Browsing Tag

Coconut

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.

Cakes

Best Ever Chocolate Quinoa Cake {flourless, vegan frosting}

July 31, 2014

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I just posted a new recipe for Vancity Buzz – A flourless chocolate quinoa cake made with no flour substitutes – just 2 cups of regular cooked quinoa. It’s actually one of the best chocolate layered cakes I’ve made, and the best part is it’s wheat-free. I made it for friends and if I hadn’t said there was quinoa in it they probably wouldn’t have been able to guess. 

It’s the perfect ‘healthier’ chocolate layered cake for special occasions (definitely will become a birthday staple) or a regular thursday night after dinner treat. Or, breakfast. 

Check out the recipe here.

Birthdays, Cakes, Dessert

Coconut Cloud Cake

April 23, 2014

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This past weekend we celebrated Easter, along with two birthdays! My brother’s girlfriend and my mom’s birthday (which is actually today) – Happy Birthday Mother!

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Every year I ask her what type of dessert/cake she wants for her birthday (past birthday cakes including carrot cake and a cheesecake) and this year it was the same as last year: a coconut cloud cake. However, unlike last years two-layer round cake I opted for a single layer slab cake. Slab cakes are easier to prepare and transport and good for feeding a crowd. Since we were having it at Easter dinner too, it needed to feed a crowd, or in our case our ever-expanding family.

Last year I made the coconut cloud cake using swiss meringue buttercream – this year I simplified things by first making the slab instead of the two layer, and instead of buttercream I simply used coconut cream for a 1-ingredent dairy-free frosting. The coconut cream is light and fluffy making it even more of a ‘cloud’ cake. I added a little bit of coconut extract for a deeper coconut taste then topped it with roasted coconut chips from Trader Joes. I used the coconut cake recipe from Butter Baked Goods cookbook – which is currently 50% off right now on Chapters Indigo! (I’ll have to add the recipe later, as I forgot to do it and now I’m posting this while I’m out and don’t have the cookbook with me! oops) 

I think this will start to be a tradition – coconut cloud cakes for birthdays. Growing up we had a traditional Italian St. Honore cake for birthdays – or ‘bon bon’ cake – the one with the layers of pastry, bavarian cream filling, whipped cream and cream puffs on top. It was always a special treat. Did you have any birthday traditions growing up?? any special cakes?? 

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