Archive for October, 2013

Halloween Sprinkle Sugar Cookies

Cakes and Cookies

It’s Halloween baby!

Tonight’s the night. The night where we come back home, grab a quick bite (aka dinner), get the kids into their costumes, put their makeup on, look for the trick-or-treating bags, find them, make sure we have enough candy to give out, meet friends and head out to trick-or-treat. Sounds hectic? Well, it is. But you gotta love it.

I went trick or treating with the kids last year. Other than the fact that it was cold and eventually rained, I had a blast. Oh, the kids did too.

Some people take Halloween very seriously, they decorate the house, they make sure something spooky jumps at you as you come closer to the door and some even jumped at the kids from behind the bushes dressed as a werewolf, which the kids did not find impressive from some reason.

So yeah it’s busy, it’s fun and it’s sweet and this year I was asked to make cookies for my kids’ classes (2 classes). I was wrecking my brain trying to find something easy, fun, fast and impressive enough. Well, the answer was right there in front of me – Sugar Cookies. Who doesn’t like those? And given all the allergies around school, these have no allergenic ingredients. So I went for it.

Got some Halloween sprinkles, some ‘Smarties’ and flour (which I found out I didn’t have – nice Maya, nice) and 30 minutes later I had 3 batches of cookies.

We put each cookie in a cute small bag with some extra ‘Smarties’ in it and there you have it – an upgraded cookie treat.

Halloween Sugar Cookies with Smarties and Sprinkles

Halloween Sugar Cookies with Smarties and Sprinkles


Halloween Sprinkle Sugar Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies, Halloween
Cuisine: Cookies, Holiday
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 60 Cookies
 
Sugar cookies for Halloween with built in sprinkles and a topping of candy. Can you beat that?
Ingredients
  • 100gr Butter (1/2 Cup)
  • ¾ Cup White Sugar
  • ¾ Cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ Cup Melted Coconut Oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 5 Tbsp Halloween Sprinkles
  • 1 Pack of ‘Smarties’ (Halloween Theme)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C)
  2. Cream the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until they form a fluffy batter.
  3. Add the eggs and coconut oil in and beat together until fully combined.
  4. Add in the vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, flour and sprinkles and mix well.
  5. Scoop one tablespoon at a time onto a parchment paper layered baking sheet.
  6. Make sure you place the cookie dough scoops at least 1-1 ½ inch apart.
  7. Using the back of your hand (or the back of a spoon) gently press down every cookie.
  8. Place 2-3 ‘Smarties’ (or more) on each cookie (pressing them really gently onto the cookie)
  9. Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool completely.

Halloween Sugar Cookies with Smarties and Sprinkles

Halloween Sugar Cookies with Smarties and Sprinkles

It’s Halloween baby! Tonight’s the night. The night where we come back home, grab a quick bite (aka dinner), get the kids into their costumes, put their makeup on, look for the trick-or-treating bags, find them, make sure we have enough candy to give out, meet friends and head out to trick-or-treat. Sounds hectic? Well, […]

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Cookie Butter Filled Pumpkin Loaf

Cakes and Cookies

Fall is all about the changing leaves, the beautiful colors, Halloween, apples and of course pumpkin.

I open my Facebook Page every day and for the past few weeks all I can see is pumpkin this and pumpkin that and all I can think of is “oops, I have pumpkin nothing”. Yeah I’ll admit, I’m not a pumpkin fan, these pumpkin pies going around? They don’t do anything to me, in fact, from some reason pumpkin for me is associated with baby food. Don’t ask me why, but that’s how it is.

So I figured that making something with pumpkin puree and adding one of my favorite (oh so sweet) ingredients might be a good way to expose my taste buds to pumpkin.

I made this yeasty loaf, rolled with cookie butter (Biscoff Spread) that I got from Israel which lead me to discovering two things:

1. They don’t sell cookie butter here in Halifax, too bad.

2. Cookie Butter Pumpkin Laves can evaporate.

I have to find a way to get my hands on some cookie butter around here; I’ve made it my next goal and mission. Just thinking about all the good stuff makes me drool on my keyboard.

 

But back to pumpkin and fall and all, it appeared that the pumpkin made the dough softer and the baked loaf came out so fluffy and sweet. Apparently pumpkin enhances stuff, it also makes things orange (which is my favorite color) so you know what? I’m in. Pumpkin it is.

