All posts by Emily Turner

Emily is a Toronto-based recipe/content developer and food stylist. She has arrived home after spending 5 years in New York, LA, and Birmingham, training at the Culinary Institute of America, and working at the LA Times test kitchen and Hoffman media magazines. Her recipes and food styling are featured in North American magazine publications “Bake from Scratch”, “Southern Cast Iron”, “Taste of the South”, and “Cooking with Paula Dean”, and in many cookbooks, including most recently “Cast Iron Baking” and “Tiny Book of Pecan Favorites”.

This Simple Cherry Crisp Will Make Your Summer That Much Sweeter

Nothing complements a summertime meal quite like a fruit-laden dessert – and this cherry crisp is easier to make than pie. There’s no better way to showcase the popular summer fruit in its prime than with a sweet, buttery golden oat topping that beautifully contrasts with the warm fruit beneath. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream that can melt into both layers.

Easy Summer Cherry Crisp

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

Topping
½ cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

Filling
6 cups cherries, pitted and halved
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup cornstarch

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon and salt. Stir in butter until combined.
3. In a large bowl, combine cherries and sugar. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in cornstarch and pour into 9×5-inch pan. Sprinkle with oat mixture.

4. Bake until fruit is bubbling and topping is golden brown, about 40 minutes, covering with aluminum foil to prevent excess browning if necessary. Let cool 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Looking for more desserts that will satisfy your sweet tooth? We have 20 grilled desserts you can make on the BBQ, plus 40+ no-bake desserts you need to make this summer.

This Sticky Toffee Pudding Bundt Cake is a Thing of Beauty

A take on the classic Christmas pudding, this sticky date Bundt cake is sure to be a crowd pleaser this holiday season. Drizzled with a toffee caramel sauce, it is elegant enough to be served for Christmas but simple enough to be enjoyed over coffee.

christmas-sticky-toffee-bundt

Christmas Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe

Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour
Makes: 1 (12-cup) Bundt cake

Ingredients:
Toffee Sauce:
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup unsalted butter
1 Tbsp molasses
2/3 cup heavy cream
½ tsp salt

Cake:
2 ½ cups dates, chopped and pitted
1 ¾ cups boiling water
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 ¼ cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
3 Tbsp molasses
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt

sticky-toffee-bundt-cake

Directions:
Toffee Sauce:
1. Combine brown sugar, butter and molasses in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from heat, and stir in heavy cream and salt. Let cool completely.
Tip: When adding heavy cream you can also add a splash of spiced rum or whiskey to toffee sauce, if desired.

Cake:
1. For the cake, preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with nonstick spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine dates, boiling water and baking soda. Cover and let stand 1 hour. In a blender, puree mixture until smooth, about 1 minute.
3. Cream butter and brown sugar with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined. Stir in molasses.
4. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Add to butter mixture alternating with pureed date mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture until incorporated. Pour into prepared pan.
5. Bake 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
6. Let cool in pan 10 minutes. Invert onto cooling rack. Brush exterior of cake with toffee sauce and cool completely. Drizzle remaining sauce over cooled cake.

Looking for more inspiration? Try our Show-Stopping Holiday Desserts.

pumpkin-spice-cookie-cups-with-caramel

Caramel Pumpkin Spice Cookie Cups Are a Fall Must-Bake

Pumpkin spice season is short and sweet, which is why we’re excited to make the most of it. Filled with pumpkin spice — the irresistible combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove, these soft and chewy cookie-cupcake hybrids are a must-bake this fall. Perfect for entertaining, these two-bite cookie cups are filled with salted caramel and topped with a light, whipped cream cheese frosting. Serve with a piping hot latte and you’ve found pumpkin spice perfection.

pumpkin-spice-cookie-cups

Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Cookie Cups with Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Chill Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 24 cookie cups

Ingredients:
Cookie Cups
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Caramel
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt

Frosting
1/2 (250 g) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 ¾ cups icing sugar
2 tsp heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Garnish: ground cinnamon

pumpkin-spice-cups-with-cream-cheese-icing

Directions:

Cookie Cups
1. In a large bowl, whisk together butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin, egg yolk and vanilla extract until combined.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt. Gradually stir into butter mixture until combined. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until chilled.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 24-cup mini muffin tin with nonstick spray.
4. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Scoop dough one tablespoon at a time and roll into balls. Roll in sugar mixture and place in muffin cups. Gently press back of 1/2 teaspoon measure into centres of dough balls to flatten slightly.
5. Bake 10 minutes, or just until lightly golden brown. Press 1/2 teaspoon measure once again in the centre to maintain the hole. Let cool 10 minutes, transfer to wire rack and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar. Cool completely.

