Easter Baking Insanity

Baking inspiration for me comes in waves sparked by different things.  Sometimes,  it’s out of necessity i.e.: a specific baking request from someone for an event.  Sometimes,  it’s because I have seen something on tv or in a book and want to try it.  Sometimes, I bake something as a present for people in my life that I care about.  Sometimes,  it’s because I crave something and I would rather make it than buy it.  And sometimes, it’ just because I have stuff in my kitchen I want to use up.

Easter weekend was a combination for baking for those I care about and wanting to use up ingredients in my kitchen.  I decided to put together some Easter gift bags for the my little nieces and nephews and their parents (my friends) got some treats too.

Not sure what made me think I would eat 3 pints of strawberries.  Clearly I was enticed by the juicy redness and sweet smell they emitted.   They became more ripe by the day and I realized the time to use them up was now or they would be banished to the composter.   The result was strawberry muffins. Perfect for breakfast or a quick afternoon pick up.

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How beautifully red are these berries?!

 

 

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All ready for the oven

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Just took them out. Smells like berries and sugar.

Being Easter, of course I had bags of Easter candy lying around.  Cadbury Mini Eggs are always a favourite.   Having already devoured bags of other sweets, I had to use these up somehow and get rid of them or risk going into a sugar overdose.  Why not make cookies with them!  A different spin on the traditional chocolate chip cookie.

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All mixed up.  Adding the mini eggs last and letting the mixer do its thing.  Some stay whole, others get crushed.  But it’s all chocolatey goodness. 

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So hard to leave these alone to let them cool.  

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So worth the wait. 

I used to be a notorious breakfast skipper.  Nothing but a coffee until noon.  Those days are gone and even if I don’t feel like it, I force myself to have something more substantial than just caffeine.  Lately, I’ve become obsessed with overnight oats (post to come).  So, of course, this meant tons of oatmeal on hand.  But oatmeal isn’t just for breakfast.  It’s also for cookies!

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Classic oatmeal chocolate chips waiting to go into the oven.

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I love how they spread out and their crispy edges, soft middles. Look at all the mini choco chips!

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I kept this one for me.  Doesn’t it look like a heart? Kinda?  #seeitineverything

The Easter gift bags were a success and the little cookie monsters seemed excited about their treats and that made me smile.

=)

 

Holiday Baking – Round Two

“One of the best protections against disappointment is to have a lot going on.”
― Alain de Botton

It is a chilly, snowy day in the hood today.  I’m avoiding venturing out as much as I can and continuing with the holiday baking. IMG_6537

Today’s bake-a-thon involves blueberry eggnog muffins for my dad. Sugar free and made with gluten-free flour.  I made my own applesauce to add to this recipe for sweetness. IMG_6540

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Mini eggnog cupcakes.  Still debating if I want to frost them or not.  They are perfect little bites of egg nog goodness.IMG_6543

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Still keeping with the eggnog theme, an eggnog cheesecake!IMG_6544

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I’m slowly getting into the Christmas spirit.  My home smells divine right now.  =)

Quinoa Banana Muffins

Tonight’s experiment – quinoa banana muffins. Outside of class, I haven’t baked anything on my own lately. I laugh because peeps at work are wondering where the baked treats are. Well, tomorrow some of them will be able to sample these muffins.

Of course the main ingredient is quinoa. The rest is pretty basic – whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt, an egg, rice milk, sunflower oil and of course a banana. I was going through my baking cupboard and came across some vanilla sugar that I received from Beanilla. Vanilla sugar is made of organic cane sugar and vanilla bean from Tahiti and Papua New Guinea. I thought it would add some nice flavour to the recipe.

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I was surprised about how heavy these muffins were – all that quinoa. A different take on the simple banana muffin. I found them just sweet enough with a nutty banana undertone, hints of vanilla and a chewy texture. Ingredient substitutions include brown sugar, applesauce and berries. This would make a great breakfast snack on the run. Peeps at the office seemed to like them. =)