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.

Lemon Thyme Sugar Cookies

If I send out spring energy into mother nature, do you think she’ll reciprocate and make spring actually come to be?!

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So we’re a week into April, and I won’t complain too much – I know we didn’t have a terrible winter but dudes – I’m so ready for spring! I want to wear open toe shoes, cute flowy dresses, I want to be able to finally leave my huge-mongous winter jacket behind!! Also … there’s tons of ice cream to be eaten on bright balconies – priorities.

Could there BE anything more spring than lemons?! Well, tulips maybe … and I’ve been trying to flood my kitchen with them – but lemons to me, with that burst of tang – ahhhh brrring on the spring!!

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Today’s Lemon Thyme Sugar Cookies are dainty and kind, but relatable. They would fit in beautifully over tea, but put them out at a lemonade stand ( do kids still do this?!) and they’ll be gone in no time. The cookies are sweet, savory and a little tangy – most importantly, you’ll want them in your face as soon as they come out of the oven!!

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Lemon Thyme Sugar Cookies

1 cup margarine

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar + 2 tbsp (separated 1/2 cup by 2 tbsp)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp cornstarch

2 eggs

2 1/2 cups flour

2 tbsp lemon zest  (separated 1tbsp x 1 tbsp)

1 tbsp fresh thyme (finely chopped)

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Directions

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Pre-heat oven to 350 oc.

In large bowl, combine margarine, brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, vanilla and eggs.

In a separate bowl whisk together baking soda, cornstarch, flour and 1 tbsp lemon zest.

Combine wet and dry ingredients.

In a small bowl, combine 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp lemon zest and 1 tbsp thyme. Massage together to release all of the lemon-thyme extracts.

Scoop out cookie dough using a 1 tbsp scoop, roll into a ball and gently roll in lemon-thyme-sugar mixture. Place on cookie sheet 1/2 inch apart.

Bake for 9 minutes, and remove from baking tray right away.

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Herb de Provance Cranberry Shortbread cookies

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At the rate I’m going, I might as well start referring to my blog as a cookie corner!! While, I’ve clearly proven I’m crazy for cookies – there’s something about a sweet and a touch savoury shortbread cookie!! This particular recipe has a good crunch to it, it would hold it’s own next to any cup of tea – a pipping cup of coffee or hungry little ones looking for a yummy snack.

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Also, I can’t even describe the amazing smell of these as they bake – almost like spring time flowers. You can thank the herb de provance!!

Can we talk about this AH-MAZING herb blend … since discovering it late last year – I pretty much add it to everything under the sun!! Cooking beef –   herb de provance ; lamb – herb de provance ; salad dressing – herb de provance ; making muffins … herb de provance and cookies, dude – that could do with some herb de provance!! It’s a combination of Rosemary, Marjoram, Thyme, Savory and lavender aaaahhhh soooo good!!

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Dear I say, these may be my absolute favourite non-chocolate related cookie ( I had to be specific, because we all know nothing can come between me and a chocolate chip sea salt cookie fresh from the oven!!). It’s THAT delicious!!

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Herb de Provance Cranberry Shortbread cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon Herb De Provance

1/2 cup Dried Cranberries

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

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Directions:

Cream together butter and sugar.  Add egg and extract.

Add flour, Herb de Provance, cranberries and sea salt. Mix until combined.

Divide dough and shape into 2 long cookie-logs.

Wrap each in parchment paper and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and bake for 17 minutes.

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…. And then, you’re more than welcome to send me some :)

p.s … I apologize for all of the double exclamation mark-ness of this post … they just make me that excited (!!)

Mocha Melting Moments Cookies

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There’s two more days until Christmas!! WOOOO HOOOOOOO!!!

Tell me, you’re done all of your Christmas shopping?! – if not, I vote homemade gifts for everyone.

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Sooo this year I went a little overboard on cookies … I mean yes, for the holiday season in real life, but also on the blog…. Annnndd while you can never have too many cookies – I feel like I may have saved the best for last… not that I’m playing favourites, I can’t be biased when it comes to snacking on santa’s favourite treat.

