Pumpkin Pecan White Chocolate Biscotti

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I have to admit, I over-baked these a little (you can tell from the colour) but dip them in your morning coffee or a glass of milk and they are perfect!

Ingredients:

2 tbsp butter
1 1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup white chocolate chips, separated

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Melt butter in a saucepan and add chopped pecans. Stir consistently on medium heat until browned. Set aside and allow to cool.

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In a large bowl mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice.

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In a separate bowl combine pumpkin puree, eggs, and vanilla extract. Add to dry ingredients.

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Knead dough on floured surface.

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Add pecans and 1 cup white chocolate chips. Knead well.

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Cut dough in half and shape into two logs.

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Bake for 25-30 minutes.

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Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Cut with a serrated knife.

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Place back on cookie sheet with one cut side down. Bake for 8 minutes. Flip and bake for an additional 8 minutes.

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Drizzle with melted white chocolate.

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Brookies (Max Style)

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I decided to make a different style of brookie as well. I even took to instagram to take a poll of how to name them. I personally voted for Crownie, but sadly brookie won.

I made these after trying a similar dessert in Jimmy’s coffee.

Ingredients:

2 sticks of butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups flour
2 cups chocolate chips
6-8 Large Brownies, chopped into small pieces (like the ones I made a few weeks ago)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In bowl of stand mixer, mix butter and sugars for two minutes. Add eggs, vanilla, salt and baking soda and mix well. Scrape the sides of the bowl well. IMG_3894.jpg

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Slowly add flour and mix well.

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Stir in the chocolate chips.IMG_3897.jpg

Scoop out 1-2 tbsp of dough. Flatten and put a few pieces of brownie in the middle. Roll into a ball and push a couple pieces of brownie into the outside.

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Bake for 9-11 minutes until golden brown. Allow cookies to cool.

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Brookies (Marvin Style)

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Adapted from allrecipes.com, this is the perfect combination of brownie and cookie.

Ingredients:

Cookie layer:

½ cup unsalted pareve margarine, softened
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, room temperature
1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. baking soda
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Brownie layer:

1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup unsalted pareve margarine, melted
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/3 cup cocoa powder
½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. kosher salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the margarine, sugars, and vanilla until creamy.

 

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Add the egg and beat until light and creamy, about 2 minutes.

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Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl.

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Gradually stir flour mixture into margarine mixture until dough is combined.  IMG_4761.jpg

Stir chocolate chips into dough.

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Spread dough into the bottom of the prepared pan to cover completely.

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Stir sugar, melted margarine, and vanilla together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

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Add eggs and beat well.  Mix cocoa into margarine mixture until well combined.

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Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix until just combined.

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Pour brownie batter over cookie dough and spread to cover completely.

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Bake for 25 minutes and cool completely before cutting into bars.

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Dark Chocolate Fudgey Brownies

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I made these brownies with the intention of cutting them up to put in cookies (recipe to come soon). However they turned out perfectly so I thought it was worth sharing this recipe as well. These brownies come from Inspired Taste.

Ingredients:

1.5 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (80 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line and spray an 8×8 inch pan.

Combine butter, sugar, cocoa powder and salt in a double boiler. Stir until melted and combined.

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Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Add vanilla extract and eggs and mix well.

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Once combined add flour and stir 50 times.

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Transfer to pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.

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Science Fact of the Week:

Unsweetened cocoa powder has many health benefits, such as balancing cholesterol. This means that it lowers LDL and increases HDL cholesterol. It can also improve brain health with its neuroprotective benefits.

Smitten Kitchen’s Favourite Brownies

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Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, these chocolate fudge brownies can be made in one bowl and don’t need any frosting.  With a crackly/sugary top and fudgy brownie texture, they are best sliced after being chilled for a few hours.

Ingredients:
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted pareve margarine, room temperature
2 2/3 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray.

In a medium heatproof bowl over gently simmering water (double boiler), melt chocolate and margarine together.

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Remove from the heat and whisk in the sugar, followed by the eggs, one at a time, then vanilla and salt.

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Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon or flexible spatula and scrape batter into the prepared pan.

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Bake for 25 minutes and chill before slicing.

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Science Fact of the Week:

Fudge is a gooey substance made of sugar, butter and milk. These brownies use margarine and sugar to get that same creamy texture with ease.

Frosted Sugar Cookies

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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.

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

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Add flour, 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.

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For the Frosting:

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

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

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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.

Cocoa Cornmeal Biscotti

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Adapted from the New York Times Magazine, this was the first time that I used cornmeal in baking.  I typically don’t adapt the recipes too much the first time that I try them.  Other than doubling the batter from the original, making them nondairy and adjusting some times according to my oven, these were rich, dark and delicious and required few adjustments.  You can make the logs into any size and keep in mind that they will expand in the oven.

Ingredients:

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ cup finely ground cornmeal
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted pareve margarine, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup MINI semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup sliced almonds

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cornmeal together.

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In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the margarine and sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

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Add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla and beat until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

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Slowly add the flour/cornmeal mixture and beat until just combined.

