Tuesday, December 13, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Baking! The Credits

The Credits, and a little break

This has been a whirlwind 12 days of baking! I would like to take a moment here to thank everyone involved in my little endeavor.

Photography, Baking Assistant, Emotional Support, Patter-on-the-back: Robin Horn
Robin's amazing photography makes the usual look stunning and new. When Robin's not taking photos of yummy desserts, he's somewhere in the great outdoors, photographing birds, wildlife and our beautiful local scenery. You can view more of Robin's photos on his Flickr page, here.

Baking Assistants
My lovely sister, Lesa, and her two charming kids, Mimi and Cam. They helped me, one Sunday, crank out a whole bunch of desserts, specifically; nanaimo bars, fudge, shortbread and church windows. They helped set the momentum for the rest of the series.

The following websites and blogs really inspired me; I hope they will inspire you, too.

A little break
So, I'm taking a little break over the Christmas holidays. I am looking forward to some gift shopping, visiting with friends and family, and taking it easy. I will return in early January, with a few changes to the website.

I would like to raise my glass to you, dear readers, for following my little blog. I love all your comments and suggestions – keep them coming!


Christmas kisses from Robin & Lulu!


Monday, December 12, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Baking! Day 12: Chocolate Truffles

Day 12: Chocolate Truffles

Truffles are the most decadent candy. Named for the rich fungus they resemble, the irregular shapes are such an explosion of chocolateness that your brain will implode into a singularity.
Which one would you choose?

When making these truffles, I noticed one thing. The ones with the liqueur in them were definitely easier to form into balls than the ones without liqueur. I would recommend that you definitely use liqueur; but if you don't, you should increase the cream by 1/4 cup.

Clockwise from top: Candy Cane, Kahlua, Dark Chocolate, Salted Caramel.

I made four kinds: Salted Caramel – caramel-flavoured truffle, coated with bittersweet chocolate and filled with dulce de leche and sprinkled with fleur de sel; Candy Cane – peppermint-flavoured truffle, coated with white chocolate and sprinkled with crushed candy canes; Kahlua, coated with bittersweet chocolate and topped with a coffee bean; and Dark Chocolate, coated with cocoa.

I put tiny blobs of dulce de leche on a parchment-lined baking sheet and froze it. This doesn't actually make it solid, but does harden it a bit so you can wrap it in a truffly blanket.

The secret dulce de leche centre in the Salted Caramel truffle.

I used these flavourings from LorAnn, which are more potent than extracts.

Chocolate Truffles

12 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup flavoured liqueur (I used Kahlua)

Flavourings, such as peppermint, etc.

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate or white chocolate
Cocoa powder
Icing sugar

  1. In a food processor, chop chocolate until it becomes fine crumbs.
  2. Heat cream in a small saucepan on the stove over medium heat, until it just comes to the boil.
  3. While processor is running, pour in hot cream. Blend until chocolate is completely melted.
  4. Add flavorings or liqueur, mix until completely combined.
  5. Chill chocolate mixture in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Using a melon baller, or small scoop, form chilled chocolate into balls. 
  6. Dip in melted chocolate to coat; or roll in cocoa or icing sugar.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Baking! Day 11: Gingerbread Cookies

Day 11: Gingerbread Cookies

This is the very best gingerbread I have ever tasted. They are spicy and flavorful, with a nice chewy texture.

Gingerbread Cookies
Based on a recipe from Martha Stewart Living

3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup fancy molasses

Royal Icing:
2 1/2 cups icing sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder
scant 1/4 cup water

  1. Cookies: In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and baking powder; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in spices and salt until combined. Add egg and molasses and stir until combined.
  3. Add flour mixture on low speed. Chill dough for about an hour.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 350° F.  Roll out dough to about 1/8" thick and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely before decorating.
  5. Icing: In the bowl of a stand mixer, blend icing sugar and meringue powder until combined. Slowly add water until combined. Beat for 10 minutes.
  6. Put icing into piping bag with a small round tip. Pipe designs onto cookies, then sprinkle with decorative sugar or sprinkles.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Baking! Day 10: Rum Balls

Day 10: Rum Balls

Rum Balls
Based on a recipe by Joyofbaking.com

Ingredients1 1/2 cups toasted nuts, finely chopped (hazelnuts, walnuts, or almonds can be used)
1 1/4 cups finely crushed vanilla wafer cookies
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup rum

Icing Sugar
Finely chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds or pistachios)
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Melted Dark Chocolate
Sweetened shredded coconut

  1. Combine chopped nuts & vanilla crumbs in a bowl.
  2. Add icing sugar and cocoa and combine.
  3. Add corn syrup and rum and combine until a nice glistening dough ball is formed. Refrigerate for about an hour.
  4. Using a measured scoop, small spoon or melon baller, scoop out some dough and roll it into a ball, placing the balls on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
  5. Coat with your favorite coating and enjoy!

