Friday, October 31, 2014

Favourite Things Friday Vol 87 – Halloween Things

Happy Halloween! I can’t believe it is already Halloween; it is crazy how fast this year is going!

I thought I would share a few of my favourite Halloween things this week.

First up, THE CANDY, of course! 

We live in an apartment; we never get trick or treaters, but I ALWAYS ALWAYS buy candy “just in case!”
Sure, right cause this might be the year we get a kid, so I better buy this box of 90 mini chocolate bars! Guess I will just be eating all of those myself.

We always carve pumpkins. I love it! I am terrible at it but I try.(the owl is mine the other 2 are my in house taste testers!)

Carving pumpkins leads into one of my all-time favourite Halloween treats, toasted pumpkin seeds. BEST EVER!

I can’t go a single year without watching Beetlejuice. I am not a huge fan of scary movies so this classic is the perfect Halloween movie for me!

If you are looking for a super fun and tasty treat to make, try these classic Popcorn Balls. They are amazing!

I hope you all have a Spooktacular Halloween! Be safe out there; don’t let the ghosties get ya!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Baked Cinnamon Apple Chips

I have been ogling food dehydrators online lately. Sadly they are really big and cumbersome and my apartment is just not big enough to store one for the amount of times I would use it.

When I saw this recipe for baked apple chips I thought, who needs a dehydrator??

They are crisp and flavorful, a perfect fall treat.

What you need,

1 large granny smith apple, cored and sliced 1/8” thick
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Heat your oven to 200 degrees.

Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a large zip top bag. Add the apple slices and shake well to coat.

Place the apples in a single layer on 2 large baking sheets lined with parchment paper and sprayed lightly with cooking spray.

Bake the apples for 1 hour, then flip the slices over and bake 1 hour more.

Check the apples; they should be crisp but still a little bendy. You may need to bake them up to ½ an hour longer.

Let the apples cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
They will last about a week if you don’t eat them all in one sitting like I did!

What a simple and fabulous snack.



Monday, October 27, 2014

Chocolate Banana Muffins

Well it happened again… I bought bananas at the store last week and they sat on the counter until they got brown and soft‼ What is wrong with me? I think secretly I just like to bake with banana so I let them go brown!

These simple chocolate banana muffins are to die for! They are moist and tender absolutely fabulous.

What you need,

1 large egg
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup sour cream
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 small bananas)
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup heaping cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
½ cup mini chocolate chips
Sanding sugar for topping

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin tin well with non-stick spray. This recipe made 17 muffins so I had to use part of a second pan as well.

In a large bowl beat the egg and sugar together with a spatula until light and fluffy.
Add the sour cream and oil and stir well to incorporate. Stir in the vanilla.  Add the mashed banana and stir to mix,

In a fine mesh sieve add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Sift the dry ingredients into the wet and fold gently until the flour is totally incorporated.  Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Do not over mix or your muffins will be tough!

Sprinkle the tops of each muffin with sanding sugar.

Bake for 20-22 minutes, until a tooth pick comes out clean.
Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store the muffins in an airtight container for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

I just love these muffins; the light dusting of sanding sugar on top adds a great crunch to these soft cakey muffins.
Enjoy one for a snack, or dessert or even breakfast, there is banana in there, so don't feel guilty!



Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Normally I would have pumpkin pie for dessert on Thanksgiving but this year I decided to try something new. These Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars are CRAZY good. I think they are the best Thanksgiving dessert I have ever had!

They are really easy to make and they turned out perfectly!

What you need,

For the crust,
1¼ cup chocolate cookie crumbs
¼ cup butter, melted

For the filling,
2 oz. packages of cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour

Hot water

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Line 8x8-inch baking pan with baking parchment, allow for overhang on all 4 sides. Lightly coat with cooking spray.

For the crust, stir the melted butter into the cookie crumbs until well coated. Press mixture evenly into prepared baking pan. Bake 10 minutes. Set aside and allow the crust to cool about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile make the filling. Using an electric mixture on medium speed, beat together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in pumpkin puree, then eggs one at a time, and beat together until smooth. Add vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and flour, beat until just combined.

Pour the batter evenly over prepared crust. Place pan on large rimmed baking sheet, and place in oven on center rack. Pour hot water into baking sheet until almost full.
Bake at 350-degrees F for about 40-45 minutes, until set around edges, but still slightly jiggly in middle.

Remove the cheesecake from the baking pan and let it cool completely on rack. Once cool, cover and chill until firm, at least 3 hours, or overnight.
Use the parchment overhang to lift the cheesecake out of pan and cut into squares.

I highly recommend these bars! They don’t need to just be for a big fancy dinner, I think any old day would be the perfect day for these amazingly tasty bars!



Recipe slightly adapted from She Wears Many Hats