All posts by Miranda Keyes

Miranda Keyes is a freelance food stylist, recipe developer and writer who used to live in London, UK but moved back to Canada for nanaimo bars, maple syrup and poutine. To learn more about her, follow her on Instagram @littlemirandapiggy and Twitter @mirandaak.

How to Make the Perfect Egg-in-a-Hole

Egg-in-a-hole, also known as ‘egg-in-the-basket’ or a ‘hole-in-one,’ is not only a delicious way to eat an egg with toast, it’s also really fun. You can substitute the bread with a bagel or waffle and try different toppings like Cheddar cheese, green onions or chopped parsley. Here, I made egg in a hole two ways — with white bread and bagels — both topped with lots of feta, red chilis and a sprinkling of dill.

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Egg-in-a-Hole

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients:
2 thick slices bread or 1-2 bagels
1 Tbsp butter
2 eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp feta cheese, crumbled
½ red chili, finely sliced (optional)
1 Tbsp chopped dill

Directions:
1. Make a hole in your bread using a 2” round cutter or the rim of a small glass.

Related: Egg-cellent Omelette Recipes

2. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Place butter in the pan. Once melted, add bread and fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.

3. Flip the toast over and crack the egg into the middle of the hole. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cover pan with a lid. Let cook until egg is set, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with feta, red chilis and dill.

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Published December 3, 2015, Updated December 1, 2018

Easy Homemade Blueberry Pop Tarts You’ll Absolutely Love

One of the best parts about being a kid is eating copious amounts of sugar-filled breakfast foods. Chowing down on six bowls of cereal used to be a perfectly acceptable option. Nowadays, we opt for healthier morning meals, but once in awhile we get nostalgic for the early morning sugar rush from our childhood. So I’ve decided sugar is totally OK in the morning if you just take a little time to bake something from scratch. Enter: homemade pop tarts. Mini pies with icing that you can eat with one hand. These easy-to-make blueberry-filled, lemon-iced pastries are a perfect treat in the AM. The best part is that you can feel like a kid again, without actually being one!

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Blueberry Pop Tarts With Lemon Glaze

Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Servings: 12 pop tarts

Ingredients:

Dough
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 cups cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 egg (plus 1 egg to seal tarts)
2 Tbsp ice water

Filling
¾ cup blueberry jam (or any kind of jam or fruit)
½ cup blueberries

Icing
1 ½ cups icing sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Lemon zest for garnish

Directions:

1. Begin by making the dough. In a food processor combine flour, salt and sugar. If you don’t have a food processor you can do this by hand. Add the cold butter cubes and pulse until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add egg and water and pulse until dough starts to come together. Be careful not to over work the dough.

2. Remove from processor and shape dough into two rounds. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for 30 minutes.

Related: Our Carbiest Breakfast Recipes, From Croissants to Pancakes

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. Remove one disc of dough from the fridge and roll into a large rectangle that is roughly 6 inches by 12 inches. Cut the dough into 8 equal-sized pieces.

5. Place 6 squares on one of the prepared baking sheets. Place 1 Tbsp of blueberry jam on the center of each square. Top with 3 or 4 blueberries. Roll out other piece of dough and cut into 8 equal-sized squares as above.

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6. Beat 1 egg in a bowl and using a pastry brush, brush around sides of each square. Place another square on top to form your pop tart. Use a fork to seal the edges. Poke a few holes in the top of the dough to let steam escape. brush egg wash on top of tarts.

7. Place the baking sheets in the fridge for 30 minutes before baking.

8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove pop tarts to a cooling rack, let cool completely before icing.

9. To make icing, whisk lemon juice with icing sugar. If you want a thinner icing add a bit more lemon juice. Place a dollop of icing on each pop tart and sprinkle with lemon zest.

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Published July 21, 2016, Updated July 16, 2018

Butter Tart Cheesecake

The Best Maple Butter Tart Cheesecake Recipe

The classic Canadian butter tart has many variations – pecans or raisins, firm or runny filling, crispy or flaky pastry — and everyone has their favourite combo. If there’s one thing that all Canadians can agree on, it is the fact that butter tarts are one of the most delicious desserts out there. So why not go one step further and combine your favourite Canadian sweet treat with another indulgent dessert — cheesecake. The result is a sweet and salty combination that gets topped with butter tart filling and lots of pecans for extra crunch!

