Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Double Trouble Chocolate Chip Cookies

Double Chocolate chip cookie1

The trouble part comes from the fact, they can be slightly addictive.

I know its getting too hot here to be baking cookies, but sometimes a girls gotta do, what a girls gotta do.  I was having a massive chocolate craving, and I was feeling that pang of guilt having not blogged anytime recently

This recipe is an extra chocolatey modification of a family recipe for chocolate chip cookies that my Grandma W. has been making as far back as I can remember.  At every family gathering, there would be the big plastic rectangle container filled to the very top with these cookies.  I perched on the edge of a kitchen chair helping Grandma make them more than a few times(she always set aside a bit of chocolate chips for me to munch on, it was my favourite part!). 

The original recipe is from a yellowed old paper clipping, Grandma can’t recall exactly where it was taken from(as she has a huge stash of recipes clipped just like it).  When I married and moved in with my husband (4 years ago Thursday!)  I asked for the recipe and she simply jotted it down from memory.  I love when I make them, as it brings me back to being perched on that chair sneaking chocolate chips while Grandma showed me how to measure ingredients.

My husband actually had a hand in this adaptation, adjusting some of the amounts of sugar to his liking, as this was the first thing I taught him to bake (sometimes I think he even makes them better than me, but shhh, don’t tell).  There is just nothing sexier than a man who bakes (okay so that might just be my opinion) but I’m so glad that he quickly learned that recipes are fun to play around with.

Double Chocolate chip cookie3-2

This variation is thick, dangerously chocolately and nice and soft on the inside without falling apart in your hands.

Double Trouble Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes approx 3 dozen or so cookies


  • 1 Cup Butter
  • ¾ Cup White Sugar
  • ¾ Cup Brown sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla
  • 2 Cup Flour
  • 1 Tsp Baking soda
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • 2/3 Cup Cocoa
  • 2 Cup Chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats, set aside.
  2. Cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well again, scraping bowl occasionally.
  3. Mix flour, baking soda and salt in bowl. Sift in cocoa powder. Gradually add dry ingredients to sugar mixture, mix just until combined. Mix in chocolate chips.
  4. Place by tablespoonfuls couple inches apart onto lined baking sheets. I like to leave mine heaped or rolled into a ball for a nice thick cookie.
  5. Bake in oven for approximately 8 minutes or until edges and some of the middle is set…cookies will continue to bake as you take them out of the oven.  Wait a couple of minutes before transferring to racks to cool.
  6. Once cool store in an airtight container.

The dough freezes well, as do the cookies themselves. If it’s very warm in your kitchen or you find the dough very soft, you can also chill the dough before baking.

Double Chocolate chip cookie2

You can add ½ cup chopped nuts when adding the chocolate chips. Feel free to change the flavour of chocolate chips, white or peanut butter would taste fantastic!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Most Delicious Orange Cake


When I was gearing up for the baking competition this past weekend, I came across a recipe for orange cake on one of my favourite blogs, Eating Out Loud.  I had the oranges all ready to make it, but just completely ran out of time.  So the oranges sat, kind of forgotten about and sad for the rest of the weekend while I took a much needed break from the kitchen.  Yesterday I was craving dessert, and seeing how I hate wasting food and the recipe looked simple, I decided to give it a go.  My expectations couldn’t have prepared me for how absolutely DELICIOUS this cake was going to be.  Its light and airy while still being so incredibly moist and flavourful.  The glaze has just the right amount of citrusy sweetness.


You can find the recipe here on Allen’s website Eating Out Loud.  I baked my cake in a 10 inch tube pan for approximately 50 minutes and it came out perfect.  You will notice a lack of zest in my cake compared to Allen’s, this is because Mr. BotC isn’t a fan of citrus zest so I omitted it from the frosting and only put about a tsp in the cake.  I would recommend using the full amount to get an extra punch of orange flavour, but its still fantastic cut back if you too have something not fond of zest.

Thank you Allen so much for this recipe, I will be making this again for sure!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

(Second) Best Whole Wheat Bread

Competition pic

Today’s weather was just gorgeous for a parade and a big festival!  I’m back from the Bread and Honey Festival baking competition, and I didn’t do too shabby!  I wrangled three 2nd place spots, winning with my pumpkin bread, butter tarts and whole wheat bread.

win ribbons

Unfortunately, I was so busy that I didn’t get pictures of a lot of the things I baked.  My kitchen table is still caked with flour and covered with various Tupperware pieces.  I did have an extra loaf of the whole wheat bread thankfully that I can actually show you (and extra shortbread cookies, the post will be coming soon!).
This bread has won me second place at the festival twice now.  Its simple and straight forward to make, is hearty without being overly dense and has a lovely flavour.  It is also 100% whole wheat, so on top of tasting great its healthy for you too!  This tastes great with a big bowl of homemade soup (or hey, canned - I won’t tell!).  If you don’t have a loaf pan, you can shape as if you are baking in a loaf pan and let rise and bake on a parchment lined baking sheet, as I have done on the loaf below.  If you use shortening instead of butter, this bread is completely dairy-free.

whole wheat bread 2 fixed

Looking for the recipe to make some beautiful bread yourself?  Check out 100% Whole Wheat Bread by RobinHood.ca

whole wheat bread fixed

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Iron Cupcake: Savoury- Voting Now Open!

