Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Nutella Cookies

Summer 1997. I can't even believe how long ago that was. My fantastic friend Rachel and I were going to visit some of her family for a weekend, and we were getting reading for the "road trip". It was only an hour, but when you're 11, that's a big deal. Rach's mom took us to the grocery store to get some car snacks, and we pooled our money and got a honkin' jar of nutella. That was a pretty great hour, just us in the back seat with two spoons and the perfect snack. (Do you remember this Rachel?)

I think that's the day my love affair with nutella really started. I owe you big, Rachel. Big.

Lineup of ingredients. I didn't realize until now that my baking powder was on the French side. For future reference, "Poudre a pate magic" means "Magic baking powder".

Don't you just love brown sugar? If Candyland was a real place, there would be a beach with brown sugar sand. People could float around in giant life savers in a sea of blueberry punch.


If you happen to have a bucket of neapolitan ice cream in your freezer because it was on sale, you can do this. It will be worth it. Spread between two cookies and freeze for 5 minutes.

If you just have vanilla, it still works. In fact, I think the vanilla was the best one.

Nutella Cookies

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup dutch-process cocoa (I used regular high-quality cocoa)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon hazelnut extract (couldn't find it, I just doubled the vanilla)
1/3 cup Nutella
1/3 cup milk
  • Mix together your flour and cocoa. Set aside.
  • Dump the beautiful sugars and butter in your kitchen aid and mix until smooth.
  • Add the extracts, and beat again. Then the nutella.
  • Keep the mixer running and add half the flour mixture.
  • Add the milk.
  • Add the second half of flour mix.
  • Mix it completely and refridgerate for at least 15 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 325.
  • Roll dough into balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  • Using a glass, press lightly on each cookie to flatten slightly.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, until slightly crackly on top. Cook on wire rack.


Friday, 16 March 2012

The Pioneer Woman’s Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I was a kid, we lived about 3 blocks away from the 7-11. I would do chore after chore, just so I could save up enough money to get something worthwhile. Often, it would be a bag of 5 cent candies, sometimes a Slurpee. But my favourite was a frosted malt. Have you ever had one of those? You know, they come out of the freezer, right beside the ice cream drumsticks and the frozen lemonade. Frosted malts were the best on hot days, and they came with a little wooden spoon, which for some reason made it taste better. I swear, it did.

I have never had a real chocolate malt, like one you might order from Pop's Chocolate Shop if you were friends with Archie and Betty and Veronica and lived in Riverdale. I think the frosted malt is the closest I've come. I was reading Jenny's blog over at Picky Palate and she blogged about these fabulous chocolate malt cookies from Ree at  The Pioneer Woman. I love both bloggers, so I figured a recipe from both of them was probably worth making.

Let me tell you, I don't believe I will ever make another chocolate chip cookie recipe for as long as I live. That's how good these were. I'm not a cookie dough fan, I'd rather wait until they're all baked up and warm, thank you very much, but even the dough was incredible. I couldn't keep my fingers out. They are slightly cripsy, chewy, melt in your mouth delicious.

The Pioneer Woman’s Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies

   You can find this recipe here.


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Chocolate Robin Nests

Sometimes, being Canadian has some pretty awesome perks. Steve Nash, Thanksgiving in October (who wouldn't want it early?), colourful money, dill Pickle AND ketchup flavoured potato chips (UH-MAZE-ING), Jim Carey, Rick Mercer, and one pretty fantastic national anthem. Obviously this could go on and on, feel free to add to this stellar list. What's your favourite Canadian thing?

Back to the point, the awesome Canadian thing I am talking about right now is chocolate. Sometimes I feel really bad for my southern neighbours and their less than perfect chocolate. I love you guys, but your chocolate is sub-par. Around Easter in my neck of the woods, you can get little drops oh heaven, disguised as a chocolate eggs, covered in a perfectly sweet and crunchy candy shell. I'm talking about Mini Eggs. It's not really spring until these delectable and addictive little treats make their way into my kitchen. And living room. Ok fine, and bedroom. I don't even usually like milk chocolate.

I wanted to incorporate these into a dessert, and I do have a whole bunch of ideas, but yesterday I had a little 5 year old helper. We thought this would be a pretty fun Easter snack.

