I should be doing homework right now. Lots of it. I have a lot of assignments and mid terms to get through this week before Adam and I jet off to Mexico! I am definitely in need of a vacation right about now. But, I just had to make these chocolate dipped strawberries in honour of Valentine’s Day. I had made them last year, but like this year Adam and I won’t be home for Valentine’s Day so I wanted to make them in advance. Actually, last year he was in Mexico and I was here, and this year we will both be in Mexico for Valentine’s day, together! This is a great little treat that looks like it took a long time to create. You can package them up in three’s or four’s and hand them out to someone special. They look really cute in a little take along bag as well. There are also step-by-step photo’s on my other post from last year as well.
I decided to do a few variations this year, pistachio, almond and coconut. As well as the traditional chocolate drizzled ones. The almond ones I made were good, but they were a tad too big to go on the strawberries and while they were yummy, weren’t exactly camera friendly haha. There are lots of combination’s you could try. It doesn’t take long at all and can be made a day before hand, but it’s best if their eaten the same day as the bottoms begin to get soggy. This time I made them and then stuck each one on a cutting board lined with a silicone baking sheet in the fridge after I dipped them one by one. That way they keep cold while you make the next one.
These are super easy, and really lovely for valentine’s day. Perfect for someone with a sweet tooth, but also healthy too! (right.. I mean, there is fruit involved!) Alright, I better get back to studying! But please make these, they’re so easy and delicious. Or if you’re up for a challenge, try my honey chocolate cupcakes!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Chocolate Covered Strawberries:
- 1-2 pkg Strawberries
- 1 cup Melting Chocolate (dark or milk)
- 1/2 cup White Melting Chocolate
- 1/2 cup medium shredded coconut (optional)
- 1/4 cup crushed pistachios (optional)
- Place dark chocolate into a double broiler, and simmer on low. Allow the chocolate to melt completely and transfer to a glass bowl. Allow to cool slightly. ( I always place a glass mixing bowl over the pot, and then transfer the bowl to a hot plate). Alternatively, microwave on 20 second intervals until soft and melted.
- Do the same with the white chocolate. Then pour the white chocolate into a piping bag, and snip off a tiny bit. You can also reserve some white chocolate to dip the strawberries into as well.
- Wash the strawberries and dry them completely. You’ll want them slightly cool, to help cool the chocolate faster. Dip them one by one into the melted chocolate and place onto a tray, lined in parchment paper or saran wrap or silicone baking mat. Once you’ve finished all of them place the tray into the fridge to harden the chocolate. I placed them into the fridge one by one onto the tray so they would cool faster and harden while I made the others.
- You can if you like also dip them/roll them/or sprinkle them with coconut after you have dipped them into the chocolate.
- Once they have set, using the white chocolate piping bag, drizzle the white chocolate over the dark and place back into the fridge.
- Once they have set completely, you can package them up and give them to someone special!
Of course it’s that time of year again to bake cookies galore!! I baked a ton last year, like Chocolate Thumbprints, my favorite mini-toblerone shortbread, mini chocolate pecan tarts, festive two bite brownies (definitely making these again this year) , and these toasted coconut clusters, which I could eat the entire bowl full.
My aunt also just happened to buy me a new rolling pin! And it was perfect timing, as my old one was falling apart. You see, it had the handle and the metal bar through the middle wooden roller. The one she bought me is a different style than your regular rolling pin with two handles, it’s called a French Rolling Pin. And it’s one large wooden rolling pin with no handles, but slightly larger in the center and slimmer on the sides. It is perfect for rolling out cookie dough, you don’t get those lines or creases in your dough from the handles! I love it!
This one’s similar to mine! If your needing a new rolling pin, get a French pin!
This year we’re having a smaller christmas at home so I’m not going to go overboard with cookies, as i’m sure my mom and I will just end up eating them all!
But I couldn’t resist making these gingerbread men once I bought my cute little mini gingerbread cookie cutter the other day. Along with, a super cute cupcake tree ornament!! I couldn’t help myself.
I don’t overly love gingerbread cookies usually their kinda bland, and seem to always need more icing. But I added a little less spice to these and a dash of cocoa powder to make them a bit sweeter. I made a buttercream type of frosting since i’m not the greatest when it comes to cookie decorating. They make a ton of cookeis, I made them twice and depending on how thick you make them ( for softer men ) or thin ( for a crunchier man ) you can make quite a few, and as well however big your cutter of choice is. You can definitely double the recipe.