Butter Tart Cheesecake

Maple Butter Tart Cheesecake

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes + chill time
Makes: 10 slices

Ingredients:

Crust:
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Cheesecake:
1 (250g) pkg cream cheese
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup 35% whipping cream
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 tsp salt

Maple Pecan Sauce:
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp 35% cream
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Butter Tart Cheesecake

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter an 8-inch round springform pan.
2. In a large bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar and salt. Firmly press graham cracker crumb mixture into bottom of greased pan and push 1 inch up the side. Bake until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
3. In a large bowl combine cream cheese and brown sugar. Using an electric mixer beat until well combined and fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in maple syrup, cream, butter and salt.
4. Wrap bottom of the pan with aluminium foil. Pour in filling and place in a roasting pan. Pour boiling water into roasting pan about 1 inch up the side. Bake until edges are set and middle still has a jello-like wobble, about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. Remove pan from water and let cool, about 1 hour. Remove from tin, cover and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight to chill completely before serving.
5. When ready to serve, make the sauce. In a small saucepan combine brown sugar, maple syrup, cream, salt and pecans. Bring to a boil and let bubble for 2 minutes, until slightly thickened. Serve drizzled over cheesecake.

Butter Tart Cheesecake

Looking for more butter tart goodness? Try our Best Butter Tart Recipes.

4 Soft Gingerbread Cookies, 1 Easy Recipe

When it comes to Christmas cookies, gingerbread is always a crowd pleaser! The irresistible smell of ginger, cinnamon and cloves baking in the oven can turn any household into the epitome of Christmas coziness.

Gingerbread Cookies

While gingerbread men are the classic cookie shape, there are lots of ways to customize your cookies without cutters. From sugar-coated crackle cookies, to jam-filled thumbprints, our alternatives to gingerbread men are just as delicious.

Get Anna Olson’s Gingerbread recipe here.

Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies

Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies
Scoop gingerbread dough into 1 tbsp balls. Squish a thumbprint into the top of the ball to make an indent in the cookie. Chill dough for 30 mins. Bake at 350F until golden brown, about 15 mins. Use the back of a spoon to further indent thumbprint as soon as the cookies come out of the oven. Let cool. Fill cookies with your favourite jam, chocolate spread or even whipped cream!

Gingerbread Gift Tag Cookies

Gift Tag Gingerbread Cookies
Roll out gingerbread dough in the same way you would to make gingerbread men. Use a small knife to slice cookies into rectangles the size of a gift tag. Slice one side into a triangle shape, cutting the top of the triangle into a flat side. Using a skewer, poke a hole in the triangle end of the cookie. Bake at 350F for 15 mins or until golden brown. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, re-poke holes using the skewer. Once cool, write names on the gift tags and string with ribbon – attach to gifts or use as Christmas tree ornaments.

Candy Cane Icebox Gingerbread Cookies

Candy Cane Icebox Gingerbread Cookies
Roll a portion of gingerbread dough into a log. Wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper and place in the fridge until solid, about 1 hour. Remove from plastic wrap. Brush a frothy egg white all over outside of dough. Roll dough in crushed candy canes. Slice dough into ¼” rounds and bake until golden, about 10-12 minutes.

Crackle Gingerbread Cookies

Crackle Gingerbread Cookies
Scoop 2 tbsp portions of dough and roll into a ball. Roll balls in coarse sugar – you can use white, green or red sugar! Chill dough in the fridge for 30 mins. Bake cookie balls for 15-20 mins, or until golden and crackled. Let cool.

Make-Ahead Christmas Morning Strata

Strata, a savoury bread pudding, is the perfect way to pack everything you could ever want for breakfast into one tasty dish. This all-in-one breakfast bake will make Christmas morning a breeze; you can prep the entire dish the night before and bake while everyone is opening up their presents. It’s an easy way to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with family!

Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serves: 6-8

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Ingredients:
6 bacon slices, diced
4 breakfast sausages, casings removed and meat crumbled
1 onion, finely chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes
4 cups spinach
8 eggs
3 cups milk
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 cup shredded old cheddar cheese
1/2 Italian bread loaf, sliced into 2” cubes, about 4 cups (200 g)
Butter, for pan

Directions:
1. Grease a large baking dish (9 x 13”) with butter.
2. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add chopped bacon and crumbled sausage pieces. Cook until bacon is crisp, and sausage is cooked through and is starting to turn golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.
3. Once cooked, remove from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel lined plate. Drain all but 1 Tbsp of fat from pan.
4. In the same pan, cook onion until soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes.
5. Add tomatoes and spinach and cook until tomatoes start to soften and spinach wilts, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
6. In a large bowl, beat eggs with milk, Dijon, salt and pepper. Mix in cheese, bread, bacon, sausages and spinach mixture. Pour into prepared pan and cover with plastic wrap.
7. Place in the fridge for two hours, overnight or bake right away.
8. When ready to bake your strata, preheat oven to 350°F. While your oven is preheating, remove strata from the fridge. Bake for 1 hour.

The Giant Maple Doughnut Cake of Your Dreams

Maple is made for more than just pancakes. Mixed into vanilla cake batter and sweet buttercream, it adds that tasty punch of Canadiana to your favourite dessert. This fun, doughnut-inspired maple cake is certainly a unique treat for any party — just finish with sprinkles and enjoy!

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Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes (plus cooling time)
Serves: 8

Ingredients:

For the cake:
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp maple extract
¾ cup milk

For the icing:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups icing sugar
2 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp maple syrup
¼ cup sprinkles

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Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 12-cup bundt pan.
2. In a medium sized bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
3. In a large bowl combine butter and sugar. With a hand mixer, beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in maple extract.
4. With mixer on low speed, beat in 1/3 of flour mixture, then 1/2 of milk. Continue adding flour and milk, ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
5. Pour 1/2 of batter into prepared pan. Bake until golden brown and cake tester comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely. Clean pan, grease and bake remaining batter until cake is golden brown and cake tester comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cakes cool completely.
6. While cakes are cooling, make the icing. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add icing sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating on low to start and then on high for an additional 2 minutes after each addition. Beat in maple syrup.
7. On a cake plate, turn one cake upside-down so the flat bottom is facing up. Spread half of icing on cake. Top with other cake layer, right side up. Spread remaining icing on top of cake. Top with sprinkles.

Peanut Butter and Ice Wine Jelly Bars

If there were two ingredients that belong together, that everyone can unanimously agree complement each other in best possible way, its peanut butter and jelly. The perfect combination of sweet and salty, these peanut butter and ice wine jelly bars are an irresistible snack, with a unique Canadian twist. Ice wine jelly gives these sweet treats a downright grown-up taste that will surely satisfy your PB &J cravings.

Peanut Butter and Ice Wine Jelly Bars

Peanut Butter and Ice Wine Jelly Bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 12 squares

Ingredients:

Shortbread Cookie Base Layer:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/4 cups flour

Peanut Butter and Jam Layer:

1 cup ice wine jelly
1 x 7g package gelatin
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 – 2 Tbsp crushed peanuts

Peanut Butter and ice Wine Jelly Bar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 9 inch square baking tin with parchment paper with overhanging sides.
2. In a large bowl combine butter and sugar. Using a wooden spoon, beat until creamy and smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together salt and flour. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat until well combined.
3. Press shortbread evenly into prepared tin. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Let cool.
4. While shortbread base is cooling, make peanut butter and jam layer. Heat ice wine jelly in a saucepan on low heat to melt slowly, about 2 to 3 minutes. In a small bowl sprinkle gelatin over hot water and stir to combine. Leave for 5 minutes. Add gelatin mixture to melted jam and stir to combine. Leave to cool.
5. When shortbread base has cooled (about 1 hour), spread jam mixture evenly over top. Dollop tablespoons of peanut butter on top of jam. Use a toothpick to swirl peanut butter into jam. Top with crushed peanuts. Refrigerate until set, at least 1 hour or up to 12.

Peanut Butter and Ice Wine Jelly Bars

brunch ideas for kids

10 Ideas for a Kid-Friendly Brunch

Make weekend mornings more fun with these 10 scrumptious brunch ideas that kids will adore.

Pancake Snowman

1. Snowmen Pancakes
When making pancakes drop three small circles of batter in your pan so each one touches. When you flip it over you will have a snowman pancake ready to be decorated. Serve with bacon strips (to use as a scarf), berries for decorating the face, chocolate chips for the jacket and marshmallows to look like snow.

