Bars & Squares

Butter Tart Squares

June 29, 2018

Butter Tart Squares //

Butter Tart Squares //

I felt it was my patriotic duty to share the recipe for these Butter Tart Squares in time for Canada Day. 

I made these for the first time at Christmas, and had intentions to share the recipe then – but with a baby in the mix it just wasn’t meant to be. Even now, I had to laugh at the irony of it all as I had set out to blog while she napped, but after finishing up other things I sat down and only a few minutes into typing the blog title she woke up. I knew it was bound to happen as nap time was coming to an end. 

I set aside time to bake these one day, and photograph them the next during nap time. Today was the blogging portion. Keeping up with a website after having a baby takes much more planning than previously. As you may have noticed (or maybe not) this poor little baking blog has been put on the back burner (pun intended). Once we did sleep training (a heaven-sent), I thought I’d have more time for it – but of course all the other to-do’s (i.e. showering) were higher up on the list while she sleeps.


She’s officially 10 months old *gasp* and takes all my attention, time and love. We’ve had a lot of adventures so far, including a trip to Hawaii and a cruise to Alaska. She’s also eating solid food, so I’m having fun introducing new foods to her and cooking for her. Unfortunately we had to do some allergy testing for nuts & egg, after she had a reaction to them. Hopefully we are in the clear, still waiting back for results. I was a little terrified after she reacted, thinking how on earth can I live without Peanut Butter?! And how can I not bake and cook for her with eggs. But i’m still optimistic that she isn’t actually allergic and it was a slight reaction and will be able to re-introduce it to her soon. She must know the joys of peanut butter (although, her father actually doesn’t really like peanut butter) hopefully she takes after my affinity for it. 

I know one day she will love these Butter Tart Squares. They will be a Christmas baking tradition in our house. I guess you could say it’s almost like Christmas in July. 

These are just as delicious as the tarts, but with much less work – and more reward. They’re perfect for a crowd – like a Canada Day picnic with friends and family. I’d suggest making them the day before, so they can cool and chill properly before cutting. 

If you’ve never experienced this Canadian treat, I highly suggest making it. Another Canadian favourite, is the Nanaimo Bar – if you’re feeling extra patriotic! I highly suggest making them as well, if you’ve never had one!

Hope you all have a wonderful long weekend! 

Butter Tart Squares
A Canadian treat - in an easier form!
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  1. 1 cup butter, chilled and cubed
  2. 4 tbsp icing sugar
  3. 2 cups all purpose flour
  1. 1/2 cup butter
  2. 2 + 3/4 cups brown sugar, lightly packed
  3. 3 large eggs
  4. optional: 3/4 cup golden raisins
  1. Line a 9x13" pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In large bowl, cut butter into icing sugar and flour with a pastry cutter, until you have pea-sized lumps of dough. When you grab a handful and squeeze, you want it to hold together. If it falls apart right away, you might want a little ice-cold water. If it's too sticky, a little more flour.
  3. Dump flour mixture into pan and press down evenly to form a crust. Bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare your filling.
  5. Melt butter in a microwave safe dish. Transfer to a bowl, and using electric mixer or whisk, add in brown sugar, and eggs. Whip until foamy. Stir in raisins, if using.
  6. Pour over crust and bake for 25 minutes until filling is set or almost set -- you don't want it too jiggly. Bake a few minutes longer if it is not yet set.
  7. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least an hour or two before slicing.
  1. I like to make these a day ahead, allowing them to chill before cutting and serving.
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Christmas, Cookies

Peanut Butter Blossoms

December 17, 2017

Look! A blog post! It’s a Christmas Miracle!

But seriously – it feels good to type out a post after a few months of radio (oven) silence. Leave it to Christmas to save the day with all of its wonderful delicious baking. It’s the season of cookies and confections and I just had to get some new content up!

To be honest, these cookies were a the-baby-just-woke-up gotta bake these ASAP type thing. And then she slept in (due to a late post-christmas party bedtime) when I was able to dust off (literally) my tripod and get some pictures snapped before all the cookies were consumed. 

She’s a great sleeper at night, getting between 5-8 hour stretches on any given night. But naps are still tricky. She is the worlds lightest sleeper, and as soon as I put her down for a nap she wakes up. So most days its naps on me, for an hour or two while I watch TV. I would love for her to sleep in the crib but some days I just gotta let her sleep on me for a good nap. Which means when she’s awake I try to sneak in some baking or other to-do’s while she plays happily on her mat (she is always on the move! she’s rolled over once, and is constantly trying to do it again. She’s happiest when she can move around and rock and roll on her own). She’ll be four months at the end of December and it’s getting to the fun stage where she’s interacting with everything, and everyone. 

