Chocolate Tahini Cake with Tahini Frosting

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Adapted from Molly Yeh, this easy cake has the unique flavouring of tahini (sesame) in both the cake and the frosting.

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 cup almond/coconut/soy milk
½ cup tahini
¼ cup grapeseed oil
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup brewed coffee, at room temperature

For the Frosting:

2 sticks (1 cup) pareve margarine, softened
½ cup tahini
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. kosher salt

Directions:

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

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

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In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the milk, tahini, oil, vanilla, eggs, and coffee. Process until smooth.

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Add the flour mixture and pulse until just combined. Transfer the batter to the baking pan and bake for 28 minutes.

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Allow the cake to cool while preparing the frosting.

IMG_2905.jpgIn the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the margarine and tahini and blend until creamy.

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Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar, followed by the vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Spread the frosting over the cake and chill just before serving.

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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.

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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Ginger Molasses Cookies

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These spiced cookies smell and taste great any time of year.

Ingredients:

2 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted pareve margarine, room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ cup molasses
½ granulated sugar, to roll the cookie dough in

Directions:

 

Preheat oven to 375F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combined the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the margarine and sugar until creamy.

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Add the egg, vanilla and molasses and beat, scraping down the bowl as necessary.

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Add the flour mixture slowly and beat on low speed until just combined.

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Chill the dough for 1-24 hours.

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Using an ice cream scoop, form balls and roll in granulated sugar.  Bake for 10 minutes.

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Confetti Shortbread

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This recipe is originally from Mom on Timeout and it is is my second variation of this shortbread. I based it on the Cranberry Orange Biscotti from last month, although these ones aren’t vegan. You can easily swap the butter to make them vegan if you want!

Ingredients:

3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup butter, cut into small cubes
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sprinkles
zest of one orange
2 tbsp milk
additional sugar for coating

Directions:

In a large bowl combine flour and 3/4 cup sugar. Cut butter into small cubes, add to dry ingredients and combine with a pastry cutter.

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Add vanilla, milk, and sprinkles. Combine with your hands until forms a dough.

Roll dough into a log (2 inches in diameter). Roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours and up to 3 days.

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Preheat oven to 325˚F.

Cut slices of cookie dough into 1/4 inch thick. Coat cookie slices in additional sugar.

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Bake for 12-15 minutes. Let cool and use royal icing if you wish.

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Cookies can be stored in a container on the counter or frozen for later.