These mint-chocolate cookie squares have all the deliciousness of cookies without any of the annoying requirements. All you have to do is mix up the dough, whap it in a pan, top with squares of mint chocolate, bake for 30 minutes and you will have a divine dessert good for backyard bbq's or fancy dinner parties. A dollop of whipped cream would put this over the top! I've used a 70% Mint chocolate, which came in a bar of 10 fairly large squares. I placed 9 squares on the cookie batter, finely chopped the 10th square and sprinkled it over the exposed bits of batter.
Mint-chocolate cookie squares
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 bar of mint chocolate
Grease and line with parchment paper a 7X7 inch square baking pan. Set aside
a hand or stand mixer combine the butter with both sugars. Add the
egg and vanilla and combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa, and baking soda.
Gradually add the flour to the butter and sugar mixture.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread the dough evenly over the base of the pan. Top with the squares of chocolate.
Bake for 30 minutes
being careful not to over bake them as they will not show signs of
Set aside to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan to cool completely on a wire rack. Slice into 9 pieces with each piece receiving a square of chocolate.
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Rhubarb is an announcement for spring. It's one of the first green things in Canada to pop up after a loooooong white winter and I welcome it with open arms. Rhubarb is quite sour so I just love the addition of the sweet cinnamon strusel on top.
Individual rhubarb strusel coffee cakes
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla
2 cups chopped rhubarb
2 tsp orange zest
2 tbsp orange juice
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
6 tbsp cold butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin.
To make the strusel, combine all the ingredients and blend with your fingers until a coarse crumb forms. Set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together the sour cream and baking soda. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the
vanilla, orange zest and orange juice and mix. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix. Add half
of the flour mixture and once mixed in add half the yogurt mixture.
Repeat. Fold in the rhubarb.
Measure a 1/4 of batter into each muffin cup. Sprinkle with the strusel topping.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean after being inserted into the middle of the cake.
cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing the cakes.
Let cool on a wire rack.
I don't know much about Royal Wood other than I am in love with his music. Picture your perfect Sunday and that's what Royal Wood's music is like. Find out more about him on his website and myspace and watch two videos below. You can also hear a ton of his songs on radio3.ca (CBC).
I am a big Montreal Canadiens fan and am thrilled about how well they are playing these playoffs. I may or may not have also developed a slight crush on Mike Cammalleri. I made this cake today for a young Habs fan and here's hoping they'll need one for the next round too!
I tend to go through stages of obsession with a particular flavour or ingredient, using it a ton in recipes and then forgetting about it for a while. Toasted almonds are my current obsession. I love nothing more than toasting up a handful of whole almonds at work to snack on throughout the day. I really like the combinations that come into play in this recipe. The satisfying snap of the crust when your fork breaks through, the silky smooth vanilla cream, the tart bite of the berries all underpinned by the aroma and flavour of toasted almond. Feel free to use other berries in this recipe, blackberries would look especially nice against the pale cream. The recipe for the pastry cream came from The Barefoot Contessa. I used 3 inch tart tins and this recipe made 6, but you could make this into one large tart or into smaller tarts if you want.
Strawberry-almond cream tart
1/2 cup blanched almonds
1/2 cup sugar
7 tbsp cold butter
2 egg yolks
1 cup plus 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp corn starch
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp butter
1 pint of strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
In a food
processor, combine the almonds and sugar. Pulse until they are
finely ground. Transfer to a bowl and add the butter, flour, egg yolks
and salt. Mix together, form into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic
wrap. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
To make the pastry cream bring the milk to a boil in a medium sized pot and remove from the heat. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar on high for 4-5 minutes until fluffy and pale in colour. Switch to low speed and beat in the corn starch. Slowly add the hot milk. Immediately transfer the liquid back to the pan and using a whisk stir continuously over low heat. The mixture will take a couple of minutes to thicken while you stir. Once thickened, remove from the heat and add the vanilla and butter. Cover with plastic wrap, touching the wrap to the surface of the pasty cream so a skin doesn't form. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour 6, 3 inch tart tins.
the crust into the tart tins. Place a piece of parchment over the
crust and fill with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes. After 15
minutes, remove the beans and parchment and bake for a further 5
minutes. Set aside to cool.
To assemble the tarts remove the tart shells from the tins. Spoon the cream into the tarts and arrange strawberry slices on top. Sprinkle with a few toasted almonds.
I would find it very hard to pick one band as "my favorite" but the New Pornographers are definitely in the top 5. Together was just released and it's amazing. Canada is so lucky to be able to claim the New Pornographers as their own! You can listen to the entire record on Spinner.ca. Find out more about them on their website and watch a brand spankin' new video for "Your hands (together)" below.