Oatmeal Raspberry Chocolate Cheesecake bars

IMG_2232[1]

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.

IMG_2254[1]

I’m not.

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

LOOK AT THESE BARS!!

IMG_2261[1]

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.

IMG_2245[1]

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

IMG_2234[1]

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).

IMG_2268[1]

Lemon, Coconut Sweet Bread

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

IMG_2029

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.

IMG_2040 IMG_2054 IMG_2057

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.

IMG_2075

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.

….

IMG_2035

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!

IMG_2039

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)

IMG_2143

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.

IMG_2065

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

IMG_2090

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?!

IMG_2086

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!!

IMG_2087IMG_2094IMG_2096IMG_2099

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.

IMG_2135

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.

IMG_2125

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?!

IMG_1747[1]

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!!

IMG_1700[1] IMG_1735[1]

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!!

IMG_1742[1]

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)

IMG_1722[1] IMG_1728[1]

Directions

IMG_1742[1]

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.

IMG_1744[1]

Cookies and Cream Soft Serve Frozen Yogurt (Fro-Yo)

IMG_1439

Frrroooo-yoooooo.

Does it bother you when people say the shorter version of an actual word. I once called hot chocolate Ho-Cho, and my husband asked me how was my life so busy, that I couldn’t just say hot chocolate. He might have a point … I’m also not 13 … buuutt I’m not 130!!

But FroYo might be different, it’s a thing now – no one actually says frozen yogurt. Well, unless you’re an actual adult and sophisticated and things. Mostly the things part.

How sophisticated are we actually talking, if I stuffed what could have potentially been a healthy snack with chunks of chocolate and oreo cookies?! – you be the judge.

IMG_1468

Cookies & Cream Soft Serve Frozen Yogurt (Fro-Yo)

  • 2 cups plain, full-fat Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1/2 cup mini oreos
  • 1 cup cadbury cookies and cream bar ( any cookies and cream chocolate bar would work just as well) chopped.
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Place the yogurt, honey, and vanilla in large bowl.
  2. beat with a hand mixer until light and fluffy ( approximately 3 minutes)
  3. stir in mini oreos and chopped chocolate.
  4. Using a spatula, transfer the mixture into a saran wrapped loaf pan. Cover with cling wrap, and freeze for 45 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the freezer, and stir mixture ( the corners will start to freeze first, combine with the liquid centre).
  6. Cover again, and place in the freezer for 3 more hours, stirring every 30 minutes.

IMG_1471

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!

IMG_1564

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.

IMG_1484

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.

IMG_1494IMG_1476

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.

IMG_1583

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 … )

IMG_1509 IMG_1511 IMG_1513

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

IMG_1541 IMG_1546

Cinnamon Pecan Brittle

1 egg white

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups pecans

IMG_1548

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.

IMG_1586

Happy Easter everyone!!

 

Herb de Provance Cranberry Shortbread cookies

IMG_9310

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.

IMG_9298

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!!

IMG_9305

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!!

IMG_9252

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

IMG_9257

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.

IMG_9313

…. 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 (!!)