spiced maple walnut caramels

Spiced Maple Walnut Caramels, with the richly layered flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, plus of course maple syrup and walnuts.

I won’t bore you all with the details, but one thing led to another, yadda yadda yadda, and I found myself doing a caramel exchange with candy-maker extraordinaire, Yummy Little Treats. I was lucky enough to work with this lovely woman a few years ago, but somehow never managed to get to try her caramels that everyone always raved about (seriously, so much raving). I’m honestly not sure how I kept missing out. But now’s my chance! Woo! But oh, the pressure! The bar is set so high! So do I make a recipe I’ve tried before and know is good? Or do I take a risk and try a new recipe? Trust me, I fretted over this dilemma for a few days…  (more…)

buttery toffee pecan cookies

There's a lot of flavour in these Buttery Toffee Pecan Cookies – buttery toffee bits and butterscotch and butter-rum flavouring, plus crunchy pecans.

I honestly wasn’t sure what to title this recipe. The original name is Butter-Pecan Fantasies, but that name just doesn’t do this cookie justice. I thought about calling them toffee pecan cookies, but that doesn’t really do them justice either. Plus I’ve made that exact cookie already (check them out – they’re phenomenal!). Such a dilemma, right? This is so much more than what that name implies. It’s buttery toffee bits and butterscotch and butter-rum flavouring. And yes, of course, butter. There is a lot of flavour in these little cookies, and I wanted to make sure that was apparent.  (more…)

chocolate cinnamon swirl sour cream bundt cake

Chocolate Cinnamon Swirl Sour Cream Bundt Cake – a dense moist cake with a cinnamon-y swirl of chocolate, raisins and nuts. One of my all-time favourites!

So when I started this blog, my goal was to try a bunch of new recipes. And I have! I’m so proud of myself. And I realize that I’ve stated several times that I’ll be making “mostly cookies, because cookies are meant for sharing”. Which still holds true! Cookies are definitely the bedrock of this blog. But I was pulling a baking dish out of my cupboard the other day and had to move my bundt pans to get to it, and I realized that I haven’t made a single bundt cake since I started this blog. Whaaaaat? In over two years I’ve only made a single cake! There haven’t even been any brownies. Wow. It’s definitely time to pay a bit more attention to diversity. And it’s definitely time for cake(more…)

peanut butter oatmeal monster cookies

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Monster Cookies – soft and chewy, loaded with chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and Mini M&Ms. You'll love this cookie!

A couple weeks ago when I made the dark chocolate sour cherry cookies, I mentioned that I’d put the recipe I was planning to make on hold to make them – after going out to buy specific ingredients. This? This is that recipe. The original recipe is simply named “Monster Cookies”, and based on all that goes into this cookie, that name is completely apt. This a total kitchen sink cookie, loaded with peanut butter, oatmeal, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and mini M&Ms (that was the ingredient I had to go shopping for – and why is it suddenly so hard to find mini M&Ms anywhere?? I had to buy some little snack tubes).

After reading the intro to the recipe, I was really surprised to find out that these weren’t called “Monster Cookies” because of all the stuff in them. They’re actually called that because the bakery used to make ridiculously huge quantities of them.  (more…)

lemon poppy seed muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins – moist and rich, and so very lemony.

This week I was totally craving something citrus-y (as if I haven’t been OD-ing on satsumas lately), and as I flipped through my cookbooks, the idea of a lemon poppy seed muffin got caught in my brain. I haven’t made lemon poppy seed anything in ages! Seriously, the last thing I made was some cookies a year and a half ago. It’s such a great flavour combo – and I love the little crunch from the poppy seeds – I don’t know why I haven’t made it in so long. So many recipes, so little time? Speaking of so many recipes, I have several for lemon poppy seed muffins to choose from, but I saw this one while I was making the rhubarb almond muffins the other day and it sounded great. And those muffins were so delicious, I was really keen to make another recipe from the same book.  (more…)

dark chocolate sour cherry cookies

Dark Chocolate Sour Cherry Cookies – soft, dense, and oh-so-chocolate-y, with bursts of tart cherry throughout.

I was informed by one of my coworkers that I had to make a nut-free cookie for her this week (she’s dealing with some allergy tests right now). So demanding, right? She’s lucky I love her (I have awesome coworkers, seriously). So even though I really wanted to make a certain recipe this week – went out and bought ingredients and everything – I’m putting it off until next week and instead made a reeeeally chocolate-y cookie this week.

And I do mean chocolate-y. In my experience, chocolate cookies made with just cocoa powder tend to be milder than ones that are made with melted chocolate. Not this one, though. For one thing, there’s almost as much cocoa powder in this cookie as there is flour. That’s a lot! And the flavour? Amazing. All that cocoa plus the addition of bittersweet chocolate chunks makes for an incredibly rich and chocolate-y cookie.  (more…)

buttery jam cookies

Delicately flavoured, soft, cake-y, and slightly chewy, Buttery Jam Cookies – made with jam swirled right into the batter.

