Chocolate Desserts Cookbook Series

Chocolate Desserts Made Easy and Delicious – The Series

chocolate desserts

Chocolate Desserts Made Easy and Delicious – The Series:

Here is the list of the books in the series, “Chocolate Desserts Made Easy and Delicious.”  I am quite proud of these books – it was a a bucket list goal to write a cookbook after slowing down a bit from an amazing career as a pastry chef and chef.  The recipes have been created, collected and treasured from my career.  They have been lovingly tested and retested until they were perfect – for you!  My taste testers enjoyed their ‘work’ throughout my process of baking, testing, tasting and writing these books.  I hope you enjoy them!  Thanks for visiting – I am so glad that you did.  Please feel free to leave a comment or question.  I love to hear from my awesome readers and bakers.  More books to come in the future!

Volume One:

Chocolate Desserts Made Easy and Delicious - Cakes

Volume Two:

Chocolate Desserts Made Easy and Delicious - Cookies, Brownies and Squares

Volume Three: 

Chocolate Desserts Made Easy and Delicious - Pies and Tarts

Volume Four:

Chocolate Desserts Made Easy and Delicious - Gluten Free Chocolate Desserts

 

Or just CLICK on any of the book covers on my blog page www.urbnspice.com 

Thanks for visiting!  I am really glad you are here!

“Yours, in all things flavourful”

Denise  Paré-Watson

The  Urbnspice  Chef

Need Valentine’s Day Ideas?

Valentine’s Day Ideas, anyone?

Cake Pops.warmified

 

What are you planning for Valentine’s Day? I just finished ordering Valrhona Chocolate, in bulk, from The Vanilla Food Company – a request from someone very special in my life and I am more than happy to oblige. There is more and more evidence that eating a 2 x 2 inch square of dark chocolate per day is very beneficial to your health. That’s our story – and we’re sticking to it! Valentine’s ideas coming to inspire you in the next few days. Check out Vanilla Food Company for chocolate, vanilla and so much more! A pastry chef’s idea of a dream come true. http://www.vanillafoodcompany.ca/

Rainbow Poppers

Rainbow Poppers

Rainbow Poppers – A story of a cookie

rainbow poppers.closeup

Thinking outside the box is not an unusual past time for me when it comes to creating fun recipes.  In December, the idea for Vanilla Bean Poppers came into my head when Real Women of Philadelphia – Canada announced an intriguing contest for Recipes for Edible Gifts.  Rainbow Poppers is a variation of the recipe I submitted called Vanilla Bean Poppers.  Instead of making ropes and cutting (like gnocchi), I separated the cookie dough into smaller portions, added food colouring (I used Wilton Gel Icing Colours, as I find that the colours stay vibrant once the cookies are baked).

 

rainbowpoppers.cylinders

In the photo above, you will notice that the technique is just a bit different than making the vanilla bean popper ropes.  In the rainbow poppers recipe, make several coloured ropes and join them together, rolling to smooth them  into a colourful cylinder, chill and cut into disks, bake and enjoy.

As you can imagine, the possibilities are endless!  What shall I create next?

rainbow poppers

 

Further Cookie Fun:

Vanilla Bean Poppers

My Dee’s Old Fashioned Oatmeal Coconut Cookies

Italian Almond Macaroons – A Gluten Free Cookie

Urb’n'Spice Chocolate Cookbook Series – Cookies, Brownies and Squares 

 

 

 

National Cookie Day

National Cookie Day

Did you know that it is National Cookie Day? Have at least one cookie today! I have cookie dough in my freezer just for occasions like this – slice and bake varieties have endless possibilities, like this sugar cookie dough separated into three different varieties: chocolate, strawberry and vanilla bean.

Cookie dough fun

For a baby or bridal shower, you may want to try just working with two coloured doughs to make a variety of very pretty, delicate, and tiny cookies.

Checkerboard, etc. Taylor's shower

Have fun with cookies today!