Friday, December 9, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Baking! Day 9: Mini Pecan Tarts

Day 9: Mini Pecan Tarts

Do you love pecan pie? I do! These tiny pecan jewels and the sweetest bite of pecan pie, in one delectable morsel. They will look beautiful on any holiday party tray.

Who doesn't love a little tart? ;-)
Mini Pecan Tarts 

Makes about 3.5 dozen
1 cup margarine
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg
1-1/4 cups dark brown sugar, packed
1-1/2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
3/4 cups chopped pecans

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350° F. 
  2. In a stand mixer, cream together margarine and cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in flour, a little at a time, until a smooth dough ball is formed. 
  3. Roll dough into small balls, then press dough into a mini muffin pan, making sure the dough is even on the bottom and the sides. 
  4. In another bowl, mix together eggs, brown sugar, butter, vanilla and salt. Mix in pecans. Using a small spoon, fill each crust about 2/3 full with pecan mixture. 
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes or until crust turns slightly brown and filling has puffed up. Cool and store in an air-tight container.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Baking! Day 8: Cashew Cookies with Dulce de Leche

Day 8: Cashew Cookies with Dulce de Leche Filling

Dulce de leche, or literally, sweet milk, is a creamy caramel from Latin America. I recently learned that I could make my own — and these cashew cookies sprang to mind. 

Muy delicioso!
Making the dulce de leche was really easy, but time consuming. Basically, cook cans of sweetened condensed milk in a crock pot or slow cooker on low for about 8 hours, then turn off the pot and leave it to cool overnight until completely room temperature. For a complete tutorial, here is the one I followed at Taylor Takes Taste.

You can also buy it. Here in Canada, you can find it easily at The Real Canadian Superstore.

The cashew cookies are completely amazing on their own, but when sandwiched around dulce de leche? Oh boy, you won't believe how good they are! For the best results , use dry roasted, salted cashews. If you can't find those and get plain cashews, slightly toast them in a dry pan and add 1/4 teaspoon sea salt to the cookie batter.

Cashew Cookies with Dulce de Leche Filling
Based on a recipe by Martha Stewart Living

Makes 5 dozen cookies, or 2.5 dozen sandwiches
1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2-1/2 cups roasted, salted cashews
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup dulce de leche

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. 
  2. Mix flour and salt together in a bowl; set aside. Chop 1 cup of the cashews; set aside. 
  3. In a food processor, mix remaining cashews until finely chopped. Slowly pour in oil and continue processing until creamy, about 2 minutes. 
  4. In a stand mixer, mix together cashew mixture, butter and both sugars until fluffy; about 2 minutes. Mix in egg and vanilla. 
  5. On low speed, gradually add flour and mix until just combined. Stir in chopped cashews. 
  6. Using a small scoop or tablespoon, drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. 
  7. Bake for 6 minutes. Remove from oven and gently flatten with a spatula. Return to oven and bake for another 6 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks. 
  8. Spoon a dollop of dulce de leche onto the bottom of one cookie, then place another cookie on top so that the bottoms are facing together. Press together to make a sandwich.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Baking! Day 7: Walnut Cookies

Day 7: Walnut Cookies

Nuts are a special ingredient around the holidays. Due to their cost, we only use them around special occasions. These crispy, nutty cookies have an irresistible rum glaze that makes them very special, indeed. I always get requests for these. I hope you like them! 

Rum and nuts: sounds like a pirate party!

