Gingerbread Chai Snickerdoodle Pound Cake

I’m obviously on a mission to guarantee your kitchen and home smells like a million-billion-zillion bucks .. aka the holiday season!!

Could there BE anything more Christmas-y that cinnamon and gingerbread smells?!?!

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Our tree goes up this weekend!! I can’t wait, I always loved putting up the tree growing up, but it’s a little bit more special now that it’s just Mr. LTSL and I. It genuinely is OUR tree, and as you look at it, you can definitely see our personality shining through. Our decorations range from places we’ve traveled to together, shiny gold blubs, tons of homemade knickknack’s and guarding it all, just at the tippy top sits batman ready to fight off any prying Grinch … and right next to him, a cupcake of course. Randomness, at its best.

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I’m sure there will be Christmas carols playing, and I’ll be baking up a storm!! And there will be wine … possibly, probably, mulled. Annnnd with all of that hard work of rocking around the Christmas tree… we’ll need cake!!

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Gingerbread Chai Snickerdoodle Pound Cake

Ingredients:

4 eggs, room temperature

2 cups sugar + 2 tablespoons ( separated)

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 tablespoon  dark molasses

2 all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cake flour

21/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground ginger powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder + 1 tablespoon ( separated)

1/2 tsp fresh nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground clove

1-1/4 cups milk

4 Chai Spice Tea bags

2/3 cups butter

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, beat eggs. Slowly add 2 cups sugar, until mixture is light and fluffy. Add almond and molasses.

Sift together flours, baking powder, ginger powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg and ground clove. Slowly add to batter.

In a small saucepan, heat milk and chai tea – you want to begin to see small bubbles forming and the tea extracting. Do not boil.

Once simmering, remove tea bags and add butter. Allow it to melt.

Slowly ( and carefully) add hot mixture to the batter. Stir just until combined

Pour into a greased baking pan. Bake at 350° for 60 minutes.

While the cake is baking, combine remaining 1 table spoon of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a small bowl.

Once the cake is finished, remove from oven and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar topping.

Allow to cool completely, and slice.

Cool on a wire rack.

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Pour me a glass , and start blasting the Christmas carols….  it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!

Orange Cranberry Muffin Cookies

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We’ve got some cookie, cake, muffin top, biscuit type action happening here!!

These cookies are daaaarrrrnnn tootin fun #DTF ( Name that show, and no – not jersey shore), but I don’t know if I can actually call them a cookie.

Can we just call them breakfast?! Oranges, cranberries and muffin top crumble?!?! Wait, does that kind of remind you of a coffee cake.

I feel like my recipe is going through an identity crisis!!

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Does it all cancel out, if it’s deeeelicious?!

Heh – the weather around Toronto is also going through a bit of an identity crisis — I know I will regret these words come February but it’s December uno and I haven’t seen any snow … HOW THE HECK WILL WE HAVE CHRISTMAS WITHOUT SNOW?!?! In random news, did anyone go black Friday shopping?!? Cyber Monday clicking?!!?

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Oh the holidays … soooo darrrrrnnn tootin fun!!

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Orange Cranberry Muffin Cookies

Cookie Ingredients

1 1/2 cups flour

½ cup cake flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1/3 cup milk

1 teaspoon orange extract

2 teaspoon mixed peel (or orange zest)

1 cup dried cranberries

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Topping ingredients  

¼ cup flour

¼ cup turbinado sugar

2 tablespoons butter

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Directions

In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients. Set aside until you are ready to use.

Combine flours, baking powder, and sea salt in a bowl, set aside.

In a bowl cream together butter and sugar. Add in egg and beat until combined. Add milk, and orange extract.

Slowly add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and mix until combined. Gently fold in mixed peel and cranberries.

Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.
Once chilled, scoop out large balls, placing at least an inch apart on your prepared baking tray. Top with prepared topping .

Bake for 15 minutes, at 325.

Allow to cool on baking sheet for at least 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack.

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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*

Smoked Sea Salt Dulce De Leche Skor Cheesecake

Wwwoooord to big bird

… smoked sea salt

…. Dulce De Leche

… Skor

… chhhhhheeeeessseeecake

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Aka salty, sweet, creamy, flava -flava-flava.

