Peaches in Pastry Nests


For a treat that tastes like old-fashioned fruit pie, wrap peach halves in this buttery pastry.
Supplies
baking sheet, parchment paper, sieve, can opener, bowls, wooden spoon, measuring cups, measuring spoons, dinner knife, rolling pin, pastry brush
Ingredients
4 canned peach halves
¼ cup (60 mL) soft cream cheese (see “Cream Cheese”)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) soft unsalted butter (see “Butter”)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) white sugar
¼ tsp (1 mL) white vinegar
pinch of salt
½ cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour (spoon in, level)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) apricot or peach jam
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Also cut another two large pieces of parchment for use in a later step.
  3. Put the sieve over a big bowl. Open the can of peaches and pour the fruit into the sieve to drain. Set the peaches aside. Throw away the liquid.
  4. In another large bowl, use the back of a wooden spoon to cream together the cream cheese, butter, and sugar. Mix in the vinegar and salt.
  5. Gradually stir the flour into the cream cheese mixture to form a dough. Use your hands to press it into a disk. If it sticks to your hands, sprinkle on another small spoonful of flour and squeeze it into the dough.
  6. Use a dinner knife to cut the dough into four equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Place each dough ball, one at a time, between the two pieces of parchment paper you cut in step 2. Place the rolling pin over the top sheet of parchment and roll the dough into a circle about 5 inches (12 cm) across and 3⁄16 inch (5 mm) thick (see “Three-Stacked-Quarters Rule”). Peel off each dough circle and set on the parchment-lined sheet. Roll out all four balls of dough.
  7. Place a peach half—rounded side facing up—in the center of each circle of dough. Scrunch the dough up and around the sides of the peach halves, leaving the tops peeking out.
  8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the pastry is lightly golden. Cool until just warm.
  9. Place the jam in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave at 50% power until runny (about 30 seconds). Dip a pastry brush into the jam and brush it onto the four peach halves to make them shiny.
Makes 4 Peaches in Pastry Nests.
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Apple Crisp



You’ll need a helper to peel and cut the apples, but you get to do the rest of the recipe! Your kitchen will smell so amazing!
Supplies
bowls, wooden spoon, measuring cups, measuring spoons, dinner knife, knife (for helper), 8-inch (20 cm) square microwave-safe glass or ceramic baking dish, baking spatula
Ingredients
Topping
½ cup (125 mL) soft unsalted butter (see “Butter”)
½ cup (125 mL) firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) white sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup (250 mL) rolled oats, traditional or quick-cooking (but not instant)
2/3 cup (160 mL) all-purpose flour (spoon in, level)
Apple Layer
3 baking apples
1 Tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter
2 Tbsp (30 mL) white sugar
¼ tsp (1 mL) ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a large bowl, use the back of a wooden spoon to cream together the ½ cup (125 mL) butter, brown sugar, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) white sugar, and salt.
  3. Add the rolled oats and flour to the butter mixture and stir until the mixture is crumbly and no dry flour can be seen. Use a dinner knife to scrape sticky ingredients from the wooden spoon. Don’t be afraid to use your hands to mix the ingredients together more quickly. Set aside.
  4. Ask a helper to peel and cut the apples into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks.
  5. Meanwhile, put the 1 Tbsp (15 mL) butter into the baking dish and heat in the microwave at 50% power until melted (about 30 seconds). Tilt the baking dish to roll the melted butter around the bottom, or use a baking spatula to spread the melted butter.
  6. Spread the apple chunks in the baking dish.
  7. In a small bowl, mix the 2 Tbsp (30 mL) white sugar and the cinnamon. Sprinkle over the apple.
  8. Sprinkle the rolled oats mixture evenly on the apples. Don’t worry if there are some lumps.
  9. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the rolled oats are golden.
Serves 6.
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Fruit Fritters



First, you have to make a hard decision: do you want to make banana fritters or green apple fritters? They’re both good. The fruit turns soft and sweet in the oven, coated in a golden, crispy batter.
Supplies
rimmed baking sheet, parchment paper, bowl, measuring cup, measuring spoons, pastry brush or plastic wrap, whisk, sifter, dinner knife (if using a banana) or knife (for helper) if using an apple, cooking spatula (for helper)
Ingredients
¼ cup (60 mL) unsalted butter
2 tsp (10 mL) white sugar
pinch of salt
½ cup (125 mL) cornstarch (spoon in, level)
¼ tsp (1 mL) baking soda
2 egg whites (see “Eggs”)
1 banana or 1 green apple
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large microwave-safe bowl, heat the butter at 50% power in the microwave until melted (about 1 minute). Drizzle 2 Tbsp (30 mL) of the butter on the parchment paper. Use a pastry brush or scrunched-up piece of plastic wrap to rub the butter all over the parchment, leaving about a 2-inch (5 cm) unbuttered border around the edges. Set aside.
  4. You will have 2 Tbsp (30 mL) melted butter left in the bowl. To make the batter, use a whisk to stir the white sugar and salt into the bowl of butter. Set the whisk aside. Carefully sift the cornstarch and baking soda into the same bowl. Then add the egg whites. Use the whisk to stir into a smooth batter.
  5. If you are using a banana, peel it and use a dinner knife to cut it into ½-inch (1 cm) rounds. If you are using an apple, get help peeling it and slicing into ½-inch (1 cm) thick wedges.
  6. Put three pieces of fruit into the batter at a time. Using your fingers, carefully roll them around to coat them in batter. Pick up one piece at a time, letting the extra batter drip back into the bowl. Put the fruit on the buttered parchment. Coat all the fruit in the same way. Don’t let the pieces touch as you fill up the baking sheet. You probably won’t use up all the batter.
  7. Bake the coated pieces of fruit for 6 minutes. Get help turning them over with a cooking spatula, then bake another 5 to 6 minutes, until the batter is golden. Cool slightly but eat while warm.
Makes 10 to 12 Fruit Fritters.
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Warm Caramel Banana Sundaes