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Fold in the chocolate chips and almonds.  The dough will be thick and heavy.

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With slightly wet hands, form 3 logs (2 on one sheet and one on the other).

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Bake for 30 minutes, rotating each sheet after 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

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Slice with a serrated knife into ½ inch slices and place back onto fresh parchment paper.

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Bake for another 10 minutes.  Allow to cool to room temperature before enjoying.

Science Fact of the Week:

People might be surprised to discover that these biscotti contain corn meal. Cornmeal is corn that has been dried and ground to be coarse. It adds a crumby-like texture to these biscotti, making them even more delicious!

Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars

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I adapted these bars in a non-dairy version for my daughter’s bridal shower.  Originally from Two Peas and Their Pod, they are easy to make and a nice alternative to the traditional chocolate based bar.

Ingredients:

For the bars:

2 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
¾ cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 large lemon
1 ½ sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted pareve margarine, at room temperature
¼ cup icing/confectioners sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract

For the lemon “cream cheese” frosting:

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted pareve margarine, at room temperature
8 ounce package Tofutti/pareve cream cheese, at room temperature
Zest of 1 large  lemon
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
5 cups icing/confectioners sugar
Assorted sprinkles

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F and line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray.

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

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In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the margarine, lemon zest and granulated sugar until well combined.

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Slowly add the icing sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

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Add in the eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, scraping down the bowl as necessary.

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Slowly add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.

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Evenly spread the cookie dough into the prepared pan with a spatula.

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Bake for 14 minutes, or until the bars are slightly set in the middle.

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Remove from the oven and let the bars cool completely. While the bars are cooling, make the lemon cream cheese frosting.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the margarine and “cream cheese” until smooth.

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Add the lemon zest and lemon juice.

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Slowly add the icing sugar, 1 cup at a time.  Mix until smooth.

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Frost the cooled cookie bars and decorate with sprinkles.

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Cut the bars into squares and serve.  Store the bars in the fridge for up to 2 days.

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Science Fact of the Week:

Using toffuti cream cheese allows these bars to be dairy free, but still get that same creamy texture. Toffuti cream cheese is made from tofu yet is similar in texture and flavour to real cream cheese. This makes these bars just as delicious, but more versatile.

 

Chocolate Chunk Oat Bars

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Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, these bars tasted even better than I would have predicted when I was just testing the recipe.  They freeze well and are easiest to slice when chilled.

Ingredients:

For the Crust:

1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ tsp. kosher salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. chilled unsalted pareve margarine (14 tbsp.)

For the filling:

½ cup unsalted pareve margarine
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup demerara style brown sugar
½ tsp. kosher salt
3 large eggs
1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups rolled oats
½ cup finely shredded coconut
1 ½ cups chocolate chips/chunks

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper sprayed with nonstick spray. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade.

Cut the margarine into chunks, and add it to the bowl, then run the machine until the mixture forms large clumps.

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Transfer the dough clumps to the prepared baking pan and press them evenly across the bottom and ¼ inch up the sides.

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Bake for 17 minutes, until very pale golden.

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Melt the margarine for the filling in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Remove from the heat and stir in the sugars and salt.

Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then whisk in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla, and stir in the oats, coconut and chocolate.

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Pour over the parbaked crust, spreading evenly.

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Bake the bars for 23 more minutes until they are firm and golden and the bars are set.

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Science Fact of the Week:

Normally recipes require softened butter or margarine., however for this one it uses chilled margarine. This allows the crust to have bubbles of margarine melt all around, giving it a flakey texture.

Lemon Cheesecake Squares

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For those who don’t love chocolate… these tart and sweet lemon cheesecake squares will satisfy the craving.  This cheesecake combines the tart with the sweet in a perfect combination.

Ingredients:

For the crust:

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

For the cake:

4 eight oz. bricks light cream cheese at room temperature (total 32 oz), cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 recipe Lemon Curd, warm or at room temperature

Directions:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F.

Line a 9 x 13-inch 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.  Reduce the oven temperature to 300F.

In the cleaned food processor bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest.  Process until smooth, about 30 seconds, stopping halfway to scrape the sides of the bowl.

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Add the eggs and process until the mixture is perfectly smooth and blended, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary, about another 20 seconds.

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Pour the cheesecake mixture into the prepared pan.

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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 the sides are slightly puffed and the center is dry to the touch, about 35 minutes. Turn the oven off and prop open the door for 15 minutes before removing the cake.

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To finish:  When cheesecake comes out of the oven, gently pour all of the curd onto the cheesecake and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly.

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Let cool to room temperature and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.  You can refrigerate it uncovered, as no detectable skin forms on the curd.  When slicing into squares, wipe the knife blade with a damp paper towel between each slice.

Science Fact of the Week:

Using light cream cheese in these cheesecakes lightens them up and gives in a smooth and fluffy texture. However, using light cream cheese in a frosting completely changes the texture. It causes it to be more liquidly and not form peaks.