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Pumpkin Cream Pie
This is a suuuuper late Thanksgiving post, or an alternate Christmas dessert post, but it’s fabulous easy way to do a non-traditional pumpkin pie.
Ingredients:
 2 cups milk
 2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
 1 cup canned pumpkin
 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
 1 cup whipped cream
 1 (9 inch) graham cracker pie crust
Pecans (optional)
Instructions:
 Combine milk, pudding mix, pumpkin, spices, and  whipped cream in a bowl.  Beat with a mixer till equally combined, about a minute.  Pour filling into pie crust.
 Place in refrigerator until set, about 3 hours. 
Notes:
I placed a little extra whipped cream on the top of mine with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.
Pecans go wonderfully with this and make a nice decorative addition.

Pumpkin Cream Pie

This is a suuuuper late Thanksgiving post, or an alternate Christmas dessert post, but it’s fabulous easy way to do a non-traditional pumpkin pie.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup whipped cream
  • 1 (9 inch) graham cracker pie crust
  • Pecans (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Combine milk, pudding mix, pumpkin, spices, and whipped cream in a bowl. Beat with a mixer till equally combined, about a minute. Pour filling into pie crust.
  2. Place in refrigerator until set, about 3 hours.

Notes:

  • I placed a little extra whipped cream on the top of mine with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.
  • Pecans go wonderfully with this and make a nice decorative addition.
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My second box of Cookies got here today! I was reading when my mom said, “The postman is on his way to the door with a cookie shaped package, Aimee.” I almost squealed. This box came to me from Amanda at thevanillabeanery.wordpress.com They’re wonderful White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies. I have to admit I had them with my coffee today as breakfast. They are so sweet and filling and just all around lovely.

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First off, I am sorry I have been so absent lately. I have recipes and lots of other lovely things to post that I am in the process of sorting out and queuing up right now!

Second off, look! I got my first box of cookies today from the Food Blogger Cookie Exchange! Holy moley are they ever wonderful. Peppermint Hot Chocolate cookies from Christine @ wannafoodie.ca They’re wonderful cakey chocolate cookies with a hidden layer of homemade peppermint marshmallow inside! Next Monday all the recpies are getting posted and I think you should DEFINITELY make these. So fantastic. I put mine in the microwave like she suggested for a couple of seconds to melt the mallow and they were devine!

I mailed out all of my cookies on Monday, so hopefully they make it to my recipients soon!

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!

                  

I am really excited to announce that I am going to be a part of The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! The Swap is open to food bloggers of the USA and Canada.

To find out more, or register to participate, you can see This Post by Love and Olive Oil.

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The Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles are a staple in the cookie world. I appear, however, to have been the only person to have grown up without them in my life. After listening to my friends rave about them for a couple months I decided that I need to see what all of the hoopla was about, and ventured out to find how delicious these are.
Long story short, these are perfect cookies. Nice sweet little sugar cookies with a light cinnamon and sugar coating. They’re fantastic with tea, or coffee, or lunches, or to sneak a handful of them with a glass of warm milk while you watch a movie. It’s easy to see why these are so popular.

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cup of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Whisk together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
  2. Cream together sugar and butter till light and fluffy, scrape down.
  3. Add vanilla and eggs to butter mixture and beat till fluffy.
  4. Slowly add the whisked dry ingredients to mixer till thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Mix sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside.
  6. Shape dough into one inch balls and roll them in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  7. Set on an ungreased cookie sheet two inches apart and gently press down with the bottom of a glass.
  8. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 8 - 10 minutes, or till outside of the cookies are a golden brown and the center is still soft.
  9. Let cool on a wire rack.

Notes:

  • Cookies will keep in a sealed container from up to two weeks.
  • This makes around 4-5 dozen cookies.
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Vanilla Bean Surprise Cupcakes with hidden Dark Chocolate Ganache and Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Cupcakes Adapted from Joy The Baker

Sometimes I really like to cook. A lot. Other times I can go for a week or two without cooking anything noteworthy. That, coupled with my new job explains my lack of posts lately. Also, it’s really hard to cook giant delicious baked things for only myself and my mom. Luckily I have friends. Sometimes we all hang out and I like to bring them things. I like to bring them cupcakes. Mostly because they’re the perfect serving size almost everyone likes cupcakes.