Serve this warm topping over your favorite ice cream. The bananas and chips soften as the cream and brown sugar cook into a caramel sauce.
Supplies
baking spatula, measuring cups, 8-inch (20 cm) square—or similar size—glass or ceramic baking dish with lid (or foil), dinner knife, measuring spoons
Ingredients
1/3 cup (80 mL) half and half cream (10% milk fat)
¼ cup (60 mL) packed brown sugar
pinch of salt
2 firm bananas
2 Tbsp (30 mL) chocolate chips and/or butterscotch chips
2 Tbsp (30 mL) sliced or slivered almonds, if you wish
ice cream for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Using a baking spatula, mix the cream, brown sugar, and salt in the baking dish.
  3. Peel the bananas. Use a dinner knife to cut each banana in thirds. Then cut each third in half lengthwise. You will have twelve pieces. Use your fingers to roll the pieces in the cream mixture and spread them out in the baking dish. Don’t overlap them.
  4. Sprinkle the chocolate and/or butterscotch chips and almonds, if using, on top of the bananas and cream mixture. Cover the dish with the lid or foil.
  5. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 15 to 18 minutes. Get help checking that the caramel sauce has thickened. Get help removing the dish from the oven. Uncover and cool until just warm.
  6. Scoop ice cream into four bowls or sundae cups. Spoon the warm topping over the ice cream. Eat right away while the bananas are soft.
Makes 4 Warm Caramel Banana Sundaes.

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Fresh Berry Shortcakes



These look a bit like pancakes, but they’re soft, sweet little sponge cakes that go well with berries. They’re best fresh, so eat them right after you make them.
Supplies
baking sheet, parchment paper, bowls, wooden spoon, measuring cups, measuring spoons, baking spatula, dinner knife, cooking spatula (for helper), sifter
Ingredients
1/3 cup (80 mL) ricotta cheese (preferably extra smooth)
¼ cup (60 mL) soft unsalted butter (see “Butter”)
2/3 cup (160 mL) white sugar
1 egg
½ tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour (spoon in, level)
¼ tsp (1 mL) baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup (250 mL) whipped cream or 4 scoops vanilla ice cream
1 cup (250 mL) raspberries or sliced strawberries
½ tsp (2 mL) icing sugar, if you like
  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon to stir together the ricotta and butter. Use the back of the spoon to cream in the sugar. Then mix in the egg and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl, use a baking spatula to mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually, use the spatula to stir this dry mixture into the ricotta mixture. Mix into a stiff batter. Use a dinner knife to scrape sticky ingredients off the spatula.
  5. Use the wooden spoon to scoop the batter into eight equal-sized mounds on the parchment, using your finger to scrape the batter off the spoon. Make sure to keep the mounds about 3 inches (8 cm) apart because the shortcakes spread during baking.
  6. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 13 to 15 minutes, until the shortcakes stop spreading and they turn golden like the color of pancakes. Get help turning the shortcakes over with a cooking spatula and bake for another 12 to 13 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool on the baking sheet.
  7. Put four shortcakes into four dessert dishes. Top each cake with whipped cream or ice cream and berries. Place the other four shortcakes on top. Using a sifter, dust each one with icing sugar, if you like.
Makes 4 Fresh Berry Shortcakes.
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Whoopie Pies


These aren’t pies at all. They’re disks of chocolate cake made into sweet, frosting-filled sandwiches. The ricotta doesn’t taste like cheese—it makes the cakes fluffy!
Supplies
baking sheet, parchment paper, bowls, wooden spoon, measuring cups, measuring spoons, sifter, baking spatula, dinner knife, soup spoon, ordinary teaspoon, dinner knife or palette knife
Ingredients
1/3 cup (80 mL) ricotta cheese (preferably extra smooth)
¼ cup (60 mL) soft unsalted butter (see “Butter”)
2/3 cup (160 mL) white sugar
1 egg
½ tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
¾ cup (185 mL) all-purpose flour (spoon in, level)
¼ cup (60 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder (spoon in, level)
¼ tsp (1 mL) baking soda
pinch of salt
Whoopie Pie Filling or your choice of frosting or ice cream
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, use the back of a wooden spoon to cream together the ricotta cheese and butter. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Use a dinner knife to clean off the spoon. Set aside.
  4. In another big bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well with a baking spatula. Gradually stir this mixture into the ricotta mixture. Use a dinner knife to scrape sticky ingredients off the spatula so everything is well blended into a batter.
  5. Use a soup spoon to scoop the batter and push it off with your finger onto the parchment. Make eight equal-sized dollops, keeping the dollops at least 2 inches (5 cm) apart because they spread a lot as they bake. The tops of the dollops will be bumpy. If you want your whoopie pies to be smooth on top, smooth out the bumps before baking by dipping an ordinary teaspoon in cold water and lightly running the back of the spoon over the big bumps—but don’t squash the batter.
  6. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 14 minutes, or until the whoopie pies spring back when lightly pressed in the middle.
  7. After the cakes have cooled completely on the baking sheet, use a dinner knife or palette knife to spread the flat sides of four cakes with Whoopie Pie Filling, ¾ cup (185 mL) other frosting, or even softened ice cream. Place the remaining four cakes on top of the filling and serve. (You could also eat the cakes plain.)
Makes 4 Whoopie Pies.
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Sponge Toffee Lollipops



