Chocolate Chip Cookies

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These chocolate chip cookies are from BuzzFeed and are delicious! I modified them a little to be non-dairy. Follow the instructions carefully and they will turn out perfectly. I recommend using a scale to measure ingredients. If you don’t have one, I recommend scooping and levelling the ingredients to ensure they are measured accurately.

These cookies are delicious and disappear rather quickly. I recommend doubling the batch because they are such a hit.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (300g)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cup packed LIGHT brown sugar (250 g)
3/4 cup granulated sugar (175 g)
1 3/4 sticks of margarine, melted
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups of non-dairy chocolate chips
Flakey Sea Salt

Directions

Mix flour, salt and baking soda.

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Whisk sugars and break and large chunks with your fingers
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Add melted margarine and mix for 1 minute. IMG_0049.jpg

Add eggs one at a time and mix well.

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Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix well. Add chocolate chips and mix with a spatula. IMG_0052.jpg

Refrigerate the batter for 10 minutes and then scoop into balls using a cookie scoop. IMG_0058.jpg

Place dough balls on a tray and wrap with plastic wrap. Put in the fridge for at least 4 hours and up to 3 days. At this point the balls can also be put in a ziplock bag and frozen for up to 3 months.

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Preheat oven to 375˚F and sprinkle cookies with flakey sea salt.

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Bake for 12-16 minutes. If baking from frozen, may need an additional couple minutes.

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Science Fact of the Week:

Some people ask: “why do we have to refrigerate the cookies, we just want to eat them immediately?!” This is because the butter needs to solidify. This stops cookies from spreading excessively (although these do spread quite a bit)

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

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This easy quick bread can be made with a food processor or mixed by hand. A great use of leftover/ripe bananas that combines the delicious flavours of chocolate and banana. Freezes well when wrapped with one layer of plastic wrap and a second layer of aluminum foil.

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Ingredients:

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
3 large ripe bananas (1 ½ cups mashed)
½ cup liquid coconut oil
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips, divided

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

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In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process the bananas, oil, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.

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Add the dry ingredients and pulse until just combined.

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Add ¾ cup of the mini chocolate chips and fold in with a spatula.

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Transfer the batter to the lined pan and sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup mini chocolate chips over the cake.

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Bake for 60 minutes.

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Allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan. Enjoy!

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Science Fact of the Week:

Cocoa powder has many health benefits as it contains flavonoids. These can help lower the risk of heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol. As well, they have the added effect of being a potential anti-depressive agent.

Margarita Granita

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Today’s recipe requires little effort and should be made for any celebration (or for margarita Mondays).

Ingredients:

1 cup tequila
1 cup cointreau
Juice of 5 limes (~1/2 cup)
Juice of 1 lemon (3-4 tbsp)
3-4 cups ice

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender. Pour blended margarita into a 9×13 pan and freeze. At this point you can drink some of it as a celebration for making it this far.

After 3 hours, remove the pan from the freezer and “grate” the frozen margarita with a fork. Spoon into a glass and serve.

Science Fact of the Week:

Alcoholic beverages have a freezing point below that of water (below 0 degrees C). As such, the granita remains partially liquid, because of the alcohol content.

Special Edition: Caramelized Matzo Crunch (Passover)

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In honour of the holiday, we are posting early this weekend and are sharing our recipe for chocolate covered matzah.

I have been making this Marcy Goldman recipe for many years.  It can be made nondairy/pareve by using Passover margarine, however the cottonseed and palm oils used are less than desirable from a health perspective.  As well, the taste is much better when using good quality butter.  There are only FOUR ingredients in this amazing delicacy which we call “crack,” because of its addictive nature.  It can keep in the refrigerator for up to one week in a sealed Ziploc bag.

Ingredients:

5 plain matzos
200 g butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and break the matzos into appropriate sizes so that they can accommodate the cookie sheet.

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Bring the butter and sugar to a boil over medium heat.

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Once the sugar is dissolved, allow the mixture to turn to amber colour.  Take it off the heat and pour the mixture over the matzos.  Bake for 10 minutes.

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Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the matzos and allow to rest for 3-5 minutes.

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Spread the chocolate over the matzos.

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You can quickly set the chocolate matzos in the fridge and then break it up into pieces.

Science Fact of the Week

Matzo is unleavened bread made from flour and water! It can only be in the oven for 18 minutes as beyond this point it is considered to rise. Although matzo is for passover, this is so delicious you might want to eat it year round.

