Recipes

Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I’ve never baked anything using maraschino cherries before, but my Grandma gave me some cherries to bake with so I decided to make Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Don’t let the maraschino cherries scare you – they really don’t taste strongly of cherry, and are actually really nummy when baked in a cookie. My mom & brother both cringed when I said I was baking maraschino cherry cookies. I literally had to make them try a bite – But like I suspected, they were both surprised and loved the cookies!

The white chocolate balances out the sweetness of the cherries, making the cookies not overly sweet, but just right.
These cookies are large, soft & chewy but my favorite part of these cookies is how Christmasy they look. The red & green cherries make for the perfect Christmas cookie!

Happy Holiday Baking!

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Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
{Note: This recipe requires chilling the dough for 3 hours.}

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup maraschino cherries, cut into small pieces & patted dry
1 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

1. In a saucepan, melt the butter until completely melted and no chunks remain, than set aside to cool.
Once the butter has cooled: In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until nice and smooth. Add the eggs, and slowly mix until combined. With the mixer on low-speed, mix in the flour, salt, & baking soda and mix until just combined.
Using a spatula, fold in the cherries and white chocolate chips.

2. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (or overnight)

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line or spray baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
Using a 1/4 cup, scoop out the dough and roll into balls. Place on the baking sheets, and flatten the balls slightly using either the bottom of a cup, or the palm of your hand. Bake for 9-12 minutes, just until the edges are golden.

Enjoy!
Natasha xo

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Recipes

Rustic Pumpkin Biscotti

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I have never made biscotti before and I really wanted to give it a go.
I have heard from numerous people that it is ‘difficult‘ to make. I don’t think it’s actually difficult to make, more time consuming I’d say. I went through various recipes and came up with a version that I decided to try.
The biscotti was a huge success & turned out delicious! These pumpkin biscotti are nice and crunchy on the outside and are a tad softer and crumbier on the inside. Traditional biscotti is hard throughout but because I wanted them a bit softer I cut them into thicker slices. The combination of spices + pumpkin + drizzled white chocolate makes for a perfect Fall/Winter treat.
I will now add biscotti to our regular baking list. I’m excited to try a whole bunch of different versions!

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Ingredients
3 1/2 c. Flour
1 1/2 c. Brown Sugar
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice (or an alternative: 1tsp cinnamon, 1/2tsp ginger, 1/4tsp cloves, 1/4tsp nutmeg)
1/2 c. Pure Pumpkin
2 lg. eggs lightly beaten
1 tbsp. Vanilla
2 tsp. Butter
1 1/4 c. Pecans or walnuts coarsely chopped
1/4 c. Melted white chocolate for drizzling or dipping (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat, add nuts. Stir constantly until nuts are slightly browned. Remove from heat and cool completely.

Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl, stir well. In another bowl combine pumpkin puree, eggs and vanilla mixing well.

Slowly add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture, mixing until ingredients are moistened. Mixture will be very crumbly.

Knead or gently roll nuts into the dough mixture on a lightly floured surface. Divide into 2 portions. Roll portions into 2 2×10″ portions then place onto a slightly greased pan.

Bake logs whole for 24 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes then cut with a serrated knife diagonally into 1/2″ slices. (I made mine a little thicker)

Reduce oven to 300 then bake slices for 8 minutes.

Flip all of the pieces over and bake for another 7 minutes.
Remove from pan and place cookies onto a wire rack to cool.
Tip: be sure to have some space between the cookies as they can become soggy if touching.

Optional: When biscotti is completely cooled, melt chocolate chips in microwave at 15 second intervals until melted. Use a spoon to drizzle on top.
Note: Store in airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

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Enjoy with a cup of hot coffee or tea. Oh my, they are so delicious!

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Happy Holidays!
Laura & Natasha xo

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Recipes

Pumpkin Muffins

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Pumpkin is one of those ingredients that tastes good in pretty much any kind of baked good it’s in.
Pumpkin tastes amazing in cookies, breads, cupcakes, & biscotti, but I think my favorite baked good to add pumpkin to is muffins! The pumpkin helps keep the muffins super moist, and gives it an amazing flavour.
This is a super simple recipe for delicious, moist, perfectly-spiced pumpkin muffins. (No mixer is required!)
It’s a perfect, simple recipe to make if you have some leftover pumpkin.

