Recipes

Mini Red Velvet Donuts

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Valentine, Oh Sweet Valentine!
{We’re at it again. We can’t be stopped now, we’re on a roll.}
This time we decided to try these delicious Red Velvet Mini Donuts. Oh so adorable.

These red velvet donuts are little mouthfuls of Valentine’s goodness. If you love red velvet, you will looove these donuts!
They are soft & not overly sweet. The icing balances the overall flavour, and adds that little bit of sweetness that red velvet cakes need.
Being that these are mini donuts, you can feel less guilty about devouring 10 of these little guys instead of one big donut! πŸ˜‰

This recipe is super easy to make, and is one of our favorite Valentine’s treats.

Happy Baking Everyone!

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Laura baking with love! xo

Oh, I just have to point out this vintage apron I’m wearing.
My parents got it for me this Christmas and I was more than giddy over it.
Love. It. So. Much.
It’s so hard to find cute aprons so I couldn’t be happier when I laid my eyes on this one!

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Baked Red Velvet Mini Donuts Recipe

Donut Batter:
{yield 4 dozen mini donuts}
1 tbs. red food colouring
2 tbs. cocoa powder
2 c. flour sifted
3/4 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. melted butter

Directions:

Mix together food colouring and cocoa powder to form a paste in small bowl.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray donut pans with a nonstick cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Add buttermilk, eggs, vanilla extract, butter and the red paste mixture beating until combined.

Fill each donut cup approximately 3/4 of the way full.
Bake 5-8 minutes making sure to not over cook. (In our oven they were perfect after 5 minutes)

Let donuts cool in the pan an additional 3-5 minutes before removing onto a wire rack.
Let donuts cool completely before icing.

Vanilla Glaze Icing:
2-4 tbsp. hot water
2 c. confectioner’s sugar
1 tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

In a small bowl, stir all of the ingredients together until sugar is completely dissolved. Use icing immediately to glaze tops of the donuts. We found it was easy to dunk the tops of the donuts into the glaze then place onto a wire rack until set.
Tip: If icing forms and becomes too thick while glazing the donuts, add a drop or 2 of hot water, mixing well.

Happy Valentine’s Baking!
Laura & Natasha xo

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Recipes

Pink & White Vanilla Delight Cupcakes

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so in keeping with our ‘Valentine’s Day Baking‘ theme, we have yet another Valentine’s recipe to share with you guys!

This is my favorite recipe yet. These Pink & White Vanilla Swirl Cupcakes really are perfect for Valentine’s Day.
These cupcakes have a cake-like consistency (from the cake flour), and are light, tender and fluffy.
They even taste delicious without the icing – we almost ate them all up before icing them!

Really though, the best thing about these cupcakes is obviously how pretty they are.
They really are gorgeous to look at – the pink & white marbled cake with the bright pink & white swirl icing make these cupcakes the ultimate Valentine’s treat!

Happy Valentine’s Baking!

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Pink & White Vanilla-Delight Cupcakes Recipe

Ingredients:
{yield: approx. 2 dozen cupcakes}

5 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup (total) whole milk, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
pink or red food colouring

For the Vanilla Buttercream Icing:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups icing sugar
4-5 tablespoons milk (preferably whole milk)
pink food colouring

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine the egg whites, 1/4 cup of the whole milk, and the vanilla extract. Stir till combined; set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all the dry ingredients together (cake flour, sugar, baking powder, & salt) on low speed for approx. 30 seconds.
Add in the butter and the remaining 1/2 cup of whole milk & mix on low speed until just combined. Increase speed to medium and mix for 1-2 minutes.
Add the egg mixture in three separate batches, beating on medium speed for approx. 20 seconds after each addition.

Divide the batter in half and add a good amount of pink food colouring to one half of the batter. Mix until the food colouring is coated evenly.

Using a spoon, put a spoonful of white batter into each cupcake cup. Top with a spoonful of pink batter, and repeat until cups are 2/3’s full. After, use a butter knife to gently marble the colours.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (A few little crumbs on the toothpick is good – you don’t want to overcook them!).

For the Icing:

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth. Add the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the icing sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the milk and beat on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes until icing is light and fluffy. You may need to add a little more milk to get it to the consistency of your liking. Divide icing into two batches, and mix in the pink food colouring to one of the batches.
To get the pink and white swirl icing – Using a piping bag fitted with a 1M star tip, fill one side of the icing bag with white icing, and the other side of the bag with the pink icing.

