Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cinnamon-Sugar Mini Cakes

These are amazing! They taste just like the mini donuts you get at the Trade Show - except they're cupcakes instead of donuts. They're also baked rather than fried.. so you can even pretend they are healthier for you ;). I doubled this recipe to make a huge batch for my sister's Graduation party and they were a big hit!


1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk

For the coating:

6 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg until well combined.

In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until smooth, then add the sugar and beat on medium speed until blended and creamy. Beat in the egg and vanilla, mixing until smooth and thick.

With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions and the milk in two additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until the flour is incorporated and the batter looks smooth.

Scoop the batter into the prepared mini muffin pan. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the tops of the cupcakes feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack.

Melt 6 Tbsp. butter in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl mix 1/2 cup white sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon.  One at a time, roll the cupcake in the bowl of butter, then in the bowl of cinnamon sugar. Set on a cooling rack or on wax paper for approx. 20 minutes so they will absorb the butter and cinnamon. Enjoy!

*Recipe from Glorious Treats

Broccoli Salad


3 cups broccoli florets
½ cup sunflower seeds
1 cup red seedless grapes, cut in half
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Real bacon pieces (optional)


½ cup plain yogurt
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice


Mix together the dressing ingredients until combined. Chill in refrigerator while preparing the salad ingredients.

Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss with dressing until thoroughly coated. Store in the refrigerator.

You can double or even triple this recipe depending on how many people you are serving.

*Recipe from Karen McMillan

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes to serve at my sister's graduation party and they were a big hit. I tried to mimic a chocolate covered cherry by filling chocolate cupcakes with cherry jelly. This was my first time using Kool-Aid drink mix to flavour icing, and it worked awesome! It gave the icing a huge punch of cherry flavour and also coloured it so I didn't have to use any food colouring. I will definitely be trying out more Kool-Aid flavours in the future. 

Chocolate Cupcake Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cups  white sugar
1 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
6 Tbsp. canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup very hot water

Cherry Buttercream Icing Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
4 and 1/2 – 5 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 packet Kool-Aid cherry flavored drink mix

Filling and Garnish Ingredients:

1 cup cherry jelly
1 Tbsp. lukewarm water
1 milk chocolate bar


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place rack in the center of the oven. Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with paper cupcake liners. This recipe makes approx. 18 cupcakes if you fill the cups almost full.

In the bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. With an electric mixer, gradually beat the wet mixture into flour mixture. Shift mixer to low speed and add the hot water until blended.

The batter will be very thin, but don't worry it's normal! Pour batter into the prepared muffin tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

For Icing, Filling, and Garnish:

Beat all the icing ingredients with an electric mixer on low speed until well blended. I added in a little more butter after it was all combined because I don't like my icing to taste too sugary. You can use more or less of the cherry drink mix depending on how strong you want the flavor to be. Just add a little bit at a time and taste test it until it's how you want it.

To make the cherry filling for the middle of the cupcakes, combine the cherry jelly and water in a blender until smooth. The filling should be liquid, but not too runny. If it is runny then just add in more jelly until it is a thicker consistency. Make sure there are no large chunks of cherry in the filling before putting it in the piping bag, because that will cause your piping bag to clog when filling the cupcakes.

For the garnish, chop up the chocolate bar with a sharp knife. You can make tiny chocolate rectangles or squares like I did, or just roughly chop the chocolate into random pieces. Another option for garnish would be to use chocolate shavings and sprinkle them over the icing.

Cupcake Assembly:

Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, use a Bismarck Tip 230 to fill the middle of the cupcakes with cherry filling. To do this, fill an icing bag fitted with the Bismarck Tip 230 with the prepared cherry filling. Insert the Bismarck Tip 230 into the cupcake, apply gentle pressure to the icing bag and slowly pull the tip up and out of the cupcake when you feel it start to fill up. There should be a small bit of the filling coming out the top of the cupcake. Don't worry if you fill it too much and it oozes out - all the messy parts will be covered by the icing. Pipe the cherry buttercream on with a 1M Star Tip in a single circular motion to create a swirl. Garnish each cupcake with 3-4 small chunks of milk chocolate. Cover and store cupcakes in the refrigerator so the buttercream doesn't get too soft.

*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

Thursday, June 24, 2010

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

These homemade peanut butter cups are so simple to make and they taste even better than Reese's peanut butter cups! White chocolate and peanut butter were meant to be together.