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Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients:
(yield: 12-14 cupcakes)
1 + 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup pure pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Β Spray 2 muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray, or line with cupcake liners & set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg together until combined; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the brown sugar & eggs together. Add in the pumpkin, oil, milk, and vanilla and mix until combined. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until ingredients are just combined – don’t overmix!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Scoop batter and divide evenly into 14 muffin cups. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Happy Baking!
Natasha xo

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Recipes

Pumpkin Gingersnap Cookies

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I just couldn’t stop baking with pumpkin that easily! Although Fall is sadly over, and we are now in the midst of the snowy weather season, I just couldn’t resist baking some more goodies using pumpkin. I had one can of pumpkin left over so I decided to whip up a batch of these gorgeous, soft & chewy Pumpkin Gingersnap Cookies.

I love the combination of the flavorful pumpkin with the usual Gingersnap spices (ginger, cinnamon, & cloves). It makes for a perfect, spicy Winter cookie!
The pumpkin helps keep these cookies super moist, and really adds a nice punch of flavour.

These cookies are not hard & crunchy like most gingersnaps.. they are totally thick, soft & chewy which is just the way I like all cookies to be.. (No hard/crunchy cookies for me!)
I like to roll the cookies in sugar before baking because it adds a little more sweetness, and it also makes the cookies sparkle & look really pretty which is always a plus.

If you like gingersnaps, you will love these cookies.
They are a staple in our Fall & Winter baking, and we hope you enjoy them as well!

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Pumpkin Gingersnap Cookies

Ingredients:
(yield: approx. 3 dozen cookies)
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar (plus extra for rolling the cookies in)
1/2 cup pure pumpkin
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter & sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the pumpkin, molasses, egg, & vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves & salt together.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and slowly mix until combined. Do not overmix.
Cover dough and refrigerate for at least 1 1/2 hours. (Dough can be chilled for 1-3 days)

2. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line or spray baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
Place 1-2 cups of sugar in a small bowl. Using your hands, roll dough into tablespoon-sized balls than roll balls into the sugar until well coated and place on prepared baking sheet approx. 2 inches apart. Bake for only 10-12 minutes. The cookies will look very soft, and almost underbaked. That is what you want – do not overbake. Let cookies cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes, than transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Enjoy!
Natasha xo

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Recipes

Hershey Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

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Happy Holidays Everyone!
Today we are sharing yet another de-lish Christmas Cookie recipe. (Who doesn’t love Christmas Cookies?!)
They’re cute little personal treats that spread some tasty festive cheer.

Cookies are my absolute favorite thing to bake at Christmas. Not cakes, not yule logs – cookies.
I love them for the fact that they are easy to pack up and give as gifts to friends & family, and they’re not messy.

Okay, I’ll be honest – the real reason for my love of cookies is that I somehow feel less guilty devouring 10+ cookies, than eating one slice of cake or any other dessert, (Cake just seems so heavy/decadent.)
Somehow in my mind I think that because cookies are small, that makes it okay to eat way more than I should! (I know, I know. My cookie addiction is out of control.)

These Hershey Candy Cane Kiss Cookies are basically Christmas in a cookie.
They are perfect sugar cookies rolled in Christmas sprinkles & topped with a Hershey Candy Cane Kiss. Numm!
You get all the goodness of Christmas (sugar cookie dough, festive sprinkles and peppermint) wrapped up in one cookie.
These cookies are super easy to bake (no chilling or rolling dough is required!) and are a sure way to add a splash of colour to your Holiday cookie tray.

Enjoy & Happy Holiday Baking!

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(pre-bake. candy cane kisses and sprinkles galore!)

