Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Blueberry Cheesecake Trifle

  One of my very favorite events was coming up: Ladies Night!  I absolutely LOVE getting together with my besties, most of whom happen to be my cousins.  Family and friends are very special, and when you are lucky enough to combine the two, well, that is magical.
  I offered to bring desert to our get together and wanted to do something different and a little special.  My middle daughter does not like cheese (can you believe that??!!) so, considering she was not coming, I had to take the opportunity to make something I never get to... I decided on a cheesecake trifle.  I added some ginger snap cookies in with the graham and was thrilled with the results.  As I finally settled on this desert the day before the get together, I just used store bought ginger snaps, the next time I will plan ahead and make the cookies first.  Either way, this was delicious!  I hope you enjoy as much as we did!

                                      To make Blueberry Cheesecake Trifle, you will need:
  • 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 ginger snap cookies
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 packages light cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 cups wild blueberries (I used thawed frozen)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
Combine first 6 ingredients in a food processor, blend to crush cookies and walnuts.
Beat cream cheese with lemon juice and icing sugar until smooth, set aside.
Whip heavy cream with vanilla and remaining sugar, until stiff peaks form.
Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture.
In a trifle bowl, or glass bowl, press half of the graham crumb mixture in the bottom.
Next, carefully pour half of the cream cheese mixture evenly over the crust, making sure not to mess up the bowl!

 Add 2 cups of blueberries, then repeat layers.

Refrigerate until ready to serve and refrigerate left overs (if any!) 

So, now you just need to get some good friends (and family) together and enjoy!!!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Bread

It is March break in my end of the world this week, which means I have 3 little girls to entertain all week.  My kids love to be in the kitchen with me, especially my youngest.  As boredom was beginning to set in one day, I was desperate for an activity.  We decided to attempt Cinnamon Bread.  I have never made this before, so it was a learning curve for all of us.  We are all enjoying the end results, but the one tip I have for you is to be sure to roll the dough very tightly I skipped the step of brushing the dough with butter before adding the cinnamon, I think this would help your layers adhere Give it a try and let me know how it turns out!

To make CInnamon Bread, you will need:

  • 6 to 6 1/2 cups whole wheat bread flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 1/2 tsp quick rise yeast, (2 packages)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil (first pressed preferred)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup raisins, optional
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
In a Kitchenaid mixer bowl with paddle attachment, mix 3 cups of flour, 1/4 cup of sugar, salt and yeast.
In a 1 quart saucepan, heat the water and oil until very warm (120 degrees F).  Stir into flour mixture.
 Add eggs and beat until smooth.
Switch to the bread dough hook Stir in enough flour to make the dough easy to handle and knead for 4 minutes, until smooth and springy.
 Grease a large bowl, place dough in bowl and turn to coat.
 Cover and let rise in a warm spot (72 degrees F) for one hour, or until doubled in size.
Grease 2 9x5 loaf pans with cooking spray, In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon.
If using, knead in raisins now.
Divide dough in 2, roll out each half into a 18x9 rectangle.
 Brush each rectangle with butter and sprinkle each with half of the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Beginning with the 9 inch side, roll up each rectangle.  Pinch the ends to seal.  Press each end with the side of your hand to seal.  Fold ends under leaf and place the loaves in the loaf pans, seam sides down.
 Cover and let rise in a warm place for about one hour, until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and bake the loaves on the center rack for 25-30 minutes, until loaves are a golden brown.  Remove immediately from pans and cool on racks.


Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Baked Doughnuts!

  I remember as a child being in my grandmother's kitchen with her, making doughnuts.  She would deep fry them and my job was to coat them in icing sugar when they were cool enough.  I think my love for baking started then.  There was a very special feeling I had, being in Grandma's kitchen with her, chatting and making something yummy.  It was a simple joy that I still feel today every time I bake something for my family. 
Times have changed a little since I was young and in Grandma's kitchen,  I don't deep fry anything, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy the same treats!  Enter Baked Doughnuts!  Sooo light, Soooo fluffy, Sooo Yummy!!  These do take a little time to make, but the excitement on my children's face when they came home from school to find a counter lined with just glazed doughnuts was worth every second!  Nothing can ever beat homemade!!!!
Give these a try, you will be glad you did! 

To make Baked Doughnuts, you will need:
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 2 1/4 tsp quick rise yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
For the Glaze, you will need:
  • 2 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • approximately 3 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • sprinkles!
  Place milk in the microwave for 60 seconds to warm.  Pour into a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook.  Sprinkle yeast over milk, stir and let stand for 10 minutes until foamy.

  Add sugar, butter and egg to yeast and mix.

Gradually add flour, increasing speed to medium high, until dough forms a ball and pulls away clean from the side of the bowl,about 7 minutes. Add a little more flour to achieve ball, if necessary.
Transfer dough to a greased bowl, oil the top of the dough and cover with plastic wrap.  Place in a warm area to rise, until doubled, about 1 hour.
Roll out the dough on a greased cutting board to 1/2 " thick, and cut rounds with a 2" cookie cutter.  Use a 1" cookie cutter to cut out center.  Transfer doughnuts and holes to parchment lined cookie sheets.
Cover with a damp towel and let rise for 45 minutes, until doubled.  Bake at 350 degrees F in the center of the oven for 10 minutes, until golden.  Allow to cool completely on wire rack.
Combine icing sugar, vanilla and water to desired consistency (do not make too thin).  Dip doughnuts in  glaze and top with sprinkles immediately.


Monday, 2 March 2015

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

I read somewhere yesterday that it was National Peanut Butter Day.  Now, I am not sure that it was true, but it doesn't really matter.  It gave me an excuse to run to my kitchen and make cookies!!!  I needed an excuse... My children needed for me to have an excuse.  We are all happy now  :)
 These cookies contain no flour, have 8 simple ingredients, and come out perfectly crisp on the outside and slightly chewy inside.  THE perfect peanut butter cookie!  They took no time to whip up, and served with a scoop of frozen yogurt, were a lovely desert.
So go on, find an excuse and make some cookies!

To make Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies, you will need:

  • 1/4 cup room temperature salted butter
  • a heaping 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (I use Kirkland Natural PB from Costco)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup golden yellow sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
Preheat oven to 350F  (if your oven cooks "hot" like mine you may want to preheat to 325F.)

In a medium bowl, mix together butter, peanut butter and sugars until creamy and smooth. Add in egg and salt.
Mix in oats and baking soda until just combined.
drop my spoonful on a parchment lined cookie sheet, spacing them apart (they will spread)
gently flatten with a fork.
I love my cookie scoop, it ensures all my cookies are the same size!

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until spread out and golden.  Allow them to cool for a few minutes to "set", then gently transfer them to wire rack to cool completely.  

 This recipe produces 20 cookies.  Store at room temperature in an air tight container for 2 days (if they last that long!)