Walnut Cookies Makes about 5 dozen cookies.
1-1/2 cups walnut pieces
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
1-1/2 cups walnut halves 

Rum Glaze
3/4 cups icing sugar
3 tablespoons rum

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  2. Chop walnut pieces and almonds. 
  3. In a stand mixer, beat egg and sugar until foamy, about 2 minutes. Add baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, juice and zest and mix until combined. Stir in nuts until combined. 
  4. Drop by measuring teaspoon onto prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2" apart. Place a walnut half on top of each cookie. 
  5. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until semi soft. Cool cookies on rack. 
To make glaze
  1. Whisk rum and icing sugar together until smooth. Brush glaze over cookies.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Baking! Day 6: Coconut Lime Bars

Day 6: Coconut Lime Bars

Lime is one of the scents that evokes the holidays for me. Along with mandarin oranges and clementines, limes were always prevalent in our house for special occasions. One of my favourite cocktails at Christmas is the gin & tonic; with tons of limes, of course!
Put the lime in the coconut! And mix it all up!
These bright and chewy bars have a rich, buttery shortbread crust. The lime centre packs a limey whollop; and the coconut adds a sweet, chewy counterbalance to the acidic limes.

If you like lemon bars, you will love these coconut lime bars.

Coconut Lime Bars 
Makes one 9 x 13 inch tray of bars.
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes

1-1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 4-5 limes)
Zest from one lime
Icing sugar for dusting

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. 
To make crust
  1. In a food processor, mix together flour, sugar, salt, and butter. Pulse until combined and resembles very coarse crumbs. Pour mixture into the prepared pan and press mixture down with your hand until even. 
  2. Bake bottom layer for about 20 minutes, until edges begin to turn colour. Remove from oven, but leave oven on. 
To make filling
  1. Sprinkle half of the coconut over baked crust. In a food processor, mix together sugar, flour, eggs, lime zest and lime juice until blended. Or whisk together in a small bowl. Pour mixture into pan. Sprinkle remaining coconut over top. 
  2. Bake in oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until top is set. Cool completely. 
  3. Lift cooled bars out of pan using aluminum foil or parchment paper. Dust bars with icing sugar. Cut into bars.

Monday, December 5, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Baking! Day 5: Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies

Day 5: Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies
You know you want it.
I have a really hard time resisting these Raspberry Almond Thumbprint cookies. To me, they are like the crack-cocaine of the holiday table. Um, not that I know what that is.

Anyhoo, back to the cookies. Yes, they are addictive. As my good buds The Borg says, "Resistance is Futile". I hope you like these as much as I do.

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup raspberry jam (I use Smucker's seedless raspberry jam)

1 cup icing sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
2 to 3 teaspoons water


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Cream sugar and butter together until fluffy. Add almond extract and beat until combined. Add flour and mix on low speed until mixture comes together in a dough-like ball.
  3. Roll dough into small balls, about 1 to 1.5". Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Flatten balls slightly with a spatula. Make indentations in the balls using your thumbs or the handle of a wooden spoon. Fill each cookie with about 1/4 teaspoon of jam. Chill cookie dough for about 15 minutes.
  4. Bake cookies for 15-18 minutes, or until lightly browned on bottom Cool on rack.
  5. To make Glaze, whisk icing sugar, extract and water together until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cookies. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Baking! Day 4: Nanaimo Bars

Day 4: Nanaimo Bars

Sweet 'n' creamy 'n' chewy; just like me.
Nanaimo bars, a no-bake layered bar dessert, are quintessentially Canadian and popular hereabouts around Christmas time. If you have insomnia, you can read more about the history of Nanaimo Bars here.

The bars take a lot of ingredients, but they are essentially easy to make. You make the bars in stages, starting with the base. Then, the creamy middle layer is spread over the base. Try not to eat any, I dare you. Finally, melted chocolate is poured over the top. Chill, slice, and inhale.

If these are new to your understanding, please make them and let me know how you liked them! They are a favourite around here, and don't last long.

Nanaimo Bars
Based on a recipe by Deanna Horn
Makes one 9 x 13 inch tray of bars

1 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
10 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup graham cracker crumbs

Middle Layer
1/2 cup butter
4 cups icing sugar, sifted
4 tablespoons vanilla custard powder
6 tablespoons milk

Top Layer
1/2 cup butter
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Prepare Base
In a saucepan on medium heat, melt butter, sugar, cocoa and vanilla together and stir until smooth. Add beaten eggs, stir until combined; remove from heat. Add coconut, almonds and graham cracker crumbs; stir together. Spread mixture onto the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan. Refrigerate. 

Prepare middle layer
In a stand mixer, cream butter until light and fluffy. Add icing sugar and custard powder. Cream together until light and fluffy. Add milk, beat on medium high until fluffy. Spread over base layer. Refrigerate.

