute then stir.

Continue heating until the mixture is melted and smooth but not scorched. Remove from the microwave and let cool slightly. Stir in the Nutella.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, and coffee on medium-high speed until thick. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture. Add the flour, cocoa, and flur de sel.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before slicing.

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Also, in completely unrelated – but totally indulgent news, follow me around town this weekend as my girls and I put our  stretchy pants to good use and eat our way through Kensington Market.

Honey Roasted Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Pecan Brittle

Like most holidays eater weekend means …

An extra day off – yay!!

Tons of food – yay!!

Tons of easter/bunny/spring themed snacks – yay!!

And chocolate – yaaaaay! Yaaaaayyy!! Yaaaayy!!

And naps, there are bound to be a couple naps!

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Again, this year we’ll be doing our annual Easter egg hunt for my parents – seriously, this is the best thing ever. Often my parents would forget where they hid the candy, normally turning into a huge mess, so one year – I think my brother and I were probably in our early 20’s- we turned the tables, and decided to hide candy for my mom and dad.

Best.idea.ever.

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I’ve never seen anything as funny, and they totally get into it. ahhh parents, gotta love them!! Speaking of parents, I feel like I haven’t been home in forever – seriously, I live less than an hour away, and the last time I saw them was like a month ago. It.breaks.my.heart.

But also, real life … I guess. So I’m even more excited than ever to be spending the weekend with them!! Also, there’s nothing like mom’s home cooking in exchange for making her Easter bread…. And carrot cake.

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DEAL!!

Take a lookie look at the cake I got for you today – carrots, cinnamon pecans, annnddd ohhh look at that cream cheese frosting! Sooo … a muffin with frosting?! – pretty much, at least that’s how I was able to justify it when I ate it for breakfast – plus carrots, nuts, dairy in the frosting …. I’m pretty much eating kale.

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Honey Roasted Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Pecan Brittle

1 1/2 cups + 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil ( divided 1 ½ cups + 2 tbsp – 2 tbps)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 ½ cup brown sugar

6 eggs

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

2 ½  cups flour

¾  cup whole wheat flour

1 Tbsp. + 1 Tsp ground cinnamon (divided 1 Tbsp + 1 Tsp)

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

¼  tsp. ground cumin

¼ tsp ground cloves

¼ tsp ground ginger

2 large carrots peeled ( 1 finely grated – 2, coarsely chopped)

1 tin pineapple rings

2 Tbsp Honey

Prepared cream cheese frosting  (or you can make your own … )

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Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine chopped carrots, 2 tbps oil, 2 tbsp honey and 1 tsp cinnamon and pineapple rings. Roast for 30 minutes. Once finished removed from oven.

Lower the oven to 350 oc and allow carrot-pineapple combo to cool.

Grease and flour  one large 12-inch round baking pan or two 9-inch round baking pans.

In the bowl of a large stand mixer, mix together 1 ½ cup + 2 tbsp oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined and smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, add vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients flours, remaining cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, nutmeg, cloves, ginger until combined.

Add cooled carrot-pineapple mixture to a blender, and blend to a thick paste ( it should resemble apple sauce) – you may have to add a little bit a water to help the process.

Combine all wet and dry ingredients.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean.

Remove from oven and allow to cool. In the meantime, prepare cinnamon pecan brittle

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Cinnamon Pecan Brittle

1 egg white

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups pecans

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DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a large bowl whisk together egg white, honey, salt and cinnamon.

Toss nuts in the egg white mixture to coat.  Pour nut mixture onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes, until nuts are browned.

Allow nuts to cool for 5 minutes at room temperature.

 

Assembling the cake

Once cake and brittle has cooled, level off both carrot cakes and break apart brittle.

Divide each cake horizontally (leaving you with 4 or 3 cakes depending on the size of pan used), between each layer, slater on the prepared cream cheese frosting, top with next later of cake. Repeat for all layers. Top the last layer of cake, with your brittle.

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Happy Easter everyone!!

 

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Pumpkin Pie Bars

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Haaapppy Thanksgiving!!

Woooohooooo …. Heh. While most of us ( moi avec mi familia … yes, that was French and Spanish all in one) celebrated Thanksving over a month ago I have an extra special recipe for all of my American readers.

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Pun’kin pie… bars.

Also, I’m being super sneaky this year and celebrating thanksgiving twice because my sweet baboo ( ala Sally Brown) and I are in ‘Merica this week!! Bring on the turkey, pun’kin pie and extra stretchy pants!!

I’m normally not a pumpkin pie person, growing up my mom made a very traditional Trinidadian version – no crust – lots of spices – with huge chunks of ginger ( even though I think this might have been a mistake).

