Tag Archives: sweet

Vanilla Bean Pudding

6 Nov

Since I’ve been off sugar for 2 1/2 weeks my baking has come to almost a full stop.  It’s sad really.  I miss all that mixing, kneading, stirring and blending.  Not to mention the eating of all those glorious sweets that I used to bake on a daily basis.  More than anything else I’ve been craving the Italian jam pie crostata.  I wouldn’t even try it for the first decade of living in Italy because it looked so dry but in the end it has become one of my favourite desserts.  I will be trying to make one this coming week-end (because I’m allowing myself the odd treat on Saturday or Sunday).  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Because I was feeling so bad for my kids and the fact they haven’t been able to enjoy some good home-baking I decided to make them something special for when they got off the school bus today.  I was thinking of making a fancy fruit mousse or trifle but in the end I opted for the most basic of desserts.  Pudding.  Vanilla pudding.  I had never made my kids pudding in their little lives so I thought it was time to give it a try.  Plus, my mom bought me the most lovely little glasses that were crying to be filled with something delicious and creamy.

My kids liked the pudding but asked why there were little pieces of dirt floating in it.  I explained to them about vanilla beans and how wonderful they are.  They looked at me like they still thought there was dirt in their pudding.

It’s a simple and quick recipe and I’m amazed at how it turned out so smoothly and lump-less.  Read on to get the recipe…

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Miniature Pretzel Bites

15 Oct

It’s cold and rainy over here today.  It seems as though the summer is finally over and that the heating system might need to be put to work again.  I have to admit that I’m absolutely not looking forward to winter and cold weather.  I’m one of those people who can never feel warm in the winter months.  I walk around the house with double wool socks, thick scarves and lots of fleece and I have the thermostat on 23 degrees and the fireplace on.  It’s one of the main reasons I moved away from Canada actually.  So wish me luck this winter and let’s hope for a short one.

To beat the chill I can usually be found baking.  Last week I made these miniature pretzel bites and they were devoured within minutes of being out of the oven.   The extra step of boiling the dough before baking is daunting for some people but it’s really not that bad!

I came across the idea to make pretzels over on Say Yes to Hoboken and the recipe is from the Our Best Bites site.  I decided to make the dough into miniature balls so that I could make several different flavours.  For this batch I made some savoury ones with sesame and poppy seeds and some sweet ones with cinnamon and sugar.  They really are so chewy and tasty.  My kids are asking for them on a daily basis now.

There’s nothing like Fleischmann’s quick rising yeast packets from Canada.  Good thing my mom arrives in a few weeks with some more.

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Chocolate Chunk Cookie Cupcakes

12 Jun

These are a mean cupcake. Mean as in you can scoff down 5 or 6 because they’re just so good. And then you realise that they are extremely rich and you have to lay on the couch for a few hours to recuperate. But not to worry. It’s all worth it. And I’d say they’re maybe more of a muffin than a cupcake which opens the whole discussion of the difference between a muffin and a cupcake. Please let me know your views.

I’ve been making these for years and it’s truely one of my kid’s favorite recipes. The other day my son was home “sick” and he was desperate to read stacks of books from when he was little and bake something together. In the end we decided on this recipe because it’s tasty, quick and loved by all.

Here’s the recipe:

Chocolate Chunk Cookie Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (226g) softened butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup whole milk
1-1 1/2 cups chocolate chunks or chips

1. In small bowl mix together dry ingredients.

2. In mixture cream butter and sugars together. Add eggs one at a time then vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in two batches alternating with milk. Stir in chocolate chunks/chips with spatula.

3. Spoon into cupcake papers placed in muffin tin and bake at 375 (180) for approx. 20 minutes.

4. Remove from oven, transfer cakes to a wire rack and let cool.

Recipe found here on the Martha Stewart site.


Makes a lovely little gift as well (I like to tuck them into friend’s mailboxes or hang them on their gate as a little surprise treats)

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