Caramel
1. For the caramel, combine water and sugar in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, without stirring, until the sugar turns a medium amber brown, about 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Remove from heat, carefully and gradually stir in cream. Stir in vanilla and salt. Let cool completely.

Frosting
1. For the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in the heavy cream and vanilla until combined. Beat in the remaining icing sugar until light and fluffy.
2. To assemble, fill frosting into a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Fill another piping bag with cooled caramel (slightly heating if too thick). Fill cookie cups with caramel and pipe with frosting. Drizzle with additional caramel and sprinkle with cinnamon. Best served the same day.

Need your pumpkin spice fix? Try these tasty recipes.

maple-butter-tart-pie

Maple Butter Tart Pie is a Canadian Classic with a Tasty Twist

Canadians are kind of obsessed with butter tarts and there’s a good reason. The light and flaky pastry holds a gooey, sweet, and slightly runny filling that is sometimes studded with pecans or raisins.  The buttery treats are so beloved that they’ve garnered an annual festival in their honour, where fans can get their butter tart fill.

Needless to say, this dessert has a big place in the hearts of Canadians. But we’ve taken it to new heights with a family-sized maple butter tart pie that is so good, everyone will find room for dessert.

This larger tart celebrates our love of the Ontario favourite with inspiration from Quebec’s maple-filled  dessert “tarte au sucre.” Our version starts with a light cream cheese pie crust, baked with an addictive filled that’s a combination of brown sugar and maple syrup – no corn syrup here! As the pie cooks the sugar caramelizes to create a light crunchy top with a custard-like interior. Bake it up for your next get together and see for yourself!

butter-tart-pie-with-crust

Maple Butter Tart Pie Recipe

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Freeze Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Makes: 1 (9-inch pie)

Ingredients:
Cream Cheese Pie Crust
2½ cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
½ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
¼ cup cold cream cheese
½ cup cold water

Maple Butter Tart Filling
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 egg yolks
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp kosher salt
1 1/3 cups whipping cream
¼ cup unsalted butter
Confectioners’ sugar

sliced-butter-tart-pie

Directions:
Dough
1. In the work bowl of a food processor, place flour, sugar, and salt, and pulse to combine. Add butter and cream cheese, and pulse until mixture is crumbly. Add ice water, 2 Tbsp at a time, just until the dough comes together. You may not need to use all of the water. Shape 2/3 of dough into a disk, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining dough. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, or overnight.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll large disk of dough to ¼-inch thickness. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate, pressing into bottom and up sides. Trim excess dough, and fold edges under. Roll remaining disk of dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out leaves with a leaf-shaped cookie cutter. Brush each leaf with water and press onto edges of crust. Freeze for the crust for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
4. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of pie crust, letting ends extend over edges. Fill with pie weights. Bake until edges are set, about 10 minutes. Remove pie weights and bake for an additional 2 minutes, or just until bottom crust is set. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (180°C).

pie-crust-leaf-detail

Filling
1. In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, flour, maple syrup, egg yolks, egg, vanilla and salt until smooth.
6. In a small saucepan, combine whipping cream and butter over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and slowly pour into egg mixture, whisking constantly. Strain through a sieve, discarding any pieces. Pour filling into prepared pie crust.
7. Bake in bottom third of oven, until golden brown and the filling is set (center should still tremble), about 1 hour 10 minutes. Loosely cover with aluminium foil halfway through baking to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool completely before serving. Garnish with confectioners’ sugar if desired.

Can’t get enough butter tarts? These Butter Tart Recipes will satisfy your sweet tooth.