Chocolate Mousse (Passover)

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This recipe is a family favourite, and can be made year round. When people try it they won’t even know its for passover!

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Ingredients:

10.5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
8 large eggs, room temperature, separated
¾ cup granulated sugar, divided
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. kosher for passover brandy or Sabra liqueur
1/3 cup brewed espresso, room temperature

Directions:

In a double boiler, melt chocolate over low heat, then cool slightly.

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In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks with ½ cup sugar until light, about 3 minutes.

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Whisk in olive oil, brandy, espresso and melted chocolate.

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In a clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add remaining ¼ cup sugar, whisking until stiff but not dry.

Fold whites into chocolate mixture in stages until no white streaks remain.

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Spoon in a tub/container covered with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.  Makes about 8-10 one cup servings.

I have been making this olive oil chocolate mousse for passover for many years.  Aside from being a delicious tasting dessert, there are no traditional passover ingredients in this dish.  It is dairy free and gluten free.  It keeps in the refrigerator for several days….if it lasts that long.  Feel free to pipe or spoon some nondairy whipping cream on top of each dish.

A couple of years ago I left The Domestic Goddess in charge of putting the brandy in the mousse. She accidentally used a 2 tbsp measuring spoon thinking that it was 1 tbsp. This led to a strong, but still delicious chocolate mousse.

Science Fact of the Week:

Eggs are high in protein and many nutrients! Some choose not to prepare dishes made with raw eggs because of the risk of salmonellosis, but the risk is quite low.

The Best Blueberry Muffins

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These muffins are the best blueberry muffins I’ve ever had. I know this is a serious statement, but I’m not one to say it lightly.

This recipe is originally from Smitten Kitchen, however I swapped a few ingredients to make the recipe non-dairy and doubled it (to make 12 XL muffins). You might think it’s insane to add a teaspoon of sugar to the top of each muffin, but I swear its worth it. Don’t worry about the dough being too thick, it is supposed to be (similar to cookie dough) and feel free to use frozen blueberries.

I used bakery style (fluted) muffin liners which allowed me to overfill these muffins.

Ingredients:

1 stick and 2 tbsp (10 tbsp) margarine, melted
1 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 and 1/2 cup tofutti sour cream
2 eggs
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups blueberries (I used frozen)
12 tsp turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)

Directions:

Heat oven to 375˚F and line a muffin tin with 12 liners.

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Put melted margarine, sugar, zest, tofutti sour cream and eggs in a bowl and mix well.

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Add baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour, mix well.

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Fold in blueberries.

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Divide batter between muffin cups (let it be a lot) and add 1 tsp turbinado sugar to the top of each muffin.

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Bake for 30-35 minutes until the tops are perfect, crunchy and golden brown.

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These freeze very well and are a great go to muffin recipe. Serve to a crowd or throw them in your lunch to brighten up your day.

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Science Fact of the Week:

Tofutti sour cream is made with a mixture of different types of soy including tofu and don’t any contain dairy. However, it still contains a very similar texture to dairy sour cream because of its products such as carrageenan gum, inulin and rice starch.

Israeli Style Granola

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This granola is based on a recipe from Macheneh Yehuda in Jerusalem.  Once you have tasted this granola, you probably won’t make it any other way.  Tastes great on its own as a snack, and of course, goes well with yogurt.  This recipe can be gluten-free by using gluten-free oats.

Ingredients:

½ cup coconut oil
1 cup coconut sugar
1 cup date honey
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of kosher salt
6 cups rolled oats
2 cups each of whole raw almonds and hazelnuts
1 cup large flake coconut
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup each of pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried currants

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325F.  Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.  Combine oil, sugar, honey, cinnamon and salt in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves.

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In a large bowl, combined oats, almonds, hazelnuts, coconut, cashews, and pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds.

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Pour sugar mixture on top and stir well. Spread on the two baking sheets and bake for 30 minutes.  Flip mixture, add cranberries and currants and bake for another 20 minutes or longer until golden brown.

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Science Fact of the Week:

This granola uses tons of natural ingredients to make a delicious granola with many flavours. The almonds in this granola have healthy fats, fibre, and protein, leading this to be a nutritious snack. Throw this on top of some yogurt for a delicious and nutritious breakfast.