This is one of the many many recipes I had planned to make over the winter holidays, but didn’t get to because of that stupid cold. Seriously, all I did for the entire break was curl up on my couch and watch Netflix. I did nothing constructive. I think I’m finally back up to about 98% health now (still have a wee bit of a cough in the morning), but my coworkers are still dropping like flies, so I’m really hoping I don’t get caught up in a second wave. But enough about colds! Let’s talk cookies! Yay, it’s cookie time again! This is another recipe from my favourite baking book, Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours.. I’ve made so many recipes from this book, and yet somehow I’ve barely made a dent. Not even counting the cakes and pies and tarts that I rarely bake, there are still so many cookie recipes to go! And I have yet to hit a dud.  (more…)

rhubarb almond muffins

Rhubarb Almond Muffins – made with sour cream and incredibly rich and moist, with lots of sweet almond flavour, plus tart rhubarb.

This is the second muffin recipe I’ve tried from the Butter Baked Goods cookbook. Like their morning glory muffins I made before, these are not a healthy breakfast-type muffin. Not even close. They’re not even pretending to be healthy. It’s all white sugar and white flour and melted butter and full-fat milk and sour cream. Woof.

But that’s okay. Because they are absolutely a delicious, delicious treat. This is the type of muffin you can serve with an afternoon coffee or tea. Your guests will definitely be impressed.  (more…)

butterscotch chews

Butterscotch Chews cookies are so so soft and chewy, and loaded with butterscotch flavour and crunchy pecans.

November/December is the time of year when all the food blogs explode with cookies and treats and brunch recipes for the holidays. I had a huge list of things I wanted to make! But you may have noticed that my blog has been suspiciously quiet the past few weeks. Interesting thing about me – I hardly ever get sick. Last time I had the flu? Seriously, so long ago I can’t even remember! As for colds, I’ll maybe get the sniffles for a couple days and that’s it. Maybe I’ve been bragging about this too much, because this year? It kinda bit me in the ass. I wasn’t down for the count or anything, but uuuuuuugggghhhhh that stupid cold just would. not. go. away. So all the Christmas baking I was planning to do? Yeah, I really wasn’t feeling up for it.  (more…)

chocolate peanut butter cookies

Soft and tender Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies, made with melted chocolate right in the dough.

I’m not normally a peanut butter fanatic. I like it just fine, but I’ve never been one of those people who slather it on everything or eat it straight from the jar. Although I did just have an apple with peanut butter for dinner the other day – yum! But I found myself totally craving it this week. As I was flipping through my recipes trying to choose what to make, I kept lingering on anything peanut buttery. Yes, that’s right. I’m not one of those people who has all my recipes planned out in advance. Planning? Pfft. I’m more the “hmmm, what am I craving today? and more importantly, what do I have the ingredients for?” type of gal.  (more…)

banana walnut muffins

Banana Walnut Muffins – moist and banana-y, with a lovely crunch from the nuts. Plus, of course, chocolate chips.

When I made the banana loaf a few weeks ago I mentioned that I still had some bananas left over in the freezer to make muffins with. Well, ta-da! This week we have banana muffins. I wasn’t particularly planning to make banana muffins this week, but I wanted to make something from the Williams-Sonoma Muffins cookbook, which I haven’t baked from for awhile. And after flipping through the pages, this is the one that I found myself craving.  (more…)

sour cherry white chocolate chunk cookies – cookie swap

Sour Cherry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies marry slivers of tart sour cherries with sweet white chocolate and crunchy toasted almonds.

This is it, y’all. The cookie I made for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, this is my first year participating in this swap, but the 4th year they’ve done it. It’s kind’ve a big deal! This year they had 566 bloggers participating from 7 countries, baking and mailing over 20,000 cookies. Wow, right? It bears repeating that the organizers, Lindsay at Love & Olive Oil and Julie at The Little Kitchen, deserve serious kudos for coming up with the whole idea and also for all their hard work organizing everything. Seriously, thank you both!  (more…)

chai tea caramels

Sweet and soft Chai Tea Caramels, with the classic masala chai flavours of ginger, cardamom, star anise, cloves and cinnamon.

I love chai tea. Especially when it’s made properly, with the spices simmered in the milk to get maximum flavour, before adding the tea. Of course the only time I get it brewed properly like this is when I get it from a proper Indian restaurant – I never make it at home like this (lazy? moi?). Most chai tea blends you can buy in the store have the two combined. And when you don’t have the time (or inclination) to do the long method, that’s perfectly okay! In fact, that’s exactly what we’re using in these caramels. Because conveniently, it’s what I had on-hand.  (more…)

cheese scones

These Cheese Scones are slightly crusty on the outside, and flaky and tender and incredibly buttery on the inside.

I used to think I didn’t particularly care for scones. I’d had a few that were okay, but none that were very good. I didn’t get why I’d read and heard so much raving about how awesome they were. Mostly, they were dense and heavy and tasted overwhelmingly of baking powder. Not really pleasant. And then one day I stopped at a little out of the way coffee shop in a small town, and I was craving something savoury to go with my morning coffee, so I tried one of their cheese scones. It was a revelation. Slightly crusty on the outside, unbelievably tender and flaky and buttery on the inside. So this was what a scone was supposed to be like!  (more…)

chocolate chip cookies with nuts

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Nuts – chewy cookies full of dark chocolate chunks, plus both the flavour and crunch of pecans or walnuts.

Once again I’m falling back to a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe this week. Everybody loves chocolate chip cookies, right? But really, a chocolate chip cookie is anything but “basic”. There are so many variations – crunchy or chewy, thick or thin, with or without nuts – do I need to go on? It may be an old stand-by, but it never gets old. I’m turning yet again to my favourite baking book for this one. Dorie Greenspan calls it her “Best Chocolate Chip Cookie”, and I can believe it. This is one good cookie.  (more…)