Do cool people still say word to big bird .. can we see about making that popular again? It probably was never popular😦

Doll faces, this cheesecake is soooooo good ( totally worthy of all of those extra ooo’s) and its easy peasy, you just have to be a little patient. Unless you like goopy cheesecake, in that case – heh dig right in … for everyone else, the hardest part is allowing the cake to relaxie-taxi for a couple hours.

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By the way, can i call you doll faces … as well, for any of you that noticed that friends reference can we be BFF’s and I’ll call you doll face for eva eva eva.

In complete random news, I heard a rumour that Spice girls and backstreet boys are doing a tour … you realize, if this actually happens, my life would be completed. I would want nothing more… for eva eva eva …. this is just a rumour isn’t it😦 … I need to remember that we’re no longer in the 90s and in fact the spice girls and BSB were popular 20 years ago, don’t I?

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I also now need to drown the fact that I feel old!!😦

Smoked Sea Salt Dulce De Leche Skor Cheesecake

INGREDIENTS

Crust Ingredients:

2 ½ Cups Graham cracker crumbs

1 cup Skor Chips

1 Tsp Smoked Sea Salt

2 Tbsp Brown Sugar

1 Tsp Cinnamon powder

2/3 cups unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake filling

8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature

1 can dulce de leche condensed milk

1 ½ Tsp Smoked Sea Salt

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup Skor Toffee bits

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DIRECTIONS

Combine crumb ingredients, press the crumb mixture into a 9-inch springform pan. Freeze while you prepare cheesecake mixture.

In a large bowl, beat the cream, condensed milk, sea salt, lemon juice smooth. Beat in the condensed milk a little at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla extract

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Pour the filling into the crust; smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle remaining skor chips.

Refrigerate until firm ( approximately 3 hours) or overnight.

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Honey Roasted Plum Pound Cake

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Mmmm the smell of this cake alone will have you swoon!! And if that doesn’t work look at all that crumb!!

Funny story — I know that prunes are really dehydrated plums – but I always wondered, how the heck do every day plums that we see, end up looking like those prunes ?!? There’s no similarity how is this even possible ( yes …  these are the things I wonder about😦 )

And then I found these!!

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Ontario Blue Plums … don’t these look more like prunes?!!?

… Prunes are a weird way to start today’s post, I apologize – the cake makes up for it.

And the crumb topping … ohhh the crumbs.

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I’m definitely one of those lovely ( read : slightly annoying) people that stand over things like this carefully picking away at the most crunchiest ( completely toasted) crumbs. That’s also the reason that I make extra crumb mixture … you can definitely half the recipe and still have more than enough for a delicious topping.

And shall we talk about this honey roasting business .. so good! It makes your home smell like fall … and with the cinnamon in the cake … ahhh i can’t even deal!

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Honey Roasted Plum Pound Cake

Roasted Plum Pound Cake 

12 blue plums cut in half

1/4 cup Honey

1/2  cup water

2 cups all- purpose flour

1/2 cup cake flour

1/2 cup margarine

1/2 cup milk

2 large eggs

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp ginger powder

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

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Crumb topping 

1  cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup Rolled oats

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup melted margarine

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Directions

Preheat oven to 400 of – on a large baking tray, spread halved plums skin side down – drizzle with honey.

Bake for 40 minuets.

Remove from oven and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, cinnamon, ginger powder, baking powder and baking soda.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk margarine, milk, eggs and vanilla.

Plums should be cooled by now. Place all of the plums and any syrup that was created into a blender. Add water. Blend until plum sauce created ( approximately 3 minuets on high)

Add plum mixture to whisked liquid ingredients.

Add all of your wet ingredients, to the dry. Mix well.

In a small bowl, combine all of the crumb topping ingredients. Crumble with your fingers.

Lower oven temperature to  350 oc.

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Fill a prepared loaf pan, and sprinkle with crumb topping.

Bake for 50 minutes.

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Enjoy!!

Pumpkin Walnut Pumpkin Spice Swirl Bread

Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all of my Canadian Buddy-old-pals!!

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This long weekend ( like many long weeks) to me is the official kick off of fall … warmer clothes, my heat goes on in my condo (yippee)..it’s also the official kick off of hockey? YEEESS!! Hahaha .. you can take a girl out of Canada, but you can’t take the Canada out of a girl.

Do you guys remember making hand turkeys when you were younger? … I’m pretty sure I did in elementary school … and then things got a lot more sophisticated when we began making placemats in grade 5. Those were the cool days!!