These are nice cause you look at them and go, Oh, what a lovely Vanilla cupcake! Then you take a bite and the hidden dark chocolate ganache touches your taste buds and all the flavours melt together and yo go. “Ohhh.”

Also, have you ever had a Swiss Meringue Buttercream? They are lovely. It’s not overly sweet, there’s no icing sugar. It’s not like frosting. It is light and delicious. I have won over people who HATE icing by topping cakes with this. This is my go-to, and you should try it and you’ll never go back to canned frosting.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature.
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line two cupcake pans with paper cups.
  2. In a small bowl mix together milk, vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds. Let sit.
  3. In a medium sized bowl whisk together all dry ingredients excluding sugar.
  4. In a mixer cream together your butter and sugar till it is light and fluffy. Be sure to scrape down the sides in order to incorporate everything evenly.
  5. Slowly add eggs one at a time into the butter and sugar.
  6. On a low speed, starting and ending with the flour mix in the flour mixture and the milk mixture. Make sure all dry ingredients are well combined.
  7. Divide cupcake batter in among the paper cups. Generally I put in just under a 1/3 cup of batter in each liner.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes till golden, or till a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Let cool for ten minutes in pan before transferring to a wire rack, and let cool completely before frosting.

Notes:

  • Makes 24 cupcakes
  • If you don’t let your cupcakes cool all the way, when you do go to ice/frost them your topping will melt and slide off of them.

Dark Chocolate Ganache:

Ingredients:

  • 5, 1 ounce squares of dark baking chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon of corn syrup ( if you use semi sweet chocolate omit this step )
  • 2 tablespoons of heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Place ingredients into a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Microwave for 30 seconds.
  3. Stir.
  4. Microwave again and stir till smooth.
  5. Place a generous spoonful on the center of a fully cooled cupcake.

Notes:

  • Chocolate can be melted and retain it’s form. It’s important not to over microwave it or it will burn, which is why you heat it in 30 seconds increments.
  • This isn’t a lot, just a nice amount. If you decide to double this recipe you can whisk the ingredients over a double broiler.

Swiss Meringue Vanilla Buttercream:

Ingredients:

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup and two tablespoons of granulated sugar
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups of butter
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Place egg white, sugar, and salt in a double broiler ( or heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water ) and whisk until the sugar has melted and the temperature has reached 160 degrees.
  2. Transfer the egg and sugar mixture to a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Beat till cool and stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes on medium-high setting.
  3. On medium speed add butter a tablespoon at a time waiting till each one is incorporated.
  4. When all the butter is added, mix in your vanilla.

Notes:

  • You really have to whisk your egg whites when they’re heating and mixing with your sugar or else you will have chunks of cooked egg. Not what anyone wants.
  • This buttercream will keep for about a month in the freezer or in the fridge for 3 days.
  • If your buttercream curdles keep whisking it back on medium-high for 3-5 minutes.
  • This makes about 5 cups.

I’m sorry. I’ve been working so much I haven’t even had a chance to listen to the Joy The Baker podcast. (That’s a lot)

A new post is on the way soon!

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Strawberry Freezer Jam
Today I made Strawberry Freezer Jam. It’s delicious and SO easy. Definitely a fanatic way to enjoy your summer berries all year long. I didn’t initially plan for this to be a post, but I had to share it!
Ingredients:
5 cups of crushed fresh Strawberries
5 cups of Sugar
1 tablespoon of Lemon Juice
1 cup of Water
4 packets of Knox Gelatin Powder
Directions:
 Mix crushed Strawberries with Sugar and Lemon Juice, and let stand  for 10 minutes. 
Bring your cup of water to a boil and mix in the Gelatin.
Stir in the hot Gelatin water into the Strawberries and Sugar.  Allow to stand for 3  minutes.
Pour jam into containers, seal, and place in the freezer.
Notes:
Jam will stay in the freezer for up to a year, and is good in the fridge for up to a month.
Other than toast, this would be excellent on Pancakes, Ice Cream, and in Milkshakes.
Recipe makes approximately nine cups of jam.