Green Tea Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Time for another cupcake! This time green tea with cream cheese frosting. The pairing is unique

Ingredients:

For the cupcake

1.5 cups cake flour
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp matcha powder (I use vanilla matcha from David’s Tea)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 stick butter, room temperature, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

For the icing

8 oz brick of cream cheese, room temp
1 stick butter, left out for 30 minutes
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

For the Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350˚F and line a muffin tin with paper liners.

Directions:

For the Cupcake:

Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Mix first 5 dry ingredients in a mixmaster.

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Add in butter, one cube at a time, until combined and mixture looks like coarse sand.

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Add eggs, one at a time at low speed.

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Add milk and vanilla slowly and beat for 2 minutes.

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Fill liners.

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Bake for 15-20 minutes.

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For the Icing:

With a paddle attachment, cream butter and cream cheese. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time.

Add the tsp of vanilla and mix slowly. If it is too thick at 1/2 tsp of milk at a time until you have the right consistency.

Science Fact of the Week:

I often asked what makes cake flour so special? Why do we use it? Now I’ve found the answer! It actually relates to protein! Cake flour has less protein in it, giving it a softer texture.

Texas Sheet Cake

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This large rich and delicious chocolate cake is a nut-free version of the pecan covered Texas sheet cake which has been made in the U.S. for years. One unique feature of this recipe is that the frosting is warm when spread over the hot cake immediately after it comes out of the oven. The frosting and cake blend together into one layer as the cake cools.

For the cake:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ cup nondairy sour cream (Tofutti)
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 tbsp. unsalted pareve margarine (1/2 stick)
¾ cup grapeseed/olive/canola oil
¾ cup water
½ cup cocoa powder

For the Icing:

1 stick unsalted pareve margarine (8 tbsp)
½ cup Nutriwhip
½ cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp. corn syrup
3 cups icing sugar
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
sprinkles

Directions:

For the Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray an 18×13 –inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.  Combine the first 4 dry ingredients in a large bowl.

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Whisk the eggs, yolks, vanilla, and sour cream in another bowl until smooth.

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Heat the chocolate, margarine, oil, water and cocoa in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 3-5 minutes.

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Whisk the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture.

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Whisk the egg mixture into the batter.

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Pour into the prepared baking sheet.

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Bake for 18 minutes.

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For the Icing:

About 5 minutes before the cake is done, heat the margarine, Nutriwhip, cocoa, and corn syrup in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth.

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Off the heat, whisk in the icing sugar and vanilla.

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Spread the warm icing evenly over the hot cake. Cover the cake with any type of sprinkles.

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Let the cake cool to room temperature, about 1 hour, then refrigerate until the icing is set, about 1 hour longer.

Science Fact of the Week:

 

Sour cream is considered an odd ingredient to put in baked goods, however is is considered a standard ingredient for Texas sheet cake. It provides extra moisture and creaminess to the cake.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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I have made this recipe a few times, originally from Ina Garten. There are a lot of steps, but you end up with a delicious soft red velvet cupcake thats worth it.

Ingredients:

For the Cupcakes

1 stick butter, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp gel food colouring (+1 tsp water) or 2 tbsp liquid food colouring
2 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/4 cup cake and pastry flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp white vinegar

For the icing

8 oz brick of cream cheese, room temp
1 stick butter, left out for 30 minutes
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

For the Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350˚F and line a muffin tin with paper liners.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy

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In a small bowl, mix gel food colouring with 1 tbsp of water and cocoa powder. Mix with a fork until it becomes a paste.

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Add cocoa food colouring mixture to the butter mixture and beat until combined.

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Add eggs and mix well after each addition.

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Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

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Add vanilla to buttermilk. I didn’t have any buttermilk on hand so I made a substitute at home. I put 1 tbsp lemon juice in a 1 cup measuring cup and filled to the top with 1% milk.

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Add dry and wet ingredients, alternating between the two until well incorporated.

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In a separate bowl mix baking soda and vinegar. The two will bubble (similar to your grade 7 science experiment). Mix until it stops bubbling and add to the batter. Mix well.

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Transfer to muffin liners.

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Bake for 15-20 minutes.

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For the Icing:

With a paddle attachment, cream butter and cream cheese. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time.

Add the tsp of vanilla and mix slowly. If it is too thick at 1/2 tsp of milk at a time until you have the right consistency.

Science Fact of the Week:

As you can probably guess, seeing as this recipe relates to a classic middle school science experiment, it seemed important to explain the science of mixing baking soda and vinegar. The mixing the reaction generates carbon dioxide gas. This is an example of an acid base reaction. It helps the red velvet rise well to make a light and airy cupcake.