 

Cookie Butter Filled Pumpkin Loaf

Cookie Butter Filled Pumpkin Loaf

 

Cookie Butter Filled Pumpkin Loaf
Author: 
Recipe type: Cake, Loaf
Cuisine: Pumpkin, Seasonal
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 Loaves
 
It's pumpkin season and cookie butter is timeless, why not combine the two and indulge over a sweet swirly loaf with a nice cup of tea?
Ingredients
  • 500gr All Purpose Flour
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Yeast
  • ½ Cup White Sugar
  • 1 Cup Lukewarm Water (you may need less)
  • ¼ Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Tbsp Pumpkin Puree
  • 8 Tbsp Cookie Butter (Biscoff Spread) – or any other spread (Nutella, Peanut Butter etc.)
  • 1 Beaten Egg for brushing (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a stand Mixer Bowl place the flour, yeast and sugar.
  2. Add in the oil, ¾ cup water and pumpkin puree and start mixing slowly (Using the kneading attachment). If you see that the dough is too dry and stiff, add a bit more water gradually until what you get is a soft, even dough.
  3. Remove the dough from the bowl into a floured surface and roll the dough a bit in the flour until it is covered with it to avoid sticking.
  4. Divide the dough into 2 equally sized halves and set one aside.
  5. Using a rolling pin flatten the first piece of dough into a ½ inch thick rectangle. Flour the surface and the dough/ rolling pin a bit while you work on it to avoid sticking.
  6. Place 4 tablespoonfuls of cookie butter spread (or any other) onto the flattened dough and spread it gently using a spatula. Be careful not to press too hard against the dough so you don’t tear it.
  7. Once you’re done spreading the cookie butter, roll the dough lengthwise (so you end up getting a long roll) and cut the roll in the middle, scoring it into 2 long halves (you will see the filling now and each half will look like layers of dough and filling)
  8. Gently connect the ends of the 2 halves (just like you would when braiding) and start swirling the two halves together (just like a screw or a braid with two strands only). Make sure that when you do this, the part with the exposed filling is facing up.
  9. Transfer into a greased and floured loaf pan and continue to do the same with the other half of the dough.
  10. Cover the 2 loaf pans with a clean kitchen towel and let the loaves rest until they rise and almost double in size (about 40 minutes).
  11. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C)
  12. After 40 minutes, gently brush the loaves with the beaten egg (optional) and place in the preached oven for 25-30 minutes.

 

Cookie Butter Filled Pumpkin Loaf Slice

Cookie Butter Filled Pumpkin Loaf

Fall is all about the changing leaves, the beautiful colors, Halloween, apples and of course pumpkin. I open my Facebook Page every day and for the past few weeks all I can see is pumpkin this and pumpkin that and all I can think of is “oops, I have pumpkin nothing”. Yeah I’ll admit, I’m […]

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Fresh Homemade Rye Bread and Rye Buns

Baked Goodies

Sometimes all I really need is a good piece of bread.

I know, it sounds too easy right? But it’s true. Sometimes I’d wonder around the kitchen looking for that something to eat, not a meal, just a little something – that’s when I turn to bread.

Think about it, bread with butter – a nosh, bread with cheese and omelet – lunch, bread with jam or chocolate – dessert. It’s the ultimate food y’all.

So imagine how thrilled I was when I cleaned one of my kitchen cupboards and found a 2kg bag of Rye Flour.

Now, I’ve never baked anything with rye flour so this was all new to me, and when something is new I turn to Google. I researched a little bit about rye flour and found that it is not as high in gluten as traditional bread flour so that means I’ll need to add another flour to the mix to provide the gluten so my bread is nice a fluffy as opposed to nice kinda dry. I decided to add whole wheat bread flour (organic too!) and the results were phenomenal.

I made my first loaf about 10 days ago, and made 3 more loaves and 14 buns since.

It’s really easy to work with rye flour and the taste is earthy, deep and just so good! You can literally feel the wholesomeness in it.

On a whole different note, I might have gained a few pounds so beware. I’m not saying I’m not going to eat more bread; I’m just starting to think that a pair of exercise bikes for my birthday might not be such a bad idea.

By the way, is it just me or as we get older the birthday presents get lamer? Hmmm.

UPDATE: I DID end up getting those Exercise Bikes 🙂

 

Homemade Rye Bread

Homemade Rye Buns

 

Homemade Fresh Rye Bread
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: Breads
 