These are by far one of my favourite cookies for Christmas. I say Christmas, because I feel like these never get made any other time of year – though they should. However, Adam doesn’t love peanut butter (shocking) so he’s just as happy to have these annually. More for me. 

I made them slightly smaller than traditional, just because I like a good chocolate-to-PB ratio. And I use Jumbo Dark Chocolate Chips (find in Bulk Section) because they hold their shape better than Kisses, and bonus – you don’t have to unwrap each individual one. Plus, I like dark chocolate better. 

This recipe also makes a ton, like 50. So they’re perfect for the holidays. 

Peanut Butter Blossoms
Classic Peanut Butter Blossoms with Dark Chocolate
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  1. 1 + 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (can use AP)
  2. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  3. 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature
  4. 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  5. 1/2 cup  packed brown sugar
  6. 1 egg
  7. 3/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  8. 50 jumbo dark chocolate chips
  1. Whisk the flour, baking soda together. Set aside.
  2. Using hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter on high speed until creamy. On medium-high speed, beat in granulated sugar and the brown sugar until completely creamed.
  3. Add the egg and beat on high until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  4. Add the peanut butter and mix on high until combined.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low. Scrape down sides.
  6. Cover and chill the dough for 10 minutes in fridge while oven preheats.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats (I find silicone gives the bottom a chewier texture whereas parchment browns them more)
  8. Scoop and roll cookie dough, about a Tablespoon of dough each. You want them on the smaller side. Roll each ball and arrange on the baking sheet about 1-2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes. It's important not to overbake orherwise they'll get too hard. They may look underdone but they continue to harden as they cool. They will not spread while cooking.
  9. Remove cookies from the oven and immediately push a jumbo dark chocolate chip into the middle. The cookie should crackle slightly on top.
  10. Allow to cool completely on countertop until chocolate is set.
  11. Store in airtight container on counter for 2-3 days, or freeze.
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freshly baked

October 26, 2017

This cute little lemon loaf is the reason i’ve been m.i.a. 

Our daughter (crazy!!) made her way into our hearts on august 28th. 

We had no idea if baby was going to be a girl or a boy so it was quite the surprise!

It’s been two months now (holy!) – I can’t even believe it’s been that long even as I type it. The first month was a complete blur, and now the second month has moved way too fast. 

All of the stories and things friends tell you about a baby are true – so, so true. Time goes by way too quickly, your whole world changes in an instant and everything is about this new little love. Some days I don’t shower, other days I can’t remember if I’ve eaten anything. We’re definitely getting into a rhythm now as we enter month 3. She’s sleeping well, we have a ‘schedule’ and she has such a little personality. She’s smiling, starting to play and (gasp) trying to Roll Over!! (staahp)

I was 10 days overdue when she came. I went in that morning to be induced – and boy did it work. So much so, that after 30 minutes of the cervadil, contractions started. Only, they didn’t just start – they never. stopped. Usually it takes a day maybe two for the cervadil to work. But for some reason I had a crazy reaction to it and it basically put me into active labour within the hour. Uh – what?!

Yup – contractions every 30-45 seconds, lasting 30-45 seconds. Put it this way, once you’re almost at the end of labour you should have 4-5 contractions every 10 minutes. I was having 6-7 every 10 minutes in the first hour. No breaks. No meds. Not exactly what I expected (but really, no one can plan for birth. what happens, happens.)

After the nurses continued to monitor me, and the contractions wouldn’t stop, they gave me some nitrous oxide to take the ‘edge’ off – but really it just kept your mind off them for a second while still having the full-on pain. This continued for 3-4 hours where I finally couldn’t take it anymore, and me (and baby) were finally ready to be admitted – and ready for the drugs!!

Thankfully I got an epidural right away after I was admitted and it was 1000 x better. I basically slept for the next few hours until it was go-time. 

After an hour and a half of pushing, our little girl was finally here. She was perfect – since she was overdue she wasn’t wrinkly at all, her skin was perfectly smooth – her little face was perfect. I remember all I kept saying over and over was “she’s so perfect!” 

We named her Evelyn, a.k.a. Evie. 7 lbs 12 ounces of sweetness. 

photo: erin ocampo

We’re finding our groove, and I can actually find some time to bake again. She loves playing on her mat, which gives me time to get things done. I’m hoping to return to blogging again regularly-ish. 

I call her my little sweet, or sweetness. I always did have a sweet tooth. 

She’s most certainly the best thing I ever baked.