2. Egg in a Star Toast
Toast a few slices of bread. Use a cookie cutter to cut out star shapes from the bread. Place the bread in a large frying pan with butter. Fry eggs in star holes. Serve with ketchup!

3. Christmas Morning Fruit Bowl
In a large bowl mix together a selection of green and red fruit – try strawberries, raspberries, pomegranate seeds, cherries, sliced kiwis, grapes, apples and pears. Mix orange and lime juice with citrus zest and toss with fruit.

4. Reindeer Waffles
Take a round waffle that has been toasted and cut a triangle into one end (this will be the chin of the reindeer). Use scrap pieces to place at the top of the waffle to look like antlers. Use blueberries for the reindeer eyes, strawberries for a Rudolph nose and maple syrup to serve!

5. Red & Green Fruit Muffins
Make your favourite muffin recipe and mix in ¼ cup Christmas sprinkles as well as a big handful of pomegranate seeds and one mashed banana. Once you scoop your muffin batter into the tins, top with a mixture of red and green sprinkles.

6. Festive Fruit Parfaits
In tall glasses layer up yogurt, berries and granola to create a healthy, festive breakfast. Start by adding a layer of vanilla yogurt, topped with a layer of granola, sprinkle in some raspberries and blueberries and top with a small handful of yogurt. Continue layering until the glasses are full.

7. Santa Claus Strawberry Hats
Use strawberries and whipped cream to make mini Santa Claus hats. Clean and hull your strawberries. Dip the hulled end of the strawberry in cream and place on a plate or on top of brownies, muffins or pancakes. Place another dollop of cream on the pointed end of the strawberry to complete the Santa hat.

8. Cookie Cutter Pancakes
Use your favourite cookie cutter to make pancakes. Simply butter your pan and place the cookie cutter in the melted butter. Pour batter into the cookie cutter and wait until one side has set. Push the pancake out of the cutter to flip. Continue with a variety of shapes and sizes. Serve with maple syrup and sprinkles!

9. Christmas Fruit Tree
Use a large platter or cutting board to spread out chopped fruit in the shape of a large Christmas tree. Use sliced kiwis, green grapes and apples to look like the tree. Use red berries like raspberries or strawberries to string across the tree like lights. Top with a pineapple star! Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

10. Red & Green Christmas Morning Smoothie
Make a layered smoothie by first making a red berry smoothie using milk, yogurt, raspberries, strawberries and a banana. Set aside and mix your green smoothie using milk, yogurt, celery, spinach and apples. Layer your red and green smoothies in tall glasses and serve with straws.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buttercream Filled Maple Sandwich Cookies

Nothing says Canada quite like maple syrup — and nothing says it’s the holidays quite like cookies! These maple cookies are delicious baked up just as they are, but a sweet maple buttercream filling will take them to the next level. Just pipe some frosting on one cookie, top it with another and you’ve got a perfect after-dinner dessert or homemade gift.

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Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Makes: 24-30 cookies

Ingredients:

Dough:
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
¼ cup maple syrup
2 ½ cups flour
¼ tsp salt

Icing:
1 cup butter
4 cups icing sugar
2 tsp maple extract
2 Tbsp 35% whipping cream

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Directions:
1. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer beat together butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add egg and beat for 1 minute. Add maple syrup and beat to combine, about 1 minute.
2. In a medium sized bowl, combine flour and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix until dough comes together, about 1 minute.
3. Dump dough onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into two round discs, wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disc of dough until ¼” thick. Use extra flour if dough is sticky. Cut out 2” rounds, and place 1” apart on prepared baking sheets.
6. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, until dough is just starting to turn golden brown around the edges. Let cool and repeat with remaining dough.
7. Make icing by combining butter and icing sugar with a hand mixer. Mix on medium speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Add maple extract and cream, and continue to mix on high speed until icing is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
8. Pipe icing using a star tip or spoon, about 1 Tbsp icing on the inside of one cookie. Sandwich cookies together and repeat with remaining cookies.

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How to Make Montreal-Style Bagels

In the bagel world, there’s quite a divide between the classic New York bagel and the sweeter, Canadian counterpart — the Montreal bagel.

Montreal bagels are denser, sweeter and traditionally made in wood fired ovens as opposed to the fluffy-on-the-inside, crisp-on-the-outside, baked bagels made south of the Canadian border.

