#32) Lemon Cheese Coconut Cake

I am having a little get-together tonight with a couple of my girlfriends from university and their men tonight so I decided to go all out and cook up one of the most challenging meals I have done to date - apricot stuffed chicken breasts, sweet and smoky broccoli, and creamy parsnip mashed potatoes. This cute cake will be served as dessert.



1 2/3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup coconut
1/3 cup ground almonds
1 tbsp baking powder
1 cup buttermilk (1 cup milk + 1 tbsp lemon juice)
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla


- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper.
- Combine flour, sugar, coconut, ground almonds, and baking powder. Make a well in centre.
- Whisk together buttermilk, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Pour into well.
- Use hand mixer to blend until smooth.
- Pour into pan and bake for 1 hour. Let cool completely. Cut horizontally into two even layers. Set aside.

Lemon Cheese Filling


1 block cream cheese (8 oz)
3/4 cup icing sugar
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice

3/4 cup toasted coconut


- Beat the four ingredients together until smooth.
- Add half of the mixture to the top of one cake layer. Place second layer on top.
- Spread remaining cheese mixture on sides of cake. Add toasted coconut over cheese mixture.



1 1/4 cups icing sugar
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp milk

1 drop green food coloring
1 drop red food coloring


- Combine icing sugar, butter, and milk. Mixture should be barely pourable.
- Add 1 tbsp of mixture to two bowls (1 tbsp per bowl). Add one drop of food coloring to each bowl (red in one, green in the second).
- Add the remaining white icing to top of cake and spread out evenly.
- Add the colored icings to two small sandwich bags. Snip off a very tiny amount of the corner to make a small piping hole.
- Pipe straight lines across the cake's top.
- Use a toothpick to drag lines in one direction. Repeat in opposite direction.


#31) Cheesecake Bars with a Bakeapple Swirl

It is Christmas Day - can you believe it? I certainly can't!!!

Christmas Eve or not, yesterday I still got in to the kitchen :)

My bf's (actually my "fiance" considering he proposed this morning!!!) mom sent me a few bakeapples along with the presents with the hopes I would make her boy a bakeapple cheesecake. Well, a plain cheesecake with a simple bakeapple sauce didn't sound like enough fun for me so I decided squares with a sweet but bitter
bakeapple swirl would be more interesting... I hope you agree :)


Bakeapple Swirl Sauce


2 cup bakeapples (fresh or thawed)
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla


- Bring berries and water to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Pass through a sieve to remove the large seeds. Return to pot.
- Add sugar and vanilla and bring to a boil once again. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Let cool and set aside.

Cheesecake Bars


1 cup butter, separated into 2/3 cup and 1/3 cup
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 pks cream cheese (light), at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
4 1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 eggs


- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Beat 2/3 cup butter with brown sugar. Add flour and crumbs.
- Remove 2 cups and put in another bowl. Add the remaining butter (melted) to the new bowl. Mix and push into a 9x13 pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Beat cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Beat in milk, lemon juice, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until smooth.
- Pour half of cream cheese mixture over cooled crumb crust. Add tablespoon-sized dollops of bakeapple sauce. Pour remaining cream cheese mixture over top and add dollops of bakeapple sauce (reserve remaining sauce for decoration). Use a toothpick to create swirls.

- Sprinkle crumb mixture over top. (I didn't use all of it and the fiance said he would actually prefer it without any next time)
- Bake for one hour. Let cool completely before cutting. Drizzle sauce over top of individual squares.


#30) Chocolate Christmas Bells

This past summer I posted about peanut butter balls, an all-time favourite in our house. For Christmas there is always a batch of peanut butter balls in the fridge, but this time I wanted to improve this sweet treat for the holidays. The original recipe we have used for years calls for parowax and this imparts an unusual quality onto the chocolate - it becomes waxy (duh! haha) and sticks to your teeth. Regardless of this we have eaten batch after batch of these things and still love. But like I said, for the holidays I wanted them to be perfect. I have tweaked the recipe just slightly and now this favourite sweet treat is even more irresistible :)


2 cups peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 - 2 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 cup rice crispies

2 cups chocolate
2 tbsp shortening


- Put peanut butter, butter, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Put in microwave for 30 seconds and mix together.
- Add vanilla and rice crispies. Add icing sugar until the mixture reaches a dough-like consistency. - Roll into balls.(It would be helpful to refrigerate the mixture before rolling into balls). Refrigerate balls for 15 minutes.
- Melt chocolate and shortening in double boiler. Use two spoons to dip balls into chocolate. Place on cookie sheet covered with waxed paper. Refrigerate until stiff.
- Try not to eat them all at once :)


#29) Strawberry Truffle Brownie Cake

Do you like truffles? I do. Have you ever made truffles? I haven't even attempted them until today, and now I know why...