I used little sprinkles to decorate with them, and if you don’t want the fuss of icing their already ready when you take them out of the oven!
And, is it just me or was I the only one who didn’t know that gingerbread cookies were made without eggs?? haha, you learn something new everyday!
Give these little guys a try if you starting your holiday baking early. And while you’re here, leave a link to one of your favorite cookies you’ve made for the holidays this year! (more…)
This weekend in Canada is Thanksgiving! Which means food, food and more food. And of course, Pie. It wouldn’t be thanksgiving without a pie for dessert. Even though you’re usually too full from all that food to even think about eating any more, but somehow everyone always manages to make room for dessert.
Traditionally Thanksgiving means pumpkin pie. But, nowadays pumpkin cheesecakes and other desserts are making their way into the spotlight as the holiday dessert. This year however, I wasn’t going to let pumpkin pie take the backseat to this new trend. My mom had gotten a pumpkin cheesecake for thanksgiving, but she knew I would be baking something else as well. I couldn’t not!I decided to bake two types of pies. Now usually we have a massive thanksgiving dinner, up to 30 people so three desserts would be acceptable, but this year there’s 12. And, it’s not three desserts, its four. I had planned on making a large pumpkin pie, and a pecan pie. But I noticed I only had two smaller pie dishes and one larger one and enough pie dough to make three crusts. So, why not make three pies?? Yup. Three. Two smaller pecan pies and a pumpkin pie, and then the non-homemade pumpkin cheesecake. It was necessary. So to all the Canadians Happy Thanksgiving! And make room for pie!
Good Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie
Buttermilk Pie Crust (recipe from joy the baker)
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 (12 ounces) cups all purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (5 to 6 ounces) buttermilk
1. Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces and place in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes. Measure out the buttermilk and store in the refrigerator to keep it cold.
2. Sift together the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Take the cold butter from the freezer and toss it with the flour mixture.
3. Dump the cold butter cubes and flour mixture onto a large work area for rolling. With a rolling pin, roll the mixture, flattening the butter cubes with the flour into long, thin, floured butter sheets. Work quickly to ensure that the butter stays cold. Below is what the rolled butter and flour look like after I’ve gathered them together on the work surface a bit.
4. Place the flour and flattened butter back in the large bowl and chill for 10 minutes. When the butter is cold, remove the bowl from the refrigerator, make a small well in the center of the flour and butter mixture. Add the cold buttermilk to the bowl all at once. Begin to bring the dough together with one hand ( keep the other hand free to answer the phone). Moisten all of the flour with the milk, using your hand to break up large clumps of milk and flour. The dough will be rather shaggy, but you can add another tablespoon of buttermilk, if you see that all your flour isn’t moistened. Form the dough into two disks. The disks will be rough, and hard to shape together, but once they rest in the fridge for an hour, they’ll be easier to roll out.
5. Chill the dough for at least an hour in the refrigerator. At this point, the dough will keep in the fridge for up to three days, or in the freezer for up to three weeks. For freezing, roll the dough out into sheets and wrap them in plastic film.
Traditional Pumpkin Pie
- makes 6 to 8 servings -
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours
1 9-inch single pie crust, partially baked and cooled
2 cups (canned) unsweetened pumpkin puree
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup sour cream
Pumpkin Pie Spice – As much as you like depending on how spicy you like your pie!
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat and put the pie plate on it.
- Put all of the filling ingredients in mixer, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Alternatively, you can whisk the ingredients together vigorously in a mixing bowl. Rap either the work bowl or mixing bowl against the counter to burst any surface bubbles, and pour the filling into the crust.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 300°F and continue to bake for 35 to 45 minutes longer, or until a knife inserted close to the center comes out clean. (If you don’t want to create a slash in your masterpiece, tap the pan gently—if the custard doesn’t jiggle, or only jiggles a teensy bit in the very center, it’s done.) Transfer the pie to a rack and cool to room temperature.
Storing: Like most pies, this one is best served the day it is made. However, you can make the pie early in the day and keep it refrigerated until needed.
Happy Thanksgiving =)