Prepare top layer Melt chocolate and butter together, mix until smooth. Pour over middle layer and spread evenly to coat. Refrigerate.
Cut into bars and enjoy.

**Edited to fix the instructions for preparing the base. Thanks, all of you who pointed it out!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Baking! Day 3: Easy Shortbread

Day 3: Easy Shortbread

Nice cookies, lady
Real Scottish shortbread should be an extremely sturdy, robust, buttery cookie. I admit, the real thing is often too tough for me to enjoy. Some recipes I have found to be labour-intensive. I like this easy version, because the tiny cookies instantly melt in your mouth. Light and delicate, they still pack a buttery punch in the face. Who doesn't enjoy a buttery punch in the face?

Did I mention that they were easy? Easy to make, you naughty minx! Heave all the ingredients into a mixer, and turn that bad boy on for ten minutes. You can do a lot in ten minutes, such as drink two cocktails and subsequently tweet about it.

Pipe the batter onto parchment paper, in a shape that pleases you. I have made moundy swirls, and chunky S-shapes. When the cookies are done, you can carefully dip them in melted chocolate. Trust me, they are addictive!

Easy Shortbread
Adapted from Best of Bridge

1 cup butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. 
  2. In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. 
  3. Add flour and stir until thoroughly mixed. Beat on medium high speed for 10 minutes. Mixture will be very pale and very fluffy. 
  4. Scrape mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe 2" mounds onto parchment paper about 2" apart. 
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until bottoms start to turn golden brown. Cool slightly in pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  6. Drizzle cooled cookies with melted chocolate for an option. 

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Friday, December 2, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Baking! Day 2: Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge

Day 2: Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge
Here come the fudge!

When we were growing up, my sister and I had a specific Christmas baking duty:

Stir The Fudge Pot

We had a special pot for it and everything: The Fudge Pot. An ancient, heavy-bottomed stock pot — whose bakelite handles had long-since shattered and flaked away; ancient burnt sugar stains flecked the pitted bottom. And a special Fudge Spoon — a warped but very sturdy wooden spoon.

We would stand on chairs, stirring and stirring, while the fudge got thicker and thicker, until our tiny arms were burning. It was only six minutes, but it seemed to take forever. Time stood still and it was the NOWness of the bubbling sugar, and the endless, endless, stirring, that filled my whole frontal lobe.

"Is it time yet?" we would call. "No, four minutes left," Mom would say patiently.

The sugary mixture got darker and darker. Bubbles blatted their way to the surface, one after the other.

Three minutes, two minutes, one minute left. Sweat on our brows, we would whine, "I can't do it!" and suddenly the fudge would be done. Quickly! Quickly! Throw in butter, chocolate and vanilla. Quickly! Stir, stir, stir. Quickly! Pour that stiffening chocolate wonderfulness into the pan. It smelled like some kind of heaven.

The best part? We always got to lick the spoon. Always.

I am not sharing.

Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge
by Barbara Rogalsky

3/4 cup evaporated milk
2 cups granulated sugar
About 20 large marshmallows (5.5 oz)
1/2 cup butter
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot, mix together evaporated milk, sugar and marshmallows.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is bubbling and marshmallows begin to melt.
  3. Once bubbling, allow turn heat down to just below medium and continue boiling for exactly 6 minutes. Mixture will start to turn golden.
  4. Remove from heat and immediately stir in butter, chocolate and vanilla.
  5. Pour into an 8 x 8 inch pan lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Chill to firm up in refrigerator. Cut into 1 inch squares, serve at room temperature.

Swap bittersweet chocolate for dark chocolate, mint chocolate, etc. Add different flavorings instead of vanilla, for example, maple or coffee.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Baking! Day 1: Church Windows

Welcome to Let Them Eat Cake's 12 Days of Christmas Baking!

Christmas is coming — don't you smell the chestnuts roasting?


No need to panic. As my Christmas gift to you, I will post a new Christmas baking treat every day for the next 12 days. Coming up: cookies, candies, bars and lots of chocolate! I hope you will find a recipe to share with your family and friends, and become part of your holiday baking repertoire.

My mother loved Christmas. As children, my sister and I would be her helper elves. We would be her baking assistants in the kitchen, cutting and decorating cookies or stirring fudge; we would sit together at the kitchen table making hand-made ornaments for the tree; and she would help us make hand-made gifts for each other. We would listen to Christmas music albums: Bing Crosby and Harry Belafonte crooned while we drank hot cocoa with tiny marshmallows. Some of the ornaments we made still exist and now grace my Christmas tree each December.