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This weekend Mr. LTSL and I will be spending it with family, there’s sure to be lots of food and probably a few post-turkey naps tossed in.

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend, filled your loved ones … and a little (or a lot) of turkey doesn’t hurt either. And while the focus maybe on dinner, I have a breakfast that will blow your family away.

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Almost too pretty to eat. Almost. And then you take a bite, and you’re in love.

Pumpkin Walnut Pumpkin Spice Swirl Bread

Dough

 1/2 cup milk

3 tablespoons butter

2cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

n a medium sized bowl, heat milk and butter in microwave for 1 minute should be warm to the touch. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add 2 cups flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and salt. Mix until well combined. If the dough is too sticky, add 1 table spoon of flour at a time, until you get a firm dough. On a lightly floured surface, place dough and knead until smooth and elastic. Form into a ball.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl.

Cover and allow the dough to rise for 2 hours.

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Filling

 ½ cup Pumpkin Puree

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

1 tablespoon pumpkin spice

¼ cup walnut halves

1 large egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

In a small bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, brown sugar and pumpkin spice. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to approximately an 11 x 15-inch rectangle. Spread the pumpkin  mixture uniformly on the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Starting lengthwise, roll the dough like you would a cinnamon roll. Pinch together the edges to seal.

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Using a sharp knife, cut the rolled dough in half lengthwise. Pinch together one end of the dough and braid the two long strands. Pinch together the remaining end. Form the dough into a circular shape and pinch together the pinched ends. To create a pumpkin swirl wreath.  Transfer the circle to a lightly greased cast-iron beaten egg. Gently tuck in walnut halves sporadically around the dough. Bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

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Enjoy, remember to take a moment this weekend to remember how lucky we are to live in such an amazing country – with all of the opportunities presented to us. Take a moment to be thankful for great friends, your health and you’re happiness. It’s the simple things … like how amazing your house now smells😉

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Peach Blackberry Croissant Custard Cake

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As if anything says sum-sum-summmaaa time like fresh berries, peaches, sunshine and cake.

It’s very possible I just added the cake part, but look how peeerrrrdy this cake is.

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It’s a stunner!! It’s all bright and fruity and custardy and pretty deerrn easy to make.

Your weekend needs a little cake.

Life needs cake.

I need cake.

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Heh. So fun fact – every week when I do the grocery shopping there are a couple items you will always find in my trolly

  • Milk
  • 5 oranges, 2 apples, 2 pears, strawberries ( if they’re in season)
  • Kale
  • Snacks for Mr. LTSL … which means any one of the following, Apple Danishes, butter croissants or Belgian waffles and Jello.

… every week I pick up a container of either Apple Danishes, butter croissants or Belgian waffles for Mr. LTSL and normally it finishes once Friday rolls around.

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Except when there are leftovers and I have to find something delicious and snazzy to do with it. So I make cake.

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Peach Blackberry Croissant Custard Cake  

2 Large Peaches

1/4 cup water

1 cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar ( separated 1 cup x 1tbsp)

4 stale croissants, torn into 8 pieces each

1 ½ cup blackberries (separated ¾ cup x ¾ cup)

4 eggs plus 2 egg yolks

3/4 cup whole milk

1 cup cream

1 tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup brown sugar

1/2 cup ground almonds

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/3 cup sliced almonds

1 tbsp turbino sugar

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Directions : 

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Preheat oven to 325. Liberally spray an 8-inch cake pan.

Heat water and  1 tbsp of sugar in a large pan over a medium heat, add peaches and cook until the water is absorbed by the peaches . Remove from heat, and allow to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs, yolks, remaining 1 cup sugar, brown sugar, milk, cream, almond extract and vanilla extract until well combined.

In a separate bowl mix ground almonds with cinnamon and ground ginger.

Add 1/3 of torn croissants to your prepared cake pan.

Add ½ of peach mixture and toss in ¾ cup of blackberries. Over your fruits , add ½ of your spiced almond mixture.

Make a second layer, using the exact same process.

Last, add remaining 1/3 of torn croissants, pressing down gently to secure all of your flavour. Pour your liquid mixture over your cake and allow to stand for 1 hour.

Next, top with sliced almonds and turbino sugar.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Remove from oven, and allow to cool completely -this also helps the liquid mixture settle – should take approximately 45 min.

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Slice & Enjoy!!