Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo Bars

nanaimo bars
Nanaimo Bar – sweetenuf.ca

Happy 2019!

Time for another sweet treat.  No, No, you say!  You have eaten and drank so much it’s time for one of those crazy green juice fasts or, I know, you’re off coffee, sugar, dairy and gluten.

But really, how long will that craziness last?  Everything in moderation and you will be fine.  Not ready for another sweet just yet.  No worries, keep this recipe on the back burner for an upcoming get together or family event.  Extras can be frozen.  Oh, and they still are great right out of the freezer, just in case!

Follow me on my baking adventures in #cookingwood!!  I’ve got a new kitchen to break in here in Collingwood so follow along on Instagram, sweet_enuf.

Baking Tip:  No custard powder?  You can sub in an equal amount of cornstarch in a pinch and I’d up the vanilla by another 1/4 to 1/2 tsp.  It is a popular ingredient in recipes for the U.K. or Australia.

Nanaimo Bars

Lightly grease a 9×9-inch pan and line with parchment paper.

Ingredients:

2 cups grahm wafer crumbs

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

Filling Ingredients:

1/2cup butter, room temperature

2 cups icing sugar

1 tablespoon custard powder

2 tablespoons milk or cream

Topping:

1/2 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 tablespoon butter

Method

In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, coconut, walnuts and chocolate chips.

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter and add in sugar and cocoa.  Mix until well combined and remove from heat.  Allow to cool until warm and add the egg and vanilla and combine.

Add the graham cracker mixture to the saucepan and mix well.  Press evenly into prepared pan and set aside.

For the filling, using a mixer, cream the butter, icing sugar and custard powder until mixed well.  Add in the milk or cream and mix on medium speed until light in colour.

Spread filing evenly over crust and put in fridge to chill.

For topping, either in a double boiler or in microwave, combine the chocolate chips and butter and melt together, stirring until smooth.  Spread evenly over the chilled bars and let set .

For easy cutting, remove the bars from the pan and using a large knife, warmed under running water, slice into 16 even bars.  Run knife under hot water and wipe off as needed.

Enjoy!

nanaimo bars 2019

 

 

 

Chewy Brownies

Chewy Brownies

Brownies are the quintessential sweet treat.  Chocolatey, sweet, chewy, portable and easy to make.

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Chewy Brownie – sweetenuf.ca

 

A chewy brownie with a fudgey consistency is my go to.  Others prefer a cakey brownie but I find they lack a depth of flavour I crave.  Today’s recipe from America’s Test Kitchen is a sure fire winner with 3 types of chocolate plus some espresso powder to enhance the chocolate flavour even further.

With the freezing rain still falling on this Spring Sunday a batch of these baking would surely lift your mood and make you forget about the howling winds and the fact you still need your long johns.  Start your ovens people and beat back your sweet treat craving with a pan of these.

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Chocolate!  Sweetenuf.ca

 

Chewy Brownies (ATK)

Makes approx. 24.  Grease and parchment or foil line (make sure to grease the foil) 13 x 9-inch baking pan.  Preheat oven to 350F.

Ingredients:

1/2cup + 2 tbsp boiling water

1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder (optional)

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp vegetable oil

4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

2 large eggs + 2 egg yolks

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp salt

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (cut into 1/2-inch pieces)

Method:

Whisk hot water, cocoa and espresso powder together in a large bowl until smooth.  Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted.  Whisk in oil and melted butter.  Add in eggs and yolks and vanilla and continue whisking until mixture is smooth and uniform looking.  Whisk in sugar until fully mixed.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt and add into chocolate mixture combining with a rubber spatula until combined.  Fold in the bittersweet pieces.

Transfer batter to the prepared pan and smooth with an offset spatual to reach the corners and smooth top.

Bake about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.  Remember to rotate pan half way through baking time!

Let cool and remove Brownies from pan.  Let cool further until firm and cut into squares.  Wrap leftovers well.

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Pumpkin Scones with Maple Frosting


Pumpkin Scone
Pumpkin Scones with Maple Glaze – sweetenuf.ca

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you know I love scones and today’s scones are from Sarah Kieffer’s ‘The Vanilla Bean Baking Book‘.  Perfect for breakfast, brunch, afternoon coffee or as a little pick me up anytime I think a well made scone cannot be beat (well, maybe by a perfectly made vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting and sprinkles…)

Pumpkin scones with maple glaze are my new fav and even though this recipe requires a little more labour in the form of folding and rolling and a quick freeze of the dough for 10 minutes before rolling and folding and baking they are worth the extra effort.  The next day they were still light, tender and not the tiniest bit dried out.  With or without the maple glaze they are a hit.

Remember to purchase pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling and make sure the can contains 100% pumpkin not a mix of pumpkin and squash!  I always have a can of pumpkin in my cupboard and any leftover can be frozen, fed to your cat or dog (it’s healthy and they love it) or used to whip up a batch of pumpkin muffins (look under muffins on my blog for a recipe!)

