Archive of ‘Christmas’ category

Chocolate Toffee Crack(ers)

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 The last weekend before Christmas – and I woke up this morning feeling not so great. I already had one cold this month, which turned into an ear infection. I’m hoping it’s just the result of walking around in the cold windy snow yesterday. I’ll be popping vitamin C for the next few days before the big day. 

On the plus side – I got all of my Christmas wrapping done yesterday – including some last minute gift pick ups. All that’s left is to get ready for our Annual Christmas Cousins get-together tomorrow.

Every year Adam’s cousins try to get together for Christmas and this year we’re having it at our new Club House – which is perfect since it’s easier to have a large group of people there than in our townhouse – although we have done it before. Plus, there’s a pool table in the Club House. However, someone has taken all of the pool cues – or – they have put them inside a locked closet. Hopefully we have some for tomorrow’s get together. 

I’ll be bringing most of my baking – It is currently taking up real estate in our freezer and we have no room for even the ice tray anymore. 

I have made this ‘toffee’ style cracker dessert before, only with saltine crackers. I’ve seen both versions, and I actually prefer it with the Graham Crackers. It’s a better, thicker base than the saltine’s, and I think the Salt overpowers the chocolate – the base needs to be fairly bland for such a sweet and decadent topping such as toffee and chocolate. Here I used bought Graham Crackers, however if you have the time (and I suggest you do) you can totally make your own. I have a recipe for Graham Crackers here, and they are very simple and taste amazing when you make them yourself. 

graham cracker toffee

The recipe is affectionately called ‘Christmas crack’ – and the title is deserving. It is mildly addicting – but like I said, with the more neutral graham crust it isn’t tooth-sickeningly sweet. It’s just the right amount. The Toffee portion also isn’t the hard-as-rock toffee, more of a caramel-smooth toffee. 

It’s a super simple recipe – lay tray with graham crackers, boil the sugar and butter, bake then spread with chocolate. You can sprinkle anything on top – I like the combination of nuts (walnuts or pecans would be good) You can even package the crackers up for a sweet gift. 

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Chocolate Toffee Crack(ers)
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup butter
  2. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  3. Enough Whole Graham Crackers to Line baking tray (about 1/2 package)
  4. 1/2 cup Dark Chocolate, chopped
  5. 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. 2. Arrange whole graham crackers to fit the bottom of the pan in a single layer.
  3. 3. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and allow mixture to simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  4. 4. Remove saucepan from heat and pour mixture evenly over the graham cracker layer. Spread with a spoon to cover. Bake in preheated oven for about 5-10 minutes.
  5. 5. Remove pan from oven and allow bubbling to subside. Place chocolate chunks on top of toffee layer. Wait two minutes for chocolate to melt, then use an offset spatula to gently spread chocolate in an even layer on top of the graham crackers.
  6. 6. Sprinkle chocolate with chopped walnuts.
  7. 7. Allow to cool to room temperature. Break into chunks.
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
 

 

Personalized Gingerbread Men

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 It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… (which is only 5 days away!!!!)

Today is a wonderfully white snow day in Metro Vancouver. 

The fluffy white snowflakes began falling late last night and we woke up to roads blanketed in snow. Snow makes everything look beautiful. 

I hope it sticks around for Christmas. We haven’t had a white Christmas in Vancouver for a few years.. oh how lovely it would be. 

However, snow in Vancouver creates chaos. Unlike most people, I actually put on brand new all weather tires a couple months ago so I was pretty prepared for the cold weather and ice. Whereas a lot of people in Vancouver don’t have all weather/snow tires, and if they do they wait until after it is already snowing to put them on….

I’ve been watching Twitter all morning and the list of accidents/cars in the ditch keeps growing.. Stay safe out there people. 

What better way to celebrate a snow day (if you’re lucky enough to be home today and enjoy it!) than to bake. A warm house filled with baked goods while snow falls outside is a perfect winter afternoon to me.

I have a certain love for ginger baked goods (such as these GingerStamp cookies) – the aroma is delicious. These are soft and chewy gingerbread people with a spicy ginger bite. To make them a little more personalized, without using royal icing, I used a small letter cookie cutter to imprint our family members initials on them. They would be great for table setting cards – or on top of presents. 

Stay warm inside on this snow day and bake yourself a gingerbread army. 

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The dough itself is easy, and only requires about an hour to chill. Little kids can help with rolling out cutting out the cookies, and even decorating if you want to add frosting. 