We lost our Mom to cancer 18 years ago, but we still continue her traditions as much as we can today. She taught us that the season is about sharing and family and making do with what you have. May you find warm moments of peace and friendship, no matter how hectic and stressful life can get.

Much love,

Churchy church windows are churchy. Delicious, without the pesky broken glass and lead poisoning. You're welcome.

Day 1: Church Windows

Chocolatey slices of colorful marshmallows resemble stained-glass windows, and the coating of shredded coconut is reminiscent of a light dusting of Christmas snow. This no-bake slice is one of my favourite Christmas treats, and is something that my Mom, my sister and I would make together every year.

Church Windows
by Barbara Rogalsky

4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg, beaten lightly
1 cup icing sugar
4 cups miniature coloured (fruit-flavoured) marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

  1. Melt chocolate with butter, cool slightly. Mix in beaten egg, stir until combined. Stir in icing sugar and vanilla until combined. Fold in marshmallows and nuts (if using).
  2. Spread mixture on a large piece of parchment or wax paper. Using the wax paper, form mixture into a rolled log about 4" thick. Coat with coconut.
  3. Freeze log for about an hour. Remove from freezer and slice into 1/2" thick slices. Keep church windows in a sealed container and refrigerated. 
Makes about 2 dozen slices.

Special thanks to Lesa, Mimi and Cam for being my kitchen assistants; and to Robin, ÜberHusband, for taking such brilliant photographs and being generally awesome.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Top Ten Awesome Christmas Gift Ideas for Bakers

Do you have a baker on your Christmas shopping list? I've compiled a list of 10 cool gifts that bakers will swoon for! From amateurs to pros, these gift ideas will be sure to please. No need to break the bank; there are gift ideas for every budget — from stocking stuffers to showcase uber-gifts. Happy shopping!

1. KitchenAid KSM120MC Custom Stand Mixer in Metallic Chrome $269.97 Cdn
A classic addition to any baker's kitchen — it is the one tool I use constantly and could not do without!

2. Wilton 50-Piece Tool and Caddy Decorating Set $67.99 Cdn
A fantastic starter set for anyone who wants to get started decorating cakes, cupcakes and cookies. 

3. Silpat silicone baking mat $14.99 Cdn
My favorite non-stick surface for making cookies, molding chocolate or sugar, or making bark-type desserts like peanut brittle. 

4. Silicone spatula $5.94 Cdn 
One of the most versatile tools for a baker's kitchen! A silicone spatula can take any heat; whether you're stirring caramel or melting chocolate, this spatula also has the strength to stir stiff cookie batter. A must have! 

5. Digital Scale $25 Cdn 
Many baking recipes measure by weight, so a digital scale is an essential tool for the modern baker. 

A fantastic stocking stuffer — thermometers are used in making candy, melting chocolate and making caramels.  

7. Beautiful cake stands from Shop Sweet Lulu Starting at $35
8" or 11.5" in diameter, these elegant stands will make your dessert stand out! There are many other beautiful and unique stands to choose from. Check it out! 

8. Cookie love apron $24.50 from Cafe Press 
Showcasing a match made in heaven: milk and cookies. 

The one and only Cake Pops book you need to read! Written by the popular web author, Cake Pops is a feast for the eyes as well as the tummy. 

10. Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes by David Lebovitz $28 
Reading David Lebovitz' website about his culinary adventures in Paris inspired me to start this website. 

Hopefully, you will find some of these great products for a great price tomorrow on Black Friday. Happy shopping!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sugar High Sunday: Get Ready for your Christmas Cookie Swap!

Have you ever participated in a cookie swap?
Some of you (you know who you are, you naughty minx) may be thinking this is a euphemism for something immoral and vaguely illegal. I assure you, cookie swaps or exchanges are completely dessert-related! (Sorry, minx

The premise is simple and brilliant — you and let's say, five of your friends each make six dozen of one recipe. You keep one dozen of your own for yourself, give away five dozen to the other swappers, and in return you receive five dozen other treats! That you didn't have to make! See? Brilliant! It's so much easier to make six dozen of one recipe, than six separate recipes. Often, you only have to double a recipe to get the proper amount. The best part is that it doesn't have to be cookies, it can be anything by the dozen — brownies, lemon bars — anything you like. 

