Chocolate Marzipan Cookies

It was Teacher’s Convention last week, and I went to my brother-in-law’s house and hung out with him and his wife, Serena. I’m lucky and married into a pretty great family. Well, Serena had a tube of marzipan that she didn’t know what to do with, so I took to Pinterest.I found this recipe, and Serena and I attempted it, and it was incredible! The cookies are thick, crispy on the edges, and chewy and tender in the middle.Really, I don’t want to continue writing. Please just make these cookies!!

Ingredients

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

½ c. butter, very soft
1/3 c. sugar
½c. brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1½ c. flour
1 c. chocolate chips
½ c. chopped dark chocolate
½ c. chopped marzipan
Sea salt, to finish

In a large bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together. Add the egg and the vanilla, and beat again.Mix in the baking soda and salt, then add in the flour and mix on slow until flour is incorporated.Fold in the chocolate chips, chopped chocolate, and marzipan. Chill the dough for 1-2 hours.Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat. Scoop out large tablespoon sized balls of cookie dough, roll into balls, place about 2 inches apart, and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.Bake in the preheated oven for 11-15 minutes, until the edges are light golden. Once out of the oven, sprinkle cookies with salt, let cool on the trays for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Double Chocolate Pecan Bread Pudding

This recipe is fantastic! It makes enough for a 9×13 pan, but when I made it I used an 8×8 square pan and a loaf pan. It’s delicious. Chocolate in the custard and chocolate chips in the actual bread pudding – heck yes a double load of chocolate.I found the original recipe here, and the only thing I changed was I ran out of Kahlua (the travesty!), and substituted milk for the heavy cream and the remainder of the Kahlua I didn’t have.The more I write on the blog, as in number of posts, I realize how much I just want to get to the recipe. So, I hope that my readers don’t mind when I have a short post, because I just want to share the food. Enjoy this!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 9×13 pan

5 c. cubed bread (day old, or stale)
½ c. chocolate chips
½ c. chopped pecans
1 c. brown sugar, packed
¼ c. cocoa powder
1½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. cardamom
Pinch of salt
5 eggs, lightly beaten
2 c. milk
½ c. Kahlua
1 tsp. vanilla

Spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick stray. Put the cubed bread in a baking dish. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and pecans over the bread. Set aside.In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. Add the eggs, and whisk until combined.Add the milk, Kahlua and vanilla. Whisk until thoroughly incorporated.Pour the mixture over the bread cubes, and let sit 45 minutes to an hour, or until soaked through.Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake the bread pudding for 60-75 minutes, or until the custard is set. Check halfway. If the bread is getting dark, cover with aluminum foil. Let cool before serving.Best if served warm with ice cream or whipped cream on top!

Carrot Cake Loaf

I love carrot cake, but I’ve never really made it because it isn’t one of Paul’s favourite types of cake. I went to go make this the other day, and the original recipe, found here, made 2 loaf cakes.

As I went rooting through my fridge, I realized I only had enough ingredients for half that, one loaf, and was perfectly happy. I’m putting the original measurements down, for 2 loaf cakes, but it was really not hard to halve.

I love the warm spiciness of a carrot cake, and the fact that carrots themselves are a bit sweet, so that you don’t need to add tons and tons of sugar. The cream cheese icing on top is decadent, and absolutely delicious. Mine is a little different, in that I didn’t colour the icing to make an icing carrot on top, but instead I used sprinkles – orange and green dino feet sprinkles to be exact – to indicate that it is supposed to be a carrot cake. I think the sprinkles add a touch of whimsy (and texture) to a really delicious cake. If you like carrot cake, you’ll definitely like this.

As a bonus, even though Paul explicitly told me he really doesn’t like carrot cake, he clammed up when I asked him what he thought, then, with the most sheepish grin on his face told me that it was a good cake. Guys, I made a carrot cake hater turn into a carrot cake liker. (Not lover – not yet at least!) Obviously, this still means that the carrot cake is a WIN.

