Thursday, October 24, 2013

Another Little Addition to the Pumpkin Patch!

Hello Sweets,

Fall is in full swing in Ontario, which means bright and beautiful colored leaves.  I should probably take a picture so y'all can really understand my favorite part of colder weather.  The other thing I love about fall is all the fruits and veggies that become a staple on our dinner table, and we all know I have a not so secret love affair with pumpkin!

Do you know how many batches of pumpkin cupcakes I've made in the last two months?  I've made three batches, which is 72 cupcakes!  Crazy right?  Needless to say I felt the need to go outside of the box when I was left with extra pumpkin purée.  Last year I experimented with pumpkin pancakes, and they are the epitome of a fall breakfast food.  They are full of flavor, heavier than traditional pancakes so they're filling, and the spiciness is warm and reflection of fall.  However, that is not what I wanted to do, I wanted to bring y'all something new :)  I've been seeing a lot of pumpkin cookies popping up all over Facebook and Pinterest, but I hadn't seen one that really peaked my interest.  That is until last night, thank you insomnia lol finally a plus side!!

Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
2C flour
1 1/3C rolled oats (not quick!)
1 1/4tsp baking powder
1 1/2tsp cinnamon
1tsp ginger
1tsp salt
1/2tsp nutmeg
1/2tsp allspice, heaping
1C butter, room temperature
1C packed dark brown sugar
1C sugar 
1 large egg, room temperature 
1tsp vanilla
1 3/4C pumpkin purée
1 1/2C icing sugar
3Tbs + 1tsp milk
2Tbs maple syrup
1)  Preheat oven to 350F, arrange oven racks so it's split into thirds.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside. 

2)  Whisk flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, and allspice in a medium bowl to aerate and break up any lumps; set aside. 

3)  Place the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer, fit with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about five minutes. 

4)  Add the egg and vanilla, beating until fully incorporated about thirty seconds. 

5)  On low speed, add half of the flour mixture and mix well. Add 1/2 the pumpkin purée and mix until just incorporated.  Repeat with the remain in flour and pumpkin.

6)  Drop 8 dough rounds per baking sheet 2" apart on prepared sheets.  Put remaining dough in the refrigerator. 

7)  Bake for 12 minutes, rotate the pans from top to bottom and front to back until the cookies are golden brown on the bottom and sides, about 12 more minutes. 

8)  Cool on baking sheets for three minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Let baking sheets cool to room temperature before repeating with remaining cookie dough. Set cookies on parchment paper once cooled.

9)  Place all the glaze ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk until evenly combined.
10)  Dip fork in glaze and drizzle over cookies in a zigzag pattern. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes to allow the glaze to set before storing. 

These cookies are so delicious, full body flavor, spiciness, and soft chewy goodness.  I think from now on I'll make cupcakes and cookies, that should be a nice balance.  Might I dare even say these may be my new favorite cookie ;)  Ah who am I kidding, I'm a shortbread girl all the way lol!

Over the next few days I will be making some of my favorite cookies, so my posts will be shorter and random while recreating tried and true recipes.  I'll even be making a must have snack for Nathan ;)

I forgot to mention Nathan is coming to Canada this weekend!!!!!!!!!!  Can you tell I'm excited lol, I cannot wait to see him and be in his arms.  We have a jam packed couple of days, typical dinner/lunch with the grandparents.  Then on Sunday I am being baptized :) and I am very excited for all the important people in my life to be sharing that day with me, after we will all be heading out to one of my favorite restaurants, The Bungalow.  Ooooohhhh I am going to do a foodie review =)  Then we're hoping to spend some time with my mom and her husband before we jet off Monday back to my home in Texas!  I am a happy girl right now and nothing will take that away from me ;)  Until next time....

Stay sweet,

Jennifer xoxoxo

Monday, October 21, 2013

I'mmmmmm back...with muffins!

Hello Sweets,

Well I did it, I mustered up the energy to bake a little somethin' somethin' ;)   I honestly still don't feel too awesome, but my soul mate is coming in this week so I need to have some goodies made for him.  Yes I know I spoil him rotten but he does the same for me so I can't complain, but I wouldn't anyways because I love it, and him!!!!!

