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

 

 

 

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

20181020_152053
Banana Bread – sweetenufblog.ca

 

 

Banana Bread, such a simple and easy recipe, with variations abounding.

Sarah Kieffer’s recipes never disappoint and her Banana Bread recipe is no exception.  The light texture, not to sweet flavour, dark flecks of ripe banana and the moistness of this bread are sure to make it’s way into your heart and belly.  It is now my ‘Go To’ recipe and after you give it a whirl I bet it will be your ‘Go To’ as well.

Sarah’s recipe calls for 1/2 cup of toasted and chopped pecan halves but I subbed in 1/2 cup butterscotch chips plus 1/2 cup of walnuts.  If you prefer chocolate chips go ahead and add them in or leave out any additions.  Make sure your bananas are nice and ripe and have your butter and eggs at room temperature for best results.

This delicious recipe is from Sarah’s The Vanilla Bean Baking Book.

Banana Bread

Grease an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan and line with overhanging parchment paper for easy removal.  Preheat oven to 350F.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup pecans, chopped and toasted

1 cup ripe bananas, mashed (approximately 3)

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

Method:

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and pecans.

In a medium bowl combine bananas, sour cream and vanilla.

In a mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium until creamy.  Add the sugars and beat on medium until light and fluffy.  Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.  Add the eggs and mix on medium until combined.  Add the flour mixture and mix on low until almost incorporated.  Add the banana mixture and mix on low until combined.

Scrape down sides of bowl and finish mixing with spatula until completely combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 45 to 55 minutes until the top is dark brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool 20 minutes and remove from pan to cool completely.

20181020_152213
Banana Bread – sweetenufblog.ca

 

 

 

Can’t Get No Satisfaction?! Try These -Black Cocoa Brownies

Can’t Get No Satisfaction?! Try These -Black Cocoa Brownies

Recreating The Bake Feed Brownies
Black Cocoa Brownies

 

The Rolling Stones sing about it, companies make billions of dollars off it, and advertisers convince us daily of it.  What is it?  Satisfaction!

Without even realizing it we are constantly being brainwashed to be dissatisfied with ourselves.  Business is booming because we are convinced we cannot possibly reach our potential without more stuff.

The newest running shoe will make us jump higher and despite the fact we have no athletic ability we can become a super star.  The big brush mascara will make our eyes so incredible we will mesmerize everyone we meet and be hired for some incredible job somewhere.  Don’t have the latest colour palate on your walls, in your shoe selection or your clothes, why how lame are you?  Not having the right colour jacket may impact your ability to secure an apartment rental.  Everyday someone, who will make money and benefit from making us feel less than perfect, will convince us we are not enough.  Not enough for ourselves and not enough for others and if we happen to be content and  satisfied we must not be enlightened enough to know we are lacking.  Wow, how sad, I probably don’t even realize how bad off I must be because I’ve been feeling pretty happy lately.  Does this mean I’m really lacking in more areas of my life than the average Joe.  OMG, maybe I should have bought those plaid pants.  Plaid is in this year, right?  If I have new pants I’ll be more interesting, right?

My therapy for problems of the world (first world) such as this, why chocolate or caramel or peanutbutter or butter or, any combination resulting in a dessert!  Whip yourself up some sweet satisfaction in the form of Black Cocoa Brownies and when enjoying one or three make a mental list of all the things you’re content with.  Number 1 should be the fact you made such amazing brownies.

Improving ourselves is never a negative but not enjoying or embracing what we are in the quest for the unattainable seems sad and a waste of precious time.  Time that, perhaps, might be spent in the kitchen baking up today’s recipe from the July/August 2018 Bake from Scratch magazine.

Ingredients
Black Cocoa Brownies – Ingredients
Dark Chocolate
Folding in Dark Chocolate

 

Black Cocoa Brownies
Black Cocoa Brownies with a little Hallowe’en Sprinkle (Photo Credit @wavesdigitalca.com)

 

Black Cocoa Brownies

(Black Cocoa is Ultra-Dutch process black cocoa which means the cocoa beans have been rinsed in an alkaline solution, eliminating its natural acidity, darkening the colour and making the flavour more concentrated.  Black cocoa has been processed to the most extreme.)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray a 13×9-inch pan and line with parchment paper.  Have an overhang on the sides to easily lift brownies out of pan.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups dark chocolate morsels, divided

1 cup unsalted butter, cubed

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup black cocoa powder

2 tsp kosher salt

5 eggs, large

1 tbsp vanilla extract

Method:

In top of a double boiler, melt 1 1/3 cups chocolate with the butter until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.  Stir occasionally while melting.  Turn off heat and whisk in sugars.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, and salt.