I have been toying with the idea of making truffles for a while now and seeing as my aunt sent me a bag of beautiful strawberries I decided I should make truffles with a fruit twist. What in the world was I thinking?????

I found a recipe for strawberry truffles here and am quite confident I followed it to the letter, but for some reason my filling would not set to a point where I could roll it into balls... What was I going to do????

Well, I tried using my truffle mold instead, but that just created one BIG mess so that was a no go...

So here I am in the kitchen with this delicious bowl of strawberry truffle-ish mixture and no idea what to do... Then it came to me - brownies plus this concoction would be delicious. So I whipped up a brownie batter and baked it....

Now that sheet of brownie looks kinda big, I thought. Brilliant idea #2 - make a layered brownie cake!

Turns out I piled on way too much of the "filling" and ended up with more of a "frosting" effect.

Say what you will about it, but this sweet treat took every bit of creativity and energy I had to offer!

It is far from my best attempt in the kitchen (it is messy, too sweet, and overloaded with chocolate) but not too bad of a save considering my amateur nature. If you have any suggestions about where I went wrong with the truffles in the first place, please let me know :)

Strawberry Truffle Mixture


2 cups strawberries (divided into 1 1/2 cups and 1/2 cup)
1/3 cup cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp syrup
8 ounces chocolate
1 cup whipped cream (not part of original recipe, but part of my attempted save)


- Puree (thawed, if frozen) strawberries. Stir in cream, vanilla, and syrup.
- Melt chocolate in double boiler and add to strawberry mixure. Mix well.
- Fold in whipped cream and 1/2 cup of whole strawberries. Set aside.

Brownie Layers


1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt


-Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 10X14 pyrex dish with parchment paper.
-Add sugar and vanilla to melted butter and beat.
-Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
-Add cocoa. Beat.
-Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat.
-Pour into pyrex dish and bake for 20 minutes.
-Remove from dish and let cool. Trim edges and slice into two equal sheets.


-Cover one brownie sheet with truffle mixture. Add second brownie sheet and repeat.

Try to enjoy :)


#28) IronCupcake:Earth Choclate with a Twist - Clementine Cupcakes

Here is what was supposed to be my first entry into ICE... my clementine cupcakes. But when I tried to upload my picture to Flickr I encountered some problems. Oh well, here they are in any case...

When this month's theme, chocolate with a twist, was announced I was immediately interested. Being a total chocoholic I love pretty much every possible combo with chocolate AND one of my all-time favourite treats around the holidays are those Terry's Chocolate Oranges. It was so convenient that my dad came home last night with a whole crate of clementines. What a nice way to re-create this tasty sweet treat!


1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tbsp milk
5-6 clementines
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup icing sugar
melted chocolate


-Preheat oven to 350°F and line 7 muffin cups with paper liners. (It is a small recipe because my family isn't a big fan of cupcakes - they are more cookie people)
-Cream sugar and butter together.
-Beat eggs in small bowl. Add 1/4 cup clementine juice (need about 4-5 clementines), and milk. Add to butter and mix with hand mixer.
-Sift together dry ingredients. Fold into butter mixture. Use mixer to incorporate fully.
-Bake for 18-20 minutes.

-For the icing, squeeze juice of 1 clementine into a bowl. Add 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
-Add the icing sugar in 1/4 cup additions, beating after each addition.
-The icing will be a bit thin, but no too thin that it will not sit on top of the cupcakes.

-Separate last clementine into segments.
-Melt chocolate.
-Dip segments halfway into melted chocolate and let cool on waxed paper.
-Top each cupcake with a cooled segment.

Eat & Enjoy!


#27) Candy Cane Cupcakes

Alrighty folks... the holiday season is upon us and you all know what that means - BAKING!!! Nicole @ Baking Bites is hosting a Holiday Cupcake Contest and seeing as I have loads of free time now that the semester is over, I wanted in. I whipped up a plain vanilla batter and divided it in thirds. To one third I added raspberry candy flavouring and red food colouring, to a second peppermint candy flavouring and green food colouring, and the third I left as is. To all three bowls I added some crushed candy cane. They baked up nicely, but I have to say they were a little dense for my liking... next time I think I will use less butter. In any case, here is the recipe:



3 eggs
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
raspberry candy flavouring
red food coloring
peppermint candy flavouring
green food colouring
2 crushed candy canes


-Preheat oven to 320°F and line muffin cup with liners.
-Lightly beat eggs. Add butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
-Add buttermilk, flour, baking powder, and vanilla. Beat until light and creamy.
-Divide mixture evenly among three bowls.
-To one bowl add 5 drops raspberry flavouring and red food coloring. Mix.
-To a second bowl add 5 drops peppermint flavouring and green food colouring. Mix.
-Add crushed candy cane to each bowl and mix
-Add the different coloured batter to the liners by tablespoonfuls, creating layers in each liner.
-Once all the batter has been distributed, poke a fork into each liner twice.
-Bake for 20 minutes and let cool completely.