I have to admit that our favourites  are not typically the fancy cookies or those that take time to make and bake, but the rustic, homemade, old fashioned cookies like oatmeal, peanut butter and particularly, chocolate chip. What is your favourite cookie?

IMG_2625-001

National Cookie Day

Further reading and recipes:

My Dee’s Old Fashioned Oatmeal Coconut Cookies – some of the best I have ever tasted!

Vanilla Bean Poppers  - tiny delicate cookies that are worthy of gift giving any time of the year

Italian Almond Macaroons – a gluten free cookie

Urbnspice’s Chocolate Cookies, Brownies and Squares – Volume Two of the series, “Chocolate Desserts Made Easy and Delicious”

Vanilla Bean Poppers

Vanilla Bean Poppers

I make these teeny, tiny cookies for hostess gifts and put them in pretty jars during the holiday season. I call them poppers because they are delightful delicate little cookies that are so irresistible you will keep popping them in your mouth. These cookies are lots of fun to make with children. They can help you roll the dough into long rope-like snakes before you cut them into small pillows or balls. They will love giving these cookies to their teacher.

These little cookies just won the Real Women of Philadelphia’s Edible Gift Recipe Contest.  To see the recipe and the contest winners, click here:  http://realwomen.phillycanada.com/blog/post/the-edible-gift-recipe-contest-winners-are

As you can see in the photos below, the cookie dough is very easy to mix up and it is great fun to make the ropes, cut into tiny pillows and roll into balls.  They can be left as little pillows as well.  They bake up in a few minutes.  Cool before dredging them in icing sugar.   They are irresistible treats.  The little bowl of baked poppers used in the photograph quickly disappeared before my eyes.

 

 

vanilla bean poppers.dough1

 

 

cookie buttons RWOP entry.1-001

VANILLA BEAN POPPERS

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 8 oz. brick Philadelphia Original Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2/3 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 dash fine salt
  • 2 cups icing sugar, for coating the cookies

METHOD:

  1. In a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, cream cheese and 2/3 cup icing sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the vanilla bean paste and mix to combine
  3. Combine the flour, cornstarch and salt together. With your mixer on low speed, add these dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and mix until combined well.
  4. Remove small handfuls of dough from the mixer at a time and roll into ‘snakes’ about 1/2 inch in diameter. (Remember, these are tiny cookies). With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1/2 inch pieces.
  5. At this point, you can leave them in the pillow shapes as they are, or you can roll them into tiny balls. Either way, place these tiny pieces of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet. (The cookies do not spread, so you can place them fairly close together).
  6. Bake in 325oF oven for 12 – 15 minutes, depending on the size of your tiny pillows or balls. The bottoms of the cookies should just start to turn a very light golden.
  7. Let the cookies cool slightly. In a medium size bowl, place the 2 cups of icing sugar. Place the cooled cookies in the bowl and toss them to coat thoroughly with the icing sugar. Tip:  Place the cookies in a sieve to shake the excess icing sugar off.
  8. Place the cookies in a decorative container or jar, label and decorate with ribbon and give to your favourite someone.

OTHER GIFT IDEAS:

Dee’s Old Fashioned Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Cherry Rhubarb Compote

Chocolate Desserts Cookbook Series

Urbnspice Chocolate Desserts Cookbook Series

Book series collage for facebook

Did you know that Urb’n'Spice has four cookbooks in the series called, Chocolate Desserts Made Easy and Delicious, including one dedicated entirely to Gluten Free Chocolate Desserts?

You can click on each of the book covers shown to the right of this post to find out more information.

The Ultimate Burger – Really!

The Wats-On Burger

The Ultimate Wats-On Burger

The ultimate burger that we call the Wats-on Burger is actually the creation of my husband. No one has ever been able to match it.
If you want to try to recreate this burger, you will need a few things.