In a small bowl whisk the eggs.  Add half of beaten egg to cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined.  Whisk in remaining egg and vanilla.

Fold in flour mixture until only a few streaks of flour remain.  Fold in remaining chocolate pieces.

Spread batter into prepared pan.  Bake for approximately 25 minutes until toothpick inserted in centre has only a few crumbs.  Cool competely in pan before removing to cut.

Store well wrapped on counter.  These freeze well.

Pumpkin Biscotti

Pumpkin Biscotti

 

Pumpkin Biscotti
Pumpkin Biscotti

Pumpkin seems to be the flavour of Fall here in Canada.  The combination of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove combine beautifully to flavour pies, cupcakes and, of course, the ever popular Pumpkin Spice Latte.

If you love PSL’s and biscotti then you will love this crisp, Fall flavoured treat which can be eaten as is or dipped in your PSL.   And if you don’t bake maybe a little subtle hinting to your friends who do will result in you being their taste tester!

A couple of years ago I tested out several pumpkin biscotti recipes and after a little trial and error this has become my go-to recipe.  This biscotti has pumpkin pie spice for the flavour and NO pumpkin puree.  I found the spice gives the biscotti the flavour required but leaving out puree allows the cookie to crisp up nicely.  I save the pumpkin puree for things like muffins and cakes (check out other pumpkin recipes on my blog).

Like all biscotti these will last in an airtight container for a couple of weeks and freeze well.  Keep these in mind for holiday and Christmas gifts.  They travel well and look pretty in festive cello bags.

No pumpkin pie spice in your cupboard?  Just combine 4 tsp ground cinnamon, 2 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp ground cloves and 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg.  Make sure your spices are fresh for the best flavour.

Pumpkin Biscotti

Preheat oven to 325F.  Parchment line a large cookie sheet or 2 small cookie sheets.

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2-1 tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup chopped walnuts

Method:

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon.

In a large bowl beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy.  Add in eggs one at a time beating after each until incorporated and beat in vanilla.

Stir in flour in 3 additions on low or by hand until mixed in.  Add in nuts and mix well.  You may find using your hands to combine the nuts into the batter works well.

Divide batter into 2 equal portions and shape each into a 2-inch by 3/4-inch log.  Place on baking sheets.  If using one sheet space about 3-inches apart to allow for spreading.

Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes until golden brown around edges (top will still look fairly light in colour).  Remove from oven and let cool 15-20 minutes until cool and easy to handle.

TURN OVEN DOWN TO 275F WHILE BISCOTTI COOLS.

perfect-pumpkin-biscotti-bakingUse a serrated or bread knife and cut into 1/2-inch slices.  Lay slices on cookie sheets and bake for approximately 8 minutes and then turn and lay on other side and bake for another 8 minutes until firm and golden brown.  Remove and cool completely.

For an extra hit of sweet, melt a little white chocolate (over low heat, of course, so you don’t burn it!) and drizzle over cooled biscotti.

Whether you dip or not is up to you but I think you’ll have to agree store bought biscotti cannot compare with these!

 

 

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

Once per year we have a statutory holiday to give thanks, spend time with family and/or friends and expand our waistlines.  I do hope everyone reading this has an opportunity to hug or be hugged by someone they care about whether it’s a friend, co-worker, family member or a loved pet.

For me, baking is my hug to everyone.  Hopefully you will pass on a hug by giving today’s recipe a try and sharing it!

Use real lemons not bottled lemon juice for this recipe for the freshest flavours.  Room temperature lemons will provide more juice than those straight from the fridge.  When zesting make sure to only grate the yellow not the bitter white (the pith) underneath.  If you have lemons you won’t use up quickly, zest them and put the zest in a ziploc bag in the freezer and squeeze out the juice for future use.

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

 Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

Preheat oven to 350F.  Makes 2 9×5-inch loaf pans.  Grease and flour loaf pans and set aside.

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup buttermilk

Zest of 2 lemons

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 cups sugar

5 eggs

Lemon Glaze:

Mix approximately 1/3 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice with 1 cup of icing sugar until pourable consistency.  Add a bit more lemon juice or icing sugar until desired consistency reached. Drizzle over cooled loafs.

Method:

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine buttermilk, lemon zest and lemon juice.

In medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated after each.

Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk mixture, using 3 flour additions and 2 buttermilk additions.  Don’t overmix just beat on low until smooth and combined.

 

Divide batter evenly between pans and smooth tops.  Bake for approximately 45-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted centre comes out clean.  Cool cakes about 15 minutes and then remove from pans to cool completely on a rack.

If desired, when cool, drizzle with lemon glaze.

Caramel Pecan Cake

Caramel Pecan Cake

20180825_215523 (1)
Caramel Pecan Cake – Getting Started!