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Happy Baking!
Natasha & Laura xo

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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

Gingerbread Cupcakes

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Gingerbread is a Holiday classic & we just can’t get enough.
We are still on a total gingerbread kick after baking batch after batch of our Gingerbread Cookies this holiday season.
The Gingerbread cookies were a hit and we ended up making a lot more than we expected since friends & family kept requesting them! They were definitely our star holiday cookie this year.

We couldn’t let our gingerbread addiction end with just cookies this year though, so we decided to make Gingerbread Cupcakes!

These really are the perfect Winter cupcake. Super moist spiced cupcakes, with deliciously creamy cinnamon spiced cream-cheese icing. Mmmm. And nothing tastes more like Winter than the brilliant combo of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and molasses!

If you are a Gingerbread lover, you have gotta try these cupcakes. The combo of the ginger-spiced cake with the sweet & tangy cinnamon cream cheese icing go together like peanut butter + jelly. πŸ˜‰

These are fairly simple cupcakes to make and I love them because there are plenty of different adjustments you can make to alter the taste of the cupcakes to your liking:

If your not into the cinnamon cream cheese icing, try white chocolate frosting, chocolate frosting or even plain vanilla frosting. You could even leave the icing off completely and enjoy them as muffins.

You can alter the spices as you wish. If you’re not a fan of a certain spice, put a bit less/or omit it completely and up the quantity of a spice of your choice.

Instead of the little gingerbread men cupcake toppers, you can use sprinkles or if you want to get real fancy – bake a batch of gingerbread cookies, use a fairly small gingerbread man cutout and stick the gingerbread man cookie on top of the icing.

We had lots of fun baking & decorating these cupcakes and they really are every bit as tasty as they are cute.
We hope everyone had a wonderful New Year, and hope you enjoy this recipe!

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How cute are these Gingerbread Men Cupcake Cups & Decor?!
The cups and little gingerbread toppers are both Wilton brand & can be found at Michaels & certain grocery stores.
You can also buy them online here.

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Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
{recipe slightly adapted from The Cupcake Diaries}
{yield: approx. 20 cupcakes}

Ingredients:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons + 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups molasses
1 cup hot water

Frosting Ingredients:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3-4 cups icing sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
2 teaspoons milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans with cupcake liners, or spray pans with non-stick cooking spray if you’re not using baking cups.
In a large bowl, sift together all (flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt) of the dry ingredients EXCEPT for the brown sugar. Lightly whisk the ingredients to combine them slightly than set the bowl aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter & brown sugar for a few minutes until light & fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix slowly after each addition. Add the molasses and mix until well combined. Next add one third of the dry ingredients and one third of the cup of water and mix thoroughly. Repeat this step, scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the last third, starting with the dry ingredients than add the last third of the water and mix until well combined.

Scoop the batter evenly in the cupcake liners. Bake for 16-19 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting:

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix all ingredients (except for the milk) together until well combined. To help the icing come together and to make it a bit smoother/creamier, add 2 teaspoons of milk. Continue mixing until the icing is to your preference.

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Natasha & Laura xo

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Recipes

Banana Muffins

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The year is coming to a close which means that sadly all the holiday baking is nearing its end as well.
It’s bittersweet – I’ll miss all the nummy Christmas cookies & holiday baking but I think we can all agree that it’s almost a relief when it’s over. (I know I have definitely eaten way more than my fair share of Christmas cookies this year!) So to end the year off right, I thought I’d switch it up a bit, take a break from all the cookie recipes and post a slightly healthier recipe for you guys!

Banana is one of my favorite fruits to bake with – It gives baked goods an amazing flavour, and helps keep them nice and moist. These simple banana muffins are no exception – they really are the moistest/most delicious banana muffins I’ve ever tasted. I’ve made them multiple times in the past few weeks and they are always eaten up quickly!
This recipe is perfect for those ripe leftover bananas sitting in the kitchen, and it’s a super easy recipe to whip up which is always nice.

We hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas & that you enjoy this recipe! xo

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Banana Muffins Recipe

Ingredients:
{yield: 12 muffins}

4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup pecans, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or spray muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

Mash the bananas and add the egg, sugar and butter; mix until ingredients are combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pecans together.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until nearly all the flour has disappeared. (Don’t overmix – overmixed muffins turn out tough).

Pour batter evenly into the muffin pan and bake for approx. 20 minutes.

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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