This is your typical no-bake oatmeal cookie recipe. Mine calls for coconut, but my friend told me she uses peanut butter instead. I used pb this time, and prefer the coconut, but my hubby really liked it this way.

Chocolate Robin Nests

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup peanut butter OR coconut
  • 6 tbsp cocoa
  • 3 cups quick oats
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 pack or mini eggs (or whatever you can find at the store)
Line 2 cookie sheets with tinfoil and set aside.
Boil your butter, milk and sugar for 2 mins. Add vanilla.
Remove from heat and quickly add remaining ingredients.
Drop by the tablespoon onto the cookie sheets and form into nest shapes.
Add your eggs or candy right away so they will stick to the nest.
Refridgerate until firm. Store in fridge.


Friday, 9 March 2012

Perfect Cinnamon Buns

Today is my Father-in-law's birthday. He is really the best dad-in-law a girl could ask for. He treats me like one of his own, and he is one of the best Grandpas (they call him Papa) there is. Plus, we see eye to eye when it comes to dessert. He would much rather have a giant batch of cinnamon buns than a birthday cake. I hear him on that. I prefer making cinnamon buns, too. It's a win win. Happy Birthday Dad number 2!

These cinnamon buns are bar non the best I have ever had. The recipe was given to me by a good friend who got it from her sister. No idea where it came from, but if I ever find out, I'll put it on here.

Perfect Cinnamon Buns


  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 4  1/2 tsp quick-rise yeast
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1  4-serving package of vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 cups flour

  • 2 cups brown sugar combined with 4 tsp cinnamon
  • butter for spreading

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk

Combine water, yeast and sugar, stirring until dissolved.
Prepare pudding according to packaging.
Combine pudding, butter, eggs, and salt.
Add yeast mixture.
Gradually add flour and knead until smooth. (You may need a little extra).
Grease a big bowl, and place dough in. Let rise for about 45 minutes.
Once risen, roll out to a 34"x21" rectangle. 
Spread butter all over the dough and then sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top.

Roll as tightly as you can, and cut intop rolls. I got 18, but you may get more or less, depending on how big you like them, and how big your rectangle got.

I like to score mine across the top so I can see exactly where I'm going to cut.

Grease 2 cookie sheets (with sides) put the buns on.
Cover with a tea towel and let rise again for about 1 hour.

Before rising.

After rising.

I bet you can almost smell them from there.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 12 minutes. When you take them out, they will look like this.

After they've cooled a bit, you can frost them. Combine all the frosting ingredients and mix in a stand mixer or with hand held beaters. Mix and mix and mix until there are no lumps. Spread generously on the cinnamon buns. Feel free to lick the spoon. And the bowl. And your fingers. 


A little bite of Disneyland (peanut butter banana bites)

I had a pineapple sitting on the counter that needed to be used. They were on sale, so Matt grabbed one- I had to stop him from buying two- he's a big pineapple fan. But it was a busy week and before we knew it, the pineapple was uneaten and nearing the end of its life. So I cup it up and decided to dip the pieces in chocolate for dessert. When in doubt, cover in chocolate.

The problem was, I over estimated and wound up with a bunch of melted chocolate and no more pineapple. My first thought was to go Disneyland style and make chocolate covered bananas, but I had no peanuts to sprinkle on top. It wouldn't be the same. But what if I put the nuts on the inside. Not peanuts of course, but peanut butter. Like a healthy Reese's cup. Sorta. Anyway, they're pretty delicious, I think. My family thinks so too. And I bet yours would too. Make them, watch Aladdin (my personal favourite) and pretend you're there, eating a real Disneyland banana.

Peanut Butter Banana Bites

3 bananas
1 cup dark chocolate (I used chips, but you could use whatever is in your pantry)
1 splash of vegetable oil (it helps the make the chocolate runnier)
1/3 approx. of peanut butter (I used smooth, but I wish I had had some crunchy in the house)
  • Slice up bananas
  • In a double boiler, melt chocolate over low heat
  • Add the oil and stir until it's really smooth and creamy
  • Spread a bit of peanut butter of the top of each banana
  • Put the banana slices, one by one, into the pot of chocolate and cover completely with chocolate using a spoon.
  • Place dipped slices on a foil lined cookie sheet and freeze for at least one hour.