1/4 cup soft dark brown sugar
3/4 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 cups (16 oz.) white chocolate - I used white chocolate melting wafers, but you could also use baker's chocolate or white chocolate chips


Place all the ingredients except for the white chocolate in the bowl of a food processor. Blend the mixture until it is a sandy texture.

Place 12 mini cupcake liners into a mini muffin tin. Using a small spoon, scoop the peanut butter mixture into each cupcake liner until half full. Gently press the mixture down to form an even layer at the bottom of each cupcake liner.

Melt the white chocolate in the microwave, checking every 20 seconds to ensure it doesn't get overcooked. Using a small spoon, top each peanut butter filled cupcake liner with the melted white chocolate. Smooth the tops of the peanut butter cups with the back of the spoon.

Leave the peanut butter cups in the muffin tin and place in the freezer for 1-2 hours. Once the chocolate has set, remove the paper cupcake liners and enjoy. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.


*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

Baked Eggs with Salsa

Yields: 2 3-in. ramekins, or 2 servings - I used smaller ramekins so I cut the ingredients by half


6-8 Tbsp. of your favorite salsa
2 eggs
2 tsp. milk or heavy cream
Sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Bread for toasting


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter two ramekins, or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Spoon 3-4 Tbsp. of salsa into each buttered ramekin (enough to cover the bottom). Break one egg over the salsa in each ramekin. Drizzle each egg with 1 tsp. milk or cream. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake until the egg whites are opaque and the yolks have firm edges and are soft in the center, about 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle each ramekin with cheddar cheese and return to the oven just to melt the cheese, about 1 minute. Serve with buttered toast.

*Recipe adapted from Willow Bird Baking

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made these cookies for my dad for Father's Day this year. He loves a good oatmeal cookie packed with peanut butter and chocolate! On a whim, I threw some white chocolate chips into the cookie dough and it was a great decision. I know the classic combination is milk chocolate and peanut butter, but white chocolate and peanut butter is equally delicious.

Happy Father's Day dad! xo


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

With a mixer, cream together the butter, peanut butter, white sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the egg and beat to combine.

On low speed, gradually add the flour until just combined. Stir in the oats, and then the chocolate chips.

Drop balls of dough onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden. Cool completely on the baking sheet and then store in an airtight container.

*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Greek Salad


½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 cucumber, diced
4 large bell peppers (one each of green, red, yellow, and orange), cut into strips
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Black olives, sliced


1 cup olive oil
2 and ½ tbsp vinegar
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ tsp mustard
Pinch of salt
½ tsp. pepper
½ tsp. sweet basil
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp. Italian seasoning


Mix together the dressing ingredients in a closed container and shake well to combine. Chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the vegetables.

Chop the vegetables and place them in a large salad bowl. Pour the prepared dressing over the vegetables, add in the crumbled feta cheese and toss well to combine. You can add more or less of any of the listed ingredients according to your preferences.

*Recipe from Karen McMillan

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Maple Walnut Apple Crisp

Nothing says fall comfort food like a warm apple crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! I love the flavour that the maple syrup adds to this dessert and the crunch of the walnuts give the crisp topping a hearty, crunchy texture.


6 medium-sized apples (MacIntosh or Granny Smith apples work well)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. water
3 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. maple or vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped


Preheat the oven to 375F. Combine the water, lemon juice, maple syrup, and extract in a large bowl. Peel, core, and slice your apples, then add them to the bowl and stir until they are evenly coated with the liquid. Set aside.

For the topping, combine the brown sugar, flour, rolled oats, cinnamon and butter in a medium bowl. Using a pastry cutter or two butter knives, blend together the ingredients until crumbly.

Place half of the apples in the bottom of an 8" or 9" square baking pan. Sprinkle 1/3 of the topping over the apple layer. Place the remaining apples on top and sprinkle on the remaining topping, making sure to cover the whole pan evenly. Top with the chopped walnuts. Bake for 35-40 minutes until browned and bubbly. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bombay Sapphire Birthday Cake

I made this cake for my best friend Allie's 20th birthday! Her favorite drink includes anything with Bombay Sapphire so naturally I had to make it in cake form!

