Frosted Sugar Cookies

IMG_0709.JPG
Do you know those cookies you buy at the grocery store? The ones that have been at every birthday and potluck since… ever?

I made it my goal to make them and they turned out perfectly.

These were originally from Sugar Hero.

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
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

For the Frosting:

1 stick butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
3-4 Tbsp coffee creamer
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

For the Cookies:

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

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

IMG_5859.JPG

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

IMG_2234.JPG

IMG_2128.JPG

Add flour, baking soda and salt and mix well.

IMG_3942.JPG

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

IMG_7833.JPG

Wait until the cookies are cooled to frost.

IMG_3686.jpg

For the Frosting:

Cream butter. Add powdered sugar, coffee creamer, vanilla extract and salt.

IMG_1756.JPG

Frost the cookies by placing a dollop of icing and spread evenly. Top with sprinkles.

IMG_9552.JPG

Science Fact of the Week:

Use of cream, and sour cream in this recipe allow these cookies to be soft and fluffy. They are exactly like the grocery store ones and won’t disappoint.

Never Fail Sugar Cookies

These sugar cookies are simple, quick and will not fail you. Make them for any event, ice them however you like and you’ll be sure to impress a crowd. This nondairy version of a National Post recipe, is easy to prepare in advance. You can decorate with coloured sprinkles just before baking, allow to cool and then dip in melted chocolate or ice with royal icing.

Ingredients:

2 sticks margarine, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Directions:

Cream margarine and sugar in an electric mixer.

IMG_3331.JPG

Beat in the egg and vanilla.

Slowly mix in the flour and mix well.

IMG_2142.JPG

Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 days.

Preheat the oven to 375˚F.

Roll out half the dough to about 1/8 inch.

Cut out using a cookie cutter (I used a graduation cap).

IMG_7398.JPG

Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

IMG_5897.JPG

IMG_3941.JPG

Allow to cool completely before decorating. I used the royal icing from the Gingerbread People.

Science Fact of the Week:

People notoriously associate sugar cookies with being entirely butter. Using margarine allows these cookies to maintain a perfect texture and be non-dairy.

 

Fudgey Brownies

IMG_4079.JPG

If you are looking for a brownie to please a crowd, give these a shot. They are quick, easy and delicious! This recipe is from Half Baked Harvest.

Ingredients:

2 sticks margarine
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tsp instant coffee (espresso powder)
4 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment and spray with canola oil.

Microwave margarine and 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips and stir at 30 second intervals.

IMG_2590.JPG

IMG_3893.JPG

Whisk the eggs for 1 minute. Stir into the chocolate margarine mixture.

IMG_3350.JPG

Add the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and stir until combined. Add the last 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.

IMG_4026.JPG

Spread out the mixture in the baking pan.

IMG_4283.JPG

Bake for 28-30 minutes (until set).

IMG_0918.JPG

Cut once cooled.

Science Fact of the Week:

Softened and melted butter act differently in baking. Using melted butter makes it easier for the batter to mix. It can also be substituted for oil.

Raspberry White Chocolate Scones

IMG_3295.jpg

ANOTHER SCONE?! Yes… It’s an obsession. Accept it and make them. These are a new flavour variation that I tried. They turned out perfectly!

Ingredients:

2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
6 tbsp granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Zest of 1 lime
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, frozen
1 tsp espresso powder mixed with 1/2 tsp hot water
1 cup raspberries
1 cup white chocolate chips

For the Glaze:

1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extra

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

Mix first 5 ingredients in a bowl.
IMG_8915.JPG

Grate butter into flour mixture (using a box grater) and mix with a fork.

IMG_9156.JPG

Create a well in the centre and add heavy cream, egg, and vanilla extract. Mix these wet ingredients in the well and then mix with the entire mixture.

IMG_7667.JPG

Add in white chocolate and raspberries and mix well (use your hands).

Transfer to floured surface and cut the same way as the Earl Grey Scones with Vanilla Glaze

Bake for 10-15 minutes.

IMG_6400.JPG

Allow to cool. Mix glaze ingredients and drizzle on top of scones.

Science Fact of the Week:

White chocolate is not actually chocolate, it is considered a chocolate derivative. It doesn’t contain any cocoa powder, rather it contains cocoa butter.

Chocolate Espresso Scones

IMG_9530.JPG

Well, I’m back on the summer scone kick. All I’m going to say is if you love coffee, these scones are for you. You might not even need a cup of coffee with this scone.

Ingredients:

2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
6 tbsp granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp espresso powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, frozen
1 tsp espresso powder mixed with 1/2 tsp hot water
1 cup espresso beans, chopped

For the Glaze:

1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp espresso powder
1/2 tsp espresso powder

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

Mix first 5 ingredients in a bowl

IMG_8915.JPG

Grate butter into flour mixture (using a box grater) and mix with a fork.

IMG_9156.JPG

Create a well in the centre and add heavy cream, egg, vanilla extract and coffee mixture. Mix these wet ingredients in the well and then mix with the entire mixture.

IMG_4436.JPG

Add in espresso beans and mix well.

Transfer to floured surface and cut the same way as the Earl Grey Scones with Vanilla Glaze

IMG_7715.JPG

IMG_3103.JPG

Bake for 10-15 minutes.

IMG_0875.JPG

Allow to cool. Mix glaze ingredients and drizzle on top of scones.

Science Fact of the Week:

 

All I’m going to say is caffeine. These scones are loaded with espresso powder which gives them a caffeine kick. Caffeine is a molecule that crosses the blood brain barrier and suppresses adenosine, a neurotransmitter that tells the body its time for bed.

Confetti Cookies

IMG_3079.jpeg

I made this cookies from Smitten Kitchen and they were an instant winner. No adaptions necessary.