So the title of the post sort of gives away what I'm going to share with y'all, but it's delicious none the less so I'm sure you'll read all the way through :)   Here in good ol' Canadia, instead of Dunkin' donuts we have Tim Horton's!  They have delicious coffee and treats, and one of my favorite treats is there chocolate chip muffins. Now I know what you're thinking, what's so great about a chocolate chip muffin?  Normally nothing lol, but these are topped with coarse sugar that give it a little caramelized sweetness :)   So when I came across this little gem of a recipe, I knew I had to make them. 

Chocolate Chip Muffins
2c flour
3/4c mini chocolate chips (I may have added a little more lol)
1/2c sugar
1Tbs baking powder
1/2tsp salt
3/4c milk
1/3c coconut oil
1 large egg
2Tbs brown sugar
3Tbs coarse sugar


1)  Preheat oven to 400F.  Spray muffin cups with non-stick cooking spray or line with paper. 

2)  Combine flour, chocolate chips, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and mix well.

3)  Combine the milk, coconut oil, and egg in a medium bowl and mix well.

4)  Add milk mixture to flour mixture and stir until just moistened.  Fill cups 2/3 full.

5)  Combine remaining sugars in a small bowl and mix well.  Sprinkle on top of batter.


6)  Bake muffins until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Cool in pan for about a minute.

These little yummy treats are just what I was hoping for ;)  A delicious little snack, that's not to chocolaty or sweet.  They taste better than the Tim Horton's one, sorry Tim's lol.
an up close picture so you can see the texture created with coarse sugar

Now I have to plan some other little surprise for my love, but since he is my editor and reads my blog, I will not be able to share them with y'all.  Not right away anyways lol.  Maybe I'll do a mash up post while he's on the plane :) sneaky sneaky.  For now I have some household chores to get to :p  Until next time....

Stay sweet,

Jennifer xoxoxo

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Hello Sweets,

So I haven't been baking too much lately :(   But that's because I baked a whole bunch only a few days ago lol, and I've currently got something in the oven right now.   I am currently making my great grandma's Christmas cake, and I'm very excited because both loaves are coming home with me :).  Nathan has never had/heard of it so he has agreed to try it, and I'm confident he will like it too!

I realized although I had written a thanksgiving post, I hadn't said what I'm thankful for.  The list isn't very long but none the less it important ;)  I'm thankful for my loving and supportive family, the natural ability to create all things in the kitchen that god has graced me with, the life I've lived thus far.  Most importantly I'm thankful for the wonderful relationship Nathan and I have, full of love, laughs, support, and the friendship that is the foundation of it all. 

I am spending a few days at my grandparents house so I may or may not create something lol.  Oh who am I kidding?  Y'all know I'll be making something, whether it's sweet or savory.  But for tonight I'm going to kick my feet up and wait for this delicious Christmas cake to done ;)  How come when you want to eat something so bad it takes longer to cook?  Until next time.....

Stay sweet,

Jennifer xoxoxoxo

Monday, October 14, 2013

Why Did the Turkey Cross the Road Eh?

Hello Sweets,

Happy Thanksgiving!! To all the Canadians that is lol, and yes I know the Mayflower landed in November but since it gets cold so early here we celebrate the harvest.  With my family we do the dinner on the Sunday because lets face it no one wants to spend Monday doing the clean up lol.  As my regular readers know, sleep for me never comes easy, but last night I was so "turkey tired", I crashed early and got at least 8 hours of solid sleep!!  I was trying to talk to Nathan last night but I kept yawning and he told me to go to sleep because he had a good feeling about my likelihood for achieving it.  As much as I hate to admit when he's right, he was dead on this time lol.

So yesterday we all traveled out to my mothers house, she lives about 45 minutes from where we are.  Since we were going to her house, she was doing most of the cooking.  My responsibility was desserts (of course), and since I had made cupcakes for a birthday I had some left over.  What's more thanksgiving festive than Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes?  However, my mom really wanted to try the Chocolate Mud Pie I had made Nathan for our anniversary.  I made some small changes to the recipe though, instead of using boxed chocolate pudding and cool whip I made everything from scratch.  I used the chocolate pudding recipe from earlier this month, then I made some whipped cream from scratch.  Let me give you the recipe for the whipped cream and then I'll share some pictures from our family fun day!