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Both varieties of bagels are made using yeasted dough and are boiled before being baked. NY-style bagels are dipped in boiling water that has baking soda or lye, whereas Montreal bagels get dunked in boiling water that has honey or malt, creating a sweeter, denser dough.

The sweet and chewy nature of Montreal bagels lends them to eating them plain. So put away the cream cheese, jam and butter because once you make a fresh batch of Montreal bagels, you’ll want to enjoy them just as they are!

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 mins
Makes: 12 bagels

Ingredients:
1 cup warm water
2 *x 8 g pkg quick-rising yeast or 1 tbsp

1 Tbsp sugar
1 egg
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp salt
1 cup honey, divided
4 ½ cups flour (or more if dough becomes too sticky)
Poppy seeds, sesame seeds for tops of bagels (about ½ cup each)

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Directions:
1. In a large bowl, mix together warm water, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. Mix in egg, vegetable oil, salt and ½ cup honey. Gradually add flour until mixture comes together to form a dough. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes.
3. Pop the dough back into the bowl (no need to clean) and cover with a damp tea towel. Let the dough rise until about doubled in size, about 1 hour.
4. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Fill a large pot with 8-10 cups of water and add remaining ½ cup honey. Bring to a boil while you shape your bagels.
5. Divide the dough into 12 equal sized balls. Shape into bagels by either rolling into long logs and joining the ends together or shaping into rounds and poking holes in the middle using a wooden spoon. Stretch the dough around the spoon handle to make large holes. Make the holes quite large as they will rise and shrink considerably when baked.
6. Preheat oven to 450°F. Put the bagels onto the baking sheets and let rise for about 10 minutes. Place your poppy or sesame seeds onto a plate.
7. Using a slotted spoon dip your bagels, about 2 at a time, into the boiling honey water and leave for about 30 seconds per side. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and dip them straight into the seeds and then back onto the baking sheets, seeds side up.
8. Once boiled, bake the bagels for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.

Spooky Eyes Chocolate Bark

When I was a kid, I stretched trick or treating for as many years as I could. It wasn’t until I was verging on my late teens before I finally felt too old. There was nothing better than getting free candy, munching on it all night long, and having a huge stash at your disposal to enjoy for weeks to come.

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Now that I’ve grown way past the acceptable age of trick or treating, I look for other ways to get my candy fix.

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This year, I’m making Halloween chocolate bark, combining my love for Halloween treats and chocolate into one delicious treat. The tiny eyes are super easy to make and add a touch of spookiness to this tasty chocolate bark.

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Ingredients:

The chocolate:
3 cups chocolate chips
½ cup–1 cup assorted Halloween chocolates (depending on size)

The eyes:
1 egg white
1 ½ cups icing sugar
Black gel food colouring

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Directions:
1. Place the chocolate chips in a heat-resistant bowl. Place bowl over top of pot of simmering water to create a double broiler. Let chocolate melt, stirring occasionally.
2. Pour melted chocolate on a parchment lined baking sheet. Using a spatula, spread chocolate evenly into a large rectangle of even thickness. Place Halloween candy all over melted chocolate.
3. In a medium-sized bowl whisk egg white until frothy. Whisk in icing sugar until a smooth, white icing is formed. Place half of icing into a Ziploc bag or piping bag. Cut off a small corner of the bag or tip of the piping bag. Pipe two dots, for eyes all over the Halloween chocolate bark. Dip a q-tip into black gel food colouring and dot eyes on the white dots of icing.
4. Let set in the fridge for 30 minutes. Break bark into small pieces for eating, sharing or giving as gifts for Halloween!

Quick and Easy Back-to-School Granola Bars

Granola bars never get old. If you’re back to school this week or just plain old back to work on Monday, granola bars are a great pick-me-up snack. Packed with nuts, seeds and oats these will help anyone get through their first week back to school.

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These granola bars are easily customizable—feel free to play with the fruit and nut combinations. Try chopped dried apricots or figs. Make your favourite combination of trail mix or try using almond butter instead.

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Ingredients:
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup shredded coconut
3 cups trail mix
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp  ground ginger

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Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a large bowl combine oats, shredded coconut, and trail mix. In a small pot combine coconut oil, honey, brown sugar, lemon juice, peanut butter, cinnamon and ginger. Bring to a boil, let bubble for 4-5 minutes until slightly thickened. Pour over oat mixture and mix to coat evenly.
3. Pour mixture into a lined 9×13” baking dish. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing.

