UBC Cinnamon Buns Recipe

Review: The UBC Cinnamon Buns Recipe!

When I was about 11, I remember pulling out the Joy of Cooking cookbook to decipher recipes (often) and decide what to bake next. One recipe fail I recall rather vividly is the first time I ever made cinnamon buns.

It was an event. They were tough as rocks, sweet, and somehow edible to my family. I followed the recipe, and perhaps not paying attention to the time it takes to let dough ferment, or kneading the dough as little as possible to avoid too much gluten development and all that technical stuff I was naive to. I was a kid in the kitchen, standing barely above the counter level having a blast with a new recipe. No fear of failure, just pure excitement at the thought of baking amazing cinnamon buns. Who doesn’t love Cinnamon buns? Filled with a gooey cinnamon centre, and covered in that sweet cream cheese frosting. They are decadent and deadly.

Fast forward a couple decades, and I’ve learned a thing or two about bread making.

Now with this rainy weather in Vancouver, we could call it cinnamon bun season year round really. Despite spring being around the corner, today was a fairly cold day. I love this time of year.

In the winter months, it is my baking season and I love to test out new recipes and see how they work for me.

One coveted recipe on my list to try has been the UBC Cinnamon Bun recipe, which I found online last year. I have been meaning to test it for quite some time, after hearing other bakers rave about it. Finally I got down to business and made the recipe happen in my own kitchen. Continue reading

Back-to-School Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe: The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book

The William-Sonoma Baking Book's Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is a success!

The William-Sonoma Baking Book’s Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is a success! I love how these turned out, chewy inside and crisp outside. A perfect lunch box treat!

It’s that time again, back to school for lots of kids today. Even though I am not in school, I still feel that new-beginnings energy and love this time of year. Fall is my favourite season, and it is upon us very quickly.

Heading off to school for me always meant new school gear, stationery (my favourite part), clothes, and packed lunches. If I were going back to school today, I’d enjoy having a classic chocolate chip cookie in my lunch as a treat sometimes.

And I have just the recipe for those of you at home looking for a new one to try.

Recently I tried a new chocolate chip cookie recipe for me, and rather than searching the internet, I went back to my library of baking books. I selected the trusted Williams-Sonoma Baking Book [Amazon.ca], on page 14, I found their Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, it was too my liking so now I must share it with you. Continue reading

Chocolate chip cookie dough balls

My new favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe

As you likely know by now, I spent a lot of time looking at food websites in my spare time, whether it’s through Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter each of these channels brings me new ideas every time. Well, recently, I came across the NYTimes Cooking best chocolate chip recipe. I was intrigued because generally NYTimes Cooking is a great source for quality recipes, and I wanted to try this one.

I was immediately in love with the recipe, after reviewing the ingredients and method. I had to made a few small tweaks based on ingredients I had at home though, and in the end, accidentally didn’t include the granulated sugar #bakingfail (I was feeling a bit under the weather and just plain old forgot). Their original recipe is linked above, but I’ve listed the adjustments/error I made below.

Quickly though, I want to highlight why I love this cookie: 1) It’s not too sweet, just the right sweet, because I forgot one of the sugars; 2) it’s a nice texture, not chewy (although I do like chewy) it’s a bit more crumbly – perfect for a sandwich; 3) there is a high chocolate to cookie ratio so you get chocolate in every bite; and 4) I liked the method they used, simply following the creaming method (The Pastry Chef online defines it well) to letting the dough rest overnight.

Here is my version of the recipe.

Perfect with a cup of tea or glass of milk, a mini chocolate chip cookie sandwich

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour** (see note, I used all-purpose flour)
1 ⅔ cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour**(I used all-purpose flour)
1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
2 ½ sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces)granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 ¼ pounds bittersweet chocolate (I used 54% chocolate chips, or use your favourite)
Sea salt (for garnishing on top, flake salt is ideal) Continue reading

My Perfectly Imperfect Nostalgic Chocolate Chip Cookie [Recipe]

[Warning: this post may induce intense cookie dough cravings. Read at your own risk.]

The other week I was seriously craving some cookie dough. Like, Cookie Monster craving. I could have eaten an entire batch if it was before me at the time. I have no shame in admitting this because I know some of you have likely had a similar craving!

Cravings happen. You know you want to eat some of this…

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Rye Chia Berry Muffins (yield 1 dozen)

I had some blackberries in the fridge that must be used up, and wanted to bake with them in a “healthy” way. Some muffin recipes can really get up there in calories or just be filled with all things that are “not so good for you”.

So I searched for a few different recipes and none of them were jumping out at me. I found a reasonable recipe and modified quite a lot – to the point that it is now my own recipe. Sometimes it is a hit or miss when experimenting happens in the kitchen, but I am pleased to share this one was a success.

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Here is the recipe….
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What should you do with your leftover halloween candy? Make a candy bar-bar!

