Browsing Category



Pumpkin Biscotti

October 6, 2014

Back to school means back to working with 30 little funny, messy, sticky, gooey students. It also means that everyone gets sick – including the teacher. Being a substitute teacher I work at different schools, meaning I basically can never build up any immunity to the students because I’m usually in a different class each day. 

Last week, I was in one class for the majority of the week as their regular teacher was out sick, with strep throat. Luckily, it meant I got to work all week, unluckily it meant I was probably going to catch whatever cold she caught. And I did. Thursday night I felt it, the sore throat, achey ears congested cough. I quickly self-medicated myself and loaded up on vitamin-c. After school friday I curled up on the couch and didn’t move for most of the night – hello 9 pm bedtime. all. weekend. long.

Thankfully Adam was home this week and went out to get feel-better sushi Friday, because sushi is totally a meal you should eat when sick. Saturday was spent home for the most part, aside from a quick drive down the road to the park to walk the dog – i couldn’t go all weekend without enjoying the lovely sunshine. Sunday we had a pre-thanksgiving dinner with Adam’s family, since most of them are away next week visiting family back east.

My brother and his girlfriend are also away, currently travelling around Italy with my Nonna for the next 3 weeks probably eating cheese, salami, pasta and biscotti to their hearts content before returning home.I went to Europe 2 years ago and I am already dreaming about our honeymoon (hopefully going back to Europe) in 2016 (so. far. away) Since I can’t go to italy, I thought I’d make some biscotti. Biscotti means ‘twice baked,’ because you bake these cookies twice. Once, in a long dough log, then you slice and bake again to get crisp authentic biscotti. These cookies are great on their own, or even better dipped in coffee or espresso. (side note, this espresso cup is like super tiny, the handle can hold like your thump, but looks massive in these pictures – so deceiving)

Pumpkin Biscotti //

Adam had to tease me, since I don’t drink coffee (i know, i’m like not grown up enough yet to enjoy its dark caffeinated substance) however, I let him know that “i’ll drink anything if I can dunk a cookie into it” – and I will. Biscotti being one of them. Its dry, almost stale crunch is the perfect partner for a glass of hot coffee, or even tea. 

I’m not sure you’d find ‘pumpkin biscotti’ anywhere in Italy, and I’m sure my Nonna would prefer the regular anise biscotti, but I love this version for Fall, apologies to my heritage. The cookies are great by themselves, and if you want to indulge go ahead and drizzle some chocolate on top. They also freeze well, make them ahead and take out for company. 


Biscotti might look daunting to make, but the cookies come together quickly and easily.

Pumpkin Biscotti
Yields 24
A twice-baked lightly spiced pumpkin cookie, perfect for dunking in coffee or espresso.
Write a review
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 min
  1. 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  2. 1 cup whole wheat flour
  3. 1 cup of sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  5. big dash of cinnamon
  6. dash of freshly grated nutmeg
  7. dash of ginger
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1/2 cup of pumpkin purée
  10. 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Sift together the flours, sugar, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin purée, and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the wet pumpkin mixture into the dry flour mixture.
  5. Using a spatula, stir toy incorporate the ingredients, the dough will be loose and crumbly.
  6. On a clean floured surface, lightly knead the dough for a minute or two, until a slightly-elastic dough forms.
  7. On a lined baking sheet, form the dough into a large log, about 15-20 inches long by 3-5 inches wide. The loaves should be somewhat flat, only about 1/2 inch high. You can cut the dough in half, and bake the two side by side on the baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned.
  9. Transfer to wire rack and let biscotti cool for 5 minutes.
  10. Carefully transfer to a cutting bird, and with a serrated knife slice at a 45° angle about 1/2-3/4 inch thick.
  11. Return the slices back to the baking sheet face up, and return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes.
  12. Cool completely, you want the cookies to be crisp. You can keep them on the counter overnight to dry further.
  1. Alternatively, you can use pumpkin pie spice. You can top the biscotti with almond slices before baking, if you like.
  2. To drizzle with chocolate, melt dark chocolate with a tsp. of coconut oil, stir and pipe or drizzle on top. Allow to harden on counter or in fridge.
Adapted from Nonna's Recipe
Adapted from Nonna's Recipe
b a k e a h o l i c





Sweet & Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies

August 12, 2014



Wedding planning has commenced and is in full force the past couple of weeks after a brief pinterest hiatus. I’ve been making appointments to see photographers, organizing things into binders to keep track of paperwork and ideas, and I’ve even visited my first bridal gallery to see what type of dress style I like. I’m pretty excited to make appointments in the coming months to actually try on dresses – and ‘say yes to the dress’ 

The biggest decision has already been made, and that’s booking the venue. The location was something I had actually not wanted or considered from the beginning, saying I did not want to have my wedding there. However, I absolutely loved it. It has a feel like being in Whistler, but staying within the city. We had though about venturing out to a ‘destination-like’ wedding in the Okanagan but few places could hold the abundance that is Adam and I’s large family. The numbers are rolling in for the save-the-dates that I have to mail out at the end of the month and It’s definitely up there. I knew it would probably be a large wedding, but naively thought we could keep the numbers at bay. As of right now the number is up to 160… (sorry Adam) :)

I guess we’ll have to wait and see next year what the actual count will be!