How to Make Peach Bundt Cake

There’s one fruit that I look forward to all year; a fruit that just won’t do if it’s out of season, and that’s peaches. This juicy, flavour-packed fruit is always worth the wait, and you just won’t be able to find it in the cold weather months.

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When peaches hit the shelves near the end of summer, I buy them by the basketful. When I’m not eating fresh peaches, I look for ways to incorporate them into every other dish. Chutneys, salads, grilled and sautéed… These are all great ways to consume this delicious stone fruit. But really, I’m a sucker for cake.

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I love making this peach bundt cake — it’s stuffed full of peaches and if you like, topped with even more. I highly recommend serving it still warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a nice big dollop of fresh whipped cream.

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Ingredients:
1½ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
2 cups all purpose flour, plus 1 Tbsp
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp  salt
½ cup whipping cream
4 large peaches (or 6 small) cut in large dice

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a bundt tin and set aside. In a stand mixer or in a bowl with a hand mixer, combine butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat on high after each addition. Add vanilla extract. Beat batter on high for 4 minutes until very pale and fluffy.
2. In a separate bowl combine 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt. Add to egg mixture along with cream and mix on low speed just until combined. Toss your chopped peaches in 1 Tbsp of flour and gently fold into your batter. The flour helps stop the peaches from sinking to the bottom of the cake.
3. Pour the batter into prepared tin and bake in the center of preheated oven for 1 hour or until golden brown and a skewer comes out of the cake clean.
4. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes. Don’t be tempted to remove the cake any sooner or you’ll risk having some stuck inside the tin.
5. Eat with a big spoonful of chopped peaches, ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

If there’s something we all love on Valentine’s Day it’s got to be something red and something sweet. This cake certainly has both!

Blood oranges are a deep red variety of orange that are in season this time of year. You can always use regular oranges or even opt for another fruit, like bananas if that’s your preference. This cake cooks quickly, is easy to make and is always a showstopper when you flip it out of the cake tin.

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Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

Ingredients:

For the Caramel:
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water

For the Cake:
3 blood oranges, peel removed and cut into slices
1/2 cup butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup plain, 2% yogurt

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Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Start by making your caramel. Put the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar and bring to a boil. Bubble until it turns a light caramel colour.
  2. Working quickly, pour the caramel into a round 9-inch cake tin. Carefully place the blood orange slices on the bottom of the pan. The caramel is still hot, so be careful!
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix until fully combined. Mix in the vanilla.
  4. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix in the dry ingredients and the yogurt. Mix until fully combined.
  5. Place in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the cake is cooked through and springs back when touched. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, turn it out onto a wire rack. If you leave it, the caramel will set and it will be really difficult to turn the cake out!

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SONY DSC Miranda Keyes is a freelance food stylist, recipe developer and writer who used to live in London, UK but moved back to Canada for nanaimo bars, maple syrup and poutine. To learn more about her, follow her on Instagram @littlemirandapiggy and Twitter @mirandaak.

Sweet Eats: Panettone Bread Pudding

When I used to work in an Italian restaurant, Christmas was a very busy season. Despite all the food that needed to be cooked and prepped for service, the chef made us stop working to enjoy an Italian Christmas tradition—eating and sharing a Panetonne. One chef would make the zabaione, an Italian custard, and we would all gather into a very tiny pastry room to rip apart a giant, delicious, fragrant Panettone and dip it into the zabaione. This 10 minute break taught me how to eat Panetonne like the Italians do.

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If you end up with an extra Panetonne or two at Christmastime and can’t quite manage to eat it on your own, try making it into bread pudding. The bread is sweet, filled with raisins and tons of flavour. It may not look like the prettiest dessert you’ve ever served but it will certainly be one of the tastiest!

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Panettone Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

1 Panettone, sliced into 1½” thick slices
4 large eggs
1 ½ cups milk
1 ½ cups 35% cream
½ cup granulated sugar
Zest from 1 lemon
Zest from 1 orange
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 x 13” baking dish.
  2. Layer the slices of Panettone evenly in the prepared dish. Mix the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, orange zest, lemon zest, vanilla and salt together in a large bowl. Pour the custard mixture over the Panettone ensuring most of the bread is soaked.
  3. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the custard has set. If you want to bake the dish another time, cover with plastic wrap or foil and place in the fridge.
  4. This dish is delicious served warm with custard or cream poured all over top.