Are you ready for kitchen magic? This is the longest recipe in this book, but it doesn’t take long to make! Be amazed as the batter turns into crunchy sponge toffee!
Supplies
2 rimmed baking sheets, parchment paper, bowls, sifter, measuring spoons, measuring cup, baking spatula, dinner knife, ordinary teaspoon, 7 wooden sticks or skewers (at least 6 inches/15 cm long)
Ingredients
3 Tbsp (45 mL) icing sugar
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) baking soda
¼ cup (60 mL) instant skim milk powder (spoon in, level)
3 Tbsp (45 mL) firmly packed light brown sugar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) whipping cream (35%)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) runny honey
¼ tsp (1 mL) vanilla extract
pinch of salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C).
  2. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper. (In this recipe, it’s important to have two baking sheets, since the batter might stiffen up too much in the bowl while you’re waiting for the first baking sheet to cool off. If you have only one baking sheet, ask a friend or neighbor if you can borrow another—then thank them with a lollipop!)
  3. In a big bowl, sift in the icing sugar and baking soda. Mix in the skim milk powder (don’t sift this ingredient because it won’t fit through the little holes of the sieve). Set aside.
  4. In a big microwave-safe bowl and using a baking spatula, mix the light brown sugar, whipping cream, honey, vanilla, and salt. Heat in the microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds. Carefully remove from the microwave, stir, and heat again for 30 seconds at 50% power until the brown sugar is melted and the mixture is smooth (you may need to heat and stir once more to make sure the brown sugar is completely melted).
  5. Gradually stir the icing sugar mixture into the melted brown sugar mixture. Mix well. It will turn into a sticky batter. Use a dinner knife to scrape sticky ingredients from the spatula so everything is well blended. The bits of milk powder don’t have to melt completely.
  6. Let the bowl of batter sit for 5 minutes before continuing with the recipe. Don’t stir it or do anything else with it for 5 minutes—just be patient and wait. It’s very important you do this step because—even though you can’t see anything happening—something is happening to the ingredients that will help them turn into sponge candy later in the oven.
  7. Before you touch the batter, read this step first so you know how to do step 8 properly. The batter spreads like crazy when it bakes so it’s very important to keep the blobs of batter well away from each other and the edges of the baking sheets. Use up all the batter to make seven lollipops. Each lollipop is made from about two spoonfuls of batter. Let the batter spread out slowly on its own, until it stops on its own. Don’t try to spread it with your spoon.
  8. Okay. Now use an ordinary teaspoon to scoop the batter. Use your finger to push the blob of batter off the spoon onto the parchment. Drop another spoonful of batter right on top of the first one. They will spread into one circle. Let this pool of batter stop spreading before you start making another one, so you can leave enough space between blobs.
  9. Drop the next blobs at least 5 inches (12 cm) away from any batter already on the parchment and 2 inches (5 cm) from the edges of the baking sheet. Make three or four pools of batter on each sheet, for a total of seven. Try to use the same amount of batter for each pool.
  10. To add a handle to each lollipop, lay a wooden stick across the middle of each pool of batter. Make sure the wooden stick goes across the entire circle of batter and does not just stick part way into it. The more of the stick that’s stuck into the batter, the better the lollipop will hold onto it after baking. Also, check that the handles of the sticks aren’t too close to the other pools of batter.
  11. your sweet treats } everyday kitchen for kids
  12. Use the handle of the teaspoon or another stick (or skewer) to press down on the lollipop sticks so they sink into the pools of batter. Don’t be afraid to press down until the lollipop sticks almost touch the parchment paper. But they don’t need to be covered by the batter.
  13. Bake, one sheet at a time, for 29 to 32 minutes, or until the sponge toffee is deeply golden. Watch them carefully in the last few minutes so they don’t overbrown. The lollipops will puff up in the oven at first, then flatten out again as they turn crispy. Cool completely on the sheets to firm up before lifting off to eat. Do not touch them before they have cooled. Enjoy and share with others shortly after you make the lollipops because they soften up after an hour or two and aren’t nearly as much fun to eat as when they’re fresh and crunchy!
Makes 7 Sponge Toffee Lollipops.
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Buttery Granola Bars


A bit like granola bars and a bit like oatmeal cookies, too. Scrumptious!
Supplies
food processor (for helper); measuring cups; bowls; measuring spoons; 8-inch (20 cm) square glass, ceramic, or metal baking pan; foil; pastry brush or plastic wrap; wooden spoon; dinner knife
Ingredients
1 cup (250 mL) rolled oats, traditional or quick-cooking (but not instant)
1/3 cup (80 mL) all-purpose flour (spoon in, level)
¼ cup (60 mL) unsalted sunflower seeds
½ tsp (2 mL) baking soda
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
soft butter for foil
½ cup (125 mL) soft unsalted butter (see “Butter”)
1/3 cup (80 mL) white sugar
1/3 cup (80 mL) firmly packed light brown sugar
1 egg yolk (see “Eggs”)
½ tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Get help to blitz the rolled oats in a food processor to the size of coarse salt and pour them into a big bowl. Now you can take over the work!
  3. Use a wooden spoon to mix the flour, sunflower seeds, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of blitzed oats. Set aside.
  4. Line the bottom and sides of the baking pan with a large sheet of foil. Use a pastry brush or a scrunched-up piece of plastic wrap to butter the foil. Set aside.
  5. In another big bowl, use the back of the wooden spoon to cream together the ½ cup (125 mL) butter and the white and light brown sugars until blended. Then mix in the egg yolk and vanilla. Use a dinner knife to scrape sticky ingredients off the wooden spoon.
  6. Stir the oat mixture into the butter mixture. Mix well.
  7. Scoop the mixture into the buttered, foil-lined pan. Use the back of the wooden spoon to press the mixture evenly in the pan.
  8. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 25 minutes. The mixture will puff up during baking, then flatten out again. Cool in the pan until just slightly warm. Get help lifting out the foil together with the granola mixture. Peel off the foil and get help slicing the granola into bars or squares.
Makes about 20 Buttery Granola Bars.
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Filbert Fudge Pebbles