The cake was one layer of lemon (made from a box mix) and one layer of white chocolate cake (made from scratch) with raspberry filling in between. I made the raspberry filling by diluting organic raspberry jam with a little bit of water to make it a little runnier. After the cakes had cooled completely, I leveled them, spread the raspberry filling on top of one and then stacked the other on top. Once the cake was assembled I cut it into the shape of a bottle and iced it with blue cream cheese icing.

I was originally planning on making the label out of white chocolate and then writing on it with edible ink markers, but the ink would not stick to the chocolate. So, I ended up just printing off an enlarged Bombay Sapphire label on paper, taping wax paper to the back of it and placing it on the cake. I want to invest in some edible photo paper and edible printer ink so that I can do this again in the future with edible images!


 Here are the recipes for the white chocolate cake and the cream cheese icing I used to make this cake:

White Chocolate Cake Ingredients:

2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 oz. white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup hot water
1 cup butter, softened
1 and 1/2 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Line the bottom of two 9" round cake pans or one medium rectangular sheet pan with parchment paper and then grease with non-stick cooking spray.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Meanwhile, in small saucepan, melt the white chocolate and hot water over low heat. Stir until smooth, and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the eggs, beating well with each addition. Stir in the flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, then add the melted white chocolate.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan(s). Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely on a wire rack before icing. You can cover and place the cake in the fridge or freezer to speed up the cooling process.

*White Chocolate Cake recipe from AllRecipes

White chocolate cake on top, lemon cake on bottom

Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3-4 cups icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract


With an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Add in one cup of icing sugar at a time, mixing well after each addition until the desired consistency is achieved. You may want to chill the icing to make it easier to spread on the cake. Store leftover icing in the refrigerator.

*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

Saturday, June 12, 2010

S'more Cupcakes

These cupcakes are a s'more lover's dream come true! A graham cracker cupcake stuffed with a marshmallow is topped with chocolate buttercream icing and then finished off with some more marshmallows and a square of Hershey's chocolate. Not only do they look cute but they taste amazing and make significantly less mess than the real s'mores they are inspired by!

Graham Cracker Cupcake Ingredients:

2 whole eggs, egg whites and yolks separated
⅓ cup butter
¼ cup honey
¼ cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
⅓ cup milk
6 large marshmallows, cut in half

Chocolate Icing Ingredients:

½ cup butter
2 cups icing sugar
4 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. half-and-half cream, or milk

Hershey's chocolate squares
Mini marshmallows


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

In a small bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, honey, sugar, vanilla, and salt until well combined. Mix in the egg yolks.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the graham cracker crumbs, flour, and baking powder. Add to butter/sugar mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Gently fold in egg whites until incorporated.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups 2/3 of the way full. Gently push half of a marshmallow into the top of each cupcake. Bake for 18-20 minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Icing Directions:

With an electric mixer, beat together the butter, icing sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and milk/cream until well combined. You may need to add a bit more milk or icing sugar to get the consistency that you like.

After the cupcakes cool completely, apply icing as desired (I piped my icing on with a Wilton 1M star tip), and then garnish with a square of Hershey's chocolate and a couple of mini marshmallows.

*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

Chewy Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies


2/3 cup melted butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. hot water
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 and 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 / 4 tsp. salt
1 pkg. milk chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, beat melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, hot water, and vanilla with a mixer until smooth.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir into the butter mixture until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop from small tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet. Bake about 8-10 minutes. Let cool for about a minute on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

*Recipe adapted from HERSHEY'S

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Black Bottom Cupcakes

Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients:

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Chocolate Cupcake Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup canola oil
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

For the Cream Cheese Filling: With a mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, egg, and vanilla extract and beat until creamy and smooth. Set aside while you make the Chocolate Cupcake batter.

For the Chocolate Cupcakes: In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate bowl mix the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla extract. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients until nice and smooth.

Evenly divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups. Then spoon a few tablespoons of the cream cheese filling into the center of each cupcake.

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the cream cheese filling is a little brown and the cupcakes feel springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the chocolate part of the cupcake will come out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

A special note about this chocolate cupcake recipe is that it is also vegan because it contains no butter, milk, or eggs! However, the vegan-ness is totally negated by the addition of the cream cheese. Despite this strange lack of certain expected ingredients, these cupcakes are really moist, chocolatey, and light. They can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for a 2-3 weeks.

*Recipe from Joy of Baking