Whipped Cream
1C heavy cream
1tsp vanilla
1Tbs confectioner's sugar
**DO NOT use a light cream as it will take forever to whip**

1)  In a large cold bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks just begin to form.
 2)  Beat in vanilla and sugar until stiff peaks form.

3)  Make sure to not over beat cream or it will become lumpy and butter like.

Everything I read online about subbing real whipped cream for cool whip said it would be too heavy and it may change the structure.  However I did not seem to have that problem, I actually felt that it was the same consistency as cool whip.  When I subbed all the homemade ingredients into the recipe I actually felt the structure was better than it was with all fake stuff.
It was so full I had to wait to put the whipped cream on at my moms or it would have gotten squished!

see how the layers are nice and strong :)

I was very proud that it turned out, even better, than the original!!  Needless to say I won't be making it the old way ever again :)  Now let's see some thanksgiving pictures!!

pre-dinner play time!

He decided to sit at the cool kids table ;)
mmm my yummy dinner, and there are even more brussels sprouts under the bread!
now you see it...
now you don't!!
this is sugar pie, never heard/had it before but it is soooo good :D
a little after dinner transformer play!

Needless to say it was a wonderful day full of family, fun, and laughs.  Of course everyone left with full bellies and a package of leftovers (my favorite part!), I was so full I actually dozed off a little with Miguel on the drive home.  It was sort of cute, I helped him get comfy on his doggy pillow which made him lean to my side.  Then when I fell asleep I was leaned up against his car seat, so it looks like we were resting on each other :D  I love my little monkey!

I'm thinking tomorrow I will do a small post on what I do with leftovers, other than the obvious of reheating it as is lol.  But I do have a couple of ideas in the works, and my mother gave me some old school cookbooks so you know I'll be baking something out of there too!  Until next time....

Stay sweet,

Jennifer xoxoxo


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Darth Birthday

Hello Sweets,

Today was the big day, the big unveiling of my first paying job :)  Since I didn't have a very long post yesterday I was hoping to get a decent one out tonight, but we will see how my pain tolerance goes.  I had to whip up a dessert for our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow (yes, us Canadians do it in October), and now my feet are killing me :/  But I'm going to do my best to push through to bring you some fun decorations!

So I've been building up to this post all week, cupcakes were baked for little Jacob's birthday all that was left to do was to decorate them.  Nathan is my go to guy for anything Star Wars so I had him help with the brainstorming process, and he was indeed helpful :)  Since the cupcakes for the kids were going to be decadent chocolate I decided to make the icing with a dark cocoa to get it as close to black as possible.  If you have ever had cake with black icing you'd know why I wasn't making it black to begin with, it turns your whole mouth black and that just doesn't look good on anyone lol.  That of course was the easy part, that hard part was the decor and I of course put lots of pressure on myself lol.  I chose to use the marshmallow fondant in three colors and silver balls for accents.  I looked at all sorts of different pictures from the Star Wars series for inspiration and continued with the Darth theme, specifically Vader and Maul :)  Of course there had to be light sabers, but the rest was left up to mine and Nathans imagination.  Take a look at the fun cupcakes made for the special birthday boy, and a fun pictures of my nephew Miguel :p

started with a delicious deep chocolate icing
I used a smooth, slanted icing tip
First cupcake design was the imperial logo
 Light sabers, dark vs. light
 Vader's respirator box
 another Imperial logo, not as pretty as the first one
 A dark side light saber for Jacob
 outline of Darth Vader
 Darth surrounded by stars
 Darth Maul's "tattoos"
 Star Wars, 8th addition for Jacob
 big birthday boy turns 8!!
 Star Wars :)
 dark vs. light
 New sticker labels!!
 2 dozen delicious treats!
Miguel and his "top hat"
 party time!!

you know cupcakes are good when they're all over his face!

I am also happy to report that Christina (Jacob's mother) just emailed me to let me know that everyone enjoyed them, and there wasn't a single one left lol.  That is the best thing I could hear from one of my customers, and I look forward to many more!

Tomorrow is going to be a day full of family and food so it will be a post of deliciousness, also known as "I will be so full there won't be much energy left to think" lol.  Until next time....

Stay sweet,

Jennifer xoxoxoxo