Easy, wholesome Rye Bread mixed with whole wheat flour - what a great combination that results in a great, soft, tasty bread.
Ingredients
  • 3 Cups Rye Flour
  • 3 Cups Whole Wheat Bread Flour
  • 2 Tbsp Dry Yeast
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • ½ Tbsp Salt
  • 3 Cups Lukewarm Water
  • Some extra Whole Wheat Flour for kneading
  • Some extra Rye Flour for dusting
Instructions
  1. In a stand mixer bowl (you can also do this in a regular bowl and knead by hand) place the rye flour, whole wheat flour, yeast, sugar and salt and mix them together.
  2. Add in the water and start stirring until all the ingredients are combined and form soft dough
  3. If the dough is sticky, dust with whole wheat flour and knead until the dough is soft and doesn’t stick, you may have to dust the dough a few times.
  4. For 2 bread loaves, divide the dough into 2 pieces and shape each piece into an elliptical loaf.
  5. Place on a parchment paper layered large baking pan, dust with some rye flour on the top and using a sharp knife cut a few X shaped incisions along the top (no need to cut too deep)
  6. Cover the loaves with a clean kitchen towel and let them rest in a warm place for about 45 minutes until they rise.
  7. For 14 buns, divide the dough into 14 pieces, roll each piece into a ball, place on a parchment paper layered baking pan, dust with some rye flour and cut an X on the top of each bun. Now let the buns rest and rise for about 40 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 400F (200C) – Do Not use a convection oven for this, just a regular one
  9. Place a small baking pan filled with water on the bottom rack in the oven
  10. After the loaves/buns almost doubled their size, place in a preheated oven on the middle rack
  11. After about 15 minutes, gently open the oven and remove the baking pan with water.
  12. Keep baking for 35-40 minutes until the top and the bottom crusts are hard and hollow sounding when tapped

 

Homemade Rye Bread

Homemade Rye Bread

Homemade Rye Buns

Sometimes all I really need is a good piece of bread. I know, it sounds too easy right? But it’s true. Sometimes I’d wonder around the kitchen looking for that something to eat, not a meal, just a little something – that’s when I turn to bread. Think about it, bread with butter – a […]

Read More

Rice Salsa in Baked Wonton Cups

Salads

When I was asked if I’ll take part in the “USA Rice Blogger Challenge” by USA Rice Federation, the answer was clear – YES.

I received a few recipes for review, photos, info sheet and a great video and the task was to create something creative using USA rice.

We all use rice, some on daily basis, some less but the bottom line is that we all use it.

Have you ever considered taking 3 seconds to see where your rice is coming from? I usually do that when buying my rice at the grocery store, not that it matters, but I’m just weirdly curious like that.

After taking part in this challenge I think I will keep track more closely when it comes to the origin of my rice. Again, not that it matters, but apparently nearly 65% of rice consumed in Canada is grown in the US – Interesting.

So now I had to decide what to do and what kind of rice I’ll be using.

There’s white rice, brown rice, long grain, short grain, medium grain, so many options. So I went with the one I personally think is the prettiest (Hey, you want your food pretty or not?).

Black rice (Black Japonica) was the rice I decided to go with. I’ve never made this kind before but reading the cooking instructions on the package made it clear that this rice is no different than other. So I boiled some water and coked my rice on the stove-top for only 35 minutes – and now, I was ready to roll.

I decided to go with an easy yet fancy dish, I was SUPER craving something with garlic and I had wonton wraps in the fridge. Suddenly it was all so clear – I’m going to make wonton baked cups with black rice salsa. Fresh, delicious, healthy and fast.

I made exactly 12 shells with rice salsa and it took my family 12 minutes to make sure there’s none left.

These are great for entertaining, for using rice leftovers and for a quick snack.

And just before we go on to the recipe, I wanted to share this video with you all. Just a little something about preparing and getting to know your rice:

 

Black Rice Salsa in Wonton Baked Cups

 

Black Rice Salsa in Wonton Baked Cups

 

Rice Salsa in Baked Wonton Cups
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Rice; Snack; Entertaining
Serves: 12 baked mini cups
 
Whether you just feel like having something really good, you're entertaining or just want to make your salsa look fancy. All you need is this recipe.
Ingredients
  • ¾ Cup cooked Japonica Black Rice (or any other rice)
  • 1 Fresh Tomato – Chopped
  • ¼ Purple Onion – Chopped (you can use the white one)
  • 1 Garlic Clove – Diced
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • 12 Wonton Wrappers
Instructions
For the Baked Wonton Cups
  1. Preheat oven to 375F (190C)
  2. Using a muffin pan (I used the mini muffin baking pan), line each cup with a wonton wrapper. You want the wonton to form a cup.
  3. Place in the preheated oven for 5-10 minutes until cups are golden brown and baked.
Prepare the Rice Salsa:
  1. Put the tomatoes, onion, garlic, rice and cilantro in a bowl
  2. Mix in the olive oil, lemon juice and salt
  3. Scoop one tablespoon at a time and place in the baked wonton cups

 

Black Rice Salsa in Wonton Baked Cups

Disclaimer: I was provided with the funds to purchase ingredients for this recipe challenge

When I was asked if I’ll take part in the “USA Rice Blogger Challenge” by USA Rice Federation, the answer was clear – YES. I received a few recipes for review, photos, info sheet and a great video and the task was to create something creative using USA rice. We all use rice, some on […]

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Butternut Squash, Goat Cheese and Spinach Quiche

Baked Goodies | Home Made Cooking

Canadian Thanksgiving was celebrated this week, and although we never had a thanksgiving dinner at our house before, we figured why not use this as an excuse for dinner with friends? I mean, regardless of any religion or belief, we ARE supposed to be thankful for what we are fortunate enough to have, so we planned dinner and invited friends over.