No-cook fudge candy hides a crunchy nut in the center. Boxed or bagged, these make good presents, too!
Supplies
bowls, sifter, measuring cups, measuring spoons, baking spatula, dinner knife, plate
Ingredients
1 cup (250 mL) icing sugar (spoon in, level)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup (60 mL) instant skim milk powder
1 Tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter
1 Tbsp (15 mL) water
¼ tsp (1 mL) vanilla extract
22 filberts (about ¼ cup/60 mL), shells off (also called hazelnuts)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder
  1. In a large bowl, sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder. Using a baking spatula, stir in the milk powder (don’t sift this ingredient). Mix well and set aside.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the butter, water, and vanilla in the microwave at 50% power until the butter is melted (about 30 seconds). Use the baking spatula to scrape the butter mixture into the icing sugar mixture. Stir until it gets too stiff to mix, then use your hands to squeeze it into a smooth fudge-like “dough.” Use a dinner knife to scrape sticky ingredients off the spatula. The “dough” should be soft but not sticky. No dry icing sugar should be left.
  3. To make a Filbert Fudge Pebble, press the fudge firmly into a measuring teaspoon until the spoon is filled level. Push the fudge out of the spoon with your finger and flatten it slightly. Place a nut into the middle, then squeeze the fudge around the nut to seal it tightly (you should not be able to see the nut) and roll into a ball. Make up to 22 balls, using up all the fudge.
  4. Sift the last 2 Tbsp (30 mL) cocoa powder into a bowl. Roll the fudge balls, one or two at a time, in the cocoa to coat them. Hold the fudge balls loosely in your cupped hand and shake off the loose cocoa. Place them on a plate and chill them for 15 minutes to firm up before eating. After chilling once, the pebbles hold their shape perfectly at room temperature. If you plan to give these as gifts, keep them chilled until you box them up.
Makes up to 22 Filbert Fudge Pebbles.
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Double-Chocolate Brownies



Supplies
pastry brush or plastic wrap; 8-inch (20 cm) square glass, ceramic, or metal baking pan; sifter; measuring spoons; bowls; measuring cups; microwavable food cover; heatproof baking spatula; whisk; wooden spoon; soup spoon; dinner knife; if frosting: baking spatula or palette knife
Ingredients
soft butter for baking pan
1 tsp (5 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder for baking pan
3 squares (1 oz/30 g each) unsweetened chocolate
½ cup (125 mL) unsalted butter
2/3 cup (160 mL) packed brown sugar
½ cup (125) white sugar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
½ tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
2/3 cup (160 mL) all-purpose flour (spoon in, level)
2 eggs
¼ cup (60 mL) chocolate chips
Classic Brownie or Mint Brownie Frosting, if you like
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Use a pastry brush or a scrunched-up piece of plastic wrap to rub the bottom and sides of the baking pan with butter. Then sift 1 tsp (5 mL) cocoa powder into the pan. Tip the baking pan around to roll the cocoa over the bottom so it sticks to the butter. This will help keep the brownies from sticking to the pan. Set aside.
  3. Put the chocolate squares and the ½ cup (125 mL) unsalted butter into a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a microwavable food cover, if you have one (it prevents larger amounts of melting butter from splattering). Heat in the microwave at 50% power for 1 minute at a time, two or three times, until the chocolate and butter are melted. After each minute, poke the chocolate with a baking spatula to check if it has melted—melted squares of chocolate hold their shape until stirred. Get help removing the hot bowl from the microwave.
  4. Use the baking spatula to stir the chocolate and butter until smooth. Set aside.
  5. Put the brown sugar, white sugar, and cocoa powder in a separate bowl. Use the end of a whisk or the back of a wooden spoon to mash out any lumps in the brown sugar and cocoa powder.
  6. Add the sugar/cocoa mixture to the melted chocolate and butter.
  7. Add the oil and vanilla to the chocolate mixture. Mix well. Set aside to cool.
  8. Meanwhile, put the flour into a bowl. Set aside.
  9. Check that the chocolate mixture has cooled to lukewarm. Use a whisk to mix in the eggs until smooth.
  10. Use a soup spoon to gradually add a few heaping spoonfuls of flour at a time to the chocolate mixture. Mix well with the baking spatula. Use a dinner knife to scrape sticky ingredients from the spatula. Stir in the chocolate chips. Scrape the batter into the baking pan, spreading evenly. Clean off the spatula again with the dinner knife.
  11. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, until the top is set but the brownies are still soft in the middle. Do not over-bake or the brownies will not be fudgy. Cool completely in the pan before using a baking spatula or palette knife to spread Classic Brownie or Mint Brownie Frosting overtop, if you like. To keep brownies at their moistest, leave them in the pan and slice off squares as you serve them.
.Makes 16 Double-Chocolate Brownies
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Fudgelicious Brownies


[gf]
These beauties are so delectably moist, you could even eat them without frosting. Check that your chips and cocoa powder are gluten-free.
Supplies
pastry brush or plastic wrap; 8-inch (20 cm) square glass, ceramic, or metal baking pan; sifter; measuring spoons; measuring cups; bowls; microwavable food cover; baking spatula; whisk; dinner knife; if frosting: baking spatula or palette knife
Ingredients
soft butter for baking pan
1 tsp (5 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder for baking pan
1 1/3 cups (330 mL) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup (80 mL) unsalted butter
1/3 cup (80 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder (spoon in, level)
3 Tbsp (45 mL) cornstarch
1/3 cup (80 mL) packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp (30 mL) white sugar
pinch of salt
½ cup (125 mL) unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
2 eggs
Classic Brownie or Mint Brownie Frosting, if you like
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
  2. Use a pastry brush or a scrunched-up piece of plastic wrap to butter the bottom and sides of the baking pan. Sift 1 tsp (5 mL) cocoa powder into the pan. Tip the pan around to roll the cocoa over the bottom (you don’t need to coat the sides with cocoa). This stops the brownies from sticking in the pan. Set aside.
  3. Put the chocolate chips and 1/3 cup (80 mL) butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a microwavable food cover, if you have one. Heat in the microwave at 50% power for 1 minute at a time, two or three times, until the chocolate chips and butter are melted. After each minute, poke the chocolate chips with a baking spatula to check if they’ve melted. Get help removing the hot bowl from the microwave. Use the baking spatula to stir the chocolate and butter until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Meanwhile, in another large bowl, sift the 1/3 cup (80 mL) cocoa powder and cornstarch. Use a whisk to stir in the brown sugar (break up any lumps), white sugar, and salt. Set aside.
  5. Go back to the bowl of melted butter and chocolate. Check that it’s lukewarm, not hot. Use the whisk to stir in the applesauce and vanilla until smooth. Then stir in the eggs until smooth.
  6. Pour the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Stir with the whisk into a smooth batter. Use the baking spatula to scrape it evenly into the baking dish. Clean off the spatula with a dinner knife.
  7. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 40 minutes, until the top is set but the brownies are still soft. Cool completely in the pan before using a baking spatula or palette knife to spread with Classic Brownie or Mint Brownie Frosting, if you like.
Makes 16 Fudgelicious Brownies.
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Custards in a Warm Bath