Ingredients

Yield: 2 loaf cakes

For the cake:

2½ c. flour
1¼ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1¼ tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves
½ tsp. salt

1 lb. whole carrots, peeled
1½ c. sugar

½ c. dark brown sugar, packed
4 eggs
1½ c. vegetable (I used canola) oil

For the cream cheese frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp. butter, softened
3½ c. icing sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
Green and orange food colouring (or sprinkles)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two loaf pans.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.

In a food processor with the grater attachment, shred the carrots, and set aside. Wipe out the food processor.

With the standard food processor blade, add white sugar, brown sugar, and eggs. Process until thoroughly combined. With the food processor running, drizzle the oil into the egg mixture until mixture is thick and emulsified, about 30 seconds.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and whisk until combined into a thick mixture. Fold in shredded carrots using a spatula.

Pour batter evenly into the loaf pans, and bake in the preheated oven for about 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs.

Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting. I also removed the cakes from the pans to help them cool faster.

To make the cream cheese frosting, in a large bowl of a mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the icing sugar, a half cup at a time, until smooth. Add in vanilla, then mix again.

Pipe or spread onto cooled loaves.

If you want to decorate with tiny carrots then separate two ¼ cup portions of frosting into separate bowls. Add a few drops of orange and green food coloring into each bowl and mix, adjusting colors to your preference.

Spoon dyed frosting into small ziplock bags, and cut a tiny opening in the corner of each bag.

Gently pipe carrot designs all over the top of the cake, as desired. Carrots are made by squeezing a blob of orange frosting then quickly drawing the frosting in a downward motion. Add “leaves” by making 1-2 small dots on the top of the orange “carrot.”

    Southern Pecan Blondies

    The original recipe called these “Pecan Chewies”, but really, I’m from Canada and I had no idea what “chewies” were. They’re basically blondies, hence my changing of the name. But, these are darn good.So easy to make, all you need is one bowl and a 9×13 pan with some parchment paper. Everything gets thrown into the same bowl, baked up, and voila, we have some tasty pecan treats.I found the original recipe here, and they did not disappoint. They are soft and chewy on the inside, and slightly crisper around the edges. Everything you want in a cookie bar. I feel like they would also be even more delicious with the addition of chocolate chips, but that’s my inner chocoholic speaking.Either way, bring the South into your kitchen with these bars!

    Ingredients

    Yield: Approx. 24 bars, depending on cut size

    1 c. butter, melted
    2 c. brown sugar
    2 eggs
    1 tsp. vanilla
    2 c. flour
    2 tsp. baking powder
    1 c. pecans, toasted and chopped

    Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper. Set aside.In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and brown sugar until well combined. Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix well.Add the flour, baking powder, and pecans, and mix again, making sure there are no white streaks or lumps in the batter.Pour mixture into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown.Remove from the oven, and cool completely on a wire rack before lifting out of the pan and cutting into bars.

    Raspberry Smacks

    I made these for a New Year’s Party as well, and they turned out very well. I had some homemade raspberry jam that my mom gave me, and they made the perfect filling for these squares.

    There is a sweet shortbread type crust, a raspberry jam filling, and a brown sugar meringue on top. I saw a picture of these, and I wasn’t too sure about them, but I was so pleasantly surprised.

    I found this recipe in one of my cookbooks – a Company’s Coming Sweet Treats book. It did not disappoint, even though I didn’t know what to expect. If you are looking for a new recipe to try that’s a little out of the ordinary, I would highly recommend this one!

    Ingredients

    Yield: Approx. 16 squares, depending on cut size

    For the crust:

    2 egg yolks
    1½ c. flour
    ½ c. brown sugar, packed
    ½ c. butter, at room temperature
    1 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. vanilla
    ¼ tsp. salt

    For the filling:

    1 c. raspberry jam (store bought or homemade)

    For the topping:

    2 egg whites, at room temperature
    1 c. brown sugar, packed

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9 inch square pan with foil or parchment paper.

    To make the crust, whisk all crust ingredients in a large bowl until crumbly. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set aside.

    Drop teaspoonfuls of jam over the bottom layer, and spread evenly.

    In a medium bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip egg whites until frothy. Add brown sugar, in three increments, beating well after each addition, until stiff peaks form.

    Spread meringue mixture over the jam. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes until golden. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Slice, and serve.