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Canadian Thanksgiving was celebrated this week, and although we never had a thanksgiving dinner at our house before, we figured why not use this as an excuse for dinner with friends? I mean, regardless of any religion or belief, we ARE supposed to be thankful for what we are fortunate enough to have, so we […]

Read More

Coconut & Pumpkin Spice Spelt Rugelach

Cakes and Cookies

Rugelach are, to me, the easier version of a croissant. I know I know, it’s not the same, but hey, when you’re a working mom in need of kitchen entertainment and a delicious addition next to your coffee AND you’re on a tight schedule – these ROCK.

Traditionally what I’d do is make these from all purpose flour and brush them with oh-so-sweet sugar syrup when they’re out of the oven, but in this case I decided to make the healthier version, the version with less sugar, less gluten and off the record – less work.

Although the dough has yeast in it, please don’t be scared. I know that some people refrain from making yeast pastries because they always seem more lengthy and complicated, but I assure you that these are easy peasy.

In the spirit of fall I’ve decided to make these with pumpkin spice (my first time using it) and add my own twist with one of my favorite ingredients – coconut oil.

Of course, you can make these with just cinnamon, or replace the coconut oil with butter or canola oil, the possibilities are endless here; and the best part is that no matter how you choose to make these, they’ll be SO GOOD.

Coconut Pumpkin Spice Spelt Rugelach

 

Coconut Pumpkin Spice Spelt Rugelach

 

Coconut & Pumpkin Spice Spelt Rugelach
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Spelt, Fall
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 32 Rugelach
 
Soft Spelt dough rolled with pumpkin spice and coconut oil, baked fresh, need I say more? These are delicious!
Ingredients
  • 500gr Spelt Flour (I use wholegrain organic)
  • 1½ tsp Xanthan Gum Powder (for more elasticity)
  • 1½ Tbsp Dry Yeast
  • 2 Tbsp White Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 125ml Milk (1/2 cup)
  • 200gr Butter – Melted
Pumpkin Spice Filling:
  • ¼ Cup Coconut Oil - Melted
  • 1 Tbsp Pumpkin Spice
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
For Brushing:
  • 1 Beaten Egg
  • Brown Sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F (190C)
  2. Prepare a parchment paper layered baking sheet
For the filling:
  1. In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar and pumpkin spice and set aside
  2. Have the oil melted and set aside
For the dough:
  1. Place the dough ingredients in a stand mixer bowl and start mixing on low speed until everything is combined into an even soft dough (if you notice the dough is too flaky or dry, add 1 Tbsp milk while stirring – you may need more than 1 Tbsp depending on the flour but always add 1 Tbsp at a time)
  2. Remove dough from mixing bowl and divide into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.
  3. Using a rolling pin, flatten one dough ball into a this circle (doesn’t have to be perfect), but not too thin (about 0.3cm).
  4. Brush the flattened dough circle with some melted coconut oil and sprinkle with the pumpkin spice and sugar mix (I just divided the spice mix in 4 to make sure I have the same amount for each dough piece)
  5. Using a sharp knife or a pizza roller, score the dough circle into 8 slices and roll each slice starting at the wide part (so going from the triangle’s base to it’s pointy part)
  6. Place each rolled slice on the baking sheet, about 1-2 inches apart from one another
  7. Repeat flattening, brushing, sprinkling and rolling with the other 3 dough balls.
  8. Once all the rugelach are on the baking sheet, brush them with the beaten egg and sprinkle with some brown sugar on top and place in the preheated oven.
  9. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until rugelach tops are nice and brown
  10. Once completely cool, keep in an airtight container and enjoy

 

Coconut Pumpkin Spice Spelt Rugelach

Coconut Pumpkin Spice Spelt Rugelach

Rugelach are, to me, the easier version of a croissant. I know I know, it’s not the same, but hey, when you’re a working mom in need of kitchen entertainment and a delicious addition next to your coffee AND you’re on a tight schedule – these ROCK. Traditionally what I’d do is make these from […]

Read More

Orange Chocolate Chip Spelt Cookies

Cakes and Cookies

I think I might have had a writer’s block for the past month or so, because I couldn’t bring myself to writing something on the blog. That, in addition to having family visiting and spending time with my parents and my mother-in-law were the reasons for not seeing anything new around here.

But hey, when you have family coming over once in a couple of years it goes without saying that everything else in your life kind of gets pushed over.

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I think I might have had a writer’s block for the past month or so, because I couldn’t bring myself to writing something on the blog. That, in addition to having family visiting and spending time with my parents and my mother-in-law were the reasons for not seeing anything new around here. But hey, when […]

Read More