[gf]
The fancy name for these sweet, silky egg custards is crème caramel. They’re baked in a “bath” of water to keep them soft and moist. They’re good eaten warm or chilled.
Supplies
bowls, heatproof baking spatula, measuring cups, measuring spoons, six ½-cup (125 mL) oven-proof ramekins or custard cups (or five 2/3-cup/160 mL ramekins or custard cups), roasting pan or large baking dish, whisk, 2-cup (500 mL) liquid measuring cup or other spouted cup
Ingredients
1 cup (250 mL) milk
1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream (35% milk fat)
1/3 cup (80 mL) white sugar
½ tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
pinch of salt
4 eggs
¼ cup (60 mL) firmly packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp (45 mL) water
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, use a heatproof baking spatula to mix the milk, whipping cream, white sugar, vanilla and salt. Heat in the microwave on high for 1 minute. Get help taking the bowl out of the microwave. Gently stir the mixture to start melting the sugar. Microwave again on high for another minute (do not microwave for more than a minute at a time or the mixture could foam over). It is important to melt all the sugar. Microwave one or two more times, stirring in between, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside to cool to lukewarm.
  3. Set the five or six ramekins or custard cups in a roasting pan or large baking dish.
  4. Crack the four eggs into a big bowl. Use a whisk to beat them until the whites and yolks are blended.
  5. Check if the milk mixture is lukewarm or barely warm—if it’s still too hot, wait a little longer for it to cool down.
  6. Use a 2-cup (500 mL) measuring cup (or other spouted cup) to scoop about ½ cup (125 mL) of the lukewarm milk mixture and whisk it into the eggs. Then pour the rest of the egg mixture into the milk mixture. Whisk until blended. This is the custard mixture.
  7. Ask a helper to help you pour equal amounts of the custard mixture into the ramekins or custard cups. Or, if you want to fill the ramekins or custard cups, ask your helper to pour some custard mixture into the 2-cup liquid measuring cup (or other spouted cup) for you first. The helper can refill this pouring cup for you as you fill the ramekins or custard cups.
  8. Rinse out the pouring cup and use it to add warm tap water into the roasting pan or large baking dish—but don’t get water in the custards! Add enough warm water to reach half way up the outside of the ramekins or custard cups.
  9. Get help putting the pan of custards in the oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the custards are set. Get help removing the pan from the oven. Let cool until lukewarm, about 10 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, make the brown-sugar syrup by mixing the brown sugar and 3 Tbsp (45 mL) water in a clean, microwave-safe bowl and heating it in the microwave on high for 45 seconds. Get help removing the bowl from the microwave. Use a clean baking spatula to stir until the brown sugar is dissolved. You might need to heat it again for 30 seconds to melt the sugar.
  11. Spoon the brown sugar syrup onto the five or six baked custards. Eat while warm, or cool down and then chill for several hours or overnight to serve cold.
Makes 5 or 6 Custards in a Warm Bath.
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Tirami-Moo


A kids’ version of the Italian dessert tiramisu. The cookies are dipped into milk, not coffee, to soften. No baking is required, but you do need to chill this dish for several hours.
Supplies
dinner knife; bowls; measuring cups; wooden spoon; whisk; measuring spoons; baking spatula; 9- × 5-inch (23 × 12) glass, ceramic, or metal loaf pan; shallow dish; sifter
Ingredients
½ cup (125 mL) cream cheese (half of a ½ lb/250 g package)
¼ cup (60 mL) white sugar
½ cup (125 mL) milk
¼ tsp (1 mL) vanilla extract
½ cup (125 mL) milk
¼ cup (60 mL) instant vanilla pudding powder (not the kind that needs cooking)
1 cup plain or chocolate milk
12 to 14 savoiardi biscuits (crisp ladyfinger cookies)
2/3 cup (160 mL) whipped cream or topping (this is already whipped)
½ tsp (2 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder
  1. Use a dinner knife to cut the block of cream cheese into eight or nine big pieces. Put them in a large microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave at 50% power to soften (about 1 minute). Use the back of a wooden spoon to cream in the sugar.
  2. Stir ½ cup (125 mL) milk into the cream cheese mixture. Just roughly mix it in; it will not blend in completely yet. Put the bowl back in the microwave and heat again at 50% power for 1 minute. Switch to a whisk and mix smooth. Whisk in the vanilla extract, another ½ cup (125 mL) milk, and the instant pudding mix. Mix smooth. This is the vanilla custard.
  3. Use a baking spatula or wooden spoon to spread about half the custard evenly in the bottom of the loaf pan.
  4. Put the cup of milk into a shallow dish. Roll one savoiardi biscuit at a time into the milk. It will soften right away, so you should work pretty quickly so the cookies don’t get too soft to hold. Lay the dipped biscuits touching side by side on the custard in the loaf pan. Gently press them into the custard. Try not to leave gaps between the biscuits. It’s okay to break some cookies into pieces to fill in spaces. Use about half the biscuits in this layer.
  5. Spread the rest of the custard on top of the row of cookies. Dip the rest of the biscuits—one at a time—in the milk and place them in another row on the top layer of custard.
  6. Use a clean baking spatula to spread the whipped cream or topping evenly overtop.
  7. Put the cocoa powder into the sifter. Hold it about 5 inches (12 cm) over the loaf pan and tap the edge of the sifter to sprinkle cocoa powder evenly on top. Chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. Slice to serve. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
Serves 8.
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Cheesecake Mousse and Cookie Parfaits