These Easy Banana Split Cheesecake Bars Will Make Your Summer That Much Sweeter

This twist on a summertime classic is perfect for those hot summer days since it has no need for the oven to be on for hours. This nearly no-bake dessert starts with an easy vanilla cookie crust, creamy cheesecake and whipped topping. The best part is that it can be made ahead of time, so it’s ready to feed a hungry crowd in an instant. Consider this your go-to summer dessert for barbecues, potlucks and any meal that needs a cool and sweet ending.

slice-of-banana-cheesecake

Banana Split Cheesecake Bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill time: 3 hours
Bake Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 16 Servings

Ingredients:
Crust
1 (312 g) box (5 cups) vanilla wafer cookies
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted

Filling
2 ¼ cups heavy cream, divided
3 ozs (93 g) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
3 (250g) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 (96g) package of instant banana cream pudding
1 cup granulated sugar

Topping
1 (1 L) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
¾ cup maraschino cherries, drained
½ cup dry roasted peanuts
2 Tbsp rainbow sprinkles

dish-of-banana-split-cheesecake

Directions:
Crust
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 13×9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
2. In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse together cookies, sugar, and salt until small crumbs remain. Pour in melted butter and pulse until combined.
3. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Bake until lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely.

Filling
1. Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat ½ cup heavy cream over a medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Pour over chocolate and let stand 2 minutes. Slowly stir together until combined. Let cool completely.
2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. With the mixer running, gradually add remaining 1¾ cup cream, beating until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in pudding mix until combined.
3. Spread cream cheese mixture and drizzle with chocolate sauce in alternating layers over the crust, reserving ¼ cup chocolate sauce for later use. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Topping
1. Spread whipped topping over cheesecake. Garnish with a drizzle of remaining chocolate sauce, bananas, cherries, peanuts, and sprinkles.

Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth? Try our best No-Bake Summer Desserts.

Pecan Whisky Butter Tarts are a Classic Canadian Treat, All Grown Up

Canada’s quintessential dessert, the butter tart, gets a grown-up twist with warming whisky, rich pecans and pure maple syrup. Canadian rye whisky adds a touch of warmth and natural spice notes, complementing the super-sweet buttery interior. It’s all balanced by the addition of pecans to add the perfect contrasting crunch. For the pastry, a mixture of butter and shortening helps to create those pretty frilled edges homemade butter tarts are known for – they also help to capture every bit of that sticky, just runny enough, spiked filling.

Canadian Pecan Whisky Butter Tarts

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Bake Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 3 minutes
Makes: 12

Ingredients:

Pastry Dough
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping and rolling
1 1/2 Tbsp granulated white sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 1-inch pieces, plus more for tin
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup cold water
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Filling
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp Canadian rye whisky
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup pecan halves, roughly chopped 

Directions:

Pastry Dough
1. In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar and salt until combined. Add shortening and butter, and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. In a small bowl, whisk together water, egg yolk and lemon juice until combined. With the processor running, gradually add egg yolk mixture to the flour mixture, until dough just begins to come together.

2. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and briefly knead until dough comes together. Divide dough in half and shape into two discs. On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll out one disc into a circle measuring 1/8-inch or so in thickness. Carefully transfer, with parchment paper intact (to keep it from sticking), to a baking sheet. Repeat this with the second dough disc (use two baking sheets or layer on top of each other using parchment to separate). Cover each rolled disc loosely with additional parchment paper to avoid drying out, and refrigerate for 1 hour, or until chilled and firm.

3. Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking oil or lightly grease with oil or extra shortening.

4. Using a round 4- to 5-inch round cookie cutter or wine glass, cut dough into 12 circles, re-rolling dough once if necessary. Gently press rounds into prepared pan allowing edges to fold up around each other and extend above the rim of pan. Freeze for 20 minutes to firm up. Meanwhile, prepare the filling.

Filling
1. In a medium bowl, preferably one with a pour spout, whisk together brown sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup, melted butter, eggs, whisky, vinegar and salt until smooth and sugar begins to dissolve.

2. Remove pastry shells from freezer. Divide pecans evenly in the bottom of each frozen pastry shell. Pour or ladle filling on top of pecans, filling 1/2-inch below the top of the pastry.

3. Bake in the bottom third of oven for 10 minutes at 450ºF. Reduce heat to 400°F and continue to bake for an additional 6 to 8 minutes, or until filling is set and puffed, covering with foil or parchment to prevent excess browning if necessary.

4. Transfer pan to wire cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around edges of tarts and let cool completely in pan. Pop them out when you’re ready to enjoy them. Serve and store butter tarts at room temperature.

From cheesecake to ice cream, these fresh takes on Canadian butter tarts will satisfy every sweet tooth.