Pumpkin Scones

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree

1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing on tops before baking

1 egg + 1 egg yolk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup unsalted butter, COLD and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Method:

Preheat oven to 400F.  Stack 2 cookie sheets and line top one with parchment.

(Having 2 sheets stacks help prevent the bottoms from overbaking before the scone is completely baked.  Works well for cookies too!)

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt.  In a medium bowl, whisk the pumpkin puree, heavy cream, egg, egg yolk and vanilla.

Add the cold butter pieces into the flour mixture and use a pastry cutter or 2 knives to cut the butter into the flour until you have nicely flour coated pea size pieces.  Add the wet ingredients and mix with a spatula until just combined.

Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface, and knead a few times until it comes together, adding a little flour at a time as necessary, if dough is too sticky.  Pat the dough gently into a small square and roll it into a 12-inch square.  Fold the dough into thirds similar to a business letter.  Fold the dough into thirds again, forming a square.  Transfer the dough to a lightly floured plate or pan and FREEZE for about 10 minutes.

Return dough to lightly floured surface and roll into a 12-inch square and fold it business letter style again! Place the dough seam side down and roll into a 12 x 4-inch rectangle.

With a sharp knife or bench scrapper cut the dough into 4 equal rectangles and then each of those rectangles in half to form triangles.  Place scones on prepared sheet 2-inches apart and brush the tops lightly with a bit of heavy cream.

Bake 18-25 minutes checking half way through baking time and rotating pans, until bottoms and tops are golden brown.  Cool slightly and top with some maple glaze.

Maple Glaze: Combine 1/3 cup pure maple syrup, 1 cup icing sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla, until smooth.  Drizzle on warm scones.  Enjoy!  Wrap any leftovers well and microwave for a few seconds if desired.

 

Chocolate Scones


Chocolate Chip Scones
Tender Chocolate Chip Scones

I’m bringing in 2018 with light tender chocolate chip scones.  These scones come together quickly, in a matter of minutes, and bake up in about 25 minutes.  So turn your oven on and get to work (well its not really any work at all).  I brushed the top of these with cream instead of the egg and sprinkled a little sugar on the tops before baking.

Baking tip:  Use 2 baking sheets so your scones won’t brown too quickly on the bottom before the top is fully baked!

You can easily switch these up by omitting the chocolate or adding in a cup of craisins.  Any way you make these scones from ‘Fine Cooking’ they are fabulous, simple to make and a sure hit!  No more coffee shop scones for you once you try these lovelies!

Scones
Chocolate Chip Scones

Chocolate Scones

Preheat oven to 400F.  Parchment line a baking sheet and set aside.

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

3/4 cup whipping cream

2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten

1 cup chocolate (I used dark and white chocolate chips)

For Topping Scones:

2 tablespoons whipping cream

1-2 teaspoons brown or granulate sugar

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the largest pieces of butter are about the size of peas.

In a small bowl (I used the measuring cup I poured my cream into) stir the cream and egg yolks just to mix.

Add the cream/yolks to the dry mixture and stir with a fork until mixture begins to combine then use your hands to gently knead the mixture together until all the dry ingredients are absorbed into the dough and you can gather it into a moist, shaggy ball.

DON’T OVERKNEAD!!!  This dough is sturdy but overmixing will toughen your finished product.

Prebaked Choc Chip Scones
Oven ready Scones

Set the rough ball of dough in the middle of the prepared sheet and pat it gently into a round about 1-inch thick.  With a sharp knife cut the dough into 8 wedges and brush it lightly with cream and sprinkle lightly with sugar.

Bake about 18-22 minutes.  Let the scones cool slightly.

Wrap leftovers well and don’t forget to warm gently before enjoying again!!

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pumpkin Cupcakes

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Perfect Pumpkin Cupcake – Sweetenufblog.ca

Continuing where I sort of left off on last weeks blog (Spiced Pumpkin Loaf) , as I’m not one to use up my calories on pumpkin flavoured beverages, here is another scrumptious, simple and sweetenuf recipe containing the flavour of Fall…pumpkin.

If you didn’t see this weeks Instagram (sweet_enuf) here is how to make your own pumpkin puree if you prefer fresh to canned.  Cut 2 small or 1 medium Pie Pumpkin in half and clean out the seeds and membrane.  Place cut side down in a baking pan and fill with 1-inch of water.  Bake in preheated 375F oven for 30-40 minutes.  Cool completely and scoop out cooked pumpkin.  Puree slightly in a food processor.  This pumpkin will look more yellow that the canned version and any unused pumpkin can be frozen.  I yielded about 1-cup of puree from a small pie pumpkin.

Now back to these light, moist and mildly spiced cupcakes.  This recipe is virtually made in one mixing bowl so there is no excuse not to whip these up the next time you have a hankering for some sweet pumpkin flavour. Frost these cupcakes with the tradition Cream Cheese Frosting or any of your favourites.  I made an icing with butter, icing sugar, vanilla and whipping cream, which I know is a hit in my house.  Add a little pumpkin pie spice or some cinnamon for more Fall flavour.

