Gingersnaps with Lemon Sugar

Gingersnaps really aren’t my favourite type of cookie, and I don’t necessarily reach for citrus desserts, but I decided to give this week’s Baked Sunday Morning recipe a try anyway.

I was mostly motivated by the fact that this is a one bowl, one spatula recipe, and it was really quick to mix up. The dough includes vegetable oil instead of butter, molasses, and of course ground ginger and cinnamon. My dough was really soft, and hard to roll into balls, and a little bit challenging to roll around in the lemon sugar.

The recipe notes that you can bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes for a chewy cookie, or 15-20 minutes for a crunchy cookie. I went with 12 minutes, because if I have to eat a gingersnap, I want it to be the chewy kind, not the crumbly kind.

My cookies turned out really flat, so I’m curious to see how my fellow recipe testers fared. They were crunchy around the edges, but chewy in the middle, and I was surprised the lemon sugar didn’t give them an overwhelming citrus flavour.

You can find the recipe here!

More Baked Sunday Mornings here!

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Brioche Burger Buns

by byn on January 17, 2015

in Bread

Brioche Burger Buns

These burger buns have been my white whale. Even though I feel like I’ve conquered my fear of yeast over the past five years, for some reason, this recipe has given me nothing but frustration the handful of times I’ve tried it.  But I didn’t give up!

I finally had success with it over the holidays, and it was a very humbling experience. Since you can’t go to therapy for bread baking disasters, here’s where I will work through my issues, and document my notes to myself for next time:

  • The first few times I attempted these buns were on weeknights after work when I had limited time. Of course it was a disaster. I may have gotten too cocky after some of the bread baking successes I’ve had as of late. I think it’s better for me to leave the yeast projects to the weekend.
  • The recipe notes that the dough is supposed to be on the sticky side, so I was always afraid of adding flour during the kneading process. This resulted in a dough that was practically impossible to shape after the first rise. Lesson learned: it’s okay to add more flour whenever it starts to get sticky during the 8-10 minute knead time. The buns will still be okay; they won’t turn out tough.
  • My dough was still quite tacky during the shaping stage, but instead of giving up like the last time I tried these, I found that a light spritz of non-stick spray right on my hands really helped me to shape them and not get so frustrated.
  • I really need to follow all the instructions. I thought – I’m sure I don’t need to spray the plastic wrap with non-stick spray – to place on the shaped dough balls for their second rise. Cut to me prying the off the plastic wrap and it taking half the dough with it. Womp womp. I sprayed the crap out of it this time, and all was well.
  • Seriously, I need to follow the instructions. Each time I tried to make these, I skipped the baking sheet of water on the lowest rack in the oven. Each time my buns baked up flat, without the puffy shape you want in a burger bun to sink your teeth into. Of course you can see where this is going. I finally added it, and of course, my buns puffed up just like they were supposed to. Success!

As far back as this post in 2010, you can see evidence of my unhappiness with store-bought buns, and now my burger bun dreams have finally come true. These babies are soft, but sturdy, and just taste incredible. Along with barbecued burgers in the summer, here are some other things I can’t wait to stuff into these: Pulled Braised Beef & Onions, Slowcooker Buffalo Chicken, Pulled Chicken with Brown Sugar Bourbon Barbecue Sauce and of course, yesterday’s Sloppy Janes.  They also freeze really well, so you can make a batch and stash the leftovers for another day.

Brioche Burger Buns

Source: Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

3 cups bread flour (13 1/2 oz)

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 1/2 tbsp butter, softened

1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)

3 tbsp milk

2 1/2 tbsp sugar

2 tsp active dry yeast

1 egg

+ egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water)