Here are some ideas from some other food bloggers to get you started. I promise — Cookie Swaps are fun and rewarding!

Martha Stewart's roundup of Holiday Cookies

These Chocolate truffles pack a tiny hint of heat, that is. From Art of Dessert: El Diablo Chocolate Truffles

Our Best Bites gives us the perfect Sugar Cookie

From the Idea Room: Chocolate PepperMint Cookies and a fudge recipe

Delicious Mint Chocolate Chip Bark from Bakers Royale looks beautiful, too.

It's not Christmas without nuts! {That's what SHE said} Ahem. Anyhoo… here's some Nut Caramel Bars with Dried Cherries from honey & jam

So, yeah. It's been a very long week.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Chocolate Espresso Cookies

Unhinge jaw. Inhale cookie stack.

I am a coffee girl.

In the morning, it usually takes at least two cups of coffee before my eyes can focus and I can form complete sentences. I also love chocolate — so, coffee and chocolate together? Pure heaven. These shiny, chewy chocolate cookies pack a huge chocolate whollop, with a sweet kick of coffee. Getting the right grind on your beans will be the key to your success — the finer the grind, the better.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy birthday Marie Antoinette!

Today is the birthday of my cake-loving mascot, Marie Antoinette!

I am in love with Sofia Coppola's movie version of her life, inaccuracies aside. Everything about the costumes, the sets, Kirsten Dunst's performance, makes me giddy. I just wish the DVD would come out on Blu-ray already! Do you hear me, Sofia?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

5 Post-Halloween Sugar Hangover Tips

How was your Halloween? Mine was the usual — ate way too much candy, put out a jack o' lantern fire and attempted to soothe two 95-lb dogs that were freaking due to firecrackers. I also have a Godzilla-sized sugar hangover.

Here are five things I find help me to recover from the post-Halloween chocolate overload. I hope they help you, too.

  1. Drink water. The best way to reset your system is to drink plenty of water. A good amount is eight 8 oz glasses.
  2. Get anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants repair damage to cells. If your insulin held a midnight rave in your body from your sugar binge, then anti-oxidants will help the body begin to recover. How you do that is up to you — I like green tea, or citrus fruits. If you go for citrus, eat the whole fruit rather than just a glass of juice.
  3. Get moving. Get some exercise — even if it's just a walk around the block. Working your bod gets the blood flowing to all the places that need it!
  4. Eat! Eat small meals and snacks often throughout the day. This will keep your blood sugar steady and help prevent cravings. Make the food you choose count nutritionally; whole grains, veggies, lean meats, a tiny bit of good fat and so on. If you find you are still craving sugar, reach for a piece of fruit first.
  5. Get that extra candy out of your house! Take it to work. Give it away. Give it to the Food Bank or shelter. If it's not in front of your face, you can't eat it, right? What do you do if you can't give it away? Make it difficult to get to, such as keeping it on the freezer.

What kinds of things do you do to help yourself get over a sugar hangover?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sugar High Sunday–Halloween Edition

Happy Halloween from Lulu & Co!
Happy Halloween!

Here at Let Them Eat Cake, we LOVE Halloween and all the sugary fun it brings! This Sugar High Sunday features Halloween-themed posts from my favourite blogs. I hope you have fun, be safe tomorrow night and remember to brush your teeth! ;-)

Check out Marshmallow Ghost Cupcakes from yours truly!

The lovely Bakerella  has a fantastic post about Halloween sprinkles.

I've heard of whoopie pies, but spooky pies? Sugar Plum shows us the way.

This cake is GORGEOUS! I'm so jealous of Bakingdom's Chocolate Orange Layer Cake.

You'll have to find the surprise for yourself at I am Baker...

Confessions of a Cookbook Queen posted a whole whack* of awesome Halloween recipes.

Hostess with the Mostess brings us a beautiful & elegant Halloween party. Le sigh.

Jelly Shot Test Kitchen brews up some very cool glow-in-the-dark Vodka Tonic Bat Shots. *hic*

and finally, from Half Baked, three beautiful and chic black & white Halloween styling ideas.

Happy Halloween!

*like, a whole lot

Friday, October 28, 2011

Marshmallow Ghost Cupcakes

Absolutely adorable marshmallow ghosts float spookily above dark but divine devil's food cupcakes! A cute but scary treat for your Halloween bash. The sweet, glossy marshmallow frosting sounds complicated but it's pretty easy. For best results, make the frosting the same day you will serve them. Enjoy!

