Monthly Archives: November 2013

  • The Pioneer Woman’s French breakfast puffs The Pioneer Woman’s French breakfast puffs

    The Pioneer Woman’s French breakfast puffs

The Pioneer Woman’s French breakfast puffs

I keep calling these donut puffs but they are anything but. Despite their donut hole-like appearance, they are slightly larger, and these are more like a super-dense muffin, heavy and loaded with sugar and butter. Not surprising, since they come to me by way of The Pioneer Woman. I know she first learned how to make them in her French class, but I don’t see what is French about them at all. That’s fine, however, because these are delicious and positively celebratory. I made a batch of these for my son’s first breakfast brunch. Brunch is my favourite meal and the best meal to showcase my baking and entertaining abilities I would say. While I didn’t make these at the last minute, I made sure to warm them just a touch before serving them. You really need to love cinnamon to enjoy this recipe, and if you are one of […]

  • The ultimate cookie swap addition: Chef Michael Smith’s Sparkle Cookies The ultimate cookie swap addition: Chef Michael Smith’s Sparkle Cookies

    The ultimate cookie swap addition: Chef Michael Smith’s Sparkle Cookies

The ultimate cookie swap addition: Chef Michael Smith’s Sparkle Cookies

If you’re like me and attend a holiday cookie swap every year, these sparkle cookies should be in your repertoire. I purchased Michael Smith’s latest book and when I got to the back of the book, the desserts section, I was rather somewhat taken aback to read that the sparkle cookies were among the best he had ever baked. Really? Ever? They seemed nice enough, but… best? But Michael Smith, to me, is one of those voices I unreservedly trust. His recipes are always perfection and turn out beautifully. On a more savoury note, I have also made several other recipes from that book “Back to Basics” and they were all A+. If you are a fan like I am, you might know he has many of his recipes online, but not all of the ones in his latest tome are readily available – so, yes, buy the book! As […]

  • Cinnamon rice-pudding with cherry compote Cinnamon rice-pudding with cherry compote

    Cinnamon rice-pudding with cherry compote

Cinnamon rice-pudding with cherry compote

It all began with a recipe for Ottolenghi’s chocolate-dipped florentines I saw on another blog. My curiosity was piqued and I first purchased the Jerusalem cookbook, in which Yotam Ottolenghi teams up with his friend and co-owner of his restaurants, Sami Tamim. The flavours in that book are very, very familiar to me. As the daughter of a Jerusalem-born Armenian, and the wife of a Lebanese-born Armenian, the recipes in this book use very familiar flavour combinations and ingredients and reinvent those comforting childhood favourites to something almost magical. It might seem like I’m waxing poetic here, unnecessarily, but I’ve been working my way through that cookbook and it is nothing short of amazing. I have since gone on to purchase the Plenty cookbook and the eponymous cookbook, Ottolenghi. But I relate the most of all to the book, “Jerusalem” and this recipe for cinnamon rice-pudding is the perfect example […]

  • Chocolate sprinkle-covered acorn donuts Chocolate sprinkle-covered acorn donuts

    Chocolate sprinkle-covered acorn donuts

Chocolate sprinkle-covered acorn donuts

This one is a true Pinterest success. You don’t hear that very often these days, do you? I find I have more Pinterest successes than failures simply because I don’t aim too high – that’s not true of my philosophy for life but when it comes to replicating something I’ve seen online I’m careful not to get too ambitious. I hosted some family members at our house for my husband’s 35th birthday the other day and I made him the cake he requested, and served it alongside some other appetizer-type foods but I really wanted to do one more dessert which wouldn’t eat up several hours of my time. Enter the acorn donut. Seasonal. Easy. Crowd-pleaser…. Perfect. We picked up two dozen old-fashioned glazed Timbits from Tim Hortons that morning, and I already I had a tub of ready-made chocolate frosting, chocolate sprinkles and pretzel sticks on hand. Using a […]

  • Gingerbread mini donuts with maple frosting Gingerbread mini donuts with maple frosting

    Gingerbread mini donuts with maple frosting

Gingerbread mini donuts with maple frosting

I love, love, love the idea of gingerbread with maple. If it’s mini, it’s wormed it’s way into my heart. To give you some context, these mini donuts are about half the diameter of a tennis ball. These smell divine and they’re different from the same-old, same-old holiday desserts. (Santa-hat cheesecake squares, anyone? Despite the novelty last year, I soon tired of seeing them all over Pinterest). Besides, I’d be thrilled to receive these as a hostess gift, and I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one! (If you like the waxed paper, it’s handmade from our design studio, Frost and Fete, on Etsy. Sooo, cute right?) You can find the recipe here but do keep reading for my caveats and substitutions. Substitutions: I just used regular white flour. I also used a donut maker rather than bake them in the oven. I’ve used the same Smart Planet mini donut […]