+ sesame seeds for sprinkling

Directions

  1. Take a deep breath, and make sure you’re not in a rush. Okay? Let’s go.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the butter and with clean hands, rub it into the flour mixture until crumbly.
  3. In a glass measuring cup, add the water, then stir in the milk, sugar and yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy. (If your yeast doesn’t foam, it’s dead. Buy new stuff and start again).
  4. Beat the egg in a little bowl with a fork.
  5. Alright, add the yeast mixture and the beaten egg to the flour mixture, and stir together with a spatula until everything comes together.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a floured counter and knead it like you mean it for 8-10 minutes. The dough is quite sticky, so don’t be afraid to add more flour as you need it.
  7. When the dough is kneaded, shape into a ball and add to a lightly greased clean bowl (I spray it with non-stick spray), cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled, 1 – 2 hours. (Mine only takes 1 hour).
  8. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. When the dough is ready, punch it down, then cut into 8-12 equal pieces, depending on how big you want the buns.
  9. Roll each piece into a ball, and if the dough is too sticky, spray your hands lightly with non-stick spray, and that’ll help.
  10. Place the dough balls on baking sheets (6 per sheet), then cover them with plastic wrap that you sprayed with non-stick spray. Don’t skip the non-stick spray, because I have, and it’s a disaster. Let the buns rise for another hour.
  11. Now this is key: take another baking sheet and fill it with water. Place a rack on the lowest level in the oven, and place the water filled baking sheet on it. Now preheat the oven to 400.
  12. Brush the tops of the buns with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake on the middle rack, one sheet at a time, for 15 minutes, until nicely golden brown.

 

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Sloppy Janes

by byn on January 16, 2015

in Beef & Pork, Dinner

Sloppy Janes

Sloppy Joes have a bad wrap, right? They’re messy, meaty, and just not cute. But it turns out that when you make the sauce from scratch and stuff the filling inside fresh soft buns, they’re totally delicious, not to mention quick and satisfying.

I saw this recipe on A Cozy Kitchen a couple of years ago, and have been making it ever since. I was briefly interested in a vegetarian lentil version after having it at my friend Alexis’ for lunch one day, but settled back on this.

The delay in posting is partly attributed to my quest to make the perfect bun for these, which I finally did over the holidays. That’s them in the picture! I have so much more to say about that process that I’ll do a separate post tomorrow.

In the meantime, this is another legit one-pot 30 minute meal. The leftovers also freeze really well, which I like for quick winter weekend lunches. I’ve been eating these with my friend Heather‘s dill pickles and it’s an insanely good combination.

Finally, I am a lady, so I’m calling these Sloppy Janes, not Joes.

Sloppy Janes

Source: A Cozy Kitchen

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, diced

1/2 yellow pepper, diced

1 lb ground beef (I use extra-lean)

2 cloves garlic, minced or grated with a microplace

15oz crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup ketchup

1 tbsp worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or 1/4 tsp if you don’t want them too spicy)

1 tsp brown sugar

+ burger buns, homemade if you’re up for it

+ grated cheddar

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and yellow pepper and saute for 5 minutes, until the vegetables have softened.
  2. Add the ground beef, breaking it up as you stir, and cook until it’s no longer pink, about 5 more minutes. Add the garlic, and let cook for a minute more.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes, ketchup, W sauce, cayenne pepper and brown sugar, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Taste and add more salt if it needs it.
  4. Serve on toasted buns with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese if you like.

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Thai Chicken Fajitas

by byn on January 14, 2015

in Chicken & Turkey, Dinner

Thai Chicken Fajitas

Sometimes “professional” food bloggers take themselves a little too seriously for my liking. By professional, I mean those who blog full-time, while I maintain my amateur status so I can blog in the Olympics (Bonus points if you get that Friends reference). I was trolling on a few of my favourites to my friend Jenn before the holidays, when she gave me the greatest Christmas present I didn’t even know I missing from my life.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Food Blogger Forum on GOMI.

I LOLed for real as I worked my way through the threads, although I avoided the Smitten Kitchen one since Deb can do no wrong in my eyes.

The author of the recipe for these fajitas is featured quite prominently, and I won’t repeat anything here, but you can check it out for yourself. Shout out to Tiegs though, but whenever I’ve made anything from her site, it’s actually been pretty great. I made these Thai Chicken Fajitas for the first time last winter, and as corny as this sounds, they’re bursting with flavour: marinated chicken, zesty mango slaw and coconut rice. Yes please! The coconut rice is truly a revelation, and I could eat the whole pot with a spoon.

I will neither confirm nor deny that I have a secret board on Pinterest dedicated to her recipes.

