S’mores Cookies topped with Salted Caramel Sauce

Wow… gooey, chocolately, salty, caramel all combined into one!

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S’mores Cookies topped with Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (I didn’t have any so I opted out!)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips 
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows 
  • Salted Caramel Sauce

Directions

1. Cream butter and sugar together, add egg and vanilla.
2. In a separate bowl sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
3. Add flour mixture to liquid mixture.  
4. Fold in chocolate chips and marshmallows.
5. Roll in to small balls and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes.
6. I used a jar of pre-made salted caramel sauce, and just dolloped a tiny amount on top of each of the cookies while they were still warm.

Brownies!

 Mini Egg Brownies Almond BrowniesIMG_6199

 

 

 

 

I love brownies. If you’re offering, I’m eating. I use a simple recipe most times and add things to spice it up (peanuts, salted caramel sauce, whipped cream, sprinkles etc.)

Brownies

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Combine oil, sugar, vanilla and eggs in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add flour mixture to liquids. Pour in to 9×9 inch square pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  4. [Optional] mix in walnuts/peanuts/pecans before cooking or top with caramel sauce/whipped cream once cooled.

Recipe adapted from All Recipes.

Coffee Buttercream Icing

This is my new favourite icing recipe, sooo delicious!

coffee buttercream

Coffee Buttercream Icing

  • 1 1/2 Tbls. instant coffee granules
  • 1 1/2 Tbls water
  • 1 1/2 Tbls vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 cups icing sugar

Directions

  1. Combine water, coffee granules, and vanilla extract in a small bowl and stir.
  2. Beat butter until fluffy and then add 1 cup icing sugar at a time.
  3. Add the coffee mixture and beat on low. Increase mixer speed and beat until fluffy.

Recipe adapted from The Kitchen is My Playground

Canada Day Party

Recipes

Strawberry Shortcake Skewers

  1. For this recipe I baked an entire plain vanilla cake then got toothpicks and stuck half a strawberry on one end, a piece of cake in the middle, and the other half a strawberry on the other end. Once the cake is baked, wait until it cools then using your hands break the cake apart and mold together a piece for between two strawberries.

Jello Cups

  1. For this recipe I just filled up about a dozen cups half way with jello then topped them with whipping cream and a few raspberry candies. Depending on how big your party is, you will need more/less cups.

Cupcake Toppers can be found and printed here

  1. For the cupcakes I used the plain vanilla cake recipe then topped it with a whipping cream icing. I whipped the whipping cream, then put it in a piping bag with some red food colouring down one side of the piping bag.

Strawberry Punch

  1. For the punch I used equal parts white wine and equal parts sparkling water (or Sprite) and a can of strawberries. Add more sprite or wine depending on your taste.

Simple Vanilla Cake

I use this cake quite often for layer cakes or cupcakes.

cupcakes2

Recipe

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. I always beat the butter and sugar together, then add the eggs, milk and vanilla.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a separate bowl then add to the butter sugar mixture.
  3. If you’re making a cake butter and flour 2 cake pans and divide the batter between the two and bake for about 35 minutes. If you’re making cupcakes divide between the baking tins and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Simple Layer Cake

Tablescapes

Tablescape: “An artistic arrangement of articles on a table.”

Tablescapes are one of my favourite things to assemble because I love planning theme parties!

Below are some of the tablescapes I have created.

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Tea Party

Canada Day Party

Canada Day Party

Lego Birthday Party

Election 2012 Party

Circus Birthday Party

Bridal Shower

Tropical 21st

Small Tablescape -Mothers Day Cake, Flowers & Cupcakes

Nutella Crunch Cupcakes

Nutella

So this recipe is adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction’s Chocolate Cupcakes with Creamy Nutella Frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup softened butter or margarine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Nutella Buttercream Icing

  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine (approx)
  • 2 cups icing sugar  (approx)
  • 1 cup Nutella (approx)
  • Dessicated coconut
  • Mini Crunch Bars

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Line 14 muffin cups with liners. (I just made 12)
  2. Whisk together the cocoa and 1 cup hot water. Cool to room temperature by placing in the refrigerator as you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl.
  4. In a large bowl, using an electric hand or stand mixer, cream the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract. Slowly add the flour mixture and beat only until just combined. In a steady stream, add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.
  5. Fill each muffin tin 3/4 of the way full with batter. Bake for 16-19 minutes.
  6. Make the icing: Beat softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add icing sugar and continue to beat on medium speed. The mixture will be fairly thick. Add the Nutella and continue to beat on medium speed. Depending on the consistency you want (for piping or spreading) add more icing sugar and or butter.
  7. I added about 3/4 cup of dessicated coconut to the icing and then once cooled I topped the cupcakes with the icing. Instead of using a piping bag (the coconut will not go through a piping bag) I just topped the cupcakes with a spoon then added the mini Crunch bars on top.

Classic Vanilla Buttercream Icing

I use this recipe ALL the time for cakes and cupcakes!

Vanilla Buttercream Icing

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 to 4 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Directions

  1. Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add 3 cups of icing sugar. Add vanilla extract and continue beating.  If your icing needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining icing sugar. If your icing needs to be thinned out, add milk. (I usually leave out the milk)
  2. Add any food colouring after the vanilla extract and leave out the milk.
  3. If you are using for cupcakes: a thicker consistency is desired. Scoop into piping bag.
  4. If you are icing a cake: a thicker consistency is not required, just spread with a knife.

Nutella Buttercream Icing

This is my favourite icing by far!

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Nutella Buttercream Icing

  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine (approx)
  • 2 cups icing sugar  (approx)
  • 1 cup Nutella (approx)
  1. Make the icing: Beat softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer. Beat until smooth and creamy.
    Add icing sugar and continue to beat on medium speed. The mixture will be fairly thick. Add the Nutella and continue to beat on medium speed. Depending on the consistency you want (for piping or spreading) add more icing sugar and or butter.

Tips & Tricks

Most people think baking takes a lot of time and effort (and it can!) But I like to keep things simple. Below are some of my tips and tricks to easier baking!

1. Boxed cake mixes are okay. Sometimes I use boxed cake mixes if I’m making large batches or if I am trying out a new icing recipe. I’ll often use a standard vanilla cake mix and top it with say – Nutella buttercream icing or put chocolate chips in the mix. There are lots of fun recipes out there if you just Google ‘Cake Mix Recipes’

2. This is a guilty secret of mine, but I rarely buy the high-name brand products like ‘Cadbury Cocoa’ or even use real butter. If margarine is on sale, I will buy it and use it for cookies or cupcakes. There are few occasions when the best-of-the-best products need to be used. I’m a student and while baking can be cheaper than buying actual treats -I still like to be thrifty.

3. One thing I would splurge on is good cake pans. It’s not necessary but it’s helpful!

4. Always always always grease your pans! I often use baking paper when I’m making cookies or brownies -but I don’t like how it can indent or misshape a cake. If I’m baking a cake I butter the pan then dust it with flour. The cakes never stick!

5. I often run out of certain ingredients or find I don’t have something when I’m about to start baking. I usually just Google search ‘Brownies with cocoa and oil’ if I don’t have chocolate or butter. Or ‘Cookies with self-raising flour’ if I’ve run out of plain flour.

6. On the other hand -if I have an excess of something that’s also a reason to bake! If oranges are on sale I’ll usually buy some and make an orange loaf, or if I have tons of apples or carrots I’ll make muffins! I don’t like to waste🙂

Post below if you have any questions!

-Mairead