As a kid growing up I would *try* to save my favourite halloween candies for as long as possible. Though, every year this didn’t work out so well for me. I would end up with a bag of the wrapped hard candies and rockets, or other treats I didn’t love as much. Yes, halloween candy ranges on a scale for me, I do not love it all.

What I have come to learn in recent years, is that you can buy candy at the grocery store the day after Halloween on SUPER sale. It’s madness. This year it was sold out before I could get there. Apparently candy sales are all the rage.

For those who do savour their candy loots and somehow make the sugar supply last (well, I envy you) and perhaps this recipe is most suited for you.

I was thinking of a way to use up leftover halloween candy – if you have any left… Or use some of that sale-candy. And I thought it would pretty much all taste good inside of a cookie. So how about make a candy bar cookie bar?? You can group like-candies together and use those in the bar, or just make a monster-swamp-like cookie of everything. Experiment a little… Why not!
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Morning Glory Muffins – glutenfree, egg free, vegan option

Well, here you have it folks, my first recipe share from school! All our recipes are in metric measurements so I converted it for you at home, weighing out the ingredients on my digital scale and then measured the imperial amounts to make this delicious Morning Glory Muffin recipe (one of my favourite muffins ever).

Fresh morning glory muffin right out of the oven – love the flavour from the blend of apple, carrot, coconut, and pineapple.

Mix batter just until moistened

Mix batter just until moistened

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Fun with Fats at Olives on Tap

While working through this elimination diet for another week, fats have truly become my friend. From nuts to nut butters, to oils of different kinds. There are so many good healthy fats available to enjoy, rounding out the nutrition of any meal. I enjoy a good olive oil – especially ones fused with flavours.

Eating without dairy means no butter on popcorn for a snack. But fortunately I’ve found an awesome replacement at OLIVES ON TAP, in North Vancouver: Butter Olive Oil. I know what you may be thinking, “why would you infuse oil with another fat?”. Well first, it is actually a vegan olive oil. Apparently the supplier has a magical potion of plant extracts that simulate the butter flavour. Bingo, it’s like butter. It is actually easier to use than real butter because there is no melting and heating, you just drizzle to your hearts content. Sweet goodness of butter olive oil. Then sprinkle on your favourite salt to taste. A nice healthy snack.
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Elimination Diet + Vegan Carrot Cake

A couple weeks ago we started an elimination diet, after reading about it on the MindBodyGreen website. This wasn’t the first time we’d read about eliminating gluten and/or dairy for health benefits, but you never really know how your body will react until you try it. Basically it’s to test for allergies.

So, for the first time in my life, I have been cutting out gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, alcohol and fast food. There is just over a week to go, then we reintroduce foods back in to our diet one at a time, and listen to your body to see how it reacts. If you don’t feel good after returning to gluten or soy, for example, then you may have a sensitivity.

If you love butter, bread, and ice cream as much as I do, then you can appreciate how much of a challenge it is. What the heck do you eat with these limitations?! A lot. Forced to think outside my food comfort zone, and try more things that I don’t normally eat, it has actually been very interesting. I am hungry more often, and never feel too full really. I find that I am eating almost every three hours and feel like I have more energy too. This was after the initial cranky-phase!

Knowing that pastry school is just around the corner I am praying I don’t have any serious affinities for any of these ingredients, but maybe that will mean I become an alternative-baker. I think I’ll be ok though.

But one of the things I miss most over this past couple of weeks is desserts. Fortunately there are a TON of gluten-free and vegan baking sites.

Oh She Glows is one of them, with an amazing carrot loaf recipe. I just tried it out last night. You would hardly know the difference, and it is chalk full of good ingredients. [CORRECTION: since this post originally was written, we’ve eaten loaf and it tasted AMAZING – moist and packed with flavour. But then we learned the hard way, that spelt flour actually does have gluten in it. My boyfriend had a reaction to the loaf – confirming our guess that he is actually allergic to gluten. So instead of using spelt flour I’m going to try the gluten-free all purpose flour by Bob’s Red Mill next time].

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Easter ideas: candy mason jar terrarium & unicorn poop cookies!

I am in love with Pinterest. Over the past few months, I have found myself scrolling through Pinterest more and more. You can see my pinboards here. I find so many amazing things on Pinterest, including food ideas, and recipes. I also love the home decor and organizing ideas I’ve found on there, and holiday decorating ideas, etc. There are a million other things on Pinterest, but of course my main passion is food inspiration.

As we get closer to Easter, I was looking for some fun food ideas and found these two that I wanted to share with you:

1) Easter candy terrariums! It’s as simple as it sounds, and all you need is a clean glass jar with a lid, easter figurines, candy, and something that looks like grass (I used shredded paper, but you could probably find something edible to pull off the same look). I found these cute chicken figures in a local drug store easter section, and seasonal Jelly Belly beans. I think they look pretty darn cute! Its a fun way to make a unique gift for something this Easter. Please share your ideas if you fill a jar this Easter for someone!

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