Individual no-bake, chilled desserts that taste like fluffy cheesecake with fresh fruit.
Supplies
dinner knife, bowls, measuring cups, wooden spoon, measuring spoons, drinking cup, ordinary teaspoon, baking spatula, whisk, 6 small glasses (about ¾ cup/185 mL each)
Ingredients
½ cup (125 mL) cream cheese (half of a ½ lb/250 g package)
1/3 cup (80 mL) + 1 Tbsp (15 mL) white sugar
3 Tbsp (45 mL) warm tap water
2 tsp (10 mL) unflavored gelatin powder
½ cup (125 mL) vanilla yogurt (or ½ cup/125 mL plain yogurt plus ¼ tsp/1 mL vanilla extract)
1 cup (250 mL) whipped cream or topping (this is already whipped)
1 cup (250 mL) fresh blueberries
18 vanilla wafer cookies (small round cookies, 1½ inches/4 cm wide)
  1. Use a dinner knife to cut the cream cheese into eight or nine pieces. Put them into a large microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave at 50% power to soften (about 1 minute). Use the back of a wooden spoon to cream in the sugar. Set aside.
  2. Measure the warm tap water into a drinking cup. Add the gelatin powder and stir with an ordinary teaspoon. Pour the gelatin and water into the cream cheese mixture. Use a baking spatula to scrape all the bits of gelatin clinging to the glass into the cream cheese mixture. Use a whisk to stir smooth.
  3. Still using the whisk, stir the vanilla yogurt (or plain yogurt and vanilla extract) into the cream cheese mixture until smooth.
  4. Use a baking spatula to fold the whipped cream or topping into the cream cheese mixture. Folding means to gently mix ingredients without squishing out the air. Add the whipped cream or topping onto the cream cheese mixture in the bowl. Slice the blade of the baking spatula around the whipped cream and under the cream cheese mixture, going in big circles down to the bottom of the bowl and back up again, until the ingredients are blended but still fluffy. This is the cheesecake mousse.
  5. Using a clean ordinary teaspoon, drop a heaping spoonful of the mousse into each glass. Top each glass with four or five blueberries, a cookie, followed by another spoonful of mousse, then another four or five blueberries. Use up all the mousse.
  6. Finish by sticking two vanilla wafer cookies on top of each glass of mousse. To do this, hold the cookies as if you are dropping coins into a piggy bank and stick them into the mousse until they are halfway hidden. Chill the cups for at least two hours or overnight before eating. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
Makes 6 Cheesecake Mousse and Cookie Parfaits.
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Dark Chocolate Crisps


Dark Chocolate Crisps
Thin, crunchy cookies made for munching with a glass of cold milk.
Supplies
bowls, measuring cups, measuring spoons, sifter, wooden spoon, dinner knife, plastic wrap, 2 baking sheets, parchment paper, rolling pin, cookie cutters
Ingredients
¾ cup (185 mL) all-purpose flour (spoon in, level)
¼ cup (60 mL) + 1 Tbsp (15 mL) whole wheat flour (spoon in, level)
½ tsp (2 mL) baking soda
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt
¼ cup (60 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder (spoon in, level)
½ cup (125 mL) soft unsalted butter (see “Butter”)
½ cup (125 mL) firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) runny honey
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
assorted baking sprinkles, if you wish
  1. In a bowl, using a wooden spoon, stir together the all-purpose and whole wheat flours, baking soda, and salt. Sift in the cocoa powder and mix well. Set aside.
  2. In another large bowl, use the back of the wooden spoon to cream together the butter, brown sugar, honey, and vanilla.
  3. Stir two or three spoonfuls of the cocoa mixture at a time into the butter mixture, until all the cocoa mixture is added. Use a dinner knife to scrape sticky ingredients off the spoon. This mixture turns into a soft dough. Use your hands to press any crumbly bits in the bottom of the bowl into the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  4. After the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
  5. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper. (If you have only one baking sheet, cool if off after baking the first batch before using it again.) Also cut two other large pieces of parchment paper.
  6. Use the dinner knife to cut the chilled dough into two pieces. Tuck one piece of dough between the two sheets of parchment paper you cut in the previous step. Put your rolling pin on the top piece of parchment and roll the dough to 3⁄16 inch (5 mm) thick (see “Three-Stacked-Quarters Rule”).
  7. Cut shapes in the rolled dough with a cookie cutter. Lift off the cutouts with a dinner knife and place on the baking sheets 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Gently pat the baking sprinkles, if using, on top. Press the scraps of dough onto the second piece of dough. Roll, cut, and decorate the same way.
  8. Bake, one sheet at a time, on the middle rack of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cookies are no longer shiny. Cool completely on the baking sheets.
Makes about 28 Dark Chocolate Crisps.
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Cocoa Cranberry Crack-Ups