 

THE WATS-ON BURGER

INGREDIENTS:

For 6 – 8 large burgers or 12 – 14 sliders:

1 lb ground pork

1 lb. ground beef

2 green onions, sliced thinly

1 clove fresh garlic, minced

1 egg, slightly beaten

10 crushed crackers of your choice

1 teaspoon salt or to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or onion powder

METHOD:

  1. Combine the ground meat, green onion, garlic, egg, cracker crumbs and seasoning, and mix to combine.  Take care not to over mix.
  2. Test a small meatball size portion, flattened,  by frying until cooked through.  Taste and adjust the seasonings accordingly.  This is an important step!
  3. Separate the mixture into patties and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. Grill the patties until done.  Just prior to finishing, place slices of cheese on top of the cooked burger and let the cheese soften before removing the burger from the pan or grill and placing on a toasted burger bun.

The garnishes that we usually use for this burger are quite simple:

sliced dill pickles

sliced fresh tomatoes

shredded or leaves of lettuce

Gruyere or old Cheddar cheese, sliced

Rings of freshly sliced red onion

A fresh grind of black pepper and a sprinkle of salt on your tomato slices to taste

Enjoy!

This is truly the best burger you will ever have!

 

More Recipes like this:

Urbnspice’s Ultimate Soup Recipe 

Urbnspice’s Ultimate Apple Crisp

Urbnspice’s Ultimate Chocolate Desserts

 

Bannock – Have you tried it lately?

Have you made bannock lately? It is such a wonderful activity to do with young children, a Brownie troop or just for fun on a rainy afternoon. With a few simple ingredients, you can have this quick bread in the oven or in a skillet in mere minutes.
When my own daughters were small and involved in a Brownie troop, and I was a Tawny Owl Leader, we worked on one of the Brownie Badges together by making traditional bannock.
All of the little girls had a great time and it was a memorable experience.
Just recently, I made it again with my young grandchildren.
They loved the activity as much as they enjoyed eating the freshly baked bannock.
Traditionally, bannock was made by forming on a stick over an open fire. We made ours in the oven on a baking sheet, however, other versions of making bannock are frying in a skillet and even deep frying the bannock dough.
Whatever way you choose to bake bannock, you will no doubt enjoy the flavour, texture and versatility of this quick bread.
Try it with soup or stew or on its own with butter and jam. This recipe has been adapted from Food.Com

BANNOCK:

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

2 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into small pieces

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

1 cup milk

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (400°F if using convection oven)
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together:  flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  3. Cut in the butter with your hands or a pastry knife until the mixture is crumbly.
  4. Combine the vanilla and milk.
  5. Gradually mix in enough of this vanilla milk to make a soft raggedy dough.
  6. Shape into a ball, place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  7. Flatten into a circle and pat it until it is about 1 inch thick.
  8. Bake at 425°F (220°C) for 15 – 20 minutes or until firm in the middle when touched and turning golden around the edges.  It will sound hollow when you tap it.

Enjoy hot out of the oven with butter and jam.

 

Spun Sugar?

Halloween

Spun sugar?

At this time of year, something that looks like a pastry chef has been busy with spun sugar (Redpath Sugar). This is actually just as much fun! Making Spider Webs from supplies from one of my favourite stores to express my creativity – Michaels Arts and Crafts Stores. What kind of decorations are you working on for Halloween?

Follow us on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Urbnspice

 

Further ideas for Halloween:

Witches Brew – a.k.a.:  Butternut Squash Soup

Going Gluten Free – What are your thoughts?

Going Gluten Free

I read an intriguing article in MacLeans magazine about the biggest health craze of our time – going gluten free. I find this quite interesting because requests in recipe development in the Urbnspice kitchen has definitely taken a turn towards gluten free recipes (as well as dairy free, grain free and paleo).

The article states “Gluten-free products are a $90-million enterprise in Canada alone, and the sector is expected to grow at least 10 per cent each year through to 2018.” It would appear that I will continue to be busy in this area for some time to come. What are your thoughts on this?

For those interested, here is the article:
The Dangers of Going Gluten Free

Further sources:

Gluten Free Tips and Techniques

UrbnSpice Ultimate Gluten Free Muffin Recipe

Gluten Free Chocolate Desserts

Gluten Free Chocolate Desserts

Powered by WordPress
Creative Commons License