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Buuuuuuuuuutt … don’t these cookies remind you of snowy mountains?!?  In other news I can pretty much guarantee it will be snowing in July around town since it’s way too warm right now for us to be having a white Christmas.

February is going to hit us hard isn’t it?! I’ll be dreaming of these days in a couple weeks won’t I?! My only issue is how the heck am I going to have a magical snowy white Christmas morning, sipping hot chocolate by the fireplace … you know, like how Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen did in To Grandmother’s House we go!! Ahhh the plights of my life … rooooof-stooouufff.

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Mocha Melting Moments Cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup flour

3/4 cup cocoa powder

¾ cup cornstarch

¼ tsp salt

1/2 tsp instant coffee powder ( or expresso powder)

⅓ cup confectioners sugar + 1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted ( once cooled)

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tsp Baileys Liquor

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Directions:

In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, salt and instant coffee powder.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar. Add Baileys. Mix in flour mixture.

Divide dough into two. Shape into 1 inch log – flatten slightly. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Take out the refrigerated dough and scoop into 1 inch balls. Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool, once cooled, dust the tops with remaining confectioners’ sugar.

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Merry Christmas everyone, I hope you have a beautiful season filled with love, family, food and of course lots to laugh about – I’ll be sure to be back next week xox

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap : Cranberry Orange Dark and Stormy Cookies

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Guuuuuuuuuuuuuuyyyyyysssss….. first, I have to apologize — the site was down and I’m suuuuuuuppppeerrr late in posting this recipe!! Unless, we can all rewind and pretend we’re back at last wednesday?!?!

I’m sure we can all use a couple extra hours around this time of year – do we have a deal, or do we have a deal?!?! Gooooooooooodddddd deal.

I have booze to convince you if I already haven’t:).

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But first, take a gander at these amazing cookies I received as part of this year’s Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!!

IMG_0244 This is my third year participating, and it’s pretty much like an early preview to christmas every time I receive a package — aannnnndd best of all, we make some major dough in support of Cookies 4 Kids, bringing awareness to childhood cancers!! It’s a total win-win.

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I received a gorgeous dozen Chocolate pistachio sables from the amazing Stacy of The Little Red Button … 4 words – Melt.In.Your.Mouth … seriously soon good!! And I also received a dozen scrumptious dozen Chewy Maple Syrup Fudge Cookies from Marie of Food Nouveau …. they totally had this Canadian Girl smitten!! Thank you thank you thank you to both of you!!

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I know every year, amazing cookies are created for this special event, and in the past I’ve stuck with familiar holiday season flavours and to be frank, why fix something if it aint broke ( that’s probably not close to the saying, but you know what I mean). The base of my cookie was the flavour of ginger beer … a HUGE trinidadian classic around this time of year.

And it got me thinking/googling for cocktails with a ginger beer base…. hence the dark and stormy – throw in some orange and cranberry for a little zing and we have ourselves a killer cookie!!

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I will warn you, this recipe yields a lot of cookies … like A LOT … I originally needed to only make at least 36 … let’s just say I made over 75 cookies with this recipe – you could easily make the cookies larger ooooorrrr cut the recipe in half.

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Cranberry Orange Dark and Stormy Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 ½  cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 ½  cup brown sugar
  • 2 large egg yolk
  • 2/3  cup gingerbeer
  • 1 tsp rum extract
  • ½ tsp orange extract
  • 2 ½  cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cup bread flour
  • 2 ½  tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp orange zest
  • 1 tbsp mixed peel
  • ¼ cup crystalized ginger, diced
  • 1 cup diced cranberries

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Directions: 

  •  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add egg yolks and rum extract and mix until just combined.
  • Add beer and mix again until just combined.
  • Add flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cornstarch, cinnamon, ground ginger, and orange zest mix until just combined.
  • Add in mixed peel, crystalized ginger and cranberries.
  • Scoop out cookie dough by the rounded tablespoon full onto prepared cookie sheets – note the cookies will spread.
  • Bake at 325 for 14 minutes.

I hope you all have a beautiful holiday season …. I’m sure I’ll be back with a couple more posts before the new year😉

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