Buttercream Frosting


1 1/4 sticks butter
1 1/4 cups icing sugar
sprinkle salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp milk
1 crushed candy cane


-Beat butter until smooth (20 seconds).
-Add sugar and salt. Beat for one minute.
-Scrape down sides of bowl and add vanilla and milk. Beat for 2 minutes.
-Pipe or spread on cooled cupcakes.
-Sprinkle candy cane on top.


#26) Peanut Butter Blossoms

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I won one of the Hershey baskets Mayre was giving away over at Baking Delights? Well I got my hands into its contents today: flour, sugar, Reese's peanut butter, Hershey kisses.... all packed into a great big steel bowl. In the basket was also a recipe card for peanut butter blossoms. They looked so cute in the pic, and they are a combo of chocolate and peanut butter, so I couldn't resist making this sweet treat :)


48 Hershey kisses
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda


-Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from kisses.
-Beat peanut butter and shortening.
-Add sugars. Beat until fluffy.
-Add egg, milk, and vanilla. Beat well.
-In another bowl, stir together flour, salt, and baking soda. Gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.
-Roll into 1-inch balls and dip in sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.
-Immediately press a kiss into each cookies. (The cracks that form are normal)
-Let cool and enjoy!

#25) PBCs

Finally!!!! Exams are over and I am at home for Christmas break.... and when I mean home, I mean in the kitchen. I was no more than in the door Saturday evening when my brother decided he wanted some peanut butter cookies, and fast! (PS - those are his greedy little fingers in the picture haha). I remembered a post I made this past summer about eggless peanut butter cookies. The recipe I made up was very quick and quite popular, so we used that same recipe, but added more cocoa for some chocolatey flavour because, well, I am addicted to all things chocolate :)


1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cups brown sugar
2.5 tbsp skim milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup flour
3 tbsp cocoa


-Cream butter, sugars, milk, and vanilla together.
-Stir in peanut butter.
-Add flour, cocoa, and baking soda.
-Roll into 1-inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet, separated. Squish with a fork in two directions.
-Bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes.


#24) Magic Middlers

This recipe was so much fun to make!!! I made this one, and the one below, for a couple of cookie exchanges I have this week, and I am sure these guys will be a hit. A chewy chocolate cookie coating surrounding finger-lickin' good peanut butter filling.... Is that the smell of perfection????


Chocolate Cookie Coating

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
chocolate chips

Peanut Butter Filling
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp corn starch


- Beat peanut butter and butter until smooth. Blend in icing sugar and cornstach until combines.
- Spoon onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Use the wrap to roll the filling into a 2 cm thick log. Freeze for 10 minutes.

Chocolate Cookie Coating

- Beat butter with sugars and peanut butter. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla.
- Stir flour with cocoa and baking soda. Stir into butter mixture with spoon. Refrigerate.


- Slice peanut butter log into 32 pieces.
- Using a 1/2 tbsp measure scoop out chocolate dough and form into patties.
- Place a peanut butter slice on top of the patty and close the edges, rolling into a ball. Roll in sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly.

- Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes.

#23) Chocolate Crinkles

I realize there are a lot of chocolate crinkle posts out there lately thanks to Anita Chu's new book, Field Guide to Cookies. Her recipe sounds great, with lots of yummy chocolate. Mine is a recipe I came across a couple of years ago and has been a favorite ever since. Although I use cocoa instead of real chocolate, and oil instead of butter, they are still rich and chewy, and very, very sinful.....


3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
3 tbsp butter ("light" margarine such as Becel will not work well here)
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
icing sugar


- Add cocoa and butter to a microwave-safe bowl. Heat until butter is melted. Stir to combine.
- Using an electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar, cocoa mixture, oil, baking powder, and vanilla together.
- Beat in as much flour as possible, then stir in the remaining amount.
- Cover and chill dough for a minimum of 2 hours.
- Shape dough into 1-inch balls. (I spray my hands periodically with flavorless Pam to avoid becoming a sticky mess.)
- Roll balls in icing sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheet. (I used my silicone sheet and it was perfect)
- Bake at 375°F for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies have a crackled appearance.
- Transfer to a cooling rack.