Thai Chicken Fajitas

Source: Half-Baked Harvest

Yield: this is half the original recipe, enough for 2 or 3 servings

Ingredients

Chicken

1 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, grated with a microplane

3 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp cumin

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced

1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced

1/2 yellow pepper, thinly sliced

Mango Slaw

2 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tbsp fish sauce

1 tsp sweet thai chili sauce (if you don’t have this, just leave it out)

1/4 tsp chili powder

1 tbsp cilantro, chopped

1 mango, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced

Coconut Rice

1/2 cup jasmine rice

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup water

1/2 tbsp coconut oil

1/4 tsp salt

+ flour tortillas

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic, lime juice, brown sugar, chili powder, smoked paprika and cumin. Add the chicken strips and peppers and stir to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and stick in the fridge for an hour or so (or at least while you make the mango slaw and get the rice ready).
  2. For the mango slaw, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, fish sauce and chili sauce. Add the cilantro, mango and peppers, and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and stick in the fridge.
  3. For the coconut rice, add the rice, coconut milk, water, coconut oil and salt to your rice cooker. Give it a quick stir, and let it cook.
  4. When you’re ready to cook, heat a large skillet over medium heat, and spray with non-stick spray or add a tbsp of oil. Cook the chicken and peppers until the chicken is cooked through, maybe about 5-8 minutes.
  5. To assemble, first add a little rice to a tortilla, then chicken and peppers and top with mango slaw.

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Creamy Bowtie Pasta with Kale and Sausage

In January I usually refrain from bringing treats into the office, because I don’t like hearing everyone complain about how I’m ruining their New Year’s resolutions. I expected more of the same in my new job, however last week, someone put out a gigantic tray of Ferrero Rocher, and it was gone in about 12 minutes.  Then I brought in a cake on Friday for my friend who resigned to go back to school full-time, and the ENTIRE thing was gone, with only one person refusing a slice because he’s “on a cleanse”. I find all of this fascinating. Perhaps I’ve finally found where I belong!

It always feels good for me to get back into a routine in January, and a big part of this is cooking dinner again after eating out so much over the holidays. This week I have three recipes to post that I’ve actually made multiple times, and as per usual, if I don’t log them here I’ll forget they ever existed. So first up is this completely satisfying pasta dish that I made for the first time a few months ago, and am now obsessed with. What’s happening here is sausage, sundried tomatoes, a bit of kale* or spinach, lots of garlic and a splash or two of cream for richness.

I’ve streamlined the recipe just a little bit to eliminate some of the extra/weird ingredients (who ever has three types of fresh herbs in their fridge? why would you put smoked paprika in this?) and this is a legit weeknight meal that I can pull together in about half an hour, with leftovers for work the next day.

*There is a girl on The Bachelor this season with a son named Kale. Not okay.

Creamy Bow Tie Pasta with Sausage, Kale & Sundried Tomatoes

Source: adapted a bit from Bev Cooks

Yield: this is half the original recipe and is enough to serve 2

Ingredients

8 oz bow-tie pasta

1 tbsp sundried tomato oil

2 Italian sausages, casings removed, crumbled or cut into small pieces

2 garlic cloves, minced or grated with a microplace

6-8 sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced

3 cups/handfuls thinly sliced kale or spinach

1/2 cup 1/2 & 1/2 cream

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan

1 tbsp lemon juice

+ sliced fresh basil (not likely in the winter, I know)

+ more parm for serving

Directions

  1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box, drain and reserve about 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, in a large saucepan, heat the sundried tomato oil over medium-high heat, then add the sausage and cook until golden brown. Add the garlic and sundried tomatoes, and cook for another minute.
  3. Add the kale/spinach and cook until wilted, 2-3 minutes. Add the cream, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the pasta, parm and lemon juice and stir to combine. Taste and add salt if needed.

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Thomas Birthday Cake

My littlest niece Rebecca turned two last week, and I was excited to make her birthday cake this year! Making cakes for her big brother and sister have been some of my favourite baking projects of the past few years, so I was eager to find out from my brother what she wanted. Until I heard the answer and did a Google image search for “Thomas the Tank Birthday Cake”.

