Christmas

Holiday Baking Roundup 2014

November 30, 2014

There is something so magical about the first snowfall of the season. 

Friday night while watching a movie with one of my friends, and snacking on our charcuterie board (the best), the soft white flakes began falling down. We took a peak outside and were happily surprised to see how much had accumulated over the past couple hours. 

As a kid it was always so exciting when the first snow fell – waking up to a winter wonderland was everything.  And, if you knew it was supposed to snow, you would leap out of bed and tear open the blinds to see if it really had snowed. You’d race to get your snow gear on and bound out to the fresh mounds of snow to make snowmen and snow angels.

Now, as an adult, I get equally as excited about the first snowfall. However, for much different reasons. First, I’m happy it was on a Friday night so I didn’t have to get up and drive to work the next day because, lets face it, people freak out at the tiniest bit of snow. And second, instead of running out to enjoy the snow, I am happier to stay indoors, cozy up with a warm cup of tea, a good book or show and watch the snow fall around outside. 

What better way to spend a snowy day inside than by baking. I’ve rounded up a few of this past years favourite holiday recipes. Some new, some old and some gluten free and/or vegan! Something to please everyones taste buds :)

1. Italian Pizzelle Cookies – crisp, light and delicately sweet.

2. Vegan Brownies - bake them in a larger pan, cut into smaller squares to please a crowd. 

3. Personalized Gingerbread Cookies - monogrammed cookies means everyone gets one :)

4. Flourless Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars – fluffy and light, gluten free. 

5. Fudgey Raspberry Brownies – dense, and deliciously decadent. 

6. Christmas Toffee Crack(le) – addictive, salty and sweet – amazing 

7. Flourless Almond Brownies – made with almond meal, dense and fudge-like

8.  Almond Butter Blossom Cookies – an almond-butter take on the traditional thumbprint classic

9. Nanaimo Bar Bites – one of my favourite holiday treats, just dressed up a little different

10. Salted Almond Butter & Pretzel Cups – just like their peanut-y partner, these almond butter cups are a bite of heaven.

11. Pumpkin Biscotti – a seasonal twist on another italian classic – drizzle in chocolate for an extra treat.

Cookies

Chewy Gingersnap Cookies – gluten free, flourless & vegan

November 28, 2014

The chill in the air has arrived just in time for the beginning of December. The days are shorter and dark, sure, but the early and late afternoons are absolutely gorgeous and glistening. Winter sun is lovely – it’s cold outside but the sun sitting low in the sky makes everything glow at this time of year, making it especially great for taking photos. It’s hard to believe that next week is December 1st! Although I’m definitely guilty of putting up christmas decorations early this year – the tree went up almost two weeks ago, and slowly the other decorations are trickling out of the storage boxes and onto the shelves. 

I’ve been slowly compiling my list of beloved christmas recipes, both old and new, to bake for the holidays. There are definite favourites – the Nanaimo Bar Bites, Salted Almond Butter & Pretzel Cups,  Almond Butter Blossom Cookies,  Dark Chocolate Fruit & Nut Bark, Chocolate Mint SablesChristmas ‘Crack’ and Pizzelles. However, this year I’ve found some new recipes that my tastebuds are eager to try. 

When I saw this recipe online I just knew I had to try it. Last year I baked Butter’s Gingerstamp Cookies, large chewy bakery style cookies, without the ‘snap.’ When I saw these, a gluten-free, vegan version I was skeptical at first. Can they really be just as good? Well, the empty cookie jar and my stomach can assure you they are every bit as delicious as the ‘real deal’ cookies. They have a crisp exterior, and a chewy met in your mouth centre. They flavour is perfect and with no butter, flour or sugar (besides molasses) they are much healthier than the regular version. 

That being said, they still quickly disappear just as quick as the original version. The recipe makes a batch of about 15, and it’s safe to say you will want to double, even triple the recipe for this holiday season. 

I was planning on having this recipe up earlier, however my server/site has been acting up and I cannot upload images. So, I hosted the images on another site and just linked them into the post so I could share this with you. 

Not only are these cookies delicious, the aroma of them makes the house smell like christmas.

Bring it on.