Cocoa Cranberry Crack-Ups
These icing-sugar-dusted cookies stay soft, almost cakey, in the middle.
Supplies
2 baking sheets, parchment paper, bowls, sifter, measuring cups, measuring spoons, baking spatula, wooden spoon, dinner knife
Ingredients
¾ cup (185 mL) all-purpose flour (spoon in, level)
1/3 cup (80 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder (spoon in, level)
½ tsp (2 mL) baking powder
pinch of salt
¼ cup (60 mL) unsalted butter
½ cup (125 mL) white sugar
½ tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
1 egg
1/3 cup (80 mL) chocolate chips
¼ cup (60 mL) dried cranberries or dried cherries
½ cup (125 mL) icing sugar (spoon in, level)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper. (If you have only one baking sheet, after baking the first batch let the sheet cool before using it again.)
  3. In a big bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Mix with a baking spatula and set aside.
  4. In another large, microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter in the microwave at 50% power (about 1 minute). Use a wooden spoon to blend in the white sugar and vanilla. Mix in the egg.
  5. Pour the cocoa mixture into the butter mixture. Mix until you have an evenly colored cocoa dough. Use a dinner knife to scrape sticky ingredients off the wooden spoon. Stir in the chocolate chips and dried cranberries or cherries. Test the dough by pressing on it. If the dough sticks to your fingers, let it sit on the counter for 5 or 10 minutes to firm up. It will get less sticky.
  6. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Set aside.
  7. Press the dough into level tablespoons. Push the dough out of the spoon with your finger and roll it into a ball. Roll each ball in the icing sugar to cover completely. Hold the balls loosely in your cupped hand and shake off the bigger lumps of sugar. Place the balls on the parchment. Make 20 sugar-covered balls.
  8. Next, roll each ball a second time in the icing sugar. Shake off the extra sugar. Place the balls about 2 inches (5 cm) apart on the baking sheets. Put ten on each sheet.
  9. Bake, one sheet at a time for 10 minutes, until small cracks appear on the cookies. Cool completely before eating.
Makes 20 Cocoa Cranberry Crack-Ups.
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Sweet Date Pockets


Tuck dried dates and white chocolate inside an envelope of pastry dough. These are best when they’re lukewarm and the date is soft and sticky.
Supplies
baking sheet, parchment paper, kitchen scissors, bowl, wooden spoon, measuring cups, measuring spoons, dinner knife, rolling pin, 3-inch (8 cm) round cookie cutter
Ingredients
8 pitted, dried dates (regular-sized dates, not the larger Medjool dates)
1/3 cup (80 mL) soft cream cheese (not low-fat or fat-free) (see “Cream Cheese”)
¼ cup (60 mL) soft unsalted butter (see “Butter”)
¼ cup (60 mL) white sugar
1 egg white (see “Eggs”)
½ tsp (2 mL) white vinegar
½ tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour (spoon in, level)
16 white chocolate baking wafers
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Also cut two other large pieces of parchment.
  2. Use kitchen scissors to cut the dates in half lengthwise—that means into two long halves, not two short ones. Ask a helper to explain if you don’t know what this means. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, use the back of a wooden spoon to cream together the cream cheese, butter, and sugar. Mix in the egg white, vinegar, vanilla, and salt until smooth.
  4. Gradually stir the flour into the cream cheese mixture to form a soft dough. Use a dinner knife to scrape sticky ingredients off the spoon. When it gets too stiff to stir, use your hands to press any crumbly bits into the dough—keeping the dough in the bowl. The dough will be soft but not sticky.
  5. Use the dinner knife to cut the dough into two equal-sized pieces. Place one piece between the two sheets of parchment you cut in step 1. Put your rolling pin on the top piece of parchment and roll out the dough to 3⁄16 inch (5 mm) thick (see “Three-Stacked-Quarters Rule”).
  6. Use the cookie cutter to cut circles in the dough. The circles can be touching, but not overlapping.
  7. Place a white chocolate wafer in the middle of each circle of dough, then put a date half on top of each wafer. Use a dinner knife to help you lift up the edges of the dough. Pull two opposite sides of the circle of dough over the date and tightly pinch the edges shut (this is easiest to do if you pull up the dough along the length of the date, not its width). You will end up with half-moon-shaped pockets. Set them onto the baking sheet about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Squeeze together the dough scraps and set aside.
  8. Make more Sweet Date Pockets with the second piece of dough and set them on the parchment. Squeeze together all your dough scraps, roll them out and make a few more of the cookies. Place them on the parchment, too. You should have 15 or 16 Sweet Date Pockets.
  9. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until they have just a few golden touches. Cool on the baking sheet until lukewarm before eating.
Makes 15 or 16 Sweet Date Pockets.
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glossy cookie glaze

glossy cookie glaze


[gf]
Brush or spoon this glaze onto any baked, rolled cookies such as Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies or Sugar Delights. The glaze hardens into a glossy coating after a few minutes at room temperature. 
Supplies
sifter; measuring cup; bowl; baking spatula; measuring spoons; small dishes; small, clean paintbrush or ordinary teaspoon
Ingredients
1 1/3 cups (330 mL) icing sugar (spoon in, level)
1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
1 Tbsp (15 mL) milk
food colorings1.Sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Using a baking spatula, stir in the lemon juice and milk until smooth. The glaze should be the thickness of white glue. Sift and mix in a spoonful more icing sugar to thicken or a few more drops of milk if the glaze is too thick to spread.2.To tint the glaze different colors, spoon out portions into small dishes and stir a drop of food coloring into each dish.3.With a small, clean paintbrush or ordinary teaspoon, spread glaze on the cookies, using a clean brush or spoon for each color. Leave the glazed cookies to dry.
Makes enough to glaze about 24 cookies.

1.Sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Using a baking spatula, stir in the lemon juice and milk until smooth. The glaze should be the thickness of white glue. Sift and mix in a spoonful more icing sugar to thicken or a few more drops of milk if the glaze is too thick to spread.

2.To tint the glaze different colors, spoon out portions into small dishes and stir a drop of food coloring into each dish.

3.With a small, clean paintbrush or ordinary teaspoon, spread glaze on the cookies, using a clean brush or spoon for each color. Leave the glazed cookies to dry.