Strawberry Freezer Jam

Today I made Strawberry Freezer Jam. It’s delicious and SO easy. Definitely a fanatic way to enjoy your summer berries all year long. I didn’t initially plan for this to be a post, but I had to share it!

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups of crushed fresh Strawberries
  • 5 cups of Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of Lemon Juice
  • 1 cup of Water
  • 4 packets of Knox Gelatin Powder

Directions:

  1. Mix crushed Strawberries with Sugar and Lemon Juice, and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Bring your cup of water to a boil and mix in the Gelatin.
  3. Stir in the hot Gelatin water into the Strawberries and Sugar. Allow to stand for 3 minutes.
  4. Pour jam into containers, seal, and place in the freezer.

Notes:

  • Jam will stay in the freezer for up to a year, and is good in the fridge for up to a month.
  • Other than toast, this would be excellent on Pancakes, Ice Cream, and in Milkshakes.
  • Recipe makes approximately nine cups of jam.
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Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Pancakes are so fantastic. Sometimes they even make a fantastic dinner. I don’t think I would have these for dinner though. These are a real treat. Sadly I am the only person I know who enjoys Chocolate Pancakes. Whenever I go to IHOP this is generally what I get. Why should I have to go there to enjoy them though? Can’t I just make them at home? Yep.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Flour
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Fry’s Cocoa Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
  • Butter, for your pan

Directions:

  1. Heat your pan or skillet to just below medium heat, or 380 degrees. Let butter melt evenly on pan.
  2. Sift and then stir together all dry ingredients
  3. In a smaller bowl, whisk Egg, Oil, and Vanilla together. Add Milk and mix again.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into the flour mixture and mix together till just thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Mix in your Chocolate Chips and scoop a 1/3 cup of batter into the hot pan.
  6. When edges of each pancake are nearly cooked, and bubbles stop breaking through the center of you pancake it is ready to be flipped.
  7. Cook for an additional minute on the other side and serve right away, or place in moderate oven till finished cooking the batch.

Notes:

  • Makes about fourteen 4” pancakes.
  • Make sure that your chips are evenly spaced out in your pancake or the dough in between them will not cook thoroughly.
  • When the bubbles stop filling in after they pop in the center of your pancake they’re ready to be flipped.
  • These pancakes are very sweet and filling, I didn’t need syrup at all.
  • Because of the Cocoa Powder in the batter, these guys look like the burn very quickly, but they are really just darker in colour. Don’t flip them too soon or they will be raw in the middle.
  • If your pancakes are burning on the outside before they cook through, try turning down the heat.
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Oven Roasted Garlic

There is a large amount of garlic in my house. Very large. Easily 30 heads. I love garlic and use it in a lot of my cooking, and Garlic is SO good for you. But at a certain point, if you don’t use it, it dehydrates and shrivels and gets pretty gross. You can only use so much of it. I haven’t been in much of a make-a-big-meal kind of mood, so roasted garlic on veggie crackers made a great meal. I can’t lie, I ate 4 heads. My breath is fabulous.

Ingredients:

  • 12 heads of Garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dehydrated minced Basil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel all the outside layers off the garlic except the layer that self contains the cloves.
  3. Slice off the top sixth of the clove. Depending on how it grows you may be able to cut directly across the head. If not, cutting at an angle will minimize the amount wasted.
  4. Mix together the Oil, Salt, Pepper, and Basil in a small bowl and brush generoutly across the tops of the exposed cloves.
  5. Wrap each head in tinfoil so it looks like a Hersheys Kiss, and place it in a muffin tin. I find that the tin keeps helps to keep them upright.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Notes:

  • When you’re cutting the tops off you’ll be left with nearly perfect tips of garlic cloves. A lot of them. It’s always nice to save them for later for cooking instead of wasting them.
  • I like putting the leftover into the fridge in a container and saving it for use later.
  • The garlic is great on Breads, Crackers, or Canapes, and the flavour is much less strong.
  • The olive oil helps to caramelize the onions. A big mistake that many people make is not to put any on and they burn and dry out very easily.
  • Getting the garlic out of the cloves is super simple. Just slip a knife down the side of the casing and it should slide out smooth as butter.