Chewy Gingersnap Cookies
Yields 15
A crispy and chewy spiced cookie without flour, added sugar, or butter.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
12 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
12 min
Ingredients
  1. 1-1/4 cup almond meal
  2. ½ teaspoon baking powder
  3. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  5. 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  6. 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  7. 2 tablespoons molasses
  8. 2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Add the almond meal, baking powder, baking soda and spices to a medium sized bowl and whisk together.
  3. Pour in the molasses and oil and mix together well.
  4. Use a spoon or cookie scoop to create small mounds of dough, roll in to a ball. Flatten slightly with a fork or palm of your hand.
  5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until browned around the edges.
Notes
  1. These keep well on the counter in a container for one week, or freeze easily.
Adapted from The Iron You - paleo gingerbread cookies
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/

Apples, Bundt, Cakes, Pumpkin, Thanksgiving

Spiced Apple Pumpkin Bundt

November 11, 2014

Hey! look at that – my first GIF. 

I felt I should come back with something interesting, seeing as how I haven’t blogged in a while. I blame work (teachers strike over = working everyday) and Adam’s work schedule. 

When Adam isn’t home, I haven’t been baking as much, and when he is home we’re fiercely busy with wedding plans, visiting friends and family and trying to make the most of the 6 days he’s home. I’m ashamed to say we eat out more often now than ever, whereas before we would seldom go to a restaurant. But when he’s home, we’d both rather not be in the kitchen cooking and cleaning. Plus, he has to satisfy his wicked sushi craving. The food at his work is not great, however, so I do like to make him a few good homemade meals to satiate his appetite before he returns. 

You don’t realize how much your schedule and routine changes when your significant other (fiancé) is out of town. You also realize how heavily you rely on that person when you find yourself in the shower with no one to grab that towel you left on bed, or when the dog wakes up in the middle of the night and you have to drag yourself out of bed, shrug on some clothes and take them outside in the new autumn chill. It’s cold here now, by the way. Although I’m reminded of how much colder it is up north when I’m complaining to Adam about our 2 degree weather, and he’s working in -20. Sorry bout that. 

While I try to bake and carry on with cooking like I do when Adam is home, I regrettably find myself eating oatmeal, veggies, fruit, salads, tuna and other no prep meals for lunch and dinner. I was however proud of myself for cooking an actual meal this week (chicken enchiladas) for dinner and lunch leftovers. It was quite delicious, and just what I needed. I baked two chicken breasts with chili seasoning and sweet potato. Then I spread some pureed black beans on a tortilla, added the shredded chicken, sweet potato, goat cheese and rolled them up and topped with salsa, baking them again in the oven. They were so delicious – as I told Adam “i made real food!” While I haven’t been baking much, except for some delicious banana bars I’ll share later this week, I thought I had better upload some recipes I made last month. With ourthanksgiving over, I think I’ve exhausted my pumpkin recipes. 

Pumpkin Apple Bundt Cake // bakeaholic.ca

This weekend we are hosting our second annual Friendsgiving – it was such a success last year. We make the turkey and stuffing, and our friends bring over the side dishes and dessert. The amount of food last year was crazy, and everything was absolutely devoured. It’s such a fun tradition and we love getting together with our friends. This year we have a whopping 16 people coming for dinner! We’ll have to bring in some extra tables. 

I made this cake for our thanksgiving in October. It’s the perfect combination of apple spice and pumpkin spice – something a little different than the traditional pumpkin pie. The two flavours go well together, and the cake is perfectly moist. 

Pumpkin Apple Bundt Cake // bakeaholic.ca

Pumpkin Apple Bundt Cake // bakeaholic.ca

Pumpkin Apple Bundt Cake
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  3. ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  4. ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  5. 2 eggs
  6. ½ cup granulated sugar
  7. ¼ cup canola oil
  8. 1 cup pumpkin puree
  9. ½ cup almond milk
  10. 1 large apple, peeled and grated
  11. Optional: confectioners' sugar
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and oil until thick and creamy, about one to two minutes.
  3. Next, whisk in the pumpkin until well incorporated.
  4. Now add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
  5. Stir in the almond milk, and then fold in the apples.
  6. Pour the batter into a greased bundt pan.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until the top is golden and a skewer inserted into the center come out clean.
  8. If desired, dust with powdered sugar.
Adapted from Homemade with Love
Adapted from Homemade with Love
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/