Nacho Cupcake-1

You can now head over to No One Puts Cupcake in a Corner to vote for your favourite Iron Cupcake: Savoury Cupcake!  Just browse the entries and then look to the right sidebar, pick up to 3 favourites, and then hit the vote button at the bottom!  Every vote counts as a ballot which a winner will be randomly drawn. Voting is open through Friday, June 5 at 12 noon central.  The winner will be posted the night of June 6, before 11:59 p.m.

   My entry is the Nacho Sabroso Cupcake,  just in case of course you would like to vote for me!

Nacho Cupcake split1

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sugar High Fridays – Sweet without the Wheat


When I read that this month’s Sugar High Friday was to be desserts without any wheat, I knew I would be making something frozen using my much loved ice cream maker(I think I’ve become a little obsessed).   I came to love tea with honey and lemon as a child when my Czech next-door neighbour, who I visited often, would freshly brew it using a coffee maker.  I was curious how it would translate into a sorbet, and have been experimenting in balancing the sourness and tang of the lemon with just enough sweetness.

Sorbets have the added benefit for those with food allergies and sensitivities that not only are they gluten-free, they are also egg and dairy-free.  It came at a good time too, as I came down with a nasty bout of laryngitis right at the beginning of the Canadian Victoria day weekend (of course!).  Honey-lemon tea is known to soothe a raw and sore throat, and I discovered it works even better when frozen! 


Honey-Lemon Tea Sorbet

A true “iced” tea


  • 4                            Tea bags (I used Orange Pekoe)
  • 1/2 Cup               Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp                  Honey
  • 2 Cups                  Water
  • 2  1/2 Cups         Cold water
  • Juice from one lemon (approx. 1/4 cup)


  1. Boil 2 cups of the water and sugar together until sugar dissolves.  Take off heat.
  2. Add tea bags.  Steep for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove tea bags and add honey, stirring to dissolve.
  4. Mix in 2 cups cold water and lemon juice.
  5. Put in fridge to chill until thoroughly cold, at least 2 hours.
  6. Freeze in ice cream machine according to manufacture’s instructions.
  7. Keep in airtight container in freezer.  Will tend to freeze rock hard after a few hours, let thaw in fridge at least 10-15 minutes until softened. (If frozen in a microwaveable container, I have found putting it on 30 second bursts and checking works too, works well especially for the impatient like me).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

May Dinner and a Movie: Shirley Valentine (Loukoumathes)


This month’s  Dinner and a Movie, hosted by Marc of No Recipes and Susan of Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy, is the 1989 film “Shirley Valentine”.


Before this month’s D&M I had never heard of the movie, and when reading the summary about it on Wiki, I admit I was sceptical.   Its about a 40 something English woman who is treated like a door mat by most the people in her life, especially her brutish husband.  She basically lives to serve everyone else, so lonely and beaten down she talks to the wall in her kitchen.  When a friend wins two tickets to a resort in Greece, she makes a last minute decision to realize her dream of travelling, and takes off for new parts.  After her friend promptly ditches her for a man she meets on the plane she has to discover the island on her own.  She then begins to find out what she wants and what she actually needs.

Although I felt iffy about the ending, I was surprised how much the movie actually touched me.  It actually gave  me the push I needed to make a major change in my life that I had been avoiding for a very long time.

This is what brought me to my choice of recipe, Loukoumathes. 


In Greek these are λουκουμάδες, pronounced loo-koo-MAH-thes.  These little yeasted balls of dough are deep fried until puffed and golden and then drizzled with lots of honey and sprinkled with cinnamon.  A New years eve tradition in parts of Greece, I thought they were perfect for a movie based on change and getting a new start.  They are light and airy, and despite being covered in honey, they are not overwhelmingly sweet.  Adjust the amount of cinnamon you sprinkle to your taste, Mr. BotC liked it very liberally covered.  These must be serve immediately as they are fried, and will become soggy if left to sit.



