Category Archives: Dessert

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge {dairy free}

Lately I’ve been dreaming of fudge.  The chocolate the melts in your mouth and contains loads of butter and milk.  The kind that is delicious and whipped up by my mother in her kitchen.  You know the kind I’m talking about.  Sadly as I no longer eat butter or milk I can’t indulge in my Mom’s recipe.  Also I’m exhausted after church on Sundays so when I want a treat it has to be easy.   This is my easy, lazy fudge.  So good!  Dairy free!  It’s probably something I shouldn’t eat every day but I figure once in a while won’t likely hurt me.  There are four ingredients and it takes about 20 minutes to pull it all together.   After a couple of hours in the fridge you’ll find yourself with a nice soft fudge square.  Life couldn’t be sweeter.

Cheater Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

Ingredients:

  • 3 c chocolate chips {we used dairy free}
  • 1 c natural peanut butter
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp soy milk

Instructions:

  • Grease a 9×9 cooking pan.  Set aside.
  • Combine the cornstarch and 2 tbsp of soy milk in a small bowl until smooth.  Set aside.
  • Combine the chocolate chips, peanut butter and remaining soy milk in a sauce pan.
  • Melt the mixture over medium-low to medium heat until smooth and lump free.
  • Add the cornstarch mixture to the chocolate and stir until completely combined and the mixture is smooth again.
  • Remove from heat and beat the mixture by hand until it thickens {approximately 10 minutes or so}
  • Pour the mixture into a pan and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  • Enjoy!

Extra Information:

  • This isn’t your typical hard fudge.  It’s a smooth soft fudge that cuts well and you can definitely get pieces of it to serve individually.
  • This is extremely decadent.  Very little is needed to satisfy a chocolate craving.  If you freeze it you can enjoy some as needed.
  • I used the Enjoy Life brand of chocolate chips.  They are delicious!  If you can get your hand on a bag, try them.  You won’t regret it.
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Healthier Coconut Lime Cupcakes

The dark horse of yesterday’s game wasn’t Mario Manningham or the Giants win but instead the healthier version of Coconut Lime Cupcakes that I threw together at the last minute.  I was worried people wouldn’t like them because I had made some serious adjustments like cutting oil, using whole wheat flour and choosing unsweetened coconut.  They were always popular before and sometimes change isn’t good when you’re used to things a certain way.  I shouldn’t have worried though as no one even noticed!  The adjustments didn’t affect the flavor and I would have to say made them even better.  The old recipe was delicious but rather heavy and unhealthy.  This new recipe is lighter yet still retains the flavor and can be enjoyed on a more regular basis.   I hope you enjoy!

Healthier Coconut Lime Cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 scant c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 c unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 c lime juice

For the glaze:

  • 2 c icing sugar
  • 1/4 c lime juice

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Lightly spray or coat a 12 tin muffin tin with oil.
  • Place Coconut on cookie sheet and toast in the oven until brown for approximately 3-5 minutes.
  • Combine all ingredients except for the coconut in a food processor and blend until the mixture is well combined and smooth.
  • Add coconut and process a couple of times until the coconut is mixed in.
  • Divide the mixture evenly among the cups.
  • Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until done.
  • Remove and allow to cool.
  • Once cool combine the icing sugar and lime juice by beating vigorously.  Ensure that all bumps are removed before glazing.
  • Line your counter with parchment paper and place the cooling rack on top.
  • Drizzle the glaze on your cupcakes and allow to set before eating.
  • Enjoy!

Extra Information:

  • In my original recipe I made 6 instead of 12 cupcakes.  I really like the 12 small cupcakes as they are quite rich but you can make bigger ones if you’d like.
  • You’ll love how fast these are to prepare!  Homemade and just as fast as a mix.  It’s fantastic.  You’ll be a hero!

Peppermint Christmas Cups

There are many things I love about Christmas.  There’s the baby Jesus, the Christmas tree, bad Christmas movies and good Christmas movies.  All of these are wonderful and I feel that each experience is enhanced with peppermint {except maybe Jesus, I think he stands on his own}. The flavor of mint at this time of year seems to bring back all kinds of Christmas memories and really adds some festive flair.

One of those memories is a weekend long ago that I spent at my Grandma’s with my cousins.  We were busy of course and a visit to Grandma’s always involved a little bit of baking.  That weekend Grandma decided we should learn how to make Peppermint Patties and they were delicious.  Unfortunately we left with no recipe and just memories.  My grandmother is like that.  She throws things together and it works out brilliantly.   This year, I decided to recreate that experience.  One bite of these Peppermint Christmas Cups and I’m transported back to that Christmas long ago.