The next big thing is the ceremony location. While I’m not a ‘practicing catholic’ I would love to have a church wedding, and I did attend Catholic school when I grew up. I love the idea of a church wedding and hope that we can get this happening as well. Which means I’m going to start going to church more often with my Nonna. The church also reminds me of my dad. There was a lot of memories with him at that church, midnight mass on christmas, easter egg hunts in front of the church, my first communion, where we said goodbye – and in a way I’ll feel like he’s there with us on that day. 

It’s particularly hard to plan a wedding when the groom-to-be works out of town for 2/3 of the time, home only for a week out of every 3. But, we’ll make it work. 

Another big thing is sticking to the budget. When we first got engaged we drafted up a budget  with the approximate values we wanted to spend on things. It’s easy to see how quickly things add up that you never even thought about – and how everything with the word “wedding” in front of it makes the price double (wedding flowers, wedding photographer, wedding decor, wedding shoes, wedding makeup and hair..) 


For now, I’m going to try and focus on the big things, and worry about the small decisions next year when we’re a little closer. It’s easy to get sucked into the world of wedding planning on Pinterest. One of my dilemmas right now is flowers – i have horrible allergies and will probably need some fake florals in my bouquet, however sourcing them out is difficult. 

When it’s all said and done, I can sit back and relax with a good ol’ chocolate chip cookie. I actually made these for my good friends Bachelorette weekend away last month. I used pastry flour in the dough and it made them extra buttery, almost like a shortbread/pastry cookie that melts in your mouth. I threw on some pretzels to give it that sweet & salty taste. 

These are definitely not healthy cookies. However, I figure a bachelorette weekend calls for a little indulgence. 

Sweet & Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 2
Write a review
  1. 2 + 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour
  2. 1 cup Pastry Flour
  3. 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  6. 1 light brown sugar
  7. 1 cup granulated sugar
  8. 2 large eggs
  9. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (natural, not artificial)
  10. Good quality dark chocolate, cut into chunks.
  11. Sea salt
  12. mini pretzels (optional)
  1. 1. Whisk flours, baking soda, baking powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. 2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, stopping to scrape the bowl after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just barely combined. Don’t overmix. Mix in chocolate. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 12-36 hours (you can skip this part, cookies will have different consistency)
  3. 3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
  4. 4. Using a small ice cream scoop or a spoon, create golf-ball sized balls and place onto baking sheet. Sprinkle raw dough lightly with salt and bake until lightly golden brown, about 12 minutes. You can also press a small mini-pretzel onto the top before baking.
  5. 5. Let cookies cool, then remove and cool on rack.
  1. Can freeze, allow to that slightly and scoop out. Increase baking time accordingly.
Adapted from NY Times Cookies - Jacques Torres
Adapted from NY Times Cookies - Jacques Torres
b a k e a h o l i c

Cookies for the Teachers

June 2, 2014

cokies cookiesAs a student I have experienced lots of teacher strikes, missed days of school and walk-outs in high school. However, this year I am on the other side of the battle as a practicing teacher. 

I’m one month away from finishing my first year of teaching. It’s been a rewarding experience full of learning. Yes – as a teacher I am still learning. Learning doesn’t end in the classroom – we are all lifelong learners (as I was taught in my education program). Even if I weren’t a teacher, I would still believe this statement. No one can say that they ever stop learning – no matter the content, the subject or idea we are continuously learning and shaping our world around us through these experiences. I believe that education is important. Thus, I am standing on the picket line for my first ever strike along with fellow colleagues. 

Last week was our first day of rotating strikes in BC, and this week I’ll be on the line again. It was great to talk to other teachers, to inform those driving by, giving us a honk (or, other times a not-so-nice gesture or plain looking away altogether). However I do hope that our strike will bring about some much needed changes to help those students in our classroom that need it the most. 

It was nice to see public support from students parents and family, bringing the teachers coffee or snacks along with homemade signs. This week I said I would bake something to share with the teachers – simple chocolate chip cookies. 
 cokies bake

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 36
Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Write a review
  1. 2 sticks butter
  2. 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  3. 1/2 cup quick oats
  4. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  5. ¼ cup sugar
  6. 1¼ cups brown sugar
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 2 tablespoons almond milk
  9. 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  10. 2 cups dark chocolate chips
  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour and baking soda and set aside.
  2. Pour melted butter in the mixer’s bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the eggs, 2 tablespoons almond milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
  3. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture and oats until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Chill dough in freezer 10 minutes.
  5. When ready to bake, heat oven to 375F.
  6. Scoop chilled dough onto lined baking sheets.
  7. Bake for 10-14 minutes or until golden brown.
b a k e a h o l i c