Cute marshmallow ghosties will haunt your tastebuds!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Chocolate Ruffle Cake

I love birthdays. There's nothing I love more than a shared celebration with family and friends. Recently, we celebrated the birthday of the wonderful Pamela, my friend and sister-in-law. I just need to say that Pamela is generous, effervescent, fun, hilarious, clever, talented, creative and a culinary genius. As a surprise, I made her a chocolate birthday cake. However, I decided I need to fancy it up with a nifty frosting technique. Here is the result — Chocolate Ruffle Cake!
Pretty, ruffly and girly — a perfect birthday cake for the birthday girl.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sugar High Sunday

Welcome, my friends, to another Sugar High Sunday; where the sugar is sugary and the butter is all up in your grill. Here's a round-up of some other sweet treats found around the dessert world this week. I hope they inspire you!

Half Baked discusses a trend I am loving at the moment: Cake Trios

Raspberri Cupcakes makes a beautiful Orange Cake with Fruit Tingle Frosting. I don't know what Fruit Tingles are, but I want some.

I am a Candied Apple fan! As Hallowe'en approaches, you may want to brush up on your Caramel Apple skills with this post from Glorious Treats.

The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle has the cutest-ever Pumpkin Cookies! As a bonus, she has a nifty tip about orange food colouring.

Why am I not eating these RIGHT NOW? My Baking Addiction's Chocolate Caramel Tarts are taunting me with their awesomeness.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sugar High Sunday

Here's a round-up of some other sweet treats found around the dessert world this week. I hope they inspire you!

Healthy and allergen safe Nut-Free Energy Bars from Baking Obsession

Avocados? In ice cream? I say, "Yes, please!" Avocado Ice Cream from Art of Dessert

Dairy-free Hazelnut Chocolate Milk from Always Order Dessert

Zoë Bakes revisits The Ultimate Carrot Cake

Sprinkle Bakes' Pumpkin Brown Butter Cupcakes with Cinnamon Frosting made me {almost} lick the screen!

Mmmm Cinnamon Roll Cookies by Bakers Royale

If you see deliciousness that deserves to be featured here, drop me a line!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Red Velvet Cake

Luscious Red Velvet Cake, with pretty cream cheese frosting roses
When I was a teenager, my family was transplanted from western Canada to rural Mississippi for a short time. That year brought daily lessons of culture shock, the main one of course was the food. I have many memories of shiver-inducing food, however, I did fall in love with one dessert: Red Velvet Cake. This moist, sweet, beautifully red cake with its tangy white frosting was a wonderful treat; not quite birthday cake, not quite chocolate cake, but something unique and new to me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chocolate Sheet Cake

Yuuuuuuuuuuuuum. That is all.

I call this my Last Minute Cake. No need to worry about remembering to take out butter or whatnot; everything is melted together in a pot on the stove. This easy cake can be mixed by hand and baked in one large pan! Rich and fudgy and chocolatey—and the chocolate glaze icing will knock your socks off. The first time I made the icing and tasted it, my eyes bugged out and I immediately reached for a larger spoon. Here's a tip: divide the batter among two 8x8 pans - freezing one cake for later use.

Recipe after the jump!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy {Canadian} Thanksgiving!

Turkey — you complete me. Bro-in-law Jason carves the bird.

No Sugar High Sunday this week — we're too busy enjoying time with family and friends. We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
I always get to the make the gravy!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sugar High Sunday

Here's a round-up of some other sweet treats found around the dessert world this week. I hope they inspire you!

Beautiful food and photography at Sweetapolita - Nutella Swirl Pound Cake with Espresso Glaze

Super yummy-looking Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes from Bakingdom look amazing — these are on my list to try soon!

A Sweet Spoonful shares a sweet story and a sweet recipe for Ginger Molasses Cookies

Simple, beautiful, classic — another Apple Pie for the holidays from Brown Eyed Baker

These Salted Caramel Cupcakes from Cake Events look scrumptious, and as a bonus, include free printable tags!