  • 1 pk -Active dry yeast or 30 grams compressed yeast
  • 1 c Milk; lukewarm (110 F)
  • 1 tb granulated white sugar
  • 1 Egg; beaten
  • 1/4 c Butter; melted
  • 2 Cups All purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Honey; warmed
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Oil (of your choice) for frying
  1. In small bowl stir yeast into 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm milk.  Let sit 2 to 5 minutes until yeast is mostly dissolved.
  2. In large bowl mix together remaining milk, sugar, egg and lukewarm melted butter. Add dissolved yeast.
  3. Sift flour and salt and gradually stir in mixed liquids. Beat until smooth and continue beating for 1 minute.
  4. Cover bowl with warm damp cloth and leave in a warm place for 1-1/2 hours until batter doubles in bulk with bubbles on the surface. I like to put the bowl into a cold oven, and place a pan full of boiling water at the other end, and then shut the oven door. This gives me a beautiful rise every time.
  5. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper, and then with a layer of paper towel
  6. In small pot over very low (minimum) heat, set honey to warm while frying the dough, until nice and fluid.
  7. Remove cloth from bowl of dough, stir dough well then drop teaspoonfuls into pot of deep, hot oil (375F) 4 to 5 at a time. Do not crowd puffs or they tend to stick together. 
  8.   Turn puffs to brown evenly and remove with a slotted spoon to drain on lined baking sheet.  Watch very closely as each puff only takes about a minute to cook.
  9. When all are drained, arrange on serving plate. Drizzle each with the warmed honey and sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve hot.

Adapted from The Greek Cookbook by Tess Mallos


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Iron Cupcake: Earth - Battle Savoury!

This will be my first Iron Cupcake: Earth challenge, and I’m so excited!  Faced with the challenge of making a savoury cupcake;  that is, something you would have for dinner instead of for dessert, I tried to break down favourite dishes that might translate in cupcake form.  After lots of brainstorming, where I learned the internet is not teeming with ideas for savoury cupcakes, it came to me – Nachos.

Nacho Cupcake-1

Everyone has their own way of doing them; some like grated cheese, some the ooey-gooey processed cheese sauce.  The garnish possibilities run the gamut, from sweet (tomatoes) to salty (olives) to a little bit of heat (jalapenos).  This is my interpretation of nachos, in easy to eat cupcake form.  A cheese cupcake in a crispy tortilla cup, spiced with taco seasoning, dotted with green onions and filled with a thick salsa  and frosted with a swirl of sour cream.  Frosting is garnished with a sprinkling of finely diced tomatoes and sliced green onions and finally topped with a homemade tortilla chip.

Nachos Sabroso Cupcakes

Tortilla cups

  • 4 Large tomato tortillas
  • cooking spray or vegetable oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400F (200C)  for the cupcakes.
  2. Lightly grease 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray or vegetable oil.  Set aside.
  3. Using a 4 inch cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out 12 rounds from tortillas.
  4. In large pan over medium-low heat, warm tortillas, one or two at a time, until pliable.
  5. As you remove tortillas from heat, gently fit into muffin cups, pleating if necessary.  Careful as the tortillas may be hot!
  6. Set aside and proceed to making cupcake batter.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp taco seasoning (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded old cheddar cheese
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted


  1. If you haven’t done so yet, preheat oven to 400F (200C).
  2. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda and taco seasoning;  stir in cheddar cheese and green onions.
  3. In small bowl, lightly beat eggs; stir in sour cream and butter.  Add to dry ingredients, all at once, stirring just until moistened.  Divide batter evenly among the 12 tortilla lined muffin cups.
  4. Bake 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in cups on wire rack.  Remove and let cool completely.  If making tortilla chips, leave oven on.

Tortilla chips (for garnish)

  • 1 flour torilla
  • 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400F unless oven is still on from making the cupcakes.
  2. Slice tortilla into 12 wedges and place on lined baking sheet.
  3. Brush top side of tortilla wedges lightly with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake for 5 minutes, rotate baking sheet and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until tortillas start to crisp but do not turn brown.

Topping and Assembly

cupcake with well

  • 1/2 cup thick salsa
  • 1 500 ml container sour cream (2 cups)
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 12 tortilla chips (homemade or store-bought)
    1. Using sharp knife, cut out small circles into the middle of the cupcake, careful to not go through to the bottom (picture above).  Reserve caps.  Fill each cupcake with a 2 tsp of salsa, and gently replace cap.  If necessary, cut bottom of the cap to make room for the filling.
    2. Using a spoon,  swirl sour cream on each cupcake.
    3. Garnish with finely chopped tomato, green onion slices and a tortilla chip and serve immediately.

    Nacho Cupcake split2

    This month’s winner will receive the following fabulous prizes:


    Last and certainly not least, don’t forget the corporate prize providers: HEAD CHEFS by FIESTA PRODUCTS, http://www.fiestaproducts.com, HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, http://blog.hellocupcakebook.com, JESSIE STEELE APRONS http://www.jessiesteele.com; TASTE OF HOME books, http://www.tasteofhome.com; a t-shirt from UPWITHCUPCAKES.COM http://www.upwithcupcakes.com/. Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers, http://www.1800flowers.com

    I will let you know when the voting opens, and I encourage you to vote for your favourites, even if its not mine! (of course that would be awesome too!)