In the brilliant book BakeClass they refer to today’s recipe as a ‘cake’, perhaps becuase it is so light and airy, but I’d classify it as more of a loaf or bread.  Mostly because it bakes in a loaf pan and has a drizzling of icing not a layer of icing piled on top.

Looking for quick, easy and minimal dishes plus light, moist and sweet, here is a winner.  No mixer required and you can make it at the last minute and not worry about room temperature butter since you use a saucepan!  Yup, a saucepan!

If you have self-rising flour in your pantry you won’t even need a measuring spoon.  No self-rising flour??  No worries, measure 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt into a dry 1-cup measure and top with all-purpose flour.  Make sure to give a good mix before adding to the recipe.

This comes together quickly so make sure your oven is preheated to 325F and your 9×5-inch loaf pan is greased and lined with parchment paper (with an overhang for easy removal).

Pecans would be my first preference for this loaf but walnuts would work great or a combination of pecans and walnuts.  Just bake it up next time you require a simple tea cake or a suppliment with your afternoon coffee.  Oven’s on you say?!  Then let’s get started!

Caramel Pecan Cake
Caramel Pecan Cake – sweetenuf.ca

 

Caramel Pecan Cake

Preheat oven to 325F.  Grease and line 9×5-inch loaf pan.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 3/4 ounces butter, cubed

1/2 cup milk

1 egg, room temperature

3/4 cup, rough chopped pecans

1 cup self-rising flour

1/4 toasted whole pecans – for garnish

1 tbsp golden corn syrup – for garnish to drizzle

Caramel Icing:

Mix together: 1 tbsp water, 2 tbsp golden corn syrup and 1 1/2 cups icing sugar until thick but pourable.  Add a little more water if necessary.  Set aside for cooled cake.

Method:

In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt together the butter, brown sugar and milk, until the butter just melts.  Make sure it is not too hot.  Remove from heat and let cool if necessary.

With a wooden spoon or whisk, stir in the egg and pecans.  Add the flour and stir until just combined.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and smooth the surface with offset spatula or back of spoon  Bake approximatley 35 minutes or until skewer inserted in centre comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan.  Once cool, spoon on with Caramel Icing then drizzle on syrup and garnish with remaining pecans.

 

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle

20180702_161419
Cookie Brittle – Sweetenuf.ca

Today’s recipe share is from Shauna Sever’s wonderful book ‘Real Sweet’.  This simple recipe uses turbinado sugar to give the brittle some brown sugar flavour but keeps the cookie nice and crisp.  If you swapped in granulated sugar you defeat the purpose of the ‘brittle’ as the cookie wouldn’t have the same texture.

The recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate chips but I used a combo of bittersweet and semi-sweet in my batch and I liked the extra hit of sweet…but I’m sure no one is surprised by my sweeter preference.

I definitely should have taken a few more minutes and pressed by dough a little thinner per Shauna’s instructions but patience is sometimes not my virtue!  Flattening the dough to cover the pan is probably the most difficult part of this simple but addictive recipe.

I will be baking up more recipes from this book which features all types of sweeteners, such as honey, maple syrup, frozen unsweetened apple juice, etc.  so don’t forget to subscribe to sweetenuf.ca or follow on Instagram (sweet_enuf) to see what’s baking up!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle

Preheat oven to 350F.  Parchment line a 12 x 17-inch baking sheet.

Ingredients:

14 tablespoons (7 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons

1 cup turbinado sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon fine salt

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate

Method:

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and sugar together until melted BUT NOT boiling.  Remove from stove and whisk together until the butter is completely melted.  Cool for 5 minutes.  Whisk again continuously for 1 minute, or until mixture is thickened and smooth and no longer appears separated.  Whisk in the vanilla and salt. Stir in the flour until well incorporated (no white streaks of flour remain and no flour on bottom or sides of saucepan).  Stir in 1/2 of the nuts.

Turn dough out onto prepared pan and pat it very thin.  (It helps to break the dough up into mounds and place all over sheet pan and then work to pat it all together.)  Just keep working to spread dough over all of cookie sheet.  When complete lightly smooth with an offset spatula to even it all out.

Sprinkle with the chocolate chips and the remaining nuts and press then lightly into the dough with your hands.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until lightly golden brown and slightly firm to the touch.  Rotate pans every 7-8 minutes for even baking.  Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes then using another parcment lined sheet FLIP the brittle onto it and remove the parchment.  Carefully invert again onto a cooling rack to firm up.

Cool completely and break into pieces.  Store in an airtight container.  This will keep for about 5 days but I don’t think it will hang around for that long!

20180702_155315
Cookie Brittle Sweetenuf.ca