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.
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.

Easy Homemade Blueberry Pop Tarts

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

Makes: 12 pop tarts

 

Ingredients:

Dough:
2 1/2 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:
3/4 cup blueberry jam
1/2 cup blueberries

 

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

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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.
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.

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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.
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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*Substitute any kind of jam or fruit inside your pop tarts to make different variations.

Blueberry Grunt

Easy East Coast Blueberry Grunt

The best summer desserts are simple, satisfying and bring out the best in the season’s bounty. That’s why this easy, steamed East Coast treat is the ultimate summer indulgence. Beautiful Canadian blueberries are topped with dumplings steamed in sweet berry juice. This stove-top dish is thought to be an early adaptation of an English steamed pudding recipe. Some say the ‘grunt’ comes from the sound the dumplings make while being steamed, others say it’s the bubbling berries. But one thing’s for sure; once you serve this delectable dessert, the only sound will be guests gobbling this classic summer confection.

Blueberry Grunt

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:
4 cups (600g) frozen blueberries
½ cup sugar
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp lemon juice

For the Dumplings:
1 ¾ cup flour
3 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ cup shortening
1 cup milk

For the Maple Whipped Cream:
1 cup 35% whipping cream
3 Tbsp maple syrup

1 mint sprig for garnish

Blueberry Grunt

Directions:
1. In a large skillet or wide saucepan, combine and stir blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and zest. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until berries soften, about 3 minutes.
2. Make dumplings by whisking together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add shortening and rub in with fingers or a pastry cutter until the mixture looks like fine meal. Add milk and stir just until combined.
3. Drop 1/4 cup spoonfuls of dumpling batter on top of blueberry mixture in pan. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until dumplings have steamed and are firm to the touch, 10 to 15 minutes.
4. While dumplings are steaming, make maple cream. Combine cream and maple syrup in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until cream is stiff.
5. Scoop blueberry grunt into bowls and serve topped with maple cream.

Looking for more delicious recipes? Try our 10 Great Canadian Desserts.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Make Your Own Sprinkles

In my kitchen, sprinkles are a baking staple, and there’s no better time to stock up on this colourful ingredient than around the holidays. The best part about making your own sprinkles is that you can make any colour, shape or size. Experiment with different shapes and even play with flavours, from vanilla to lemon to almond.

sprinkles_5

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes (plus drying overnight)
Makes: approximately 2 cups

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Ingredients:
1 large egg white
¼ tsp vanilla extract or peppermint extract
1 ½ cups icing sugar
A few drops food colouring (of your choice)

sprinkles_2

Directions:
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy, about 30 seconds. Add vanilla extract and mix to combine. Add icing sugar and mix using a hand mixer on low. Once combined, continue mixing on low until icing has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.
3. Colour your icing using the food colour of your choice. Place in a piping bag with a small, round piping tip (#2 or #3, depending on how large you want your sprinkles). Alternatively, put the icing in a zip lock bag and cut a small hole in the corner to pipe your sprinkles.
4. Pipe long, thin strands of icing onto your prepared baking sheet, leaving ½” between each line. Leave to set overnight. Alternatively, experiment with different shapes and sizes, pipe small dots, mini Christmas trees or hearts. Leave to set overnight.
5. Use a small knife to cut the sprinkles into small pieces or break them up by hand. Make them as long or short as you like. Place in a sealed container until you’re ready to decorate.

sprinkles_6

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.

maple_cookies_3

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

Maple-Cookies_7

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.

maple_cookies_5

How to Make the Perfect Egg in a Hole

Egg in a hole, also known as ‘egg in the basket’, ‘frog in the hole’ 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.

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Here, I made egg in a hole two ways; I used thick slices of white bread and sesame seed bagels, both topped with a generous amount of feta, red chilis and a sprinkling of dill.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 2

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

Directions:
1. Make a hole in your bread using a 2” round cutter or the rim of a small glass.
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.
4. Sprinkle with feta, red chilis and dill.

How to Make a Classic Swiss Roll

I absolutely love a Swiss roll —  it’s a versatile recipe that’s easy to prepare, quick to bake and easy to fill. You can alter the recipe slightly to have different flavours or fillings, and it is always a satisfying treat. At its core, this airy dessert is a simple sponge cake that’s rolled with jam, or whatever fillings you prefer! And I always like to add a layer of whipped cream in just for good measure.

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Swiss Roll with Raspberry Jam and Whipped Cream

Ingredients:
6 large eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar plus 1 Tbsp
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
½ cup all-purpose flour, sifted

Filling (optional):
½ cup raspberry jam
½ cup whipping cream

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Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper with overhanging sides.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer on high speed, whisk together the eggs and sugar for 5 to 7 minutes until tripled in volume. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl mix salt and sifted flour. Fold the flour mixture into the batter.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking sheet. Spread into the corners and smooth the top with a spatula. Place in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden and firm to the touch.
  5. Lay a tea towel on the counter and place a piece of parchment paper over top (the same size as your baking sheet). Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over the parchment paper. Flip the Swiss roll onto the parchment paper and peel away the paper from the cake.
  6. Make a slight indent, 1 cm in from the short end of the cake. Using the parchment paper and tea towel, roll the cake into a Swiss roll while it is still warm. Leave the cake wrapped in the parchment and towel until cool. This makes it easier to roll and fill.
  7. Once cool, unroll and place an even layer of jam on the bottom of the Swiss roll. Whip cream until stiff peaks form. Spread cream on top of jam. Roll up the Swiss roll and slice!

