Heavenly Angel Food Cake

I love this light and airy cake, but I tend to think of Angel Food Cake as a summer dessert. However, with cartons of egg whites in the fridge this dessert suddenly seemed very appropriate (even if there is still snow on the ground!).
The cake can be whipped up quickly and you certainly don’t need to get fancy to make this dessert a hit. I also discovered that this recipe works super well for a cupcake version! I added some mini chocolate chips to the cupcakes just for fun and it was a perfect little treat. Topped everything off with vanilla whipped cream and strawberries…is summer here yet?Image

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Sweet Heart

Heart shaped foods might be reserved for Valentine’s Day (which I hope was lovely, by the way!), but this quick dessert will taste good any day of the year.

Good news: meringue does not kill poodles. Our silly puppy manged to pull a meringue down from the kitchen counter when I wasn’t looking. These hearts are a little fragile, so make sure you keep your curious puppy away…you don’t want any broken hearts!

The meringue thief. Guilty puppy.

I just took a simple meringue recipe and made the individual hearts by spooning the meringue within a heart shaped cookie cutter on the baking sheet.  Topped with vanilla whipped cream, lots of berries and a drizzle of chocolate sauce this was a light and scrumptious way to end the meal.

For an easy chocolate drizzle, just melt chocolate chips! The higher quality, the tastier it will be.

Capture hearts with this dessert any time of the year!

(XO)llent Sugar Cookies

Valentine’s Day is coming right up (as in tomorrow!), and I love it.  No, I don’t like the overly corny marketing and yes, if you love someone you should show it all year ’round. But despite all the reasons so many people love to hate it, I’m a fan. I mean really, no matter your relationship status, there’s always someone you can send a little special love to. Family, friends, the puppy…all good candidates for getting a shoutout on the day of love. 

Sugar cookies should be simple; the appeal lies in the old-fashioned sweet buttery goodness.  This recipe (which is really an awesome master recipe for about 14 variations — I went with regular and toasted coconut this time) is great for beginner bakers and experienced cookie monsters alike.  These cookies freeze really well, so you can start making your holiday cookies wayyyy in advance! (One day I will be that organized.)

 Another reason why I love Valentine’s Day might lie in my weird penchant for conversation hearts. I know, they don’t even taste that great, but I bet if they were home made they would be delicious! Check out this recipe for the little treats, sounds awesome! http://bravetart.com/recipes/ConversationHeartsGF

You could ice these sugar cookies with some colourful royal icing to make your own conversation hearts; all the fun of a conversation heart in a cookie! Yum.
Want to show someone a little love? Say it with sugar…

A Match Brewed in Dessert Heaven [Dark Chocolate Earl Grey Tart]

I am a tea drinker. It fits all occasions. Early mornings, pity parties, long talks, steamy dates, nights of insomnia, last minute cramming, cozying up on the couch...through it all there has been one man: Earl Grey. Though I certainly appreciate variety in my tea cup, I think the Earl and I have a serious and lasting relationship. What better way to show my love for the Earl than to pair him with another one of my favourite things? Cue a decadent Dark Chocolate Earl Grey Tart.

Dark Chocolate Earl Grey Tart with Earl Grey Whipped Cream

This dessert even got the nod from my mother, and she’s my (most loving) harshest critic! Even if you’re not a big tea fan, the subtle-tea (I promise to stop…) of the bergamot flavoring adds a really lovely dimension to the dessert. As long as you like chocolate, you’re good to go. Something this decadent shouldn’t be so easy to make…

The Ballerina of Desserts

Bursting with juicy fruit and cream between layers of brown sugar meringue, this delicate and versatile dessert is certainly fit for its namesake.  Believed to be created in honour of Russian prima ballerina Anna Pavlova while dancing on tour in Australia or New Zealand (they still debate it), the dessert has become one of my favourite things to make (and eat, obviously!).
This “triple-layer” version of the pavlova is a little more high maintenance than a more typical pavlova with one large meringue and toppings, but it is still easy to make and assemble and the overall effect of the layers is worth it! Recipe and variations

Brownies and Blondies Have More Fun

My twin brother is away partying in New York City, poor child. He is awesome (more on his awesomeness in another post, if he’s nice) and a very cool guy – I love him lots. Not that this defines him in any way, but he has a severe allergy to all nuts. So until fairly recently nuts weren’t even allowed in our house, let alone the kitchen.  Then he went away to work for a couple years after high school and things like tamari almonds, peanut butter, and pistachios invaded my taste buds.  Now that he is back at home, we’ve decontaminated the kitchen and eat any nut products rarely and carefully – he’s not a baby or anything, but obviously we would like to make sure he’s feels comfortable at home! ANYWAYS, I could ramble on about my awesome twin for a while, but the whole point of this is to tell you that since he is away, I wanted to throw some nuts into tonight’s dessert! (Sorry, TShap – the kitchen has been decontaminated for your return!)

Twins in high school

I wasn’t in the mood for anything fancy (read: no delayed gratification…), so I went with some good old fashioned brownies and blondies. I’ve made these several times, but this was my first time throwing in some nuts! I picked red walnuts for the blondies, but left the brownies nut free. With nuts or without, these bars make a great, easy and totally satisfying dessert.

Recipes here!

If you like carrot cake…

…then you should really try carrot pudding!

Carrot pudding garnished with a little lemon peel.

This recipe from the Moosewood restaurant is more like a super moist mini carrot cake. As far as desserts go, it’s pretty darn healthy so go ahead and have a second helping! Check out the recipe!

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Chrismukkah

Ottawa finally woke up to a snow-covered wonderland yesterday after many worried that we would have a green Christmas for the first time in several years. Luckily, Mother Nature pulled through and the white stuff is adding some sparkle to the holidays.

Dunlop exploring in the snow during his first winter.

I’m sure you know how it is with the holidays — you make all these plans, and there’s never enough time. I had a list of recipes and treats to try, outings and decorating plans, but inevitably the majority falls to the wayside as I spend time with family and friends instead of running around…but, really, that’s ok!

A challah wreath with gingerbread holly

Braided challah dough

Although everything is celebrated in a pretty secular way in my house, we do like to have some hybrid Christmas/Hanukkah traditions. It makes for a pretty tasty holiday!

With all the hustle and bustle I will post the recipes later (but most of these treats are just simple munchies)…enjoy!

Letting the gingerbread men cool down.

Dreydl dreydl dreydl, I made it out of marshmallow!

Candycane marshmallow hot chocolate dippers!

One of our gingerbread houses...this one came with Rudolph and Frosty !

A happy hot choco ! (Made for me while I was studying by my awesome little brother)

So Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, have a great Festivus (for the rest of us), and keep warm in this last week of December!

And, if I may be so bold as to suggest some holiday music, this playlist is pretty versatile. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!!

Pucker Up [Lemon Pudding Cake]

The holidays are really, truly, finally here…exams are over! HALLELUJAH! Came home to celebrate by decorating the Christmas tree, hanging out with family and getting busy with organizing for the holidays. Of course, I had to fit in some baking so these Low-fat Lemon Pudding Cakes were made for the first time!

Low-fat Lemon Pudding Cakes

The recipe is here!