Monday, July 26, 2021

Sweet Potato Cranberry Spice Cookies

These little Sweet Potato Cranberry Spice Cookies are gluten free and vegan but full of flavour from homemade pumpkin pie spice! The recipe makes a big batch of dough which is perfect for freezing ahead - thaw and bake whenever the craving strikes!
 
 
 
I'm going to start this off by saying... I know. It's not fall, its 30C and sunny outside, people are lounging around eating watermelon and ice cream. Most people are not cranking up their oven for anything.

But I'm not most people! I love the flavours of spice and fall, and baking is something I will do no matter the weather (unless out AC goes out in the middle of summer, which has happened!). So when I was playing around last summer to come up with holiday cookies, I came across some pumpkin cookies that looked like a hit for me and a few of my gluten free friends. However, because it was the middle of summer, canned pumpkin wasn't overly available. Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, were - and I actually much prefer the flavour over pumpkin. With the spices, the bit of richness from the brown sugar blend and the dash of maple extract, the dough smelled amazing, and the craisins I tossed in added the tiniest bit of tang and fruity flavour. Being gluten free, nut free and vegan, they were also a hit with the kids I taught and safe for the school environment (they would be great for camp too!).
 

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Cinnamon-Honey Raisin Bagels

Cinnamon-Honey Raisin Bagels are all the best parts of childhood in a chewy, perfectly toastable whole grain package. Smeared with cream cheese, butter or your favorite jam, you can't go wrong!
 
 
My family used to have a ritual when us kids were in school: at least once a month, the four of us would pile into the car and head to the bagel shop for a baker's dozen of goodies: my sister and I would each choose four of our favourites, and mom and dad would pick the other five. When it came to my sister, she rotated between three favourites: chocolate chip, plain, and cinnamon raisin. I have to admit, the cinnamon raisin bagels were incredible toasted with butter, and if they were out of sourdough (my fave), they were second on my list!
 
 
So it made me smile when my sister came to me asking for a whole grain version of her old favourites to take with her to work. I added in a squeeze of honey to accent the whole wheat and raisin flavour, and (as all bagels should be) I boiled them in honey water for an extra bump of flavour and shine. While I don't have a wood burning oven a la the Montreal style bagels I love, I did bake these on a baking stone which gave them an awesome, blistery texture.
 
Cooled and sliced, they were frozen on a tray for a quick grab in the morning - they would thaw by lunch and be ready for margarine or peanut butter!


The Bread Bakers Event for July 2021 is Favorite Breads, be sure to check out all the favorites baked this week!
BreadBakers
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Rhubarb Snacking Cake

A simple, yet delicious snack cake is packed with homegrown rhubarb and topped with a sprinkling of sugar for extra sparkle! 
 

My stepdad harvested a huge bunch of rhubarb from his garden the other day and gave it to me to cook with. Normally my rhubarb goes into either pie or preserves, but since I had no patience for pastry and I was not about to haul out the canner I started browsing around for a different option that would still fit the summer vibe. I came across a great looking cake recipe from
A Veg Taste from A to Z and with a few substitutions I had everything on hand, so I set to it!
 
What I love about this cake is that it's a perfect mix of scone and cake, slightly muffiny and just the right amount of sweetness. The small amount of oats lent a nutty flavour to the batter and a tiny sprinkle of sugar on top added a delicate crunch and sparkle. The best part is that it is fast to whip up, the slowest part is chopping the rhubarb. The speed is especially quick if you're using weight to measure, since there are no measuring cups needed! 
 
Once the cake is cool, it can be wrapped in foil and frozen for later or kept wrapped in the fridge for up to 5 days. We served it with vanilla ice cream at a barbeque and it was a hit! 

Friday, July 9, 2021

Chocolate Centred Wowbutter Wafers

These rich and nutty cookies are completely #peanutfree - surprise! They get their flavour from a dose of @wow_butter and the sweetness is offset by a bittersweet chocolate centre.


I'm going to admit it, I made these cookies ages ago - like 2019 ages ago. 2020 was a total writeoff year, as was most of this year - so I'm getting around to my ye olde posts!

At any rate, these cookies are the quintessential combination of perfection for me - nuttiness, sweetness and chocolate all in a chewy bite. Because these are so simple though, the quality of ingredients - particularly the chocolate - is paramount! I used WowButter to make these nut free for guests, but you can use any nut or seed spread you wish! Store in an airtight container up to a week (if they last that long, that is!).

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Nostalgic Strawberry Rhubarb Jam - Toast Topper #92

Can you capture nostalgia in a jar? This Strawberry Rhubarb Jam tastes exactly how I remember my grandma's to be - and it should since its only 3 ingredients, time and heat! Simple is often the best!
 

For once, our rhubarb and the local strawberries managed to peak at the same time! I love this time of year when everything is fresh and bright - and nothing reminds me more of one particular childhood summer than strawberry rhubarb jam. I'm sure my paternal grandmother made it more than once, but there is a definite memory of a summer when I was about 10 or so where we visited a community garden and farm stall prior to me helping her make dill pickles and strawberry rhubarb freezer jam. I used to swear I hated rhubarb too - what kid would like this sour / bitter vegetable of all things? But her jam convinced me that it was possible to make it taste good with enough sugar and strawberries added in!

I came across a recipe similar to my grandma's on Food52 and decided to give it a go with a few other tricks I had from an old church cookbook, namely freezing the strawberries, rhubarb and a tiny bit of sugar first before completing the maceration. I'm not entirely sure what this does to be honest, except draw out extra liquid and leaving the berries and rhubarb a bit more chunky. Whatever it did or didn't do, this recipe is a keeper - it's perfect for a small glut of strawberries or when you only have a few jam lovers in the house (shocker, I know).