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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.

Spiced Monkey Bread with “Spider Web” Spun Sugar

Who doesn’t love a warm, gooey cinnamon bun as a breakfast treat or afternoon snack, but monkey bread is even better! Sticky, fluffy Timbit-like rolls of cinnamon bread all stuck together in a giant loaf — there’s really nothing like it.

This time around, I decided to make a Halloween-inspired, pumpkin-spiced monkey bread covered in “spider web” spun sugar. It’s a great treat for Halloween and the perfect bread for sharing; every little ghoul and goblin will be sure to get a piece.

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Ingredients:

For the dough:
¼ cup butter, melted
2 cups warm milk
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp pumpkin spice
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp quick rise yeast
4 ½-¾ cups all-purpose flour

For the dusting:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp pumpkin spice
½ cup butter, melted

For the spun sugar:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp corn syrup
¼ cup water

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Directions:
1. Begin by making the dough. In a stand mixer bowl, combine the melted butter, warm milk, brown sugar, pumpkin spice, vanilla and yeast. Mix together and leave to sit for 3 minutes to activate the yeast.
2. Mix in the flour using a dough hook or using a wooden spoon if you don’t have a mixer. Mix until the dough comes together and continue to mix/knead the dough for 5 minutes.
3. Place the dough in a large, greased bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise for 1 hour. Once the dough has risen, punch it down.
4. For the dusting ingredients, mix together the sugar and spice.
5. Pull apart pieces of the dough to make small rounds (a couple inches in diameter). Roll each piece of dough into the melted butter and then straight into the spice mixture. Start packing the dusted balls tightly into a greased bundt tin. If you don’t have a bundt tin, use a large and deep, round 9” cake tin.
6. Once all the dough has been rolled and placed into the bundt tin, cover with a towel and leave to rise again for 30 minutes. Once the dough has risen again, place into a preheated 350°F oven.
7. Bake the monkey bread for 1 hour. The bread may leak from your bundt tin, so place a tray underneath to catch any drips.
8. While the bread is cooling, make your caramel for the spun sugar. Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in a small pot. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Boil, without stirring the mixture, until the mixture turns a light amber caramel, about 10 minutes.
9. Remove from heat and let cool slightly to thicken. Using a fork dip into caramel and quickly move the fork back and forth over a large piece of parchment paper to create small strands of sugar.
10. Once cool, lift off large strands and place on top of monkey bread to create spun sugar web.

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: Best-Ever Yorkshire Pudding

My British grandmother had a knack for making consistently sky-high Yorkshire puddings. As a child, I remember watching her throw flour, eggs and milk into a bowl, without ever measuring a thing and always revealing the puffiest, most enviable Yorkshire puddings I can remember devouring.

I’ve had varying rates of success with my Yorkshire puddings. So, I decided to test this recipe multiple times so I could get them just right. These are perfect alongside any roast dinner, served with a big bowl of chili or even smothered in jam or nutella!

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Best-Ever Yorkshire Puddings

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
¼ cup cold water
2 teaspoons hot English mustard or Dijon (optional)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Mix in the salt and a few cracks of black pepper. Create a well in the flour and add the eggs, milk, cold water and mustard. Mix well. Let sit for at least 10 minutes. If there are lumps strain through a fine sieve into a jug for pouring. The consistency should be like whipping cream, if it is too thick, pour in a bit more milk.
  3. Divide the vegetable oil between a 12-tin muffin tray and place in the preheated oven for at least 5 minutes. It is really important that the oil is sizzling hot, almost smoking.
  4. Working quickly, pull the tin out of the oven and fill the muffin holes ¾ full of batter. If you want giant yorkies, fill them right to the top (you’ll just have less). Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. The puds should be golden brown and crispy. If they’re not crispy, they will sink as soon as they come out of the oven.

SONY DSCMiranda 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: Easy Carrot Cake Cookies

Carrot cake is one of my all-time favourite cakes. But when you don’t have time to make a whole cake and you’re craving something sweet, whip up these cute carrot cake cookies. This way you can have a much smaller portion but just as much delicious carrot cake flavour.

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If you’re feeling extra ambitious, whip up some cream cheese frosting, and layer between two carrot cake cookies for a more decadent treat. Cookies can even be scooped into balls and frozen so you can pop them out of the freezer and into the oven when you’re craving something sweet!

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Carrot Cake Cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

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Directions:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Mix in the vanilla. Beat in the eggs one at a time, until fully combined.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until fully combined. Mix in the grated carrots and raisins.
  5. Scoop 2 Tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto prepared baking sheet, leaving 1 inch between each cookie. Bake for 12-14 minutes.

Try Anna Olson’s recipe for cream cheese frosting here.

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.