Red Velvet Cookie with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Based on the grocery store cookie this one is a red velvet take. Soft with cream cheese icing this cookie walks the fine line between cookie and cake.

Ingredients:

For the Cookies:

1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup coffee creamer (I used vanilla flavoured)
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Red food colouring (prefer gel based)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

For the Icing:

1 stick butter, softened
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp coffee creamer
3 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

For the Cookies:

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

In a mixer cream butter and sugar for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy.

Add egg, vanilla, sour cream, creamer and red food colouring. I used a flavoured coffee creamer you find at the grocery store.

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

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Place golf ball sized balls of dough on a cookie sheet, flatten slightly, and bake for 16-18 minutes.

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Wait until the cookies are cooled to frost.

For the Frosting:

Cream butter and cream cheese.

Add powdered sugar, coffee creamer and vanilla.

Dip cookies in icing to frost. Add more powdered sugar if it is too thin.

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Lemon Bars with Coconut Oil Crust

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Adapted from Food 52 where this recipe had a saltier olive oil crust, this bar has the perfect ratio of sweet, tart thick lemon curd and shortbread crust made without butter.

Ingredients:

Crust:

2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. kosher salt
¾ cup coconut oil, melted

Lemon Curd:

6 large eggs, room temperature
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
7 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
3 lemons, zested
½ tsp. kosher salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325F and line 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the flour, sugar and salt.

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Process until well combined. Add the oil and pulse until a lumpy dough forms.

Transfer the dough to the lined pan and use your hands to pat it flat. Use a fork to prick the dough throughout.

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Bake for 35-38 minutes until puffed and softly golden-brown.

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While the crust is baking, prepare the curd by combining all of the ingredients in the cleaned food processor bowl and process until smooth.

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Lower the heat to 300F.

Carefully pour the lemon mixture onto the hot crust and bake for 30-35 minutes until the edges of the lemon bar are slightly puffed and the center barely jiggles.

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Transfer to the refrigerator after the bars cool to room temperature which makes them easier to slice.

Limoncello Whip

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This delicious and light dessert can be modified for Passover by omitting the cream of tartar in the meringue topping, by substituting the cornstarch with potato starch, by using exclusively kosher for Passover ingredients and by substituting the limoncello with a kosher for Passover liqueur. The limoncello can be substituted with lemon extract to make this non-alcoholic. Feel free to divide this recipe in half to serve fewer people. Pipe your serving sizes as large as you want from small shot glasses to martini glasses. Layer with fresh berries if you like.

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Ingredients for Limoncello Whip:

2 cups unsalted pareve margarine
3 1/3 cups granulated sugar
Zest of 6 lemons
8 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp. cornstarch
6 tbsp. limoncello or 2 tsp. lemon extract
4 cups Nutriwhip

Directions:

Melt the margarine, sugar and lemon zest in a saucepan over medium heat until the margarine melts fully. Whisk the eggs, lemon juice and cornstarch together and whisk this into the pot.

Continue to whisk the curd over medium heat until it thickens and just begins to bubble, about 8 minutes.

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Take the saucepan off the heat. Add the limoncello/lemon extract, then pour the mixture through a strainer and cover the surface of the curd with plastic wrap.

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Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until ready to use. This will keep up to 2 weeks sealed in the refrigerator. Makes approximately 6 cups of lemon curd.
When ready to assemble, whip the Nutriwhip and then fold the lemon curd into the Nutriwhip until combined.

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Transfer to piping bag fitted with a star shaped tip and pipe into dessert glasses.

Ingredients for meringue:

6 large egg whites, room temperature
½ tsp. cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Directions for Meringue:

Preheat oven to 250F. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until frothy.

Slowly add the sugar and beat on high speed until thick glossy peaks form.

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Divide the mixture between 2 parchment lined cookie sheets and spread to 1/2-inch thickness roughly 9-inch circles. Bake for 90 minutes. Once cooled, crumble meringue into small pieces and top the limoncello whip in each of the dessert glasses.

Maple Apple Cake

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Canada is a great country, and aside from free healthcare we have a few other things going for us – for example maple syrup. This cake is filled with apples, and has maple syrup in both the cake itself and the glaze. This cake will be sure to sweeten up your week.

Ingredients:

For the Apple Filling:

1.5 tbsp butter or margarine
3 tbsp brown sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3 Granny Smith apples, chopped

For the Cake:

1 1/3 packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda

For the Glaze:

2 tbsp butter or margarine
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cinnamon
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

For the Apple Filling:

On medium low heat melt butter or margarine, add brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix well and add apples. Cook for 5 minutes.

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For the Cake:

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.

In mixer, beat brown sugar, melted butter or margarine, maple syrup and vanilla extract.

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Beat in eggs. Add flour, salt and baking soda. Mix well.

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Add apples and mix with a spatula. Pour batter into the pan.

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Bake for 30-40 mins. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

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For the Glaze:

Melt butter on medium low heat, add maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix well. Add powdered sugar and mix until dissolved. Allow glaze to cool for 10 minutes before pouring over cake.

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Putting it Together:

Using a fork, poke holes all over the cake. Pour the glaze overtop.

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Allow to cool, cut and enjoy.