Gingerbread Cookies
Yields 24
Soft and chewy personalized Gingerbread Men
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Prep Time
1 hr
Prep Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  2. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  3. 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  5. 2teaspoons ground cinnamon
  6. 1 tsp. nutmeg
  7. 1/2 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  8. 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  9. 1 large egg
  10. 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
Instructions
  1. 1. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. 2. Beat butter and brown sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Mix in eggs and molasses.
  3. 3. Add flour mixture, mixing on low until just combined. Divide dough in half and wrap each in plastic.
  4. 4. Refrigerate until cold and firm, about one hour or up to two days.
  5. 5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4-inch thick. Cut into shapes of your choice, I used smaller gingerbread men cutters. If you want to personalized them, lightly press a small letter cookie cutter into center of the cookie. Place 1 inch apart on baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone baking mat.
  6. 6. Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
Notes
  1. Store in airtight container on counter for up to a week, or freeze.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Adapted from Martha Stewart
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
 

 

4-Ingredient Almond Butter Cups (Vegan, Dairy-Free, Wheat-Free)

almod butter cups

almod cups

Monday night we had a few of our neighbours over for a holiday get together. We’ve lived in our new house for exactly one year this month and we all kept saying “we should get together!” While we do see some of our neighbours quite often we thought it would be a great time to have everyone over to get to know each other a little better. At the beginning of the month our friends, Josh and Gillian, who live just one row over in our complex came over and we crafted some decorative invitations to leave at doorsteps. There’s just something about a ‘real’ invitation, not a Facebook invite. 

I came home from work Monday and ran around finishing setting up, tidying and getting ready. Gillian messaged me around 5 and asked “what time did we tell people to come over?” I replied “6.” 

Well, they came over just before 6 to get the appetizers going before the guests arrived. At about 10 after 6, we started joking “maybe they’re stuck in traffic” – seeing as how they only live next door to us. When guests still hadn’t arrived at 6:30, we began second guessing what time we actually told people to come – none of us had saved an invitation for ourselves or remembered what time we had told them to come at. 

Sometime just before 7 we realized we probably told our guests to come at 7, while Josh said “Ya know, I remember texting someone about it and saying 7 before..” Yup. We had told the guests to come at 7 – not 6. We had a good laugh, and realized it was probably better we were ready an hour earlier, than an hour late. 

Regardless, we were ready and the night was a success. Lots of great stories, even learning that we have way more in common with some neighbours than we thought (what a small world). In the summer it’s easy to say hi to everyone because we’re all on our decks, walking around outside etc. In the winter we are all bundled up inside and rarely bump into each other so a holiday party get together was perfect. 

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These little cups are my favourite creation. I make them not only at Christmas, but any night that I feel like a little treat. They take practically no time at all, no baking, and only 4 ingredients. 3 Really, because you can definitely omit the coconut oil if you do not have any.  They are vegan (dairy-free), wheat-free, peanut-free and contain natural ingredients unlike the list of processed items listed on a Reese’s PB cup. 

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almond butter cups bakeahlic

4-Ingredient Vegan Almond Butter Cups
Yields 24
Just like the popular peanut butter cups, these are peanut-free, vegan and wheat-free. An Almond butter center nestled between two chocolate layers topped with sea salt.
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 Cup Smooth Natural Almond Butter
  2. 3-4Tbs. Almond Meal
  3. 1 tsp. Coconut Oil
  4. 6-8 squares Extra Dark Chocolate
Instructions
  1. Line a mini muffin tin with mini cupcake liners. If you don't have a mini muffin tin, you can place them on a baking sheet or in a regular sized cupcake tin. You can use regular sized cupcake liners, however the cups will be quite large.
  2. 1. In the top of a double boiler place the chocolate and coconut oil. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. If you do not have a double boiler you can place a glass or metal bowl on top of a small pot with simmering water. Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave in 1 minutes intervals at power level 8 until melted.
  3. 2. Using a small teaspoon, spoon chocolate into bottom of mini cupcake liners, about 1/4 full. Once all are filled place in refrigerator to set while preparing filling.
  4. 3. In small mixing bowl, combine the Almond Butter and Almond Meal until well combined. It will be slightly thick. If the filling is too thin, add more Almond Meal until desired consistency.
  5. 4. Remove cupcake tin from fridge. Spoon small drops of Almond Butter filling onto tops of hardened chocolate. Using remaining chocolate, spoon melted chocolate on top to fully cover almond butter.
  6. At this point, you can top with an Almond or Sea Salt. Place back in the refrigerator to set. Store in Fridge in container for up to a week, can also freeze longer. They are great right from the fridge, or take out about 10 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. Equipment needed: Mini Cupcake Liners, Mini muffin Tin (optional), Double Boiler (optional).
  2. These can definitely be made without the coconut oil if you do not have it.
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/

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