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Cinnamoons

Cinnamoons

Each bite is different because these cookies join together two kinds of dough: cinnamon-ginger and spicy cocoa.
Supplies
2 baking sheets, parchment paper, bowls, sifter, measuring cups, measuring spoons, baking spatula, wooden spoon, dinner knife
Ingredients
1¼ cups (310 mL) all-purpose flour (spoon in, level)
2 tsp (10 mL) ground cinnamon
½ tsp (2 mL) baking soda
½ tsp (2 mL) ground ginger
¼ tsp (1 mL) ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt
½ cup (125 mL) soft unsalted butter (see “Butter”)
1/3 cup (80 mL) packed brown sugar
1/3 cup (80 mL) white sugar
¼ cup (60 mL) molasses (any type you have)
1 egg yolk (see “Eggs”)
½ tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
2 Tbsp (30 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper. (If you have only one baking sheet, this recipe will still work fine, but after baking the first batch you will need to let the sheet cool before refilling it with the second batch of cookie dough.)
  3. Into a large bowl, sift the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Mix well with a baking spatula.
  4. In another large bowl, use a wooden spoon to cream together the butter and the brown and white sugars. Mix in the molasses, egg yolk, and vanilla. Do not add the cocoa powder yet.
  5. To make the cinnamon-ginger dough, add half the flour mixture to all of the butter mixture and stir until most of the flour is blended in. Then stir in the rest of the flour mixture. Mix well. Use a dinner knife to scrape sticky ingredients from the wooden spoon.
  6. For plain cinnamon-ginger cookies, you can use the dough (as it is now) and skip to step 9. But to make Cinnamoons, spoon out about half the dough into another bowl. Sift 2 Tbsp (30 mL) cocoa powder into one of the bowls. Mix well into the dough. Now you will have one bowl of cinnamon-ginger dough and a second bowl with spicy cocoa dough.
  7. Use a tablespoon to scoop into the cocoa dough; fill the spoon about halfway, then scoop the same half-filled spoon into the cinnamon-ginger dough and fill the spoon to the top (level, not mounded). Each cookie will have a slightly different-looking swirl of the two doughs.
  8. Drop the dough—in one lump—onto the parchment-lined baking sheet, using your finger to gently pull the lump of dough out of the spoon; it’s easiest if you pull at the edges and not the middle of the dough. Continue scooping the two kinds of dough into one spoon and dropping the mounds onto the parchment. Drop the mounds of dough 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Don’t flatten the dough. The cookies spread as they bake.
  9. Fill up two baking sheets with 28 mounds of dough. Bake, one sheet at a time, on the middle rack of the oven for 11 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies have spread out, puffed up, and settled back down again. Cool on baking sheets until firm before eating.
Makes 28 Cinnamoons.
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Chocolate Chippers

Chocolate Chippers

Honey-kissed whole wheat cookies with a little extra crunch!
Supplies
2 baking sheets, parchment paper, bowls, baking spatula, measuring cups, measuring spoons, wooden spoon, ordinary teaspoon, dinner knife
Ingredients
2/3 cup (160 mL) whole wheat flour (spoon in, level)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour
¼ tsp (1 mL) baking soda
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt
¼ cup (60 mL) soft unsalted butter (see “Butter”)
¼ cup (60 mL) firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp (30 mL) runny honey
1 egg yolk (see “Eggs”)
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
1/3 cup (80 mL) chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper. (If you have only one baking sheet, after baking the first batch let the sheet cool before refilling it with the second batch of cookie dough.)
  3. In a bowl and using a baking spatula, mix the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In another large bowl, use the back of a wooden spoon to cream together the butter, brown sugar, and honey. Mix in the egg yolk and vanilla, but don’t add the chocolate chips yet.
  5. Using an ordinary teaspoon, gradually add spoonfuls of the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until blended, using a dinner knife to scrape off sticky ingredients. Mix in the chocolate chips.
  6. Use the teaspoon to scoop walnut-sized mounds of dough onto the parchment-lined baking sheets, pushing the dough off with your finger so the mounds are about 2 inches (5 cm) apart from each other. Make ten mounds on each sheet.
  7. Bake on the middle rack of the oven, one sheet at a time, for 11 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden at the edges. Cool cookies at least 5 minutes on the sheets before eating.
Makes 20 Chocolate Chippers.
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Cheese Pizza Muffins

 Cheese Pizza Muffins
Cheese Pizza Muffins

These are not sweet muffins. Instead, they taste like cheese pizza. Enjoy them buttered like rolls or cut them open to make little sandwiches.
Supplies
12 paper cupcake liners, 12-cup muffin pan, bowls, measuring cups, measuring spoons, baking spatula, whisk, dinner knife, ordinary teaspoon
Ingredients
2/3 cup (160 mL) milk
¼ cup (60 mL) unsalted butter
1½ cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour (spoon in, level)
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
1½ tsp (7 mL) dried Italian seasoning or oregano
1½ tsp (7 mL) white sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) chili powder
½ tsp (2 mL) garlic salt
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
¼ tsp (1 mL) baking soda
½ cup (125 mL) pre-grated cheddar cheese
2 eggs
1/3 cup (80 mL) tomato sauce
1 Tbsp (15 mL) Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Place paper cupcake liners in 12 muffin cups.
  3. In a large microwave-safe bowl, heat the milk and butter in the microwave at 50% power until the butter is melted (about 1 minute). Set aside.
  4. In another big bowl, use a baking spatula to mix the flour, baking powder, Italian seasoning or oregano, sugar, chili powder, garlic salt, salt, baking soda, and cheddar cheese. Set aside.
  5. Go back to the milk mixture. Pour it into the flour mixture.
  6. Crack two eggs into the empty bowl that was used for the milk mixture. Use a whisk to mix the egg whites and yolks together. Pour the eggs into the bowl with the flour mixture. Use the baking spatula to mix until no more dry flour can be seen and the eggs are mixed in. Use a dinner knife to scrape sticky ingredients off the spatula. This is the batter.
  7. Pour the tomato sauce onto the batter, but do not stir normally. Instead, use the baking spatula to stir only once or twice around the bowl. Just make streaks of tomato sauce in the batter. Don’t mix it in completely.
  8. Use an ordinary teaspoon to scoop up the batter. Push it off the spoon with your finger into the 12 lined cups. Fill the cups evenly.
  9. Hold the tablespoon of Parmesan cheese over the cups of batter and lightly tap the side of the spoon so a sprinkling of cheese falls on top of the batter.
  10. Bake for 25 to 27 minutes, until the muffins are golden. Cool to lukewarm in the pans before eating.
Makes 12 Cheese Pizza Muffins.
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