SONY DSC Miranda Keyes is a freelance food stylist, recipe developer and writer who used to live in London, UK but moved back to Canada for nanaimo bars, maple syrup and poutine. To learn more about her, follow her on Instagram @littlemirandapiggy and Twitter @mirandaak.

Sweet Eats: Christmas Meringue Kisses

Meringue is one of the most versatile recipes to have in your back pocket. This fluffy sweet confectionery can be transformed into so many different desserts: Eton mess, Pavlova and baked Alaska, but they are equally delicious as meringue kisses.

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Always use whole eggs and separate the eggs from the yolks to make meringue—boxed egg whites never quite whip up to form soft peaks, the same way as whole eggs.

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Meringue Kisses

Ingredients:

5 egg whites
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
Red food coloring
Piping bag
Star tip or 1” round tip
Paint brush

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Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Before whisking your meringue, prepare your piping bag. Place the tip in the bag and using your paint brush, brush stripes of food colouring inside the bag (painting 3 or four stripes around the inside of the bag). Set aside in a large pint glass for easy filling.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites on medium until frothy. Add the salt and vanilla. Turn the mixer onto medium-high and add the sugar, 1 Tablespoon at a time.
  4. Once all the sugar has been added, continue to whisk until the meringue is shiny and very stiff, about 5 minutes. Put the meringue into the prepared piping bag and pipe meringue kisses 1” apart.
  5. Bake for 1 hour or until the meringues are dry and can be lifted easily off the parchment paper. Let cool completely.
  6. *Alternatively use green food colour to make mini Christmas trees. Use a star tip and pipe one big kiss with two smaller ones on top to create a tree. Bake for 2 to 2½ hours until dry. Decorate with royal icing and sprinkles.

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SONY DSC Miranda Keyes is a freelance food stylist, recipe developer and writer who used to live in London, UK but moved back to Canada for nanaimo bars, maple syrup and poutine. To learn more about her, follow her on Instagram @littlemirandapiggy and Twitter @mirandaak.

Sweet Eats: Healthy Carrot, Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins

Carrot Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe

When I was in high school, my friends and I would get these giant muffins from a corner store after class. They were actually enormous rounds of cake disguised as muffins. They were delicious. Unfortunately, my grown-up self can’t eat a giant loaf of ‘muffin’ cake everyday. Now I make muffins that still taste as good but have a healthier ingredients jam-packed inside.

These muffins have healthy components like yogurt, carrot, banana, flax and oat bran, but are cleverly hidden by a handful of chocolate chips and vanilla. Eat these on the go, for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.

Healthy Carrot, Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients:

½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 cup grated carrot
2 bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flax seeds
¼ cup oat bran
1 cup chocolate chips, divided

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with muffin liners.

2. In a large bowl, combine sugar, yogurt, oil, eggs, carrot, bananas and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, flax seeds and oat bran.

3. Pour the dry ingredients into the eggs mixture and mix just until combined. Add ½ cup chocolate chips. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tin.

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4. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes until golden. Using a toothpick, insert into the center of a muffin to make sure it comes out clean. Let cool on a rack.

Healthy carrot banana chocolate chip muffins

5. While muffins are cooling melt remaining ½ cup chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave on 1-minute blasts. Drizzle chocolate over muffins.

SONY DSC Miranda Keyes is a freelance food stylist, recipe developer and writer who used to live in London, UK but moved back to Canada for nanaimo bars, maple syrup and poutine. To learn more about her, follow her on Instagram @littlemirandapiggy and Twitter @mirandaak.

Homemade Chocolate Éclairs with Banana Cream Filling

At a recent trip to Paris, I fell in love with éclairs all over again. These delicate treats offered in Parisian patisseries were far from the chocolate-coated cream filled ones I’ve had in the past. These were next-level, and filled with all kinds of creative ingredients and topped with incredible glazes. They were a feast for the eyes as well as the mouth!

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It may come as a surprise, but making choux pastry couldn’t be easier. Yes, it requires a bit of muscle to constantly mix the batter but these éclairs, featuring banana pastry cream and chocolate topping, are worth the effort.

