Recipes

Chocolate Rum Balls

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We started early with the Valentine’s baking and now we can’t stop! Until Valentine’s Day is finally upon us, there will be plenty more sweetness to come. Valentine’s Day is all about chocolates and sweet treats so today I thought I’d make some Chocolate Rum Balls. I’ve been making these Rum Balls for many years. I used to make them every year for Christmas Eve and bring them to my Uncle’s as they were his favourite. They’re a pretty little addition to any dessert tray or cookie platter.

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We found these pretty little cups at Michael’s. Adorable!

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Chocolate Rum Balls Recipe:

{yield 20-25 Rum Balls}

1 125g pkg of cream cheese
1 c. ground almonds
1 c. icing sugar
1 tsp. instant coffee
1/4 c. dark rum
3 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted (can melt in microwave approx 40 sec)
Topping Suggestions: Sprinkles, icing sugar, toasted coconut

Directions:

Blend cream cheese until fluffy. Stir in almonds, icing sugar, powdered instant coffee and rum. Mix well.
Add in melted chocolate.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until mixture is easy to handle. (approx. 1 hour)
Roll mixture into 1 inch balls (tsp size amount) and roll into desired toppings.
Tip: I placed the rolled balls onto a sheet of wax paper and then sifted powdered coatings on top instead of rolling the balls in the coatings.

Refrigerate in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

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Happy Valentine’s Baking!
Laura & Natasha xo

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Recipes

Sugar Cookies

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Can you believe Christmas is over & we’re well into the New Year?! And guess what’s right around the corner? Yup, it’s all about hearts, love, chocolates & candy – oh my! Okay, we may be jumping the gun just a tad but we can’t help it. We love occasions and any reason to celebrate something. We wasted no time, got all of our Christmas decor packed away and brought out our Valentine’s decor, then spent the entire day making these Valentine’s Day cookies. I’m not even kidding… a whole day. We have made Valentine cookies every year, but this year we decided to get more creative with the decorating. We searched the internet, browsed some of our favourite cookbooks and got to it.

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Can I just say that we were greatly naive in thinking that it was going to be a breeze, a cake walk, an easy task. Decorating cookies takes a lot of time, technique and patience. Don’t let those baking shows on tv fool you! They make everything appear so simple.

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When we finally figured out how to make the Royal Icing into various batches of colours and consistencies, (firmer batch for detailing and a more fluid batch for filling) we were on our way.
Oh, and may I just share a tip – make sure you twist tie the tops of the icing piping bags like the recipe says to, otherwise you will have big blobs of icing suddenly spilling out of the top and all over the front of your clothes and on top of the masterpiece decorated cookie you have been working on so diligently. Yeah, that happened. More than once! ha!

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Sugar Cookies Recipe

Ingredients:
{yield: approx. 60-80 cookies}
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups Sugar
2 large Eggs
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
5 cups Flour
Coloured Sprinkles for decorating

Directions:

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Approx 5 minutes. Add eggs, vanilla and salt, mix until combined. With mixer on low speed add flour and mix until combined.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to 1 week).

Preheat oven to 350.
Turn dough onto a clean lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 sections.
Roll out dough into 1/4-inch thickness and cut into desired cookie cutter shapes.
Place onto prepared cookie sheets 2 inches apart and bake until golden brown, approx 12-15 minutes.
Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
Cool cookies completely before icing.

Royal Icing Recipe:

Ingredients:
4c. Icing Sugar
3tbsp. Meringue Powder
1/2 – 3/4c. Warm Water

Directions:

In an electric mixer beat icing sugar and meringue powder until combined. Add the water and beat on medium speed until very glossy and stiff. (approx 5-7 minutes)
If necessary to achieve the correct consistency, add more icing sugar or water.
Remember: To flood the entire cookie surface with icing, the proper consistency is a little more fluid.
To do detailing the icing consistency should be much more firm.

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It took us 5 hours to decorate approx 60 cookies! It was a lot of trial and error, mistakes and mishaps and a very messy kitchen- should’ve taken a picture of that! Mostly it was so much fun. We had a blast. At times we were almost falling over with laughter at each other!

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Happy Valentine’s and Happy Baking!
Laura & Natasha xo

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Recipes

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Treats!

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Today I made Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Treats for Zeus! (Aren’t they cute?!)
Whenever I bake something in the kitchen, Zeus is always near, watching me and I decided it was time to bake him a little somethin’ somethin’.
In continuing on with my pumpkin baking phase, these dog treats consist of pumpkin (of course), and all kinds of other healthy goodness – whole wheat flour, eggs, peanut butter, and cinnamon.

I found this recipe on allrecipes.com which you can find here. I made a few slight changes though after reading many reviews.
After looking through the reviews, I then googled every ingredient to double check that they are safe for dogs. So rest assured, all the ingredients are most definitely healthy for dogs. Pumpkin and peanut butter in moderation can actually have many health benefits for dogs. Pumpkin helps aid the digestion process, and is a good source of Vitamin E, Magnesium & Potassium. And peanut butter isย rich in protein and contains healthy fats and vitamins E and H, which will help keep your dogโ€™s coat healthy and shiny!

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I used a few different cookie cutters of various sizes. Use whichever cookie cutters you like!

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Ingredients:
(yield: 24 dog treats)
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2-3 tablespoons peanut butter (I used crunchy – any kind will do)
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1-2 tablespoons of water (as needed)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In the bowl of your stand mixer using the whisk attachment, mix the flour, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter, salt and cinnamon until well blended and batter appears clumpy, forming a bunch of small balls. The dough will be dry and stiff. Knead the dough with your hands and add water if needed to make the dough more workable. Taking 1/3 of the dough at a time, roll the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick roll.
Cut shapes using your cookie cutters.

3. Bake in preheated oven, approx. 25-35 minutes.

Note:ย These treats should be stored in a ziplock bag/airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Zeus adored the treats, and couldn’t get enough. Here’s Mom giving Zeusie a treat.. ๐Ÿ™‚
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Hope you and your fur-baby enjoy this quick, tasty healthy recipe!
Natasha xo

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