sbc1

I have quite the weakness for shortbread cookies–the light, buttery, crumbly texture can be really hard to resist. They are also one of my favourite kind of cookies to make. They require few ingredients and can be easily transformed into something really impressive. This combination of raspberry jam and white chocolate sandwiched between two shortbreads is nothing short of that. And come on, how perfect are these for Valentines?

Raspberry White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread Cookies with White Chocolate & Raspberry Jam
(adapted from Joy of Baking)
[Yields 18 cookies]

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Filling:
1/3 cup raspberry jam
2 oz white chocolate, grated

Directions:
1. Whisk flour and salt together and set aside
2. Beat butter until smooth
3. Add sugar and beat until smooth
4. Beat in vanilla extract
5. Gently stir in flour mixture until well incorporated
6. Form into dough, and chill for atleast an hour
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
8. Grease and line two baking sheets
9. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick
10. Using a medium-sized round cookie cutter, cut out dough
11. Using a small heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out the centres of half the cookies
12. Place cookies on baking sheets and chill for 10-15 mins so they retain their shape in the oven
13. Bake for 10 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned
14. Let cool for 20-30 minutes before assembling
15. Dust cookies with the cut-out with icing sugar
15. Spread raspberry jam on the full cookies
17. Sprinkle grated white chocolate on top
18. Carefully sandwich both cookie pieces together
19. With a small spoon, fill the heart cut-out with more jam

Enjoy!

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nsc1

A buttery shortbread crust, generously topped with a smooth, rich, creamy, melt in your mouth cream cheese filling, followed with a lightly sweetened layer of vanilla sour cream and finished off with a decadent Toblerone ganache. Yep, that’s this cheesecake. It’s most definitely not the easiest cheesecake recipes out there, but I believe with great effort comes great cheesecake.

Happy Birthday Hamzah! Even though I didn’t actually make you this cake..its the thought that counts yes? Just reminisce to a time you’ve eaten a cheesecake made by me.

New York Style Cheesecake with Toblerone Ganache
(loosely adapted from Anna Olson)

Ingredients:
Crust
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

Filling
2 pounds (4 pkg) cream cheese at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream

Topping
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Toblerone bar, chopped
1/8 cup whipping cream

Directions:
Crust
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy
3. Beat in egg until smooth
4. Stir in flour and mix until dough comes together
5. Divide dough in half, wrap one half and chill
6. Spread the other half of the dough onto the bottom of an ungreased 10-inch springform pan
7. Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool
8. Once cooled, press the other half of the dough onto of the first layer. Do not bake second layer
Filling
9. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees
10. Beat cream cheese until very fluffy and smooth
11. Gradually add sugar while beating
12. Beat in flour
13. Add eggs one at a time, waiting until egg is fully incorporated before adding next
14. Beat in vanilla and 1/2 cup sour cream
15. Scrape batter onto crust base and bake for 10 minutes
16. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees and bake for 30 minutes
Topping
17. Stir sour cream, sugar and vanilla together until sugar dissolves
18. Remove cheesecake from oven carefully and gently spread sour cream topping over cheesecake
19. Return to oven and bake for 15 minutes
20. While cheesecake is baking, heat whipping cream and add Toblerone pieces to melt
21. Remove cheesecake from oven and spread Toblerone ganache on top
22. Cool cheesecake for 30 minutes, then run a spatula of knife gently around the edge of the cheesecake
23. Cool cheesecake to room temperature and chill overnight

Enjoy!

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dctb1

Like any normal person fasting for 17 hours, I spent most of my day today perusing food blogs. It made me miss my own blog. A lot. So I scrambled to find my camera’s memory card hoping to find pictures of something I was too lazy to had forgotten to upload. Lo and behold, I had forgotten this little gem. Made these for my co-workers back in April. So rich, so dense, so chocolatey…

Took one of my favourite brownie recipes, Anna Olson’s Triple Chocolate Brownies and decided to do a little twist by replacing the white chocolate with toffee bits. The result? Chocolate caramely goodness.

Double Chocolate Toffee Brownies
(adapted from Anna Olson)
[Yields 16]

Ingredients:
10 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 ounces toffee bits (Skor ones work great)
4 ounces milk chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. Grease and line an 8-inch pan with parchment paper
3. In a bowl resting over a pot of simmering water, melt chocolate and butter, stirring gently
4. Remove from heat and stir in sugar and vanilla
5. Stir in eggs, one at a time
6. Stir in flour and salt
7. Fold in toffee bits and milk chocolate chips
8. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre of the brownies comes out clean

Enjoy!

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lbc1

Oh, well hello there! I know, I know…I’ve been absolutely inexcusably missing in action from the blog. I just had myself stretched thin with work and life. But you know what they say–when life gives you lemons…make lemon yogurt cake!

When I first came across this recipe, I almost died of shock. An Ina Garten recipe with no butter in it?! This must be one of those end-of-the-world signs everyone keeps talking about. I’m glad I recovered from the shock quickly, because this is one of the most delicious and moist cake recipes ever–and doesn’t it just scream summer?! On that note, let’s take a moment to look outside and admire the gorgeous weather we’re having here in Toronto. Ahh…

Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Cake
(adapted from Barefoot Contessa)
[Yields 1 loaf]

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plain yogurt
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 eggs
2 tsp grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. Grease and flour a loaf pan
3. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt
4. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla extract
5. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients
6. With a spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, until well incorporated
7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and top with blueberries, slightly immersing them into the mixture
8. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until done
9. Meanwhile, cook the lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves
10. When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes
11. Carefully slide it out of the pan and place on a baking rack over a sheet pan
12. Poke numerous holes in the cake with a toothpick or skewer
13. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in

Enjoy!

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cc1

Ah, the chocolate chip cookie. The perfect crowd pleasing sweet treat. The addition of brown sugar gives these cookies a wonderful caramel colour & taste. They are fantastic right out of the oven and stay good for several days at room temperature (just warm them in the microwave for 20 seconds to get the chocolate all gooey). I love this recipe because its so versatile and I can whip up large quantities with ease. Deliciousness.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
[Makes 36 cookies]

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees with rack in center of oven
2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil
3. Beat the butter until smooth and creamy
4. Add the white and brown sugars and beat until fluffy (about 2 minutes)
5. Beat in eggs, one at a time, making sure to beat well after each addition
6. Add the vanilla and beat until incorporated (scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed)
7. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt
8. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and beat until just incorporated
9. Add chocolate chips and fold into mixture
10. Using an ice cream scoop, drop dough into the prepared baking sheets (use a tablespoon for smaller cookies)
11. To get visible chocolate chips on baked cookies, stick a few chocolate chips on each ball of cookie dough
12. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown

Note: If the dough gets very soft, cover and refrigerate until firm before scooping onto baking sheets

Enjoy!

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