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What’s a pie without crust?!? … especially, when I made a crust out of OREOS!! Pumpkin Spice OREOS!!  I did however take a note out of her book, and spiced this recipe up – and added the fresh ginger … just a little and minced it as much as I can. And taaa-daaa I’m a pumpkin pie looovvaaaahhh … it could just be the oreos… or the magic powers that are in pumpkin spice.

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Mehh. After today, don’t we all just move onto nutmeg and chestnuts anyway … heh. Kidding. Kind of. Starbucks, I love you.

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Pumpkin Spice Oreo Pumpkin Pie Bars

Ingredients

2 cups pureed pumpkin

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cardamom

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon Garam masala

1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla

21 Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cookies (crushed to a fine crumb)

5 Tbsp melted butter

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°

Line a large rectangular baking pan with greased foil.

In a large bowl, combine oreo crumbs and butter.

Add to bottom of prepared rectangular pan.

Bake for 5 minutes.

Remove from oven.

In a medium microwave safe bowl, add pumpkin puree, spices, salt and fresh ginger Microwave for 2 minutes.

Allow mixture to come to rooms temperature, it should be warm to the touch. Whisk in remaining ingredients.

Pour into crust and bake for 15 minutes.

Lower the heat to 350, and bake for an additional 45 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Slice and enjoy.

IMG_9037Just a note ( and if you’re not super hungry right away) – if you refrigerate the bars for at least 45 minutes, they slice extremely clean.

Fudgy Chocolate Chip Brownies

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Very important question – your brownies; do you like them more cake-like or fudge like?

Frosted?

Jam packed with other goodies?

Nuts? … who am I kidding hold the nuts.

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I seem to have a habit of fussing up my brownies on the blog – but sometimes a girl just has a hankering for some daaaaarrrnn tootin good fudgy brownies!!

So I made some.

And true to my nature, I couldn’t just make regular brownies, I needed them obviously to have a bit of a spin.

Coconut oil.

Ahhhhh these are probably the closest brownies to fudge, without actually eating fudge.

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Fudgy Chocolate Chip Brownies

INGREDIENTS

¾ cup coconut oil

1 cup chocolate chips – divided ½ cup x ½ cup

1 cup packed brown sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon sea salt

½  cup all purpose flour

¼ cup cake flour

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INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a microwave safe bowl, combine ½ cup chocolate chips and coconut oil for 25 seconds, or until the chocolate melts.

Whisk the chocolate mixture in a bowl with the brown sugar. Whisk in the eggs until the mixture thickens, about 30 seconds. Stir in flours and sea salt until just combined. Toss in remaining ½ cup chocolate chips.

Pour into a prepared baking dish and bake for 25 minutes.

Allow to cool and slice.

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These would also make the perfect bed for Halloween candy *hint hint*

Pretzel Chocolate Chip Peanut butter cookies

 

Chocolate, peanut butter and pretzels … OMG YES!

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Sweet, salty, creamy, crunchy goodness.

For summer, the weather in these parts of town have been straight trippin ( don’t even ask me what that was, and why I said it)

It’s been perfect for movie marathon weekends, filled with junk food, popcorn and baking.

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And it’s not even cool out, its muggy and doing magical things for my hair.

#TheStruggleIsReal.

I need to announce, that I also saw Pitch 2 last weekend … and umm Aka-mazing!! I can’t say it was as good as the first, but Fat Amy had me on the floor!! Annnd this weekend, Jurassic World .. I need to see it / be scared / have bad dreams … you know, for old time sake.

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What are you wild cats doing this weekend?!

I’m partying with my bestie and her familia tonight … she’s getting married in 49 days … which also means for the next 49 days and the foreseeable future I’ll be in a corner sobbing . I have attachment issues, as well as issues with the fact that we’re apparently grownup and shizz … heh. Shizz .. such a funny word.

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I’m also going to a baby shower for another amiga who’s having a little minion … sorry, that should say munckin.. but whatever works.

Aaaannnnd Sunday is tonight’s besties bridal shower … ahhhh yeeeeaaaa!!

So to summarize : Brides, Babies … and by Monday Booze.

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Can I just stick to making cookies, and ixnay on the rest of life?

Pretzel Chocolate Chip peanut butter cookies

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Ingredients:

 

1 egg, room temperature

1 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1  cup peanut butter

1/2 cup Butter

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup Chocolate chips

¼ cups broken pretzel pieces

24 pretzels for topping.

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Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, cream egg, brown sugar, peanut butter, margarine, and vanilla.
  2. Add flour, baking soda, and salt–mix in until just incorporated.
  3. Fold in your chocolate chips and broken pretzel pieces.
  4. Cover your mixing bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside.
  6. Remove your dough from the fridge and scoop 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet.
  7. Top each cookie mound with pretzel.
  8. Bake cookies in oven for 9 minutes. Remove from oven &allow cookies to cool for an additional 10.

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