Ingredients:

Choux Pastry
1 cup water
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs

Banana Cream Filling
2 cups whole milk, separated
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup granulated sugar, separated
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 brown bananas, mashed (about ¾ cup)

Chocolate Topping
1/4 cup chocolate chips
2 Tbsp butter
11/4 cup icing sugar
3 Tbsp hot water
Banana chips to top (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a medium sized pot combine the water, butter, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add the flour. Continue to mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together. Cook the flour mixture, while continually stirring, for 1 minute.

3. Add the eggs, one at a time. The mixture may look like it won’t mix together once you’ve added an egg, but keep on mixing and it should become glossy. Once you’ve added all the eggs, put the mixture into a piping bag fitting with a 1-inch round tip.

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4. Pipe 3-inch lines, spaced 1-inch apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Place the baking sheets on the top and bottom thirds of the oven for 25 minutes, switching the sheets half way through cooking.

5. After 25 minutes, turn the oven off and leave the éclairs in the oven to cool completely. This ensures the éclairs are perfectly crisp on the outside. You can crack the door of the oven slightly to let out some of the heat.

6. While the éclairs are cooling make the banana pastry cream filling. In a medium sized bowl combine 1 cup milk, cornstarch and 1/4 cup sugar and set aside.

7. In a medium pot combine 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup sugar and the butter. Bring to a boil and turn off the heat. Whisk 1/4 cup of the warm milk mixture into the cold milk mixture. Continue to whisk in the remaining warm mixture, 1/4 cup at a time. Add the egg yolks and whisk until yolks are broken up and the mixture looks smooth. Once the mixture has been combined put it all back into the pot and add the vanilla. On medium heat, bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking constantly. If the mixture looks like it has curdled, continue whisking until it becomes smooth. Mix in the mashed bananas. Let cool.

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8. Put the pastry cream into a piping bag fitted with a ½-inch round tip. Poke a hole in the bottom of the éclairs with a small knife and fill each éclair.

9. For the chocolate topping, combine all ingredients in a small pot and melt together on low heat. Dip each éclair into the chocolate mixture and place on a rack to set.Banana-chocolate-eclair-recipe-4

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake

There’s nothing better than a Sunday afternoon that involves cool, crisp weather and some delicious coffee cake that’s full of Fall flavours. I decided to take my favourite coffee cake recipe and switch up the spices; I’ve added lots of pumpkin spice and maple flavour to turn this cake into the perfect holiday treat.

Serve this cake for Thanksgiving and top with a big dollop of whipped cream!

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Crumble Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
½ cup butter, softened

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Cake Ingredients:

½ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon maple extract (or vanilla)

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Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, then grease a large bundt tin.
  2. Begin by making the crumble. Mix together the flour, sugar and pumpkin spice. Mix in the softened butter with your hands until fully combined. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin spice. Combine the buttermilk and maple extract. Add half of the flour mixture, followed by half of the buttermilk. Then continue to add the remainder of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk until all ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Add half of the batter to the bundt tin, followed by half of the crumble. Layer the remainder of the batter on top and sprinkle with the remaining crumble mixture.
  5. Place in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes, until the crumble is golden and when a cake tester or skewer comes out of the cake clean.

Sweet Eats: Gluten-Free Cornbread with Bacon & Cheese

With the days getting chillier, nothing battles the nip in the air better than warm and cozy, stick-to-your ribs food. When it starts to get cold outside, comfort food is where it’s at – and this recipe for bacon, cheddar and green onion cornbread fits the bill.

Make a batch and serve it warm with something equally as comforting like chili. Or eat it on its own, slathered in butter as an afternoon snack. However you decide to enjoy it, it will certainly help ease the certainty that cold weather is on the way!

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Ingredients:

1 cup cornmeal
¾ cup corn flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups milk
10 slices pancetta or 5 slices bacon, diced and cooked until crispy
2 green onions, finely sliced
1 cup packed grated cheddar cheese

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Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Butter an 8” baking dish. In a large bowl combine the cornmeal, corn flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together the butter, eggs and milk. Combine wet ingredients into dry and mix until just combined. Fold in the cooked pancetta or bacon, green onions and cheddar cheese.
  2. Scrape mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Slice into squares.

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SONY DSC Miranda Keyes is a freelance food stylist, recipe developer and writer who used to live in London, UK but moved back to Canada for nanaimo bars, maple syrup and poutine. To learn more about her, follow her on Instagram littlemirandapiggy and Twitter @mirandaak.

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