These cups are for all the mint lovers out there.  They are beautiful, delicious and perfect for entertaining.  Once you peel the wrapping away you see the various layers and it’s quite a lovely effect.  I would have taken another picture of them unwrapped but the cup just jumped into my mouth after I unwrapped it. You’ll have to forgive me!

I hope you enjoy these as much as I enjoyed making them!

Peppermint Christmas Cups

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 4 c icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp soy milk
  • 3 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp peppermint extract

For the chocolate:

  •  1 1/2 c chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c soy milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla

Instructions:

  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Mix the icing sugar, soy milk, vanilla and peppermint extract for the filling together in a medium size bowl until well combined and free of lumps.
  • Drop the filling onto the parchment lined sheet in small drops (approximately 1-2 tsp worth of filling each).
  • Place the filling in the freezer for at least an hour.
  • Once the filling is set and you’re ready to build the cups, line a mini muffin pan with appropriately sized cups and set aside.
  • In a medium size saucepan combine the chocolate chips, soy milk and vanilla.
  • Place on the stove over medium heat and stir regularly as the chocolate melts.
  • Once the chocolate mixture is smooth, remove from heat and set up your work station.  Place the mini-muffin pan in front of you.  Have the chocolate sauce off to the side.  Pull the filling out of the freezer and place on the other side of the pan.
  • Place a small amount of the chocolate sauce on the bottom of each cup.
  • Working quickly roll the filling mixture into balls and place on top of the chocolate.
  • Top the balls with the remaining chocolate mixture.
  • Once all of the layers are complete place the tray back in the freezer for at least an hour to firm up.
  • When firm, remove from freezer and transfer the Peppermint Cups to an air tight container to store in the fridge.  If you layer the cups be sure to separate each layer with parchment paper.
  • Enjoy!

Extra Information:

  • This made 36 mini Peppermint Christmas Cups.
  • These are really rich.  They would be excellent on a cookie platter or served individually {with wrapping removed to see the pretty layers}.
  • Make sure these are stored in the fridge.  You don’t want them to melt!

 

Banana Muffins

Banana muffins are one of my all time favorite things.  I adore bananas in baking and yesterday when I saw three lonely bananas hanging from a hook, I knew I had to use them.  My traditional banana bread recipe has too much fat to be considered healthy (although it is delicious) and the alternate recipe I used instead was missing that special something that banana bread requires.  Here’s my new, improved recipe.  It retains the flavor of the original but is much healthier!  If you ever find yourself with some over ripe bananas that need to be used, this is the recipe you should try.  Enjoy!

Banana Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe bananas (the riper the better!)
  • 1/4 c soy milk
  • 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 c cane sugar
  • 2 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line a 12 c muffin tin with liners and lightly spray with baking spray.
  • Mix soy milk and apple cider vinegar together and set aside.
  • Mash the bananas.
  • Add the sugar to the bananas.
  • Sift the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder today.
  • Add the dry ingredients and the soy milk mixture to the bananas.
  • Stir the ingredients together until well combined but do not over mix.
  • Fill your muffin tins and then bake in the oven for 23-27 minutes or until done.
  • Enjoy!

Extra Instructions:

  • When you are cooking with no fat the liners can stick to the muffins.  This is why I spray the liners before filling them with the mixture so that removal is easy when you want to eat.
  • Feel free to add chocolate chips, nuts or other additions to make this recipe your own.
  • Do not overbake!  Seriously!  Because there is no fat in them they will dry out quite quickly if left in too long.  Watch them closely.

Happy Canada Day!

O Canada.  The true north strong and free.  Home of some seriously tasty food. Food like Niagara Peaches, PEI Potatoes and delicious Maple Syrup.   Today as we celebrate the birth of our nation, we shall gather at my Grandparents with a few family members and enjoy some relaxing time around a bonfire while we catch up and enjoy a few quiet moments together.

I made these cookies to celebrate the occasion and they were delicious.  The not too sweet maple flavor and oh so buttery richness make these the perfect cookie for Canada Day or any other summer barbeque situation you might find yourself in.

Happy Canada Day!

