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!

Gluten Free Rock Star Veggie Burgers

Gluten Free Rock Star Veggie Burgers


This recipe was created for my daughter after she discovered that she had to adopt a gluten free lifestyle.  It is a delicious and flavourful burger and one that I hope you will try one day soon.  (Please refer to this post called, “Gluten for Punishment.”Gluten Free Rock Star Veggie Burger Sliders

Cherry Inspiration



Cherry Inspiration

Cherry Season – everyone looks forward to it.  Eating out of hand is likely the most popular past time as the plump cherries appear at the roadside stands.  If you are lucky like me, you might have a daughter or an acquaintance with a cherry tree in their yard.

Cherry Inspiration

Rhubarb Season is upon us

Rhubarb Season is Upon Us

A Seasonal Dessert

CHEF TALK: There is a bounty of seasonal ingredients available at the market these days. Rhubarb is one of my favourite reasons to get busy baking. I scour the local farmer’s markets and neighbouring yards for the characteristic red stalks.  It is a versatile vegetable (yes, Rhubarb is a vegetable), although it acts like a fruit.  You can use it in so many ways.  Here are just a few ways that I have used rhubarb:  in pies, custards, compotes, chutneys, crumble and crisps and in muffins or quick loaves, as a sauce with pork or ham and many other ways.  

Rhubarb season

 



The Secrets of Chicken Soup

This is a lovely article from Chef Laura Calder about the secrets of making Chicken Soup. Her article confirms everything I stress in my Soup and Stocks Class. The “tweaking’ part of the soup making process is important and essential – and fun!

One of my students told me she was a bit shy to try making her own chicken soup after a failed attempt tasted like the chicken had run through the pot. She is now confirmed and confident soup maker. You will be as well after you read Laura’s Mom’s recipe for chicken soup. Enjoy!

http://lauracalder.com/chicken-soup-secrets/

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Making soup is one of life’s greatest pleasures. I make soup when I am happy, or stressed, or when there is a chill in the air, and for no reason at all. My own Mom’s soups were famous in the neighbourhood full of wholesome, hearty ingredients from my father’s gardens to feed a gaggle of little girls and their friends.

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Please share this article and comment on your soup adventures.

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?

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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

 

 

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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.

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