For Cream Cheese Frosting:  Using an electric mixer, combine 3 tbsps of softened butter with 2 1/3 cups of icing sugar and mix well.  Add in 4 ounces of softened cream cheese and beat until incorporated.  Turn up mixer to medium speed and mix until frosting is light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Yeilds 12.  Preheat oven to 325F.  Paper line a 12-cup muffin tin.

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp salt

3 tbsp butter, room temperature

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

Method:

In the bowl of an electric mixer put flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and butter and mix on low until mixture has a sandy consistency.

Add 1/2 of the milk and beat until well mixed then add remainder of milk and mix well.

Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each.  Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.  Stir in pumpkin puree by hand until evenly distributed.

Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full and bake in preheated oven for aproximatley 20 minutes until tops spring back lightly when touched or a tooth pick inserted in centre comes out clean.

Cool for about 10 minutes then remove cupcakes to cool completely before icing.

Pumpkin Cupcakes
Pumpkin Cupcakes a la Sweetenuf – Sweetenufblog.ca

 

 

 

White Chocolate Blueberry Scones


White Chocolate Blueberry Scones
White Chocolate Blueberry Scones – sweetenuf.ca

These light and slightly sweet delicious scones can be made with raspberries or strawberries.  I think almost any fruit in season would work with this simple recipe.

My fruit of choice today is wild blueberries, you know the small sweet blueberries requiring no cutting, peeling or pitting!  Only in season during July and August my favourite way to purchase them is frozen.  This allows me to enjoy blueberries in my baking or smoothies any time of the year.

Did you know blueberries have only 43 calories in 1/2 cup and are a good source of vitamin C and contain fibre.  New studies by the USDA point to health benefits from eating blueberries, such as retarding aging and helping to prevent cancer due to their antioxidant activity.  Seems it is one of the highest in antioxidants of the 40 fruits and veggies the USDA tested.

Even without these possible extras, blueberries add flavour and colour to all your baking, whether muffins, scones, pancakes, coffee cakes or cupcakes.  I hope you enjoy this simple and quick recipe as much as I do.

White Chocolate Blueberry Scones

Preheat oven to 400F.  Parchment line a cookie sheet and set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor pulse together several times:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/ tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

4 tablespoons sugar

Add in 1/2 cup COLD butter cut into 8-12 cubes and pulse until butter is pea sized.

Empty this mixture into a large bowl and add 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries and toss gently.  (DO NOT THAW frozen berries if using.)

Combine in a large measuring cup:

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 large egg

Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and fold together until combined.  Fold in 1/2  cup chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips.

White Choc Blueberry Scones Ready to Bake
Scones ready to bake at 400F

Press dough into a circle on prepared pan.  (Note: mixture may be very wet.) Dampen fingers to help flatten to even depth.  Bake for 18-20 minutes until browned and baked through in the centre.

Let cool slightly and cut into 8-12 wedges.

For extra oomph drizzle a little glaze made of 2 cups icing sugar and 2-4 tablespoons of milk over top of cooled scones.

 

Orange Chocolate Scones


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These Orange Chocolate Scones are the perfect breakfast or afternoon tea accompaniment for this Easter weekend or any weekend for that matter.

I made these light and flaky scones one weekend and the following weekend packed up the ingredients to whip them up while out of town on a ‘girls’ weekend.  They come together quickly and the dark chocolate and orange are a wonderful flavour combination.

This is one of the many wonderful recipes from The Vanilla Bean Baking book.

If you do decide to bake them fresh when away from home combine the dry ingredients in a ziplock bag and combine the wet ingredients in a plastic container. Wrap your butter separately as well as your chocolate.  The scones will come together before your oven even preheats!

Orange Chocolate Scones

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup orange juice

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) cold butter, cut into small pieces

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces or use chocolate chips

Method:

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, orange zest and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, orange juice, vanilla and egg.

Add the butter to the dry ingredients and use a pastry blender or 2 knives to cut the cold butter in.  Pieces should be the size of peas.

Add the wet ingredients and fold in until just combined.  Fold in the chocolate.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead (adding flour as necessary) until it comes together.  Pat dough into a square and then roll it out to a 12-inch square.  Now fold it together in thirds (it will resemble a letter) and then fold into thirds again, add flour as necessary to  prevent sticking.  Put on a floured plate and freeze for about 10 minutes.

Put dough on floured surface and roll out to 12-inch square and fold into thirds again.  Now roll into a 12 x 4-inch square and with a sharp knife cut it into 4 rectangles and cut the rectangles on an angel to form triangles.

If desired, brush to tops with a little cream and sprinkle with a little sugar.

Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for approximately 18-25 minutes until golden brown on top and bottom.

Vanilla Bean Baking Book Tip-use 2 baking sheets to protect the bottom of the scones from browning too quickly.

Sweetenuf tip-instead of cutting your butter into small pieces grate your cold butter into the dry ingredients and them combine with your fingers…quick, quick, quick!20170325_114538