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/4 cups cream cheese (55 g)
1 large egg
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup rainbow sprinkles

Directions:

Mix first 4 ingredients in a food processor.

IMG_3070.jpeg

Add butter and cream cheese in cubes (1/3 at a time) and mix well.

IMG_3071.jpeg

Add egg and vanilla extract and mix well. If there isn’t enough space in your food processor transfer to a bowl and mix with your hands.

Place dough in refrigerator for 20 minutes and preheat oven to 375˚F.

Roll dough in to balls (approx 1 1/2 tbsp). Once warm from your hands roll around in a bowl of sprinkles to cover.

IMG_3074.jpeg

Transfer to a cookie sheet and flatten using a drinking glass.

IMG_3077.jpeg

Bake for 9-11 minutes.

Science Fact of the Week:

Adding cream cheese to these cookies changes the texture from a normal cookie. It softens them and gives them an almost melt in your mouth feeling. It’s crazy how much texture can change with the addition of a single ingredient.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

IMG_2997.jpg

This carrot cake is an old recipe from Ina Garten that will be sure to impress a crowd. I made this as an addition to the shavout festival of cheesecakes and it was a huge hit.

The cake is best if you bake the layers the night before and let sit over night in the fridge.

Before starting make sure to prep the ingredients. I used a food processor to grate the carrots, chopped the walnuts and diced the pineapple.

IMG_2981.jpg

Ingredients:

 

For the Cake:

2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups grapeseed or vegetable oil
3 eggs, room temperature (if you forget to bring them to room temperature, allow the eggs to sit in warm-hot water for 5 minutes)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 pound carrots, grated
1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple

For the Frosting:

1.5 bricks of cream cheese (3/4 pound), room temperature
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

For the Cake:

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line 2 or 3 circular pans with parchment and spray with canola oil spray.

IMG_2975.jpg

Beat sugar, oil and eggs in an electric mixer. Add vanilla and mix again.

IMG_2982.jpg

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

In another bowl toss raisins and walnuts with 1 tbsp flour. Add carrots and pineapple to this mixture. Add to the batter and fold in.

IMG_2983.jpg

Divide batter equally between circular pans and bake for 40-45 mins if 3 layers or 55-60 mins if 2 layers.

IMG_2986.jpg

For the Frosting:

Cream butter and cream cheese in stand mixer.

Add vanilla and mix again.

Add sugar in 3 parts. Mixing after each to combine.

IMG_2987.jpg

To ice:

Place a little bit of icing on the bottom of your cake plate and smooth out. This will help the cake stick in place.

Place first layer with flat side down and spread icing on top. Put second layer and repeat). If using three layers repeat and ensure that flat side is facing up.

IMG_2996.jpg

Evenly coat in a layer of thin frosting and refrigerate for 15 minutes to seal in the crumbs.

IMG_2999.jpg

Add more frosting on top and smooth out.

IMG_2771.JPG

Top with pieces of fresh pineapple.

IMG_9884.JPG

Science Fact of the Week:

This cake has plenty of carrots which are a high source of antioxidants and can decrease your risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke.

Cinnamon Rolls

IMG_2119.jpg

These were a first attempt and they turned out perfectly! This are a perfect addition to any brunch and will make your Sunday sweeter for sure. They don’t need the topping, but are delicious with the cream cheese frosting.

The recipe originally comes from: Ambitious Kitchen with some added espresso powder.

Ingredients:

For the Dough:

3/4 cup warm milk (110˚F)
2 1/4 tsp quick rise yeast
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 cups bread flour
3/4 tsp sugar

For the Filling:

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp espresso powder

For the Frosting:

4 oz cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

Put warm milk in the bowl of an electric mixer and add yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes
IMG_2101.jpg

Add sugar, egg, egg yolk, sugar and melted butter. Mix well.

IMG_2102.jpg

Add flour and salt. Mix slowly until combined. Then mix with dough hook on medium speed for 8 minutes.

IMG_2104.jpg

Transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with a towel.

IMG_2105.jpg

Let rise for 1 and a half hours (until doubled in size)

IMG_2106.jpg

Transfer to a floured surface and roll out into 9 x 13 rectangle.

IMG_2107.jpg

Spread melted butter.

IMG_2108.jpg

Mix sugar, cinnamon, and espresso powder in a bowl.

IMG_2109.jpg

Sprinkle on top.

IMG_2110.jpg

Roll tightly and place with seam side down on a cutting board or surface.

IMG_2112.jpg

Cut into 1 inch pieces with a serrated knife and transfer to a 9×9 square pan, or 9 inch circular pan (springform).

IMG_2113.jpg

Let rise for 30-45 minutes.

IMG_2117.jpg

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350˚F (until golden brown)

IMG_2118.jpg

Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

While the cinnamon rolls cool, mix frosting ingredients in an electric mixer and frost cinnamon rolls.

IMG_2122.jpg

Science Fact of the Week:

Yeast feeds on sugar to activate. For this reason you can’t just mix yeast and water. For breads it’s often yeast, water and sugar. For this recipe I used lactose free milk (because that’s what we had in the house) and realized that because of the lack of lactose, the yeast would not activate. So I tried again with 1 tsp of sugar and it worked perfectly.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_0068.jpg

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.

IMG_0046.jpg

Whisk sugars and break and large chunks with your fingers
IMG_0047.jpg

Add melted margarine and mix for 1 minute. IMG_0049.jpg

Add eggs one at a time and mix well.

IMG_0050.jpg

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.

IMG_0059.jpg

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

IMG_0062.jpg

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

IMG_0065.jpg

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)

Margarita Granita

IMG_2012.jpg
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.