O Canada Cookies:

Ingredients:

  • 1 C soft unsalted butter
  • 1 c maple flakes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 c self rising flour + 1/2 c for rolling

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cream the butter and maple flakes together until nice and smooth.
  • Add in the vanilla and eggs.  Beat until mixed.
  • Slowly add the flour to the mix.
  • Do not over mix but ensure the cookies are well combined.
  • If the dough is too wet add a little flour until the texture is moist, not wet.
  • Lightly coat your rolling surface with some flour.  Take 1/4 of the dough and roll it out.  You want a nice thick cookie so don’t roll it too thin.
  • Place the cut cookies on the baking sheet.
  • Once sheet is filled place in the oven for 16 minutes or until the cookies are just beginning to brown.
  • Remove and transfer to a cooling rack to prevent soggy bottoms.
  • Once completely cool you can eat them or ice them.  Enjoy!
Extra Information:
  • If you’re interested in the maple glaze I used, it’s quite easy.  Add 1/8th of a cup of milk, melted butter and maple syrup to 2 cups of icing sugar. Beat well, until thick and smooth.  It’s very easy and a great arm work out if you do it by hand.  
  • The length of time required to cook these cookies will vary depending on the size of cookie cutter you use.  Just keep an eye on them and adjust accordingly.   

Blueberry Lime Oatmeal Bars

Making these bars was one of the best mistakes of my life.   I started with a recipe that  I didn’t have all the ingredients for.  I made some substitutions, lost track of where I was and in the end wound up with this delightful creation that was nothing like the original.  They are perfect.

They may not be the prettiest things you’ll ever see but they sure are tasty.    I hope you enjoy!  I’ll definitely be making these again.

Blueberry Lime Oatmeal Bars
(Adapted from the Raspberry Oatmeal Bars Recipe found in the Vegetarian Times Farmer’s Market Cookbook Summer 2011)

  • 1 1/4 c Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c + 4 tbsp brown sugar (divided)
  • 1/2 c + 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter softened (divided)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla 
  • 2 C Large Flake Oats
  • 1 c Blueberry Lime Jam
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 
  • Prepare a 9″ square baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
  • Cream together the sugar and butter until well combined.  
  • Beat in the egg and vanilla until the mixture is smooth. 
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until combined. 
  • Add 1 3/4 c of the Large Flake Oats to the batter.  Stir well.
  • Press the batter into the bottom of the baking pan.  
  • Spread the jam over the batter.
  • In a small bowl combine 4 tbsp brown sugar, 1/4 c Large Flake Oats and 1.5 tbsp melted butter.  
  • Spread the Oat mixture over the jam. 
  • Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes (or until cooked through). 
  • Cool completely, then cut into squares. 
Extra Information:
  • I made the Blueberry Lime Jam last summer and found a couple of rogue jars tucked away in the back of my cupboard.  It was perfect in these squares but you could use any jam.
  • These cut into beautiful squares after they are cooled.  Let them cool.  I didn’t.  I took a spoonful right away to see if they were good.  They were good then but even better cooled.  This is a dessert you wait for.

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

Last week was much better for us in terms of eating in our house.  There were no birthdays to contend with.  My cake decorating class had ended.  It was a treat to not eat cake.  I was very relieved.   That said, I am a girl who likes a treat and my brother did come home for the weekend which is cause for celebration in my family.  We love a good reason for a get together.  I offered to bring dessert to the BBQ and this is what I whipped up.  After looking at countless biscotti recipes and finding no flavor combination that inspired, I happened upon a jar of Chocolate Hazelnut Spread in my cupboard.   I knew I had to make a Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti.

These are actually a very healthy cookie.  I used a mixture of Whole Wheat Pastry flour and Whole Grain Cornmeal to add some nutrients and some fiber.  The cocoa powder adds antioxidants and the hazelnuts add a little healthy fat to the mix.  You can enjoy this cookie with your afternoon coffee without feeling terribly guilty.  That said, they are dangerously tasty so I wouldn’t put more than one or two out at a time!  Enjoy!

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

Ingredients:

  •  2 C Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 3/4 c medium grind whole grain cornmeal
  • 1/4 c cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 scant c sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 c chopped hazelnuts
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 325
  • Line baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  Set aside.
  • Beat the sugar and eggs together until well combined.   Add the flour mixture and beat until blended.  Stir in the hazelnuts.  Set the dough aside for about 5 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 2 balls.  Shaping the dough into loaves as you go, place them side by side on the baking sheet leaving enough space for some growth.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until finished.
  • Cool the loaves until they can be handled (about 5 minutes or so).
  • Using a serrated knife, cut the loaves into logs of equal size and arrange cut side up on the baking sheet.  Bake for an additional 25 minutes.
  • Remove cookies from oven and flip.  Bake for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and transfer cookies to a cooling rack.
  • Let cool completely before enjoying.
Extra Information:
  • When you chop the hazelnuts make sure they are fairly small pieces. They are lovely when mixed through at just the right size.  Too big and they get in the way.
  • I served these after dinner with some fresh cut strawberries and a nice cup of decaf coffee.  It was a nice, light ending to the meal.