Chocolate Chunk Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

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This combination of chocolate chunks and dried cherries take this cookie to a truly delicious level. Dried cherries can be substituted with dried cranberries if desired. This dough can be optionally chilled in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before baking off the cookies.

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Ingredients:

2 sticks unsalted pareve margarine, room temperature
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 ¼ cups large flake oats
10 oz. (284g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chunks
¾ cup dried cherries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the margarine and sugars until light and fluffy.

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Add in the vanilla, and the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as necessary.

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In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, chocolate chunks and dried cherries.
Slowly add the dry ingredient mixture to the bowl and blend until the dough just begins to come together.

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Using a 1 ½ -inch scoop, form the dough into approximately 40 balls, spaced on the cookie sheet with a maximum of 12 cookies per sheet.

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Bake for 11 minutes, rotating the racks halfway through.

Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins

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These muffins are based on The Best Blueberry Muffins from just over a year ago.

This recipe is originally from Smitten Kitchen. I changed the flavours to make this raspberry white chocolate (a delicious combination)

NOTE: 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 made this without muffin liners this time to try and get a nice over filled muffin top, which to be honest, I don’t recommend! Try the fluted muffin liners from the original recipe.

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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

Put melted butter, sugar, zest, 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 raspberries and white chocolate.

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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.

Special Shavuot Edition: Dulce De Leche Cheesecake Squares

This easy to make, delicious caramel flavoured cheesecake is sure to impress.

Ingredients:

CRUST:

2 1/2 cups finely ground graham crackers
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¾ cup coconut oil (or 1 stick butter, melted)

FILLING:

3 8-oz. bricks light cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup dulce de leche (store bought)
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

GLAZE:

2/3 cup dulce de leche
2-3 tbsp heavy whipping cream/Nutriwhip

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-x13-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and cinnamon until well combined. Drizzle the coconut oil over the crumb mixture and pulse until it resembles wet sand. Transfer the batter to the pan and bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.

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Reduce oven temperature to 325F.

Cube the cream cheese and place it in the cleaned bowl of the food processor. Process until creamy and smooth, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Add the sugar and process again. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition.

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Add the dulce de leche and vanilla and process until well combined.

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Spread batter evenly over cooled crust.

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Fill a small glass bowl with boiling water and place in the oven beside the baking pan (acts as a water bath and reduces cracking). Bake until just set in center and edges are puffed and slightly cracked, about 30 minutes.

Turn the oven off and prop the door open for 15 more minutes before removing the cake allowing it to cool to room temperature.

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Warm dulce de leche and 3 tbsp cream until melted. Stir to blend, adding more cream by teaspoonfuls if too thick to pour. Pour glaze over cooled cheesecake; spread evenly. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until ready to serve.

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Building Block Biscotti

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I gave this cookie the name, “building block,” because the fillings can be modified to suit your taste.  The versions below are nut-free.  They are dairy-free if pareve white chocolate chips are used.

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted pareve margarine, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips/semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup dried berries/toasted flaked coconut/toffee pieces
1 egg white

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl; whisk to blend.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla and beat until smooth.

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Mix in flour mixture, then chips and berries/coconut/toffee.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap for 2-24 hours.

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Divide dough into 3-4 logs each approximately 6×2.5 inches (15x7cm) long.   The logs will expand during baking.

Whisk egg white in small bowl until foamy; brush egg white glaze on top and sides of each log.

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Bake logs until golden brown about 35 minutes.

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Cool for 10 minutes, then slice logs on diagonal into ½-inch wide slices.  Bake for 10 more minutes.  Allow biscotti to cool.  Makes approximately 40 biscotti.

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Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread

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This recipe is a little different from the usual. I’ve been making cornbread for a couple years now as a delicious pairing to chilli. It’s crispy on the outside and crumbly on the inside, made perfect by using a cast iron skillet. Give it a try as an addition to chilli or another side dish. I made this non-dairy so it could be more versatile.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup almond milk
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup unsalted margarine, melted
1 tsp vegetable oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425˚F. Place 9 inch was iron skillet in oven to warm it.

Mix almond milk and cornmeal – let soak for 10 minutes.

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Mix flour, baking powder, salt in large bowl.

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Add cornmeal and almond milk mixture, eggs, and melted margarine. Mix until smooth.

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Remove skillet and pour vegetable oil into the skillet. Brush around with a silicon brush or paper towel.

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Pour batter into skillet and bake for 18-20 minutes.

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Tiramisu

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Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis, this classic dessert involves no baking.

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Ingredients:

9 egg yolks, room temperature
5 tbsp. granulated sugar
474 g plus 237g (1 ½ containers) mascarpone cheese, softened
2 ½ cups strong espresso, cooled
3 tbsp. Italian espresso liqueur, divided
2 ½-3 boxes of package large lady fingers
Cocoa/bittersweet chocolate shavings, for garnish

Directions:

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes.

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Add mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth.

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Add 1 tbsp. of espresso and mix until thoroughly combined.

In a small shallow dish, add remaining espresso and liqueur.

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Dip each ladyfinger into espresso for only 5 seconds.  Place each soaked ladyfinger on the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Spread evenly ½ of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers.

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Arrange another layer of soaked ladyfingers and top with remaining mascarpone mixture.

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Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Before serving, sprinkle with cocoa and/or chocolate shavings.

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