Unlike in the past where Google has provided lots of fun ideas and inspiration for everything from front-end loaders to princess castles, every Thomas related cake was either 3D or made out of fondant or looked super complicated. It was my friend Lydia (who herself made a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cake for her little guy this year!) who had the idea of just doing a 9×13″ cake, with a little toy Thomas cruising over top. Genius!

And so this post is my lifeline to all the cake-making aunties out there who have fear strike their hearts upon thinking they will have to craft a 3D train for their little loved one. This was so much easier. Here’s how I did it:

  • I baked a 9×13″ vanilla cake, which was actually the cake I was talking about the other day, minus the booze of course
  • I made a 3/4 of a batch of My Favourite Buttercream, reserved about 1/3 cup to tint blue to write on the cake, and dyed the rest green, then iced the whole cake.
  • I bought a small container of brown fondant (“chocolate flavoured” ew), rolled it out, and used a pizza cutter to slice long strips for the railroad. My brother smuggled me Rebecca’s Percy toy so I knew how big to make the tracks.
  • I decorated the border by piping little bursts with a large star tip, and wrote on the top with blue icing in a small round tip.
  • Once I got to my brother’s house, we put Thomas on top and added a candle.

Rebecca loved her cake, and I have to say, it was super fluffy and delicious! I wonder what she’ll be into when she’s 3?

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Hair of the Dog Cake

I know, I know, this sounds crazy, but you have to put your trust in the Baked boys for this one. This is a New Year’s Day cake, the thought behind which is that a little more booze in your dessert will help take the edge off your hangover from the night before. I wouldn’t really know as I boycott NYE each year, but that’s a story for another day.

This is another recipe that I tested for Baked Occasions, and I actually made it on New Year’s Day last year. What’s happening here is a 9×13″ vanilla cake spiked with rum, topped with a broiled rum frosting, and topped with boozy rum whipped cream. Looking back now, I think I would like this cake more with bourbon, but when you’re recipe testing, you can’t make any substitutions, so in went the rum (although I can’t remember which kind I used).

I referred back to the notes I provided after testing, and there was only one – that my frosting pretty much soaked entirely into the cake. I wouldn’t even really call it a frosting, as it’s a mixture of melted butter, sugar, cream and rum that you pour over the cake and then broil. I was left with a slightly crackly top that you can sort of see in the picture above.

There was too much rum in all of the components for my liking, BUT, I made a mental note that the next time I needed to make a 9×13″ vanilla cake, I would use this recipe. I actually did, and you’ll see this week what I made with it.

You can find the recipe here!

More Baked Sunday Mornings here!

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December on Planet Byn {2014}

by byn on December 31, 2014

in Monthly Recaps

Xmas Market

December always goes by so quickly, and even more so this year, as I went back to NYC for another quick trip at the very beginning of the month (I’m going to write a detailed recap of my NYC Eats). When I wasn’t baking cookies or wrapping presents, here’s what I was up to:

  • I headed over to the Distillery Christmas Market with my foodie friends, something I’ve wanted to do for the past few years. It was raining/snowing and frigidly cold, but we sipped hot toddies, walked around the market, and ended the night at Mill Street for some good eats. If you go next year, I highly recommend going on a weeknight, as the weekends are insanely busy. We went on Wednesday night and it was packed.
  • We had a Secret Santa gift exchange at work, and I made this Tunnel of Hazelnut Fudge cake for my co-worker Tom. I thought he might open it right away to share with everyone in the office, but he took it home, and told me today that he ate almost the whole thing himself. Success!
  • For my family Christmas dinner I made two pies. The first was Saveur Magazine’s Salted Caramel Apple Pie, which has prompted to me to make this bold declaration: I don’t like Apple Pie. I just don’t. Even one drenched in rich salted caramel. It’s just not for me. For the second I reached way back to the Baked boys’ first cookbook and made their Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie. It was awesomely amazing! I loved it!
  • I cooked up a storm while I was off over the holidays, and a few recipes you’ll see in the next few weeks, except for this because I forgot to take pictures: Jan’s Slow Cooked Beef Stroganoff was so incredibly delicious. I need to make it again so I can post it here for you to see.