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Hershey Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

Ingredients:
(yield: 24-27 cookies)

10 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
christmas sprinkles
24-30 Hershey Candy Cane Kiss Chocolates

Directions:

1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or spray with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
Using your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter & sugar together on medium speed for 3-4 minutes until light & smooth. Add the egg yolks & vanilla extract, mix on medium speed until all ingredients are combined. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until fully combined.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using your hands, roll the dough into balls (approx. 1 tablespoon of dough each). Roll the balls into sprinkles and bake for only 9-10 minutes. The cookies will look underbaked, but that is how they should be. They shouldn’t be golden at all – Do not overbake.
Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, than once slightly cooled, press the Hershey kisses into the centers of the cookies. Once you have put the Hershey kiss on the cookies, immediately put the baking sheet into the freezer for 5 minutes to ensure that the Hershey Kiss’ don’t melt.

(Note: recipe slightly adapted from sallysbakingaddiction)

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Enjoy!
Natasha xo

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Recipes

Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

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Thumbprint cookies are a staple during the holidays in our house.
Most thumbprint cookie recipes use the same ingredients – they’re usually shortbread type cookies, with slight variations. These Raspberry Thumbprint cookies are very similar in taste to shortbread cookies. They’re soft, with a tender crumb and the raspberry jam adds a nice sweet holiday flavour.

One of our favorite go-to thumbprint cookie recipes is very similar to this one but the cookies are rolled in pecans, and topped with a hershey kiss candy. (We’ll be posting that recipe soon!)

These Raspberry Thumbprints are the perfect Christmas cookie – they are easy to bake, & the jam adds a nice festive touch to the cookies. Feel free to use whichever preserves/jam you have on hand. Blackberry, peach etc.

Happy Holiday Baking!

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Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
{note: this recipe requires chilling the dough for 1 hour.}

Ingredients:
(yield: approx. 37-40 cookies)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolk
2 cups all-purpose flour
raspberry jam

Directions:

1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix butter & sugar until light and fluffy.
Add in the vanilla extract, salt and egg yolks and beat until blended.
Add the flour and mix until it forms a stiff dough.

2. Divide dough in half. Roll dough into 2 even sized logs, and wrap each log tightly in wax paper or saran wrap.
Chill dough logs in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. (Dough can be refrigerated overnight).
Remove dough from fridge and let sit for about 10 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Unwrap, and slice dough into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. (Each log should make about 20 cookies.) Using your hands, roll the pieces into balls and and place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Using your thumb, make a small indentation in the center of the cookies and fill each hollow with approx. 1/4 tsp of jam each.

4. Bake for approx. 18 minutes, rotating the pans once halfway. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the pans for about 5 minutes, than transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Natasha xo

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Gingerbread Lane at the Hyatt Vancouver

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It’s officially Christmas time! Woo-hoo!
Living in Vancouver there is never a shortage of fun things to do. We prepared our list of activities and/or places to check out during the holiday season well in advance.
Up next on our list was to go and visit the 23rd Annual Gingerbread Lane at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver.
The 40+ gingerbread houses were absolutely spectacular to see. The workmanship and detail that went into them is incredible.
This beautiful one pictured above won first place.

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Replica of Vancouver’s Gastown Steam Clock complete with real steam!

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This elaborate piece is Vancouver’s largest gingerbread house made by Executive Chef Thomas Heinrich. It stands 11 feet tall and 16 feet wide. It consists of 1400 egg whites, 400lbs of icing sugar & 500lbs of gingerbread dough!

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‘A Very Minion Christmas’ created by Karen Lowe (Vancouver, BC)
So cool!

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Christmas at the French Laundry‘ created by Oliver Bernardino from Richmond, BC.

We loved this gingerbread house! It was in our top 3 favorites.

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Okay, how cute are these?

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This one is so fun! And the detail!

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A Christmas Palace‘ created by Katherine Murray from Coquitlam, BC.

This gingerbread house won first place. It was our favorite too.
The designs and details are so gorgeous!

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Outside the Vancouver Hyatt Hotel.

If you’re in Vancouver, definitely check out the gingerbread houses on display at the Hyatt, open until December 27th.
This event is in support of Make-A-Wish foundation so be sure to make a donation as well as vote for your favourite gingerbread house!
Every year this annual event hosts approximately 20,000 visitors and has raised tens of thousands of dollars.
We highly recommend stopping by and checking it out!

Happy Holidays!
Laura & Natasha xo

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