Dessert for breakfast? Yes, please! Make it a Breakfast Banana Split from Bake at 350 — made from fresh strawberries, bananas, greek yogurt and drizzled with melted Nutella. *DIES*

Here's a healthier alternative to the above breakfast craziness: Olive Oil Granola from Everybody Likes Sandwiches

Enjoy — thanks for reading!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake and Gingersnap-Pecan Crust with Maple Caramel Sauce

Spicy pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap and pecan crust, drizzled with maple-caramel sauce
For your Thanksgiving feast this year, why not try an elegant alternative to the same old boring pumpkin pie — creamy pumpkin cheesecake! This smooth and spicy cheesecake is drizzled with warm, maple caramel sauce and chopped pecans, atop a gingersnap and pecan crust.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, Robin!

I just wanted to take the time to wish my husband and best friend Robin a very happy birthday! Robin has been my biggest supporter in everything I do. He is the most kind and selfless person I know! He is also a kick-ass photographer and a computer genius. He also laughs at all my jokes, which makes him a supreme being in my eyes. Happy Birthday, babe!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sugar High Sunday

Here's a round-up of some other sweet treats found around the dessert world this week. I hope they inspire you!

Swoon-Worthy Hot Chocolate from marshmallow goddess The Pink Spatula

Brown Sugar Cookies from Joy the Baker

Fun Cartoon Character Cake Pops from bakerella

I love food shaped like other food! Cupcake-shaped cookies from Bake at 350

Dulce de Leche Rice Pudding from Baking Obsession

I need some of this for breakfast: Cinnamon Toast Ice Cream from pastry studio

Peanut butter = Heaven! Gooey Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Cake Bars from Always Order Dessert

These are pretty and elegant. Lemon-Ricotta White Chocolate Cookies from Sugar Plum

Thanks for reading — enjoy!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Luscious Hot Fudge Sauce

More, please!

Warm and decadent hot fudge sauce poured over ice cream is my favourite treat! When the sauce hits the ice cream, it forms a ribbon of chewy, fudge-tastic goodness. You'll love it so much, you'll want to slap a ring on that fudge and get it to the church on time.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Caramelized Peaches in Brown Sugar & Rum Sauce

I got 99 problems, but a peach ain't one.
Late summer is the time when beautiful, ripe peaches make their way to our tables from the orchards of the sunny Okanagan. Blush-coloured and fuzzy and heavy with juice, peaches are the ultimate summer fruit, almost bursting with sweetness. When summer temperatures soar, you can make this easy dessert on your barbecue to avoid heating up your kitchen, as I did here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sweet Cherry Tart with Port

Sweet Cherry Tart with Port
Late summer in BC is cherry season! The fruit is so abundant, it seems like the sweet, plump cherries are available everywhere you turn. The addition of a mellow port to this sweet cherry tart elevate it beyond simple cherry pie to something elegant and special.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream, elegant in its simplicity
Simple, elegant, beautiful — creamy vanilla ice cream enhances so many wonderful desserts, or is perfectly delicious all on its own. This silky and decadent ice cream is packed with rich vanilla goodness.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies. Hands off — these are all mine!

Break-ups. Bad hair days. Work problems. Brownies are the warm, chewy, brown friend you turn to when you start feeling like life is piling troubles on your shoulders. While they are not the cure — brownies are a quick and easy craving buster that are a cinch to whip up and have you back on the road to coping.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Blueberry Pie

I scored a huge box of fresh, local blueberries at the Langley Community Farmers Market recently. Plump and juicy, bursting with that tangy-sweet flavour, these little blue jewels demanded to be stuffed immediately into a delicious pie.
Farm Fresh Blueberries
This is my favourite recipe for blueberry pie. The pastry crust I prefer for this pie uses all butter (pâte brisée), recipe included after the jump. If making pie pastry intimidates you or if you're in a hurry, then use a purchased double-crust pie shell. I hope you like it!

Blueberry Pie with all-butter pastry crust

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

40-Minute Hamburger Buns

These delicious hamburger buns are incredibly easy and quick to make — no one will believe you made them in under an hour! They are substantial enough to stand up to the messiest burger creation without being heavy.
40 Minute Hamburger Buns: Get in my belly, now!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Peanut Butter Truffles

Got a sweet & salty craving? Rich and crunchy peanut butter, salty pretzel pieces and a sweet milk chocolate coating, these peanut butter truffles are sure to satisfy. Use natural peanut butter for the best flavour. Keep the finished truffles in the freezer for a refreshing snack.
Peanut Butter Truffles

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Turtle Tart

Just like the famous candy — salty and sweet, crunchy and smooth —  all together in this rich and decadent dessert.
Gooey, Yummy, Crunchy Turtle Tart