 Other non-foodie things I was obsessed with this month – Best of 2014 edition:

  • I basically read everything by Rainbow Rowell this year and loved it all (my Power Rankings: 1. Eleanor & Park, 2. Attachments, 3. Fangirl, 4. Landline). Also loved these two by Liane Moriarty: My Husband’s Secret & Big Little Lies. I’ll round out my faves with one literary pick (Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead), one YA pick (I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson) and one non-fiction (Yes Please by Amy Poehler).
  • My favourite TV show was The Mindy Project, no contest, I love it. My co-worker gave me the first 4 seasons of The Good Wife to binge on at the beginning of the year, and I caught up just in time to join in watching season 5 and it’s tragic BIG TWIST. Season 6 has had me glued to my TV and emailing my sister-in-law on Monday mornings in ALL CAPS to shout about what happened the night before. Over the holidays I also caught up on Orange is the New Black, which was great, and also watched Broad City which I can’t stop talking about.
  • Honestly I feel like it was such a blah year for movies, and I was been complaining about this all year. I would say though that I loved: Boyhood, Before We Go (Chris Evans movie from TIFF), and of course, The Fault in Our Stars.
  • As far as music goes, I really just continued to listen to Beyonce all year, so I’m not your best bet in this arena. Best day of the year was July 9th and being in the front row for the On The Run tour!

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~ Champagne & Cookies 2014 ~

by byn on December 28, 2014

in Cookies

It’s time for the recap of my annual Champagne & Cookies Christmas party! Last year there was a snowstorm on the night of the party, so I nervously started checking the weather about a week before, and it was nothing but clear skies. Hooray!

Since I went on a little trip to NYC the weekend before the party, I was very organized this year, and had most of my baking done in advance.  After 5 years of throwing this holiday jam, I think this was the first year I was happy with each of my choices, and didn’t have any disasters (like deflated meringues {2010}, burnt popcorn {2012},trying to make homemade dulce de leche the morning of the party {2013}). I was particularly happy with my vegan/gluten-free options this year, thanks to The Oh She Glows Cookbook.

Let’s see what made the cut this year:

1. Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies + 2. Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies + 3. Maple Pecan Pie Triangles

The New Classics

Lesson learned for next year: hide a Gingerbread Sandwich Cookie in the fridge so there’s one to eat the next day! I didn’t do this and these were all gone by the end of the night. Everyone definitely goes nuts for these.  The gingerbread cookie has molasses in it and is a chewy dream when combined with the cinnamon cream cheese filling. I want to make more just so I can have one.

I think the Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies might have to be retired for next year. Even though I love the colour they bring to this platter, there are always a ton leftover, and even when I brought those to work, no one seemed all that interested in them. Nicole also made these for her Christmas Party this year, and her theory is that they look too much like the store-bought ones, which we all know are gross. I’m thinking these will be bumped in favour of a classic shortbread cookie next year, or maybe these.

Maple Pecan Pie Triangles are one of my favourites, are so quick to pull together, and have a few things that put them over the top: brown sugar shortbread crust and pure maple syrup in the filling. These aren’t going anywhere.

4. Pretzel M&M Cookies + 5. Nutella & Caramilk Stuffed Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Salty & Sweet

I sent my friend Kristine an email in November innocently asking if we are over the Pretzel M&M Cookie. I honestly wasn’t sure, and just wanted to take the temperature of my cookie-eating public. In return I received a reply that basically boiled down to HOW DARE YOU? I ONLY GET THESE COOKIES ONCE A YEAR! MY CHRISTMAS IS NOT COMPLETE WITH THEM! (I’m paraphrasing, but she’ll reply in the comments, I’m sure). So that secured these sweet and salty delights a spot on this platter.

I made the Nutella & Caramilk Stuffed Cookies last year, and what they lack in looks, they make up for in absolute gooey deliciousness. Note to self for next year: let the cookie dough cool completely before adding the chocolate chips, okay?

6. Candy Cane Brownie Bites

Candy Cane Brownie Bites

Ah, the chocolate/mint slot. This one always gives me a bit of trouble. In the past I’ve made ugly mint cookies and brownies, and then last year I tried to be cute, but wasn’t happy with how they tasted. I was debating up to the week before the party whether to go with Homemade Oreos with a mint filling or these Candy Cane Brownie Bites, and I don’t think I could have gone wrong with either. I used two recipes I’ve been making for years; a brownie recipe from a 1989 issue of Canadian Living, and My Favourite Buttercream, spiked with peppermint extract. I sprinkled on a few crushed candy canes, and there we have it. I was so happy with how these turned out, both in appearance and in taste. Nailed it.

7. Hello Dollies

Hello Dollies

I’m not quite sure how I’ve been having this party for 5 years, and have never made Hello Dollies which are my favourite treat of ALL TIME. Probably because I was nervous I would eat them all before anyone arrived. I was inspired by my visit to Butter Baked Goods, and this was another one Nicole and I made for her party as well. Graham cracker crust, sweetened condensed milk, and the classic chocolate chip/coconut/pecan combo. I just love these. Bonus points for being so quick to make and freezing like a dream.

8. Salted Bourbon Caramel Rice Krispy Squares

Salted Bourbon Caramel Rice Krispy Squares

Sad story: I tried to bring back a jar of Salted Bourbon Caramel from ABC Kitchen and it was confiscated by your friends at the Newark Airport security line because it was over the liquid limit for my carry on. In tribute, I made my own, and poured it into these treats. I’ve been a bit obsessed with Rice Krispy squares this year, and guess what? Everyone LOVED these. Even more so when Nicole found the jar of leftover caramel in my kitchen, and dipped one in it. Such an inspired idea! I cut the remaining squares into little dippable sticks, and set them out with the jar. Definitely making these again next year (just not an hour before the party starts, and then rushing to get a picture, which is why there’s only a couple on the plate above).

9. Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

While I liked my vegan/gluten-free treats last year, I wanted to make a couple of new things this year. I had made these Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies earlier this year, and they are just so good. They use ground oats and almonds instead of flour, coconut oil instead of butter, and ground flax seeds mixed with water instead of an egg. Even though they’re actually called Crispy Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies in The Oh She Glows Cookbook, both times I have made them I’ve found them to be just perfectly chewy, and I wouldn’t have them any other way. These are a keeper. (Note to self for next year: bake one tray at a time)

10. Date Caramel Truffles

Date Caramel Truffles

These are another OSG recipe, although in the book they’re called Homemade Yolos, because they’re supposed to be like vegan Rolos. They were a quick, easy, ooey, gooey treat and there were no leftovers so I’ll take that as a good sign!

And that’s it! Hope you had a great Christmas filled with family, friends and cookies!

 

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Wintermint Test

My fellow Baked Sunday Morning members are making this glorious Wintermint Cake today, and it’s so perfect for the season. It’s three layers of rich chocolate cake, stacked up with peppermint chocolate ganache and peppermint buttercream. Can’t you just picture eating a lovely slice with a cup of hot chocolate, or coffee spiked with Bailey’s, after your Christmas dinner, while snow falls softly outside your window?

But I didn’t make this cake this weekend. Oh no. I made it on a hot, humid, sweltering afternoon in the middle of August in 2013 with my air conditioning blasting. This was one of the recipes I tested for Baked Occasions! Instead of making it again, I thought I would just reflect back on my testing experience. (Update: I totally should have made it again! Check out Christine just whipping one up the day after her holiday party because she forgot to take pictures! She’s my hero!)

Wintermint Cake

I revisited the notes I provided while testing, and compared them to the recipe as printed in the book. I thought it was kind of fun how I wrote that I found that the peppermint flavour of the buttercream was very subtle, and the Baked boys added a note in the book that the cake is “pepperminty, but not overly so; we prefer subtle peppermint flavor” and then mention that you can add a touch more extract for more intense peppermint-iness.

My own personal learning experience was to NOT spread the peppermint ganache right to the edges of the cake, because it can end up getting swirled into your crumb coat, like so:

Tip

Finally, when the recipe was sent to me for testing, it did not yet include the instructions for ombre frosting that appear in the book. I’m not sure if I would have been brave enough to attempt it anyway, but make sure you check out my fellow BSMers who had great success with this technique!

I can’t stress enough how amazing this cake is! It was by far my favourite of the recipes I tested for the book, and if your family likes chocolate and mint, this is